To the U.N.Editor: The military confrontation escalating...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 08, 1990

To the U.N.

Editor: The military confrontation escalating in the Middle East should be exclusively the responsibility of the United Nations.

Congress should intervene and direct our government to make this transition now and bring home our military men and women.

For the long run, only a United Nations effort can avert disaster. Are American parents prepared to have their sons and daughters kill thousands of civilian Iraqis? I am not willing to allow that to happen.

Ray Hamilton.

Baltimore.

Defense First

Editor: The decline of the Soviet menace does not mean the United States should drastically cut its defense budget. The current crisis in the Middle East, as a case in point, shows that the United States must have a military second to none, in both quality and quantity, to meet threats to our national interest anywhere around the world.

Iraq has a war machine that is large, battle-tested and in possession of some of the world's most sophisticated weapons, including T-72 tanks, MiG-25 fighters, Mi-24 helicopters, and SCUD-B ballistic missiles. Unfortunately, Iraq is not the only volatile Third World country with sophisticated weapons.

Countries as dangerous as Iran, North Korea, Libya and Afghanistan have, or are, developing ballistic missiles. Dozens of countries have advanced anti-ship missiles. Aircraft such as the MiG-29, as advanced as some in our own Air Force, are working their way into Third World inventories.

Unfortunately many liberals in Congress, including Tom McMillen, D-4th, believe that now is the time to slash our defenses. Mr. McMillen, for instance, has voted against the deployment of the Strategic Defense Initiative, the B-2 bomber, chemical weapons, anti-satellite weapons, and the MX rail garrison program. Furthermore, he voted for a $32.8-billion cut in defense spending. Given the instability of the post-Cold War world, such a politically obvious voting trend is a short-sighted prescription for disaster.

Congress needs to realize that the new era that we are entering will be a dangerous journey. There are many countries around the world that despise America and all it stands for, who are armed to the teeth and foolishly prepared to use their weapons to satisfy their ideological and economic objectives. If Representative McMillen does not recognizes this, then the voters should elect someone who does.

Donald E. Jamison.

Crofton.

Not Legal Activism

Editor: I find your editorial of Sept. 22, ''Disaster-In-Waiting,'' astonishing.

You refer to the decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals as ''a regrettable display of judicial activism.'' Yet you go on to acknowledge that ''the court may be correct from a legal standpoint,'' and that the decision was ''framed by constitutional dictums rather than economic realities.'' Is this what you mean by ''judicial activism''?

It is perfectly possible for someone to agree with you -- as I do -- that these property tax limits are unwise and self-defeating, from a policy point of view. I would vote against such a cap in a referendum. My guess is that some of the judges on the Court of Appeals may vote the same way when they enter the polling booths in November.

But just how is the court supposed to approach these cases in your view? Is the court supposed to decide that these caps are a bad idea, and therefore rule that the referendum is illegal or unconstitutional? If the court concludes that, ''from a legal standpoint,'' the questions are required to be submitted to the voters, should they blind their eyes to the ''legal'' issues and simply substitute their own ideas of what is good or bad policy?

Given your general views on the role of the Supreme Court, I am not surprised that you favor the notion that judges should substitute their own economic and social judgment for the wishes of the legislature or the people. But I am astonished that you would label the court's refusal to do so as ''regrettable judicial activism.'' Am I missing something?

W. Shepherdson Abell.

Chevy Chase.

Don't Pinch 'em

Editor: As executive director of AFSCME Council 92, representing Maryland state employees, I am in strong disagreement with the writer of a recent letter published by The Sun entitled, "Getting Tough." The letter suggests that not only should an employee testing positive for drugs be fired immediately, regardless of the circumstances, but that he or she should also be subjected to criminal charges.

AFSCME would agree that anyone caught selling drugs in the work place should not only be fired but also prosecuted. However, there is a big difference between this situation and an employee with an excellent work record and many productive years of state service who tested positive but was not involved in the illegal sale of drugs.

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