Campaign promises

on VA now ring hollow

At the press conference announcing the resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki, President Obama stated: “We don’t have time for distractions; we need to fix the problem.”

Nearly six years ago when running for president, then Sen. Obama said: “Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to creating a 21st-century Department of Veterans Affairs that provides the care and benefits our nation’s veterans deserve. They will: Make the VA a leader of national health-care reform so that veterans get the best care possible.”

And like every other altruistic progressive plan, they just need a few more years and a lot more of other people’s money.

Michael P. Gardner

Project manager, Oro Valley

Snowden showed poor judgment

Re: the May 31 editorial “‘Hero’ doesn’t fit Snowden, who fled consequences.”

The editorial on Edward Snowden left out a crucial aspect of the case against him, namely the vast number of documents he took out of the country, far too many for him to have scanned even superficially. He literally had no idea what risks he might have been taking with national security.

Personally, I don’t feel that he is genuinely a traitor, and one can’t deny the valuable debate that was sparked, but clearly he made some epic errors of judgment. The first thing he should do is return all of the documents and prove that they have not been accessed by foreign governments. As for his person, I imagine he will return to the U.S. in due time, since no country really has much incentive to grant him permanent asylum.

William Nelson

Programmer, Tucson

Zakaria argues reasonably

Re: May 30 article “Strong leadership involves patience and conciliation.”

Finally, a reasonable op-ed piece by Fareed Zakaria in Friday’s Star regarding patience and conciliation. A breath of fresh air and a nice balanced op-ed compared to Charles Krauthhammer who has to hammer everything to death if it involves this president.

My thanks to the Star editorial staff for finding a writer of reason, intelligence and one who rationally thinks his way through issues. We need more of this and less of those who are unable to convey any type of reasonable presentation of various issues and reality.

Wayne Kielsmeier

Business owner, Tucson

Maybe this shooting won’t be covered up

Re: the May 31 article “Tucson man shot, killed by border agent in Green Valley is identified.”

This certainly appears to be yet another wanton use of force by an out-of-control Border Patrol agent. Thank goodness it is the sheriff’s office doing the investigating. Could there be a chance of no whitewash this time? We can only hope.

Maurine Audel

Retired, Green Valley

If Obama cured cancer, GOP would complain

OMG! Obama negotiated with terrorists to free an American soldier! How dare he! Funny, I didn’t see any of this distress when St. Ronnie traded arms for hostages. Let’s face it, if Obama cured cancer, the GOP would whine about the jobs lost in cancer treatment centers (and of course, lost profits to big pharma).

They cut funding for embassy security then bitch about Benghazi. They vote against funds for the VA then bitch about the VA. I defy anyone to name one thing the GOP has done for we the people since Obama was elected.

Buddy Gill

Retired sheet metal worker, Tucson

Where Jews, Christians and Muslims co-exist

Re: the May 24 letter “Chance for peace lies in single ‘Semitic’ state.”

The writer said “The only hope for peace is one state ... where Jews and Arabs live side-by-side with equal rights for everyone.” That state exists already; it is Israel. Israel’s first non-Jewish diplomat, Zeidan Atashi, is a Druse who was appointed in 1972; there are currently other Druse and Arabs in Israel’s foreign service.

Ishmael Khaldi is Israel’s first Bedouin diplomat. Dr. Ahmed Eid is director of the surgery department and Dr. Aziz Darawshe is director of emergency medicine at Hadassah Hospital — just two of the many Arab physicians at the hospital. Abdel Rahman Zuabi was the first Arab on Israel’s Supreme Court in 1999 and Salim Joubran is the first Arab to receive a permanent appointment to the court. Marah Zoabi, a teenage Muslim, was the only Arab and only girl on the Israeli team that won a bronze medal at the 2013 International Chemistry Olympiad.

To conclude, Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population; it has quintupled since 1949.

Billie Kozolchyk