Attacking Syria

dangerous for U.S.

Regarding a U.S. attack on Syria:

Are we that out of touch with historical events? How many hundreds of thousands of civilian as well as troop casualties are we responsible for? We've ignored the Geneva Conventions ourselves concerning civilians in Vietnam, Iraq and elsewhere.

Didn't we notice that Saddam Hussein, while our ally at the time, used chemical weapons on Iranian civilians and Kurds in the 1980s?

I guess it's easier for our White House and supporters to craft a moral case for intervening in Syria's uncivil war if they ignore the past.

Regime change is certainly not the best option, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's enemies, the ones who would likely replace him, aren't exactly America's kindred spirits. In fact, many of them are affiliated with al-Qaida.

So why further stir up a Middle East hornet's nest by, in effect, slapping Syria's despotic ruler and his cronies on the wrist with cruise missiles that won't deter those guys from using chemical weapons yet again? In fact, those allied with al-Assad, such as Iran and Hezbollah, could very well retaliate by attacking Israel for starters, or perhaps by activating sleeper cells right here in the U.S. with deadly consequences.

What is President Barack Obama thinking?

Is this all about saving face and our nation's credibility? Might his red line lead to a blood bath beyond anyone's wildest nightmare?

Stay out of this war. Bullets and bombs not prohibited by the Geneva Conventions can carry as much of a wallop as toxic chemicals, especially when aimed at us.

LAWRENCE UNIGLICHT

Galloway Township

Unions don't need advice

from Heritage Foundation

Regarding the Sept. 2 column by James Sherk, "Unions need to reinvent themselves for the 21st century":

I found it strange that you chose - on Labor Day, of all days - to run a column by a policy analyst from the Heritage Foundation offering advice to unions.

It is true that these are difficult times for unions. There are many reasons for this, but not the least of them is a national agenda that has followed policies advocated by the Heritage Foundation and similar organizations for the past 30 years. It is almost as if you had published advice to the B'nai B'rith from the Aryan Brotherhood, or advice to the NAACP from the Ku Klux Klan.

STEPHEN SKWIRE

Egg Harbor Township

Shore's Sandy recovery

will take additional time

Even though Gov. Chris Christie was sending out a positive message to show that the Jersey shore had recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, business owners along the shore reported a loss of business compared to last year.

We had approximately six months to rebuild before the start of the 2013 season. This wasn't nearly enough time for a recovery that many people were expecting. The reality is that it will probably take another year or more to have a substantial recovery along the Jersey shore.

DAVID M. LEVIN

Vineland

Chained CPI hurts

the most vulnerable

A flawed policy initiative called the "chained Consumer Price Index," which is gaining steam in Washington, would shortchange people who receive federal benefits such as Social Security and federal annuities by low-balling their annual cost-of-living adjustments.

Chained-CPI supporters have tried to minimize the consequences it will have on seniors. But when you cut through the rhetoric, the truth is that the chained CPI means smaller COLAs each year. It hurts every American - particularly our most vulnerable.

I urge New Jersey's representatives in Congress to reject the chained CPI and provide America's seniors, retired veterans, retired public servants, and individuals with disabilities the income protection they have earned and deserve.

They did not create the deficit, but they are easier to go after than the million-dollar corporations and special-interest groups that Congress protects.

If we would all only look at their voting records on the issues and vote out those who are not there for us, then maybe we will have a chance to turn America back to a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

MARTIN SAMPSON

Barnegat Township

Diver: Lady Mary

may have been struck

Regarding the Aug. 31 story, "Training could've saved Lady Mary":

I want to point out that the owner of the Lady Mary did, in fact, properly register his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, but the number was improperly transcribed by a subcontractor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This led to a delay in the Coast Guard response, which very possibly contributed to the death of at least one of the crew.

Also, I was a member of a team of divers that made several dives to the wreck. Although it is likely we will never know exactly what happened, having seen the damage up close, I support the theory that the Lady Mary was involved in a collision with a much larger vessel.

PAUL WHITTAKER

Galloway Township

End state pensions

for union officials, too

Regarding the Sept. 1 editorial, "Pensions for lobbyists/End this practice":

Who could quarrel with your call to end pensions for lobbyists? However, if you really want to get it done, call Gov. Chris Christie's bluff: Why not throw in the abolition of state pensions for full-time employees of public-employee unions?

Full-time union officials are acting on behalf of their employers - the dues-paying state, county and local workers - and antagonistically toward the taxpayers. Are you endorsing the idea that these non-state employees deserve state-funded pensions?

IRV COHEN

Hammonton