Is war the only alternative that remains?
Is war the only alternative to the madness of an aberrant mind leading a nation to another world war? When the leader of a nation is determined to loot, pillage, disperse and kill the inhabitants of another and insist on absorbing it as a province of his own territory, then war after warnings and attempted mediation unfortunately does become the only alternative.
It is sad that today's world, which ignored such signs before World War II, only now realizes it will pay a far more severe price later if aggression is allowed to go unchecked.
As a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy, I hate war. It has been written, "War reverses the process of nature: In peace, children bury their parents; in war, parents bury their children." War cheats everyone parents of their children, the young unmarried of her betrothed, the wife of her husband and children of their parents. Even in victory, the loss of loved ones touches us all.
Henry H. Cohen
I have the perfect solution in solving the crisis in the gulf. President Bush has committed the U.S. to war. Saddam Hussein has committed Iraq to war. So instead of hurling insults at each other on almost a daily basis, they should meet each other on the Saudi-Iraqi border at high noon. Saddam can adorn himself with all his medals and mount a beautiful white Arabian stallion, while Bush can mount his favorite Texas-bred steed and wrap himself in the American flag, as he has done so expertly to divert attention away from problems at home.
After arming themselves with their favorite weapons, preferably their mouths, Saddam and Bush can charge each other and vent their frustrations. In the heat of verbal battle, they would find that nothing can be gained from such an encounter just as nothing can be gained from a shooting war.
The Jan. 5 "Hubris and free markets" column by Ray Jenkins attempted to compare how well capitalism and socialism produce consumer goods in Asia. It was hardly a fair or complete comparison.
India was described first as a "free market" and later as having a flirtation with socialism. Since 40 percent of the Indian gross national product is controlled by the Indian government, India would be better described as 40 percent socialist, not as free market.
The article also compared the number of hospitals, life expectancy, infant death rate and gross national product of the two countries. All governments lie, but the Chinese government does so without blushing, and any numbers coming from them are suspect.
While acknowledging China's coercive methods of reducing its population growth rate, the article chose not to mention China's other method of population control: the 60 million Chinese who were executed for political reasons or who starved when farming was socialized.
The choice of countries for the second comparison was puzzling. Why not compare the living standards of North Korea with South Korea or those of Cambodia with Thailand? Those comparisons would be more natural and more revealing.
Robert E. Jackson
The writer is secretary of the Maryland Libertarian Party.
As John Lofton points out in his letter to the Forum (Jan. 8), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1892 that "this is a Christian nation."
Of course, wasn't this virtually the same Supreme Court that also ruled four years later that "separate but equal" was also constitutional?
Tough on criminals
How many more senseless killings must take place before our legislature finally decides to act?
Currently one of the laws on the books mandates a five-year sentence for anyone using a firearm in the commission of a crime. Big deal. The criminal laughs.
The Maryland legislature has convened. If its members are serious about fighting crime, I urge them to consider legislation that would:
1. Abolish the Maryland Parole Board. (If a person does the crime, he does the time.)
2. Abolish the laws governing reconsideration of sentencing. (This would prevent the bleeding-heart judges from decreasing original sentences.)
3. Mandate a 20-year sentence for anyone carrying or using a firearm in the commission of a crime.
4. Eliminate plea-bargaining. (Give the criminal every year he deserves.)
These changes may sound too harsh on the criminal. But I say: So what! We law-abiding citizens don't owe the criminals a damn thing.
John C. Zaruba
A dictator invaded and annexed a small neighboring country. The world was outraged and determined to help the country regain its independence, even if that meant war. The United States declared its willingness to fight for "principle." The country I am referring to is Kuwait.