Editor: The price of oil keeps rising, yet there is no hue and cry for alternate sources of energy. The catch word seems to be conservation. All we hear is conservation, conservation, conservation. Yet, when I drive 55 miles per hour on Route 29, I-95, I-83, the Baltimore Washington Parkway or I-495, everyone passes me as though I was standing still.
If I step it up to 64 mph for a short sprint they still pass me by.
What happened to all the conservationists and their calls to conserve energy? Could it be they run their mouths even faster than they run their cars?
How'd We Do It?
Editor: When Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, there was a mixed reaction of disbelief and shock. Yet, Iraq made no secret of its intentions. For months, Saddam Hussein had publicly threatened to use chemical weapons against Israel, and the world remained silent.
When an emergency occurs, the normal response is help by administering immediate attention to the problem and by attempting to prevent further complications. President Bush has done exactly that by mobilizing the armed forces and by deploying thousands of troops and weapons to Saudi Arabia. But, now that the initial shock has worn off, it is time for the American public to ask some pertinent questions.
How could this confrontation have been avoided? Why has the U.S. supplied Mr. Hussein with American technology, knowing that he is a ruthless despot? Supporting Mr. Hussein against Iran was similar to supporting Hitler against the threat of communism. One fire cannot be extinguished by using another inflammatory agent -- that lesson was learned years ago.
It is true that the American economy can certainly use the infusion of $21 billion at the present time. But is the sale of armaments to Saudi Arabia the viable solution for our financial mismanagement? Today's ally in the Middle East might very well be tomorrow's enemy -- history has also proved that to be true.
First, we must make the world secure and safe from dictators who threaten the stability of the entire world, who threaten to destroy other nations and vital natural resources, and who terrorize. But when this job is done, we must begin to demand comprehensive and truthful answers from our leaders.
Man of Peace
Editor: In the horror and violence that erupted in Israel and the occupied territories one man is to be admired. Moubarak Awad has brought the teachings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Peaceful resistance has been the philosophy of Mr. Awad throughout his life.
The atrocities occurring in the occupied territories are humiliating and disrespectful for Palestinians. Mr. Awad has taught many Palestinians that through peaceful rebellion change can occur. The lesson is primarily directed to the young Palestinians, the heart of the Palestinians uprising.
As Israeli soldiers pulled olive trees from the ground, the livelihood of many Palestinians, Mr. Awad preached replanting olive trees every time old trees were uprooted, not a violent rebellion.
Though the soldiers continued to uproot the newly planted trees, they came to realize the perseverance of the Palestinians was incredible; the soldiers were peacefully forced to stop. The determination and spirit of the Palestinian cause was evident in this peaceful victory.
Mr. Awad has desired his entire life to see a free Palestinian homeland, yet he also understands that weapons are not the solution. The only arms needed are the ones that Palestinians can link together to show a unified and peaceful resistance.
Don't Support Saudi Sexism
Editor: I was appalled to read the Sept. 22 Sun article by V. Alton Barker describing the sexist treatment U.S. servicewomen are receiving in Saudi Arabia because of a backward religious ''culture where women often wear black gloves and facial veils in public to avoid showing even an inch of skin.'' To think that Army spokesman Maj. Doug Bidle can do no more than brush it all off as ''a fact of life'' and say that our military women just have to ''take a deep breath and learn to live within these guidelines.'' Bull, I say!
Although there may not be much we can do about the way Saudi women are treated there, we can definitely do more than we are apparently doing to protect from sex discrimination those of our citizens who are defending that land from Iraqi invasion.
We don't need Saudi Arabian oil so badly that we need force our servicewomen to put up with sexist nonsense there or anywhere else. We should put it right to the powers-that-be over there: either shape up or we ship out. If they would rather deal with the Iraqis on their own or with the aid only of those nations who don't mind having their female citizens subjected to second-class treatment, so be it. They can drink their oil for all I care.
Kenneth A. Stevens.