Readers Write: US also shot down a civilian plane; Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s return to duty; Americans united against gridlock

Letters to the Editor for August 11, 2014 weekly magazine:

Kovach: In 1988, Iran Air Flight 655, a civiian plane, was shot down by the USS Vincennes.

Uberuaga: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will return to active duty only until it is determined if he will be court-martialed.

Geist: Congress might be divided, but the American people aren't.

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP/File
A pro-Russian fighter walks past a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine July 21. Four days after Flight 17 was shot out of the sky, international investigators still have had only limited access to the crash site, hindered by pro-Russia fighters who control the verdant territory in eastern Ukraine. Outrage over the delays and the possible tampering of evidence at the site was building worldwide, especially in the Netherlands, where most of the victims were from.

US also shot down a civilian plane

The tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, discussed in the Aug. 4 editorial “Lesson of Malaysia Flight 17: the conceit of control in war,” recalls the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes. The US Navy warship was in Iranian territorial waters when it launched its surface-to-air missiles. All 290 civilians on board the airliner died. The captain of the Vincennes, William C. Rogers III, was subsequently awarded the Legion of Merit by President George H.W. Bush

Yugo Kovach
Winterborne Houghton, England

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s return to duty

I am writing in response to the Aug. 4 letter “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl paid his dues.” Bergdahl did not serve multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, he never was sent to Iraq and was in Afghanistan for only a month; he arrived in May and deserted in June. He is being returned to active duty only until a determination can be made as to whether or not to court-martial him for a charge of desertion. If he is not court-martialed he will be discharged and will be free to go.

Rick Uberuaga
Hailey, Idaho

Americans united against gridlock

I concur with the Monitor’s conclusion in the July 7 & 14 editorial “A few icebreakers to warm up Washington’s frozen politics” that Americans themselves are much less divided than Congress. My husband and I have good friends who are Republicans; we are Democrats, and yet we agree on a surprising number of issues. What your editorial doesn’t mention is that Congress has been hijacked by the interests of corporations and the wealthy, thus its low approval rating. As the Supreme Court has enabled that hijacking, it, too, has lost people’s confidence. Meanwhile, the president is helpless to get the two sides to agree. Low approval ratings all around suggest that the American people are, above all, united in their understanding that their government doesn’t represent them anymore.

Kathe Geist
Brookline, Mass.

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