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None August 13th, 2013

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to pbacharach@okgazette.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to pbacharach@okgazette. com or sent online at okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification

Allergy sufferers give thanks

I applaud our state representatives for rejecting legislation that would have blocked everyday, law-abiding citizens’ affordable access to cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Not long ago, state legislators were considering implementing burdensome legislation to require a doctor’s prescription for over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines that many Oklahomans, myself included, depend on.

This requirement would have necessitated a doctor’s co-pay for each appointment, ultimately leading to a massive increase in the cost of these safe, common, vital medicines. It also would have increased the number of doctor visits and thereby strained the demands on Oklahoma’s medical system.

As someone who depends on cold and allergy medicine to survive Oklahoma’s allergy season, I believe it is instrumental that the state continue to protect the rights of consumers who legally use these medicines.

—Carmen Johnson Oklahoma City

Not our war

At a state Capitol rally, four speakers on the left and four speakers on the right addressed 200 participants gathered in near 100-degree heat. The message was, “President Obama must hear from all of us that Syria is a powder-keg that the U.S. must not become militarily embroiled in. Syria is not our war.”

The Assad government is ruthless and has killed thousands of civilians, but the Obama administration said poison gas used by government forces would be the “red line” for action. A United Nations finding published by Reuters showed that poison gas was used by rebel forces, not government forces, so that line has yet to be crossed.

Syria’s civil war is complex. It’s a sectarian war in a volatile region of the world. The conflict could spread beyond Syria’s borders to become a regional war. U.S. involvement pulls us into a proxy war with Russia and Iran, who are supporting the Assad government.

President Obama has thus far avoided getting the U.S. into the Syrian mess, but he is under pressure from hawks who push for military action and label presidents who avoid it as weak.

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has come out stating that intervention will make the Syrian conflict worse. Joshua Landis, an acknowledged expert on Syria and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, has published articles stating that intervention by the U.S. risks war on a par with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Domestic needs here in the U.S. cry for financial support, but our treasury is depleted by war. It is time to invest our efforts at home, in an economy that supports justice and lifts all boats.

Let us support President Obama in refraining from military intervention, but instead using diplomatic influence to bring about negotiations, with all parties at the table, to end the violence in Syria.

Legislation before Congress would prohibit U.S. military intervention in Syria without a vote of Congress.

Syria must not become our next war.

—State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft and Nathaniel Batchelder

Wesselhoft, a Republican from Moore, represents House District 54. Batchelder is director of the Peace House in Oklahoma City.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

 
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