Israel's policy of deporting Arabs is wrong
Barbara Bloom sees nothing wrong with deporting Palestinians for acts of violence, since Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would handle the situation much more harshly (Forum, Jan. 9). There are two problems with this logic.
First, she implies that as long as Israel acts in a more "lenient" manner than Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Israel must be acting correctly. Rather than setting up these countries as the moral guideline for Israel, the question should be: "Is Israel acting correctly regardless of how any other countries would handle the same situation?"
The second problem is that Bloom ignores the fact that people are being deported from their own country without their consent or that of the country receiving them. Britain used Australia for this purpose a hundred years ago. But I don't know of any country today, least of all one which purports to be a democracy, that forces one country to take law-breakers from another.
Whether or not Israel acts in a hypocritical manner can best be determined by asking whether Israel treats all people who break laws the same. Are Jews who murder Palestinians and Palestinians who murder Jews given the same amount of time in jail? Are all stone-throwers, whether Jewish or Palestinian, shot at? Are the houses of relatives of stone throwers, whether Jewish or Palestinian, blown up? Are people who commit such crimes as speaking out against the state, whether Jewish or Palestinian, deported?
I can't imagine Ms. Bloom would feel the United States justified in deporting her to Mexico if she were to commit a crime in the United States. All countries, especially democracies, need to handle their own criminals and not use other countries as dumping grounds.
The exhilarating experience of hunting
WATERFOWLING has been a love of mine since I was a farm boy in Iowa. Spending a day in a marsh teeming with wildlife and watching the sun rise above a rosy horizon is an exhilarating experience shared by the few with a true love of sport hunting.
Today, hunting is being threatened by well-meaning people who have completely lost touch with the natural world. These people live in a technological world where their very food -- their sustenance -- is so remote to them that eating a piece of beef or pork is merely an act of purchasing and preparing an impersonal, neatly cut and packaged product. And these are the same people who despise individuals who take their sustenance a more natural way by hunting.
But humans are predators. Our very existence depends on killing and eating other animals and plants. Hunting wild game is a natural extension of our inherited foraging instincts, and the hunter need make apologies to no one for the way he gets his food. The hunter is the most natural consumer.
Although many waterfowlers still hunt for the sake of putting food on the table, many more go afield to escape the complicated world dominated by crowds, pollution and impersonalization. The real waterfowler is a romantic. Each experience, whether it be the swish of wild wings over decoys, the blood-sparkling excitement of frosted fall and winter or the fragrant beginning of a new day in a wild place, adds to his devotion.
There are vanishingly few such moments in today's world.
Robert H. Reimer
Robert H. Reimer is a Baltimore physician.
Regardless of what our position may have been on the Korean War in the 1950s or on the Vietnam War of the 1960s and '70s, current history is making it clear that our participation in those wars was a monumental mistake. You will remember that the rationale for those "police actions" (war was never declared) was to contain communism and keep the world and our nation safe for democracy.
Now, after a 70-year struggle, we see the communist system toppled by its own weight. After head-to-head competition, the great American experiment of political, economic and religious freedom has proven superior to the communists' suppression and dictatorship. And not a shot was fired! We were vigilant and prepared but never required to go to war.
There is a helpful lesson in the recent history of Korean, Vietnam and Soviet Russia for application to the imminent crisis in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein does not exemplify communism, but his style of dictatorship is just as menacing. We again must be alert and prepared to defend our true national interest. But the conquest of Kuwait does not imperil our real national interest. There are many Arab countries opposed to aggression by Iraq. There are many others in the Middle East and elsewhere dependent on the oil there who face a more substantial threat than do we.
The highly industrialized nations of Germany and Japan are examples. The bottom line is that the likes of Hussein and Gadhafi will be toppled by their own weight or by others who have a more vital interest in the Middle East than we.