Blame for Mideast deaths

belongs to Hamas

Re: the July 20 letter “World community must resolve Gaza crisis.”

The writer presented her “recap” version of the crisis that places the blame squarely on Israel. It is a tragedy that so many civilians have been killed, but it is not Israel’s fault. Without question, Hamas deliberately uses the people of Gaza as human shields. What is its ultimate goal? It is clearly stated in its covenant, “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, 18 August 1988,” which it refuses to repudiate.

In the introduction: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. ... Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.

“Article Seven. ... The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews.)”

Only words? Our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are only words. Oh yes, so is “Mein Kampf.”

Billie Kozolchyk

Homemaker and volunteer, Tucson

Wolves should be left

to flourish in the wild

Re: the July 28 article “Wolf habitat to expand, but not north of I-40.”

This is about the new proposal for our Mexican gray wolves and how it will only serve to doom them, not help them flourish. Releasing more wolves is good, giving them more room is good, but giving a wild animal boundary lines is nothing short of ludicrous.

Did anyone limit the bald eagles to certain airspace? I think not. Also, more killing of wolves will finish them off. There are only 83 wolves, and these wolves came from an original count of seven. If more are killed, their genetic diversity will be gone and they will die off.

We need to work on coexistence. There are many examples of this — Oregon and the Wood River wolf project in Idaho are two. In places where ranchers are using nonlethal methods such as dogs, range riders, fladry ... there is less depredation and very little need to kill wolves. Why can’t we do that? This world should be big enough for all beings, not just human beings. Please let the Fish and Wildlife Service know this isn’t acceptable.

Kathy Cheatham

Magazine clerk, Laveen

Mines not a major user

of groundwater

Re: the Aug. 2 letter “Rosemont Mine would use scarce water.”

The author wrongly blames Rosemont for the “permanent depletion of our groundwater.” Groundwater is a renewable resource, balanced between recharge and withdrawal. The author should pay attention to the withdrawal part of the equation.

The Tucson area has grown from 230,000 in 1970 to 630,000 this year, and its population is using 340,000 acre-feet of water, tripling its demand. The Star showed photos of the Santa Cruz River flowing freely even when early mines operated. Population growth and agriculture have contributed to the declining water resources, not mining. Some agricultural activities such as pecan growing use 30,000 acre-feet per year, six times more than the projected Rosemont usage!

Therefore, put the blame where it is due and watch the increased strain on the aquifers due to the crazy construction activity and its concomitant population growth.

Ihor Kunasz

Retired g

eologist, Tucson

Death-penalty cases

are costly to prosecute

Re: the July 31 letter “Capital punishment serves no good purpose” and the Aug. 1 guest column “Why abolishing the death penalty should be a top priority.”

In reference to the wonderful letter regarding capital punishment and the Rev. Frank Bergen’s detailed column on the same subject, I lost a stepson to gun violence some years ago and feel quite qualified to agree with their thoughtful comments.

For those who are not swayed by compassionate arguments, I would like to suggest that you Google the cost of the death penalty, where you will find article after article explaining the millions spent on defending death-penalty cases as well as the cost of appeals, all of which are usually paid for by taxpayers. It is far less expensive to sentence a criminal to life imprisonment with no parole and, at the same time, we would avoid the chance of ever executing another innocent person.

Anne Crews

Retired, Green Valley

Profit is not always

the result of private risk

Re: the Aug. 1 editorial “Breakthrough hepatitis C pill worth its price tag” and article “Medicaid limits access to pricey hep C drug.”

In the editorial of Aug. 1 and an article in your business section, you discuss how Gilead Sciences Inc. has created a hepatitis drug, Sovaldi, that is very expensive.

Profit is not always the result of a private risk. Did Gilead, for example, ever receive one dollar of government research grants or assistance in developing its drugs? Have the research scientists at Gilead ever received one dollar of tax funds to support their education? Has Gilead ever had licensing restrictions for pharmaceutical products eased to reduce the cost of marketing new drugs? Does Gilead get tax deductions of any kind to remain in business?

It has a right to profits, but please do not tell me that America has not supported its research and business. Why do profits all belong to the investors, but their losses are shared by everyone? We are, I thought, a capitalistic democracy with an equal right for all to benefit and to profit.

Paul Baker

Retired, Tucson