Mailbag: Americana puts on a great show

It was the second performance of the Glendale Renaissance Orchestra at the Americana at Brand, on the green. It was well-attended with picture-perfect weather ("Concert Review: A classical beat," July 7). It was fabulous!

The conductor was genius. He carried the crowd as if we were feathers. Everyone was smiling, singing along or just attentively listening and enjoying ... and the dancing at the end was such fun.

I am exceedingly proud to be a Glendale resident. Owning my home here since 1970, I have seen nothing quite like what Americana has brought to town.

No need to travel freeway miles to have a wonderful, musical time. We have it right at our doorstep.

Shirley Ann Hill


Sometimes war is the only answer

Regarding the indictment of U.S. foreign policy ("Foreign policy needs complete turnaround," July 5), while reading this letter I could not help thinking of the infamous and failed "Peace in our time" policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin, just before the election of Winston Churchill.

The writer's view of what our foreign policy should be is incredibly naïve and incorrect. For example:

The Iraq war was not based on lies. In fact, the war was based, in part, on bad intelligence on the part of all the major Western allies. That said, 30 million people now live in freedom with the right to vote, and an evil dictator has been brought to justice.

While Iraq struggles to stabilize its democratically elected government, the jury is still out on whether this war was the right thing to do. As always, history will be the judge. (Harry Truman looks pretty good 60 years after he was castigated for sending troops to Korea.)

In Afghanistan, Al Qaeda has been all but expelled, and the Taliban, although not yet defeated, has been neutralized. Women of all ages now have access to an education, violent persecution of Afghan citizens has waned, and there is a democratically elected (warts and all) government. As for the command structure, a very competent general made a serious mistake, and President Obama correctly replaced him with an even more competent general. Obama has said this is a war we must win.

Finally, the world we live in is exceedingly dangerous. There will always be Hitlers. The conduct of our foreign policy will always be a challenge. Sometimes, when all efforts at diplomacy fail, war sadly becomes the last resort.

If Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill hadn't understood this sobering fact, we would all be speaking German.

Tim Lewis


L.A. riots prove need for gun rights

I found it amazing to read Robert Morrison's smug, self-righteous two cents regarding gun ownership ("Argument against household guns," July 8).

I wonder where he was during the L.A. riots? Probably safely ensconced behind his Glendale gated community watching the anarchy unfold on his wide-screen TV whilst munching on salted nuts.

For me, living near Vermont and Virgil avenues, it was a time of weaving around the multitudes of roving looters and opportunist gangbangers crisscrossing the streets, and the impossibility of seeing some of the neighborhood blocks for the smoke obscuring the horizon. It was a time when the Los Angeles Police Department, caught by surprise and thinly spread, abdicated their authority on the streets for the first 48 hours.

It was a time when it actually took the California National Guard to restore order. It was a time when Korean American storeowners were able to maintain their source of livelihood because of the right to individual ownership of firearms. It was a time when you were pretty much on your own.

Does Morrison think just because the riot was quelled, the faceless mob element was removed from the fabric of our society as well? One look at the boisterous "celebration" on the night of the Lakers' championship victory should dispel that notion for us all.

Don Kochi


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