Letters: Iran deal beats ‘endless war’

SHARE Letters: Iran deal beats ‘endless war’
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Members of the ‘Stand With Us’ group hold a rally calling for the rejection of the proposed Iran nuclear deal outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles on July 26, 2015.

Gene Lyons’ column on Saturday got to the heart of the matter on the deal with Iran. It is a “no lose” agreement for the United States. As the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq have shown, endless war is not the way to settle disputes. Diplomacy and compromise, with carrots and sticks, are the way forward — even with intransigent enemies.

This deal was negotiated over four years and involved Europe and the UN; there are advantages for both sides, but neither side is completely happy — the hallmarks of a good agreement. Iran will not have nuclear-weapon building capacity for at least 10 years and the region can use that time to stabilize and prosper. Bombing and killing must always be the last option.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry deserve our gratitude for persevering against the naysayers who criticize, but offer no realistic positive options. This agreement is historic and benefits all sides.

Carol Kraines, Deerfield

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Climate change and terrorism linked

When presidential candidateScott Walker spoke at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council in San Diego,he criticized President Obama for declaring that climate change is the greatest threat to future generations.Gov. Walker asserts that the greatest threat is terrorism.

To be fair, in his commencement speech to the Coast Guard Academy in May, President Obama contended that both are great threats that must be confronted. But more important, the U.S. Department of Defense recognizes that these threats are, in fact, intertwined.

The DOD’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review states that the effects of climate change “are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.” Similar statements have made by the U.S. Navy in its Climate Change Roadmap and by the Military Advisory Board, which is made up of 16 retired admirals and generals.

What I don’t understand is how the Department of Defense can clearly state that climate change is a national security threat, yet many Republicans, who are usually so supportive of our military, can continue to dismiss it.

Terry Hansen, Oak Creek, WI

Turn waste to fertilizer to go green

Government now has a chance to make sure our waste doesn’t go to waste, thanks to a new state law passed this year to promote the smarter use of biosolids.

New technological processes, known as “resource recovery,” allow for theseby-products of the wastewater treatment processto be reused as fertilizer which can then be applied to promote more productive soils. State law, however, was not keeping pace with new science. This spring, wecoordinated the push at the Capitol for House Bill 1445, signed into law recently by Gov. Rauner, which allows higher-qualitybiosolidsfrom our wastewater and sewage to be cleaned and turned intoproductive, marketable materials.

This recent effort follows up on legislation passed in 2014 to allow the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to enter into agreements to recover renewable resources from its operations, including biosolids. Not only can MWRD reduce its carbon footprint and be smarter environmentally with biosolid renewables, but it makes sense economically. There will be an estimated $10 million to $15 million reduction in the overall annual cost of processing and disposing this waste – money that does not have to come from taxpayers.

Federal regulations recognized the importance of biosolid repurposing, but state law still considered it a pollutant. By changing the law to match the federal approach, we’re embracing the biosolids as an agricultural asset – a key component of Illinois’ economy – and setting the right example forenvironmentally-friendlywater resource management.

We’recommittedto continue working together on innovative ways to move our state forward, even when it means putting our waste back to work for us.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook

Debra Shore, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), Skokie

Sandra Bland did not “mouth off”

Natasha Korecki’s well-intentioned column on Sunday only serves as a reminder of the deep chasm between the perceptions of most African-Americans on our interactions with police and those who are not African-American.

Korecki posits that the discord between Sandra Bland and the Texas officer should have ended after he asked her if she was irritated. No, the encounter should have ended before that. The officer found no evidence of foul play when he ran a check on her information. Next step: Write the ticket!

“Someone mouths off, shake it off,” Korecki suggests to police. While this is good advice, it does not fit the circumstances that led to Bland’s unfortunate death. Bland calmly answered the officer’s question. Sadly, many who are not African-American continue to ponder: What did the victim do wrong? When failing to signal a lane change leads to days in jail for Caucasians, our national conversation will change. Until then, we black folks can only pray that police take Korecki’s advice.

Dorothy Franklin, Rogers Park

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