Regarding “Siren will wail in Hawaii test for possible nuclear attack” (Nov. 30): It was reported that Hawaii is preparing for a possible nuclear attack from North Korea and has added a new tone to its civil defense sirens to warn residents that a nuclear attack is imminent.
Hawaii’s citizens are terrified – and rightly so – by the threat posed by North Korea strongman Kim Jong-un and his Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Hawaii is the closest state to North Korea, and its large military presence could make it a target.
The danger is heightened by the lack of diplomacy shown by our government – particularly by President Trump, who has mocked Kim Jong-un as “fat” and referred to him as “Rocket Man.”
Trump’s bellicose and belligerent stance is not appreciated by our allies, especially South Korea, whose citizens are even more terrified than Hawaii’s. North Korea wouldn’t need ICBMs to reach South Korea, which is within reach of artillery shells.
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The situation is a powder keg waiting to explode, and both Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are unstable, unpredictable, uncontrollable, irrational leaders who could start a nuclear war.
We need to seek a diplomatic solution. President Trump’s tweets are not helpful. They only make a bad situation worse.
Peter V. Andrews
Treat prisoners humanely
Regarding “Guantánamo detainee to speak at hearings on NC role in CIA torture” (Nov. 30): One hears complaints about gridlock and how nothing gets done. People who attended public hearings held in Raleigh by the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture went back to a time when things got done fast – with consequences we are still living with 16 years later.
The 9/11 attacks left Americans feeling frightened, angry, helpless and in some cases guilty or at least responsible for not having prevented them. In this atmosphere, it was decided that another such attack must be prevented by whatever means deemed necessary. Those means included interrogation methods associated with earlier, more brutal times or totalitarian regimes.
A proud tradition of humane treatment of prisoners, supported by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, was ended. Because, in the years since, there has been no accounting for or even acknowledgment of what was done, our allies no longer trust us, our enemies have a propaganda and recruitment tool, and our soldiers are less safe should they be captured. A precedent has been set that some people are too dangerous to be accorded the protections of the rule of law guaranteed in our Constitution. How might this precedent by applied – and to whom – in the event of another attack?
Lynn Mitchell Kohn