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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 22

Oct. 21, 2012 - 08:57AM   |  
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Budget insanity

Sequestration has got to be one of the dumbest ideas our partisan Congress has put forth in decades. The sheer magnitude of the size of the cuts that our political heroes are imposing on the country during a time of war is dumbfounding. To attempt to balance the federal budget on the backs of those in uniform leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Those who wish to strike at America will do so when they perceive we are weak — and that weakness will show as Congress allows our national defense to crumble.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Congress proclaimed a “peace dividend” and went to work gutting our military, but the threats didn’t go away.

Our defense leadership has now determined the threat lies in the South Pacific and Asia. Muslim extremists are thriving there, too, [Defense Secretary Leon Panetta]. How are you going to combat them? How are you going to combat extremism in Africa and the Middle East? What about the threat along our common border with Mexico and the drug cartels?

Congressional brinksmanship is putting us in harm’s way. Come November, I will cast my votes against anyone who is in office. They have caused this budget fiasco.

— Army Staff Sgt. Charles W. Cranford, Blackstone, Va.

Protect U.S. embassies

I find it disturbing that our current administration, particularly the State Department and other department leaders, decided to secure Middle East embassies with fewer than a handful of Marines.

Everyone knows what a hotbed the entire region is — Libya, Syria and neighboring countries are riddled with anti-American terrorist groups and rogue leaders. It’s apparent that they hate our American way of life.

Furthermore, tension in the region has been escalating. The end result was the death of four Americans — including a well-respected U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, and two heroic former SEALs.

What’s even more disturbing is why this administration is reducing the size of our military and assets. A country is only as strong as the size and assets of its military, and in today’s climate of civil unrest, it leaves us vulnerable to more attacks in the U.S. and abroad.

There needs to be accountability to whoever was responsible for the lack of security at our embassies. There is no way these four brave Americans should have died if proper security measures were in place.

— Sonny Tannenbaum, Staten Island, N.Y.

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