Letters to the Editor

Bee should further debate over Iraq

In several columns, Bee Editor Mark Vasché has written about the paramount role of the press, particularly in relation to the community its serves. I agree.

Both nationally and locally, the war in Iraq continues to be the lead story. More importantly, in this region, 21 soldiers have died. Yet, I have seen few examples in which Bee reporters or columnists have taken to task our federal representatives with hard questions on this issue. Our political leaders only appear at fund-raisers or direct us to their sanitized Web sites. This cannot be acceptable to a responsible press.

I propose The Bee use its clout to sponsor a public forum where our national representatives are challenged with questions from local reporters, scholars and general audience that represent all perspectives in a civil discourse about the war. In advance of the forum, let our congressional leaders clearly spell out their respective positions in a series of commentaries. Why wait for an election year?

Taking the initiative on this issue, I submit, will put meat on Vasché's principled bones.

SAMUEL O. REGALADO

Turlock

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