Want Greta's blog delivered directly to your e-mail box? Click here to sign up!
If you read Monday's blog, you know that we are headed to New York City today for a quick interview and then a quick trip back to D.C. to be ready for our live show at 10 p.m. ET. I am hoping for good weather in NYC today since the interview is going to be outside.
I am not sure I should be telling you this, but yesterday when we got to the White House for our interview with Mrs. Bush, I discovered that the battery in my still camera was dead. Like a fool, I had left the camera on in my bag and the battery ran down. I was immensely disappointed to realize my problem when I entered the White House grounds and reached for the camera. I wanted to take still pics to post on this blog for you.
An old friend, who works for a competitor network (yes, competitor network) and who was standing near all the network cameras when I walked onto the White House grounds lent me his/her camera to take pics. So this is proof that while yes, we do compete with each other, we do remain friends and help each other. Hence the pictures posted on the blog today are courtesy of ****** (I can't tell you whose camera I used since I don't want to get that person in trouble!) As an aside, of course I will return the favor.
I enjoyed interviewing Mrs. Bush at the White House yesterday. She is always gracious. After the interview she stayed for about 10 minutes and talked to us about HIV/AIDS here in the United States. It is obvious that Mrs. Bush, always the teacher, has done her homework.
Here is a challenge today: What does it mean when a politician says, "I accept responsibility?" I was sitting in my office yesterday listening to the news and heard the mayor of Los Angeles, just caught with his pants down (figuratively) cheating, say, "I accept responsibility." OK, but what does that mean? It is not the first time I have heard a politician from either major political party on a bunch of topics (not just cheating) say that he or she accepts responsibility. But what exactly does that mean for the voter? Is it enough just to say, "I accept responsibility?" (Of course getting caught is a huge catalyst for "accepting responsibility." I often wonder if the politician would have accepted responsibility without first getting caught.) As an aside, if I back into your car and dent the fender, I accept responsibility by apologizing AND repairing your car. So, any thoughts? E-mail your comments to: email@example.com
Now for your e-mails — if you remember in yesterday's blog I challenged you for your ideas about how to solve the Iraq situation and have posted some of the e-mails received below. I was very careful to post the e-mails as I read them. I did not want to cherry pick the e-mails and thus display an agenda. I have also posted a few e-mails about perfume (an issue raised in the blog yesterday.)
E-mail No. 1
At my former office there were several people who complained about their co-workers' perfume and how it affected their asthma. I completely understand their situation. But, it got to the point that co-workers were told by HR to stop wearing perfume altogether. When that didn't solve the problem, the complaining worker said maybe it was something else a co-worker was using. The co-worker was asked by HR what kind of deodorant, hair products, body wash, laundry detergent and fabric softener she was using. HR then told her to stop using hairspray and any kind of body lotion (which she switched to using instead of perfume).
Where do the demands stop? What gives one person the right to control their co-workers' personal hygiene? People have a right to look nice and smell good... of course without going overboard. There has to be a compromise.
E-mail No. 2
Why don't they ask the Iraqis what they want us to do? If they say, "no" we'll pull out. I have reservations about this as I remember what happened in Vietnam when we just up an left. That was awful for them.
If they say, "yes" we'll stay, but they need to take a more active role such as: give more information to the police...I know they have information about the terrorists but are afraid to speak up. Offer them protection and maybe some money to speak up.
PUT IT TO A VOTE! Let the people decide their fate!
Jeanie in the UP of Michigan
E-mail No. 3
We're in a mess over there. I support our troops 100%, since they're doing the job they signed up for, yet unless they signed up after we were already over there, I doubt they figured it would be hanging around getting killed during someone else's civil war. The USA cannot 'win' or 'lose' this one... if the Iraqi citizens don't decide that freedom from a dictator is worth more than religious differences, then they can get used to the bombings/IEDs as part of daily life. How many wars have been fought over religion? I think that leaving Iraq altogether is not a good idea, but at the same time, feel that the Iraqi people need to take over all security of their country, and us be there to help with the borders, and terrorist activities that could get a firmer grip on this country. That does affect us, and is a reasonable reason to be there (IMHO).
P.S. George Carlin has an idea to deal with Iraq and immigration issues if you're up for it!
E-mail No. 4
Well Greta you asked a tough question and I will do my best to honestly answer it.
I do think we need to stay in Iraq and try to see it through. I am 52 so I do not know if the military would have much use for me. Having said that if I were 22 I do not know that I would join to specifically go to Iraq.
The world is a bit safer without Saddam, his record speaks for itself, I will never forget the images of the village he used poison gas on and the dead mother and her child. If the first President Bush had not stood against him, Saddam would have taken Saudi Arabia after Kuwait, who knows where it would have ended up.
I just read an article in the Smithsonian magazine about our revolution and how bleak things were, a fellow by the name of Greene I believe that was his name in a matter of 100 days turned the course of the war back in our favor, but not without much difficulty and loss of life. Was that worth it?
The horrible losses of the Civil War, if Lincoln had quit the war in the worst days where would we be now? Were those losses worth it?
The carnage of world war two in both the European and Pacific wars, if England and the United States had sued for peace during the worst days where would we be now? Were those losses worth it? I would say for the families who lost loved ones probably not, for the rest of the civilized war probably they were.
Our soldiers did not lose the Vietnam War our politicians did that, with a little help from the peace movement. I remember Mr. McNamara going on television and talking about which targets they were going to bomb, I have read accounts from pilots on what they could and could not attack, I have friends who were in the infantry who talked about how they would not allow them to wage all out war on the enemy.
As hard as this is, if we were to leave now, besides giving Iraq over to the terrorist element that would only empower the Taliban in Afghanistan and the radicals throughout the middle east. We have to stand against these people, they will stop at nothing to destroy the Western world and especially the United States. September 11 was unprovoked. Yes the Iraq people should do more, they have eyes and ears they should turn those people in, after all there are many more innocent Iraqis being killed then anything. It has certainly exposed Islam for the joke it is.
Anyway I have gone on more then I should. I do wish I could express myself better and with less verbiage. One thing for sure if the Democrats take the White House and gain more Senate and congressional seats we will be gone in a flash and the bad guys will have a field day with the weak liberals in charge.
All the best,
E-mail No. 5
I was never for going into Iraq because I thought we would probably be stuck there. What should we do now? I have no idea. All wars are terrible but this one is especially so because the enemy doesn't play by the rules. What really bothers me is no matter how many we "put down" there are others to replace them. It's like fighting ghosts. I think we should bring the troops home ASAP, but I don't see that happening in the near future.
E-mail No. 6
What stops me from signing up for Iraq is my age and that I have no desire to be a soldier — it is not my calling in life.
I do not know how we can abandon Iraqis and leave the country in such a horrible state. I do not know how we could open the country up to Al Qaeda. If we leave now, we will back, only under worse circumstances. We need to do more in Iraq and Afghanistan though I hope we can start withdrawing troops by next year. I am very concerned about soldiers doing three tours over there. Too many people in Western civilizations do not understand the threat of Shariah law and the people who mindlessly follow it.
E-mail No. 7
The United States has had a good degree of success in being a republic with diverse sovereign states and a strong central government. Why not the same for Iraq? How about a Kurdistan, a Shiastan and a Sunnistan with oil revenues shared through the central government? How hard would that be? Wouldn't that tend to stop the bickering (civil war) and resolve the issue? If they, the Iraq people, cannot live with that, we should exit and let them fight it out among themselves. Of course, we would have to prevent Iran from taking over, no easy task. But then, we have some unresolved issues with Iran anyway.
E-mail No. 8
I hope that you will be safe with all the travel stuff. I can't blame you for not wanting to be stuck on the tarmac. I feel the same way.
I would like to see more action from our men in "cleaning up the mess" that exists there.
I have an acquaintance who spent the last four years there before he was discharged. He was a Special Ops, Assault Paratrooper and a very busy Ranger.
He said he wouldn't re-up due to the high frustration there. He would get his men to a point in a mission and they wouldn't be allowed to finish the job. Time and time again they would get to a point and wouldn't be allowed to finish. He said that if they would just be allowed to fight and finish a mission, Iraq would be done with and they could go home.
What's with that?
Have a super interview tonight.
God bless our soldiers
E-mail No. 9
Greta, this may sound harsh, but I think from the beginning we should have been more aggressive, hit the hot spots harder with our aircraft attacks. When we suspected that a mosque was hiding terrorists or whatever, maybe we should have just sent in our planes to do what the guys on the ground can't do. I realize this would have hurt or killed good people too, which is the angst of war. But there are times we have been too docile and it has gotten more of OUR people killed. It is almost impossible to warn the good people for there are so many bad people who say they are good and they're not, so many good people held against their will. But maybe certain warnings could be used to the people we are sure about, if that's possible, to be that sure.
E-mail No. 10
Short Answer: Pack up and go home. Let me say that I have to assume there are things I don't know and don't understand about the dynamics of war but I would like us to get out. Probably for the wrong reasons. I don't want any more of our troops to die for people who, it appears, don't appreciate it and don't want it. If they don't want us there and they hate us then why are we dying for them? I don't think we can 'gracefully' exit but I think we should anyway. Just turn over the reins to the current owners and get out. Maybe they need to build walls around their cities in order to protect themselves from each other. Each religion can have its own walled city.
What stops you from enlisting?
Age. I would have enlisted after 9/11 but I'm too old.
Keep up the good work.
Thousand Oaks, CA
E-mail No. 11
Greta what prevents me from volunteering is that I'm 58 years old and a 24 year veteran of the United States Navy. I tried to go back but at the recruiting office they just smiled and said "thanks Chief but you've done your time"... anyway what I would do is very simple. I would let the terrorists know by both front and back channel sources that if they fighting and killing doesn't stop immediately then we'll use our resources in the Persian Gulf and take out Mecca... after that Medina... after that capital cities Arab countries that sponsor or actively assist terrorists... and so on. Sound cruel? Sny less so then firebombing Berlin or Tokyo? It's war Greta and if you don't fight to win, why bother to fight. Look what the results of our abandoning Vietnam: 3 or 4 million dead in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the killing still goes on.
E-mail No. 12
While I don't have the answer to Iraq, I know we can't leave and we can't leave a "peacekeeping" group there alone either. I would recruit for a think tank and see what that might yield. As for your question, what stops me from enlisting and going, is simply that I'm too old to be accepted. Unfortunately, it took September 11th to wake me up to the importance of the U. S. military and any contribution I could have made to it.
Side note: in regard to the body found in WI today while police were searching for Kelly Nolan, I have lost track of whether the college guy who disappeared from that "tuna" bar place in WI was ever found?
E-mail No. 13
Yes. I would volunteer and if told I would go, I would go and not shed a tear. Unfortunately, I was in the Navy and would have exceeded my 30 years after July 7, 2000. I am disabled with MS but that doesn't affect my beliefs.
I firmly believe in the president's stance on Iraq and have written and told him so. I have switched my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. We need to stop them there, but I am afraid we may still have to fight them here and that it would become a more intense legal and political nightmare. It is both now. Unfortunately, this country is populated by other people believing we should never sail into troubled waters. Their motto is that it will go away if we go away. Yeah, it will go away until after our shores become involved again against our will.
When we start something we should finish it and not think things will happen as we hope. After six long years, the American Revolution was won after having lost several battles and not having won one until the last one at Yorktown and General Washington wasn't in actual command of the troops that hemmed Cornwallis in with the help of the French fleet.
This foreign aid we are spending is worth it in the long term. If we cut and run, then we should be cursed.
Charlotte Hall, MD
E-mail No. 14
What would I do about Iraq? GET OUT, ASAP! What makes us think we can control a situation that's been out of control for thousands of years?
E-mail No. 15
I am retired now but in my 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, I had a boss who was allergic to any perfume smell and I could not get over how she could be so sensitive. Guess what? Now in my 60's, I am highly allergic to any perfume and cannot sit by anyone in a restaurant or anywhere who remotely smells of perfume or any sent. My eyes burn, my nose burns, I can't take it. I fell for the people who have to put up with it. Keep up the good news!
E-mail No. 16
I too am terribly allergic to most perfumes and colognes! Many doctors and hospitals have signs in the waiting rooms now requesting that patients and the general public do not come for an appointment wearing fragrances. As far as I can tell that seems to be a great solution. Perhaps this employee can request a change in the location of her office to help as well as signs. Fragrances make a lot of people sick, but many do not want to make a big deal out of it. I have suffered in silence many times myself. I guess it just depends on the situation.
E-mail No. 17
The question of what to do about the war in Iraq is a great one but one that takes more wisdom than I have. My family has supported the war from the beginning but now the losses of our military people are almost more than I can bear. My son spent 7 months in Iraq at the beginning, 4 years ago as a Marine reservist. It was torture for me every day. The day he came home safely was the best day of my life.
But now, when the local newspaper prints the obits of soldiers every Sunday, I can imagine it is my son, and it breaks my heart. I think I want our soldiers and sailors home, or just bomb the heck out of Iraq and settle it once and for all. I want peace for the Iraqi people, and for them not to be overrun by Iran, but I also want our people safe.
E-mail No. 18
I am disappointed in the Iraqi people not being more willing to defend themselves against terrorists wanting to stop their freedom. I think the knee jerk reaction from many (including myself) is let's get the heck out. But, it's not that simple when you actually think about it. Pulling out, will basically send the message to Iran that they have won and I'm afraid Iran is going to be a long tem problem for us and Israel.
These Muslim extremists aren't going away and it's not an "everyone hates the U.S." problem. Even the pacifist countries such as France, Germany and Amsterdam are having problems with the extremists and it's only going to get worse.
I'd rather fight the extremists in the Middle East than here on U.S. soil and I hope we continue to have the courage to defeat these people. We just need the rest of the world to realize these extremists are not going away. Then we need an all out assault, starting with bombing every madrasah in every country.
E-mail No. 19
Perfume/cologne should be worn in the appropriate manner... a dab behind each knee for day. Add a dab at the pulse point of each wrist for evening wear.
A person's body chemistry causes the perfume to smell differently on every person. I am still wearing the same Estee Lauder fragrance after forty years, and have had many compliments over the years, with not one negative.
"Sparingly" is the key word in fragrance.
I'll have to agree with your hubby: I thought tennis guy was Britney's Federline's brother — lol.
Great observation about the war. I think we should start withdrawing our troops now. We will know more in September what the plan is. Also, to those who think we should stay in Iraq, "why aren't you, your son's/daughters enlisting"? We are strapped thin, and are having to extend enlistment of the troops already there.
Are you going to be in Wis. tonight covering the Kelly (?) coed who has been missing for two weeks?
Have a happy week!
E-mail No. 20
In response to your question, I would quite frankly pull all of our troops out of Iraq now. This is a war that has gone on since ancient times between various factions of people who will never find peace with each other.
I want to scream and weep every time more deaths of our soldiers are announced, and I think of how another family's lives are going to change. All those beautiful young men and women, gone. And no end in sight of this horrific violence.
The money we are spending over there should be spent on security for our shores and borders here in the U.S. I've had enough of the slaughter of brave young heroes.
E-mail No. 21
I vote to leave Iraq now and let the fighting exist without the USA.
They should never have been sent in the first place, my opinion is that President Bush will insist they stay until he is no longer president.
E-mail No. 22
Greta, I am in the north woods and can only get one channel with any news. I feel news deprived, so it is very interesting to read your e-mails. You asked for opinions on the Iraq war and I feel compelled to give mine.
I have been for the war until recently. Now I feel it is time for the Iraq gov't to do their bit. I cannot see that we are doing anything useful anymore. I think we need to get our troops home and beef up our own security, close the borders to illegals, and concentrate on keeping our citizens safe. I am sure the military can be of much use in these endeavors….
E-mail No. 23
I know this may sound ignorant to you and many others with respect to Iraq and what to do, but here goes my answer. Since the "leaders" have not kept their word when the people were brave enough to stand in line to vote; and, since they continue to blow each other up along with our precious military, I think we should just go all out, blow the place to bits, nice and quick and then get out of there for good. They want freedom but don’t want our help in getting there. Obviously these barbarians cannot get it right when it comes to running a country without mass destruction and killings, it is obvious they never will. The Iraqis who joined a military brigade to learn military tactics to protect their people are afraid and back off, allowing more and more bombings and devastation. We cannot save the world, and at this point we need to save ourselves. I wish we could provide more help to Israel, become independent of Iranian oil and cow-tow to no one. Those countries will forever attempt to run their governments by their "religion" and not by a democratic doctrine, will never agree on anything. I think Bush started out with the right ideas — I believe he was and is sincere in his choices but it seems no matter what one does with people like those across the waters, it will backfire and make us look bad to the world. No matter what a Democratic president would do, it would be the same result. I just thank God we do have a strong military who would fight to the death and to answer your second part, I wish I was able to join them, I pray for them every day but I’m old and crippled up — where on Earth would I get the strength and ability to stand next to the young men and women in our Armed Forces? I would just be a burden at 62 and walking with a cane!
All that being said, may God bless YOU as you continue to provide us with valuable information and make us question and also make us think about whether we could handle our country and all it's diplomacy efforts better than those who have gone before us!
Lex Pk, MD
E-mail No. 24
I am in agreement with the person who wrote about the wearing of perfume in the workplace. I usually can stand most scents, both the women's and men's, but there is one in particular that I can smell at a distance and it makes me physically ill. My own daughter wears it and she is forbidden to wear it around me. I can always tell when someone is wearing this particular cologne no matter where I am, and I do not know what I would do if this happened at 5000 feet in the air. I most likely would have to disembark the plane before takeoff or wear the oxygen mask the whole flight. Many scents can smell terrific in the bottle but once worn by some people it can be noxious and smell more like a cleaning product or worse (the one my daughter wears is Vanilla Fields and on her it smells like an overfilled ashtray).
E-mail No. 25
Although you usually come across as very fair, you should leave the partisan questions to professionals such as Alan Colmes. I actually tried to enlist in younger times but vision
problems derailed that. I was against the idea of going into Iraq and God knows the occupation was totally bungled by the civilians in charge. The killings of our troops and innocent civilians is God awful but a real life view of war. We now have a new person in charge of the military portion of the conflict (General Petraeus) and he is running a new game plan. The first major operation of the surge is only a few weeks old showing definite progress so far. He needs to be given until September to see if this has legs or is a lost cause. In the meantime Washington needs to light a fire under the Iraqi government and let them know there is no tomorrow if they don't get their act together. The biggest fear I have is no matter how it is going at the time of report, that there are too many Dems who are staking their political future on America losing this war. I do not think we should stay indefinitely but if this is a last chance we should give the support needed.
ANSWER: Ken, how is a question looking for a solution to an agreed upon problem "partisan?" Why is looking for solutions unfair? I don't understand you.
Send your thoughts and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch "On the Record" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET