Editor: I am absolutely disgusted with CNN for airing taped conversations between Gen. Manuel Noriega and his attorneys despite an order not to do so by a U.S. District Court judge.
This action was downright unpatriotic when our soldiers risked and gave their lives during the invasion of Panama to bring Noriega to justice. All those lives may have been lost in vain -- if the case gets thrown out and he gets off.
Even though our family has enjoyed CNN over the years, it is not the only network in the United States.
It's Their Job
Editor: Every once in a while, someone mentions to me that our young men and women should not be in Saudi Arabia risking their lives. The military forces we have sent to the Middle East are men and women who have chosen the military as a career. They have been well trained and have accepted good wages. Their families have lived well, many of them over a long period of peace. This career was their choice. They are now called upon to use the training they have received, joining other nations to put down a cruel bandit.
In World War II, we sat on the sidelines and let other nations try to contain Hitler. When it looked as though Hitler would conquer Europe, we got into the fray. We sent young men to the wars with very little training and experience. Their wages were poor, but their patriotism unquestionable.
It certainly does not help the morale of our forces in the Middle East to have our citizens expressing anger that they are there. They are proud to be doing their duty, not only as United States citizens but as world citizens. Let's back them up with our prayers and expressions of pride.
Helen Lee Civis.
If We Go to War
Editor: Admittedly, the Constitution confers upon the president the responsibility of being commander in chief of the armed forces. However, it is to the Congress that the Constitution grants the sole authority to declare war.
Troops were sent to Saudi Arabia upon the request of an ally and under the cloak of a United Nations resolution to avert the further immediate aggression of Saddam Hussein. The stated purpose for the ongoing troop build-up of over 400,000 is readiness for an offensive action now being justified for economic reasons -- a recession supposedly heightened by Iraqi control of Kuwaiti oil.
We have languished for 20 years in working toward petroleum self-sufficiency. Why is it now imperative to stave off recession by war with Iraq? Is a recession, at best only superficially related to the Iraq-Kuwait situation, to be the justification for a war where the United States is the aggressor? Is a war to combat recession and lower fuel prices worth the lives of 50,000 or more men and women in our armed forces? War needs a better justification. Those about to die, and their families, deserve better.
Given the present state of Iraqi-American dialogue -- each side demanding peace on its own terms, no conditions versus no capitulation, it is merely a matter of time before the continued troop build up erupts into war. The nation must not be drug into war, even if the United Nations should be cajoled to adopt a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq.
Congress, by its absence in Washington, can neither afford to hold its breath over nor wash its hands of our inexorable march to war. If we are to go to war, it should be by a reasoned act of Congress, not by an incrementally induced spontaneous combustion, later attributed to presidential action.
Editor: A madman invades a foreign nation. He is armed with chemical weapons. His troops loot the country, raping and torturing its citizens. He holds United States citizens hostage.
And some people want to negotiate with him? You don't negotiate with a rabid dog, you shoot it.
Editor: I am responding to an article Sept. 29 about how gas prices in England were $4 a gallon. It was an Imperial gallon.
If an Imperial gallon is equal to 1.25 of an American gallon, the price would be a fourth less. Gas prices in England would be $3.20 compared to our prices at $1.30.
It is more than double what we are paying for our gas now. Overall, our gas prices are considerably lower than England's gas prices.
Havre de Grace.
Editor: Ben Wattenberg wrote enthusiastically in The Sun about two demographic news items that he said will bring the United States marvelous benefits. Those benefits make quite a list:
* Greatly increased air and water pollution;
* More rapid elimination of plant and animal species and %J reduction of all wildlife;
* Destruction of hundreds of square miles of forests;
* Overwhelming traffic problems;
* Overcrowding of schools, almost indefinitely;
* Sped-up global warming, leading to lowered food production;
* Greater dependence upon imported oil and other resources;
* Increases in waste products faster than landfills and recycling can handle them;