Reader letters June 5

Jun 04, 2013

Break the cycle of violence

To the editor:

In this Memorial Day season, we not only honor veterans but mourn the tragic loss of life on American soil — at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Boston Marathon, the Texas plant explosion, and now the Oklahoma tornado. Our hearts go out to families of any innocents who died violent deaths, whether killed by other humans or by the severe storms that are more frequent as climate change intensifies.

But also consider the past 12 years our government has conducted military operations in Muslim countries, killing thousands and displacing millions of people. As we mourn the loss of U.S. lives, we must ask what the loss of Muslim lives mean to us.

Should we expect Yeminis, Pakistanis, Iraqis, and Afghanis to passively accept loss of life in their countries as a result of attacks ostensibly to keep us safe? Can these military operations continue without leading to repercussions for the “collateral damage” of their loved ones’ deaths? How many are simmering with rage over the deaths of innocent people caused by U.S. bombs,  missiles and drones?  How can we call for an end to gun violence here, while at the same time supporting kill lists and the assassination of alleged terrorists and their families with drones? How can we expect to end violence at home while using war as the primary instrument of our foreign policy? We cannot rely on violence to end violence.

Just as the cities of Newtown and Boston grieve, so do communities in Yemen and Pakistan. Human life is as precious there as here. More killing will not end the suffering. It will bring new pain, anger and the urge for more violence.  We need a new foreign policy that doesn’t rely on destruction and death, but on building communities, respecting all life and promoting diplomacy.

The billions of our tax dollars spent on war would be better used for development, education and promotion of human rights. The cycles of violence and death will only end when we realize that killing begets more killing, while only dialogue and restorative justice can break those cycles. Gandhi warned us that “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

Doug WingeierWaynesville


Habitat appreciates support

To the editor:

Thank you to all of our sponsors, event partners, auction donors and everyone in the community who purchased tickets and attended Haywood Habitat’s Spring Fundraiser on May 23. This was our second annual “House That Love Built” event and due to the generosity of our community, nearly all the proceeds go toward building affordable housing for families within Haywood County.

Thanks to volunteers, donors and the success of our ReStore we can continue our mission. Since its founding in 1990, Haywood Habitat has built or rehabilitated 50 homes within the county. These homes have added nearly $6million to the county’s tax base and during the last five years over $200,000 has been paid in property taxes.

We welcome volunteers on our current build sites or at our ReStore.

Marnette Colborne, executive director

Habitat For Humanity