The real reason we're in the gulfOver the past month your...

the Forum

September 13, 1990

The real reason we're in the gulf

Over the past month your newspaper has printed many essays and letters concerning the U.S. military buildup in the Middle East. Many of them were about why we were there. To keep oil prices down? Not worth the lives of our young men, especially when other countries are willing to make up the oil deficit. To make oil prices rise? Maybe, but still a weak reason. To free Kuwait? Not good enough, just to return these people to the Utopian life.

Could the real reason be that within four years, Saddam Hussein would have a nuclear device, and that anyone who would gas his own people would not think twice about using it?

Oil supply? Ha!

Let's get it over now. Goodbye, Mr. Would-Be-the-Next-Ruler-of-the-World. All we need now is an excuse to finalize the whole thing.

Charles Johnston

Pasadena

Humanitarian

"Women and children first" is a well-known phrase and was first used to give priority in assigning seats in lifeboats during shipwrecks. In another context it also means women and children are the first to suffer when men go out to wage war.

Television has brought to us, vividly, the suffering of innocent ones caught in the struggle between Saddam Hussein and the U.S. In order to bring him down, children are being deprived of milk and other necessities.

If the U.S. would allow ships carrying milk for the children to pass through the blockade, it would be an act of generosity unprecedented in history. Not only would Americans who care about children be cheered by this humanitarian act; it would allow the Arab people to see another side to the hated Americans. It would also prove that the U.S. is not waging war on the Arab people but on one man.

Frances Craig

Baltimore

Bowers was wrong

Ronald P. Bowers' letter (Forum, Sept. 5) in which he alleges that my bill designed to put the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry on a level playing field with its foreign competitors "was copied from Sen. [Barbara] Mikulski's work" is an outright lie.

Such a groundless statement by someone who aspires to become a member of Congress should cause voters to be very wary of supporting candidates who are obviously over their heads and simply don't know what they are talking about.

The facts surrounding the drafting and introduction of the Shipbuilding and Repair Industry Trade Act of 1990 are:

* The Shipbuilders Council of America came to be with a rough draft of the bill and, because of my vast knowledge in this area, requested that I refine the language and introduce it in conjunction with Sen. Mikulski.

* I and my staff, along with a legislative lawyer, rewrote and refined the bill.

* After returning the finished product to the Shipbuilders Council of America, the council, with my full knowledge and support, gave the bill to Sen. Mikulski.

* Neither Sen. Mikulski, nor anyone on her staff, played any role in drafting or refining the bill.

When it comes to important matters impacting Maryland, especially its economy, Sen. Mikulski and I work closely, without regard to who may obtain the credit or publicity.

Obviously Mr. Bowers doesn't understand or appreciate the problems confronting the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry, nor is he aware of the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. trade representative and those countries that offer direct and indirect subsidies to their shipbuilding industries. The Bentley-Mikulski bill was introduced, in part, to help stimulate those negotiations and to give the U.S. negotiators some leverage in the talks with their otherwise uncooperative counterparts.

Helen Delich Bentley

The writer represents Maryland's 2nd District in Congress. :

Lighten up!

In response to "Cowherd to Irag," Suzanne Kehoe's letter Sept. 5:

Lighten up! There's little enough humor in reading the newpaper these days ("Iraq says hostages may starve," "Girl killed and boyfriend shot in robbery," etc.). If anyone lacks a sense of humor, he or she should not read Kevin Cowherd's column.

I find Cowherd's writing immensely amusing, as do out-of-town relations to whom I send Cowherd's column. Cowherd has a way of taking everyday life experiences and writing about them in a masterful, humorous way.

I wouldn't wish Cowherd or anyone else to be sent to Iraq, and I wish the Americans we have in the Persian Gulf could come home tomorrow. However, it would be nice if the Americans we have there could receive copies of Cowherd's columns. They might enjoy some much-needed chuckles.

D. Bovi

Ellicott City

Fool-proof

In regard to "A cure for abortion" (editorial page, Sept. 6):

The only fool-proof method to avoid abortions -- a way that als totally eliminates the transmission of AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and many, many more -- is abstinence. And it costs nothing! No money is involved in its use -- not in expenses, big business, doctor bills, psychiatrists, etc.

And yet, people will spend any amount of money to indulge in something they think is free -- sex at random.

They do pay, nevertheless, for there are lots of consequences.

Claire O. Rhoads

Baltimore

Who's laughing?

The Aug.28 "Baltimore Glimpses" column was interesting as usual especially since it recalled the money-wasting mess instigated by Walter Orlinsky -- the so called "Largest Cake in All the World," put together in 1976 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Now we learn that, according to Orlinsky, "the city knows how to laugh." But it looks as though Orlinsky is laughing at us all; since hiscriminal conviction and incarceration he has been given a well-paying job with the state Forestry Service. It would be more fitting if he had been given a low-paying job at the Baltimore police stables on Fallsway shoveling horse manure -- a job that he can really do best!

Jack Kelly

Overlea

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