Georgia Says

The Times, Gainesville, Ga., on Mideast peace still elusive 12 years after 9/11 attacks:

Twelve years ago this Wednesday, we were suddenly and stunningly jolted from our naive notion that the world was a much safer place than we had led ourselves to believe.

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, took 3,000 lives and impacted millions more by jerking the blinders off our heads. So America saddled up, went to war in the Middle East, and eventually earned some measure of justice by taking down many al-Qaida leaders and sending the Taliban running into the hills.

Yet a dozen years later, the Middle East looks no more stable nor peaceful than it was in 2001. That leads many to wonder what U.S. policy should be in the region. It's a debate without a clear right or a left, nor easy answers, as the nation considers taking action in yet another turbulent locale, Syria.

The 9/11 attacks directly led to the U.S. military action in Afghanistan. That war has cost 2,200 American lives with success hard to measure, though the No. 2 U.S. commander there, Army Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, said last week he believes victory still can be won before forces withdraw at the end of 2014.

The terror attacks also indirectly led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq a year later, based on the belief Saddam Hussein's regime had supported the terrorists and amassed destructive weapons. Our nation committed more than 4,400 lives and billions of dollars in a divisive engagement that many still believe was a mistake.

Now civil war in Syria pits Bashar Assad's government against revolutionaries seeking to add that country to the Arab Spring list of toppled dictators that included Libya's Gadhafi and Egypt's Mubarak. His armed forces' apparent use of chemical weapons in a recent battle has the Obama administration seeking "targeted, limited" airstrikes against some of his military sites.

The two likely outcomes of such an attack by the U.S. both seem undesirable.

If we learned anything from these messy Mideast uprisings it's that removing one group of bad actors doesn't lead to peace, stability and democracy — usually just to a different group of equally bad actors who impose their own brand of oppressive rule and political retribution. Good guys in that region are hard to find and to support when regimes change.

The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., on patience has been Macon's virtue in Kumho affair:

"Patience is a virtue" says the old saw, and Macon has been patiently waiting for Kumho Tire to fulfill its commitment to build the company's fourth plant, the first in the U.S. Actually, we had no other choice but to wait.

When the $225 million plant was announced back in 2008, no one knew that the world was about to fall off the financial cliff. Formerly stable titans of industry were falling like flies. One of those industries that Kumho depends on is the auto industry. Gone are the heady days of the 1950s when, in the misquoted words of former GM President Charles E. Wilson: "What's good for General Motors is good for the country."

GM was on the verge of going under along with Chrysler. While Kumho mainly sells its tires to Kia and Hyundai, the American public, with layoffs hitting every employment sector, stopped buying cars. But that was only part of it. The banking industry was in no mood to finance large or small projects, and the company, like many others, had to restructure its debt. Now, with a growing economy, Kumho is back on track. However, more patience is needed. Construction won't begin until 2015 and tires won't start rolling out of Sofkee Industrial Park until 2016 at the earliest.

The plant will be looking to fill 300 good paying jobs. Central Georgia Technical College is already in the loop to prepare the workforce for Kumho's arrival. Students in high school need to start developing technical and math skills.

As president of Kumho Tire North America Harry Choi said at the announcement, "Sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for."



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