Letters to the editor

Sep. 02, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

Complaint without merit
I worked at the Durham Police Department for 28 years, five with Chief Jose Lopez.  Chief Lopez is one of the most caring, compassionate supervisors for whom I have worked.  When officers/employees or their families are injured or sick, either on or off duty, he is usually the first person to visit them.  He also cares deeply about the Durham community.  Whether there were after-hours community events or crime scenes, I was always impressed by the chief's presence and dedication.  These take a toll on him and his family, but he never shows it.
People have every right to file complaints when a wrong has been committed against them, and those complaints should be thoroughly and objectively investigated.  What is completely unacceptable is for a police commander to take those complaints to the media in an attempt to damage reputations. I say reputations, because Winslow Forbes is attempting to damage the fine reputations of Chief Lopez, the Durham PD, and a young officer in the court of public opinion. Why is he doing this, because he didn't get promoted to deputy chief?  It's possible he has forgotten who promoted him to captain and assistant chief.  Yes, Chief Lopez. There are many highly qualified people in the Durham PD but few supervisory positions available. Unfortunately, not everyone is promoted and many are disappointed. The mark of a mature adult is how they handle that disappointment.  Winslow Forbes appears to be channeling that disappointment by attempting to tarnish fine reputations.  For shame!
Steve Mihaich

Retired Durham Police Department deputy chief

Bombing Syria wrong option

Morally, legally, strategically, and economically, bombing Syria is the wrong choice.

Morally, we have no standing, since the U.S. has undeniably and admittedly used chemical weapons (napalm, Agent Orange, white phosphorous and depleted uranium) in recent wars.
Legally, we have no standing, either, since we have not sought redress through the International Criminal Court. The Syrian rebels have claimed responsibility for the recent release of chemical weapons, yet the U.S. alone seeks to act as judge, jury and executioner.
Strategically, bombing makes no sense. If we destroy Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, we risk unleashing unimaginable horror upon the people of Syria and beyond. Bombing will further destabilize the region, increase the number of casualties and refugees, and create new enemies. Additionally, it is almost certain that Iran will retaliate upon Israel if we bomb Syria.
Economically, we simply cannot afford another war -- not with increasing numbers of our own citizens falling below the poverty line. We must allocate our precious resources to needs here at home.
Instead of bombing, why not bring suspected war criminals to the International Criminal Court, increase humanitarian aid to the displaced, and work diplomatically for a negotiated settlement that truly addresses the grievances of Syria’s warring factions?
There is simply no rational case to be made for bombing Syria, and polling shows that 83 percent of Americans oppose it. And so we must ask ourselves: Why is the United States government so intent upon this course of action? Who’s calling the shots? And who benefits?
Vicki Ryder