I joined thousands of Americans across the country in celebrating the 16th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday. The National Environmental Education Foundation estimated that more than 100,000 volunteers nationwide participated by working to make our national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges and parks better places by planting trees, repairing trails, cleaning campsites and picking trash out of rivers and wetlands.
Josericardo Bondoc, San Francisco
It was no big surprise that President Barack Obama would mark the occasion of being the first American president to preside over a United Nations Security Council summit by promoting a resolution weakening U.S. security. Obama naively believes we no longer need to feel threatened by Russia, so our missile defense capabilities should be redirected to defending the world against a future nuclear attack by Iran.
This plan tells me that Obama and the U.N. intend to just sit back and let a fanatical Iran go forward with its nuclear program when it seems the logical defense against a future nuclear armed Iran would be to stop it right now. There was talk at the summit about how reducing the world’s nuclear arsenal would lessen the likelihood of terrorists obtaining and using nukes. But if Iran is permitted to continue its nuclear endeavors, the possibility of nuclear terrorism will most definitely “mushroom.”
Barry Bradley, San Francisco
President Barack Obama has called Afghanistan the “necessary war” and pledged to provide the resources needed to prevail. Now, he appears to be vacillating while prominent Democratic Party voices oppose additional U.S. ground forces that are clearly needed.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal has requested additional troops for Afghanistan to implement his new counterinsurgency strategy modeled on what succeeded in Iraq. A Taliban victory would have huge repercussions throughout the entire Muslim world.
Republicans, including Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin, are offering bipartisan support for Obama if he makes the right decision.
A failure of presidential nerve would have profound consequences in the campaign against terror.
Jim Hartman, Berkeley
You might call it “Beauty Stores and the Beast,” as accused Afghan terrorist Najibullah Zazi was stockpiling nail polish remover and hydrogen peroxide (used to dye and bleach hair) that he purchased from beauty supply shops to manufacture bombs for attacking various U.S. sites.
As a punishment, maybe we can dye his hair green to match the green landscapes of Colorado, where his al-Qaida terrorist cell was located. And now if we want to know whether someone is a terrorist, perhaps only his hairdresser knows for sure.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach