Name-calling is the method of hypocritesMilitary forces...

the Forum

September 11, 1990

Name-calling is the method of hypocrites

Military forces invade a tiny country in violation of international law. Thousands of people, mostly civilians, are killed and severely wounded. Although Iraq's invasion of Kuwait also defies international law and is reprehensible, the action I speak of is the December 1989 United States invasion of Panama.

In Dan Rather's Aug. 29 interview on CBS-TV with Saddam Hussein, the network anchor quoted President Bush comparing Hussein to Hitler. When Hussein asked how he was like Hitler, Rather replied, "You invaded a weak neighbor who was no threat to you." This is true.

What also is true is that hateful name-calling propaganda is dangerous. Not only can it increase the wall of hostility separating opponents; it tends to reveal the hypocrisy of the propagandist.

John D. Oliver

The writer is a Baltimore minister.

Crybaby reseres

Enough about the crybabies in the reserves who may be inconvenienced because they are being called to active duty.

If the article by Mark Bomster in the Aug. 29 Evening Sun wa supposed to create sympathy for them it fell on many deaf ears.

Why was Sgt. 1st Class Topa in the reserves to start with? Chances are it is because he wanted the extra paycheck for one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer. This is typical: Dip into Uncle Sam's pocket and then cry when you are caught.

Too bad. That is what he should have expected when he joined the reserves.

My son manages to exist on military pay as a career Marine. His pay isn't cut in half temporarily; his pay is always below the proverty level and entitles him to nothing. When his son was born, he was at sea protecting Topa and his family.

Everyone seems to enjoy the advantages of America but feels someone else should pay the price.

Darryl O. Hord

Baltimore

A better way

Reading about the layoff warning sent to 14,000 Social Security employees causes me to lend my sympathy. As a former employee at Social Security, I know well the sufferings employees must endure, but I did not suffer the layoff of 22 days without pay.

Why should employees suffer, some barely making ends meet in full employment, due to the irresponsible administration by presidents and the Congress? The present administration, as did past ones, is taking advantage of its own loyal employees, whose only recourse is "to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

I favor amending the guidelines of the Office of Management and Budget in finding another way to reduce the budget $1 billion without being inhumane, primarily to the lower level employees.

Franklin Blank

Baltimore

By the people?

Anne Arundel and Baltimore County judges have declared the tax reform movements in those counties unconstitutional. They say only the county councils have the right to set the tax rate. Whatever happened to government of the people, by the people and for the people? Those judges have apparently found that to be unconstitutional.

Donald Howard

Baltimore

Turning the tide

In response to the editorial, "Race and racism in the city" (Aug. 6), and to comments of the mayor's press secretary, Clinton Coleman, racism swells not so much in Reagan's wake as in the tide he rose on, buoyed especially by that complex of self-deceit that as of 1973 was the common credo of all "right-thinking" people.

Three of its tenets merit particular attention.

First, "I'm not prejudiced" (not "I'm not racist"). To be an

American is to be racially prejudiced; this is inevitable in our current context. To deny one's prejudice only shows a total unwillingness to face it, meaning one has no moral grounds to address the question at all.

Second, "They're just like us." Who "they" and "us" are does no matter. They're not just like "us." They don't look, walk, think or even (some of them, sometimes) smell like us. Nor do "they want to be like "us." They have good reason to find many of our

ways offensive. In short, "we" must change our ways -- if we wan "them" to be able to live peaceably among "us."

Third, both the editorial and Coleman's remarks assume that correct public policy can, itself, solve the problem. It can't. Without individual initiative and personal responsibility, folk engage in a vacuous search for "fearless leaders," which demagogues like Reagan and Farrakhan gladly fill.

If participants can induce change in "right-thinking" minds, then Mayor Schmoke's summit may indeed succeed where King Canute failed: It may well turn the tide.

Timothy H. Wright

Baltimore

Taking issue

I take issue with Bruce Jacobs' article, "Barry and the black community" (Other Voices, Aug.28). Mr. Jacobs speaks of the Barry farce as "still more evidence that a black man cannot pursue an ambition legally and honorably in America and succeed."

I would remind the writer that an anti-drug stance held against the background of illegal personal use is exemplary more of unadulterated hypocrisy than of honor.

And where he maintains that this society mistreats black people as a group, I suggest that Mr. Jacobs review your paper's daily "Police Blotter" column as demonstrative of the manner in which some blacks are mistreating their own.

Michael B. Grugan

Baltimore

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