To defeat ISIS, U.S. must change course

*To defeat ISIS, U.S. must change course *Be more sensitive to plight of sex workers *Subtle racism
PHOTOGRAPHER:

To defeat ISIS, U.S. must change course

The mid-November bombings and shootings in Beirut and Paris will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to Western nations, particularly the United States, that we must find solutions to conflicts around the world, not intensify them.

The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have been disastrous for Arabs and Muslims, as is the U.S. support for the Egyptian military, the Israeli government and the Saudi monarchy.

There are millions of desperately poor people in north Africa and southwest Asia who dream of freedom and prosperity. What does the United States offer? In recent decades, the United States flooded this part of the world with weapons sales and gifts, with no end in sight. Perpetually enlarging huge arsenals will not bring peace, but only more tension and violence.

It is time for the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to practice what they say they preach: strengthening democracy. Propping up dictators who crush democracy movements and promoting “free trade” agreements and gigantic disparities in wealth and income do not enhance representative government. Instead, they enhance the power of wealthy elites. Even here at home, our republic has decayed enormously since 1960. The United States is more of a billionaires club than a republic.

The United States literally destroyed Iraq in the last 25 years. Two wars and a decade of sanctions in between have wrecked almost everything of value. Electricity stations, water purification plants, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, universities, schools and the economy — all in ruins. Birth defects, infant mortality, cancer rates and childhood mortality — all soaring. Millions of Iraqis are internally displaced or living outside Iraq.

The United States has been on the wrong track for decades in the Middle East. It is time to change course. The best way to weaken ISIS is to enhance and promote the genuine democratic aspirations of Arabs for justice, freedom and prosperity.

Tom Ellis

Albany

Be more sensitive to plight of sex workers

This letter is in response to the Nov. 17 publication of the names and photographs of eight women arrested in Amsterdam for prostitution. I am disappointed that The Gazette would choose this technique of publicly shaming a segment of society that is already victimized.

Women and men engage in sex work for a variety of reasons. For many, sex work is their best or even their only opportunity to earn enough to support their families.

A significant percentage come from homes where they were sexually and physically abused and were recruited into the profession at a young age. Others turn to sex work to support an addiction, which is a medical condition requiring treatment.

It is my strong belief that society needs to provide more of the type of supports and services that empower sex workers to leave the profession and less moralizing and public shaming.

I call upon The Gazette to discontinue the practice of publishing the names and photographs of sex workers.

Vicki Michela

Niskayuna

Subtle racism evident in play of crime cases

The black high school student who may have hit or pushed or charged after a high school principle has his picture on the Nov. 20 Gazette.

A white guy who was found guilty of defrauding more than 100 investors of over $8 million and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison — zero picture, and the story is nowhere near the front page.

Why no picture of the white guy in handcuffs, or at least his mug shot? I saw a local cable station that did the same thing — mushot of the black kid, zero pictures of the white guy who ruined so many lives and was found guilty. Yet, the person not even tried or found guilty has his picture everywhere.

Subtle racism.

Diane Hombach

Schenectady

Trump comment on Muslims inaccurate

Why is it that Donald Trump was talking about the border issue and some reporter took his statement out of context and is trying to make it sound like he wanted all Muslims to register?

Report the truth like you’re supposed to. Listen to his speech as he is walking away and you will see that the press is making it up.

Joseph J. DiDonna Sr.

Saratoga Springs

Categories: Letters to the Editor

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