Sen. Ron Wyden's health-care legislation does not include the choice of a public health insurance plan.

A health-care system without a public option is not a reform at all. Rather, it is a continued opportunity for the health-care industry to overcharge and underprotect all of us.

Government delivers health care much more cheaply than the health-care industry. Sen. Wyden, please support the public health option and insure our people are properly insured. — Carole Horobin, Jacksonville

In respect to the traffic study mandated by the Land Use Board of Appeals, the Medford City Council members seem to be bullheadedly determined to protect the best interests of Walmart over those of their constituents.

They are ready to expend public money in an effort to derail a traffic study that might prevent a chronic problem that would linger long after the present council incumbents hopefully disappear from the scene. Anyone familiar with the present traffic situation in the Miles Field area knows full well that the proposed traffic study is a no-brainer.

The council's reluctance to face this issue in an open, forthright manner only increases an already prevalent feeling of cynicism a good many Americans have developed toward governing bodies at every level of government.

The Medford City Council has demonstrated a curious willingness to pave the way for Walmart in this matter. I wonder why? — Bob Warren, Central Point

This letter is on behalf of 497 VFW Post members who wish to express to the customers and management and employees of Medford Walmart a heartfelt and sincere thank-you for the generous contributions given to Post members on May 23 to 25, Memorial Day weekend, for the distribution of VFW's Red Poppy.

Donations for the red flower date back to 1922 when the Veterans of Foreign Wars conducted annual distribution of Buddy Poppies to raise funds for its charitable programs. Donations received are placed in a mandated designated account and used locally for assistance to worthy and needy veterans and programs for veterans. — James Hanley, commander, VFW Post 1833

The greatest untruth in the recent article "The truth about Rachel Corrie" (June 14) is the accusation of "genocide."

There is no Israeli genocide of Palestinian civilians. If Israelis were purposefully killing Palestinians, there would be no Palestinians left.

Just think about it. In 1994, in 100 days, 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militia using clubs and machetes. Israel has the fourth strongest military in the world and nuclear weapons. How long would it take the Israeli army to kill 3.6 million people if they wanted to?

In fact, Gaza's population increased from 730,000 in 1994 to 1.3 million in 2004, an increase of 80 percent. The growth rate was 3.8 percent, one of the highest in the world!

According to the U.N., the total Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank was 1.1 million in 1970, exploded to 2.2 million in 1990 and has grown exponentially to 3.6 million.

When genocides occur, populations typically decrease, like in Rwanda, Somalia, the Sudan or the Jewish population of Europe, which declined 70 percent in the 1940s.

Anyone claiming Palestinian genocide by Israelis is telling you an outright lie and denigrates the memory of those who have been the real victims of genocide. — Kenneth Wilson, Ashland

Gene Robbins speaks an untruth in his article, "The Truth about Rachel Corrie."

There are no Israeli "snipers." There are Israeli soldiers who have tried to stem the more than 8,000 rocket attacks from Gaza since 2000 which targeted Israeli civilians. They go after rocket launchers, terrorists and the terrorist infrastructure of Gaza.

Sometimes Palestinian civilians are injured or killed because they are in the immediate proximity of those perpetrating the attacks on Israel. So when Israel retaliates against a rocket launcher, they become unintentional casualties. However, Israel is not targeting these innocent citizens. They are targeting the combatants.

The question you should be asking is why these Palestinian terrorists are placing rocket launchers next to civilian homes and schools.

There is documented evidence and film clips of the Israeli army calling off attacks on a rocket launcher at the last moment because there are Palestinian civilians nearby, putting Israelis at further risk of being killed by these rockets in the future. Please compare this behavior to Palestinian rocket launchers who are making every effort to target and kill Israeli men, women and children.

Asking the Israelis to stop defending their citizens is cruel and makes no sense. — Doris Myerson, Ashland

"The Truth about Rachel Corrie" is that there's no truth there at all. Some of Rachel's loved ones remain hopelessly stuck in the false belief that if Israel were only to give Palestinians some "occupied territory" they would receive peace in return, justifying Rachel's sacrifice. Gaza was turned over in exchange for years of deadly rocket barrages.

Yesteryear's Arafat was a master of double speak, suggesting peace in English (wink-wink) while shouting Jihad in Arabic! Tragically he enticed many young idealists who believed this propaganda and duplicity.

Hamas, which currently governs Gaza, is a fanatical religious party whose written intentions are clear. It considers all of Israel "occupied territory." They proclaim that permanent peace is impossible until Israel is annihilated and all Jews are exiled from their ancient homeland.

Given the unequivocal clarity of Hamas' doctrines, where might today's peace activists be effective? Attempts to pressure Israel into a suicidal trade of land in close proximity to its major population centers is pointless. While Israelis hunger for peace, they aren't morons.

Today's idealists/peace activists can achieve results by promoting honest Palestinian leaders who for the first time in history will be committed to peace, not the annihilation of their neighbor. — Stan Shulster, Ashland

The biggest problem with the June 7 article entitled "The Truth about Rachel Corrie" is that it's simply not true.

The International Solidarity Movement, of which Rachel Corrie was a member, operates under the guise of a nonviolent Palestinian resistance movement.

But the ISM, who's motto is "by any means necessary," aids and abets terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in their struggle to destroy Israel. They assist and defend suicide bombers, some of whom have attended ISM meetings prior to murdering Israeli women and children.

The ISM's modus operandi is to infiltrate college campuses around the world and recruit impressionable young idealists like Rachel Corrie who'll do their dirty work. These expendable recruits are placed in dangerous military zones, with the predictable results.

But don't think the ISM leadership mourns Rachel Corrie's death. They know she has been a far more valuable propaganda tool dead than she ever could have been alive.

As an ISM cofounder wrote, "Rachel Corrie is one of over a thousand shahids (holy martyrs) from this intifada." The tragedy is that this beautiful young woman with a caring heart died saving an empty building. — Ellee Celler, Jacksonville

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