Letters to the editor July 8
Did McChrystal sabotage himself on purpose?
We have a new general in Afghanistan after McChrystal’s harsh words for our political leaders. McChrystal and his crew were free with the media, to the point of being loose lipped, and many have speculated he spoke out of frustration. That is a kind view. Consider the possibility he may have just wanted out. Who wishes to go down in history as the general in charge when we sounded the retreat?
We are losing this war. Counterinsurgency only works with the support of native people who are willing to oust the insurgents. Polls indicate this is two-thirds of the population, but six years of nothing from Bush and two years of mismanagement by the current administration has eroded their confidence.
They believe we lack commitment. They are afraid, and who can blame them? Our president has already signaled we are going to withdraw in 2011. A third of their brothers would betray them to the insurgents, a capable and well led militia willing to commit any atrocity.
The Taliban and two other groups are led by Galbudin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, who orchestrate our defeat while cloistered in the rugged mountains, out of harm’s way. These are wise and clever men, steeped in the ways of terrorism, in keeping with their jihadist culture. They are also schooled in Western war. These same men were leaders of the anti-Soviet jihad, decades ago, backed and trained by America, under Reagan. Imagine how much they are willing to yield.
Private, public wages: There’s no comparison
Lo and behold, surprise. There is another article in this paper that compares the pay of a private sector worker to that of a public sector government worker. I would absolutely have a coronary if someone actually did that report correctly. If you want to compare what an electrician in the private sector gets paid to an electrician who works for the state, that is a fair estimate.
If you compare what the janitor for the Mirage makes to a maintenance repair specialist working for the state, you are comparing apples to rotten oranges. Comparing a correctional officer for the state to a security officer is comparing apples to oranges.
There are supposed to be benefits to qualifying for a state job (including) better pay and benefits for better qualified personnel. You do not – let me repeat – you do not find parity in jobs, wages and benefits by lowering the bar to what the private sector does. Then you truly have Walmart wages to work in a prison and supervise inmates, which results in compromised staff and inmates who escape back into society.
It is a centuries-old problem – you get what you pay for. If Walmart pays better, guess where the best workers are? And if Sandoval is threatening to fire all state workers and rehire us at day one, why elect him in at all?