Editor: The House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin estimates that ''500 to 1,000 American lives'' would be the ''price'' of a war against Iraq and that this price is ''justified.''
It is not up to Mr. Aspin to tell us whether the anticipated deaths of any number of our young people may be ''justified.''
If he thinks human life is worth so little worth, let him volunteer for combat duty in the Persian Gulf. In the meantime, he had better not offer his arrogant opinion to the parents of our servicemen and women.
Thomas N. Longstreth.
Editor: Last year we were celebrating the end of the Cold War. It appeared as if humanity was about to enter an age of peace and cooperation. But the end of the Cold War has proved to be a mixed blessing.
The tensions between the superpowers has decreased paving the way for a proliferation of conflicts among Arab, Third World and Eastern European nations.
Let's re-examine American foreign policy in this light. The question is no longer, "Can we afford to be the world's policeman?" Rather, the question has become, "Is it still possible to be the world's policeman?"
As Americans die in the Saudi Arabian desert, are they also doomed to die in Central America or in East Asia or wherever else regional wars take place?
Geoffrey K. Bond.
Editor: This is in reference to Robert L. Hickerson III's letter, Jan. 5, concerning the Port of Baltimore. First I must say after 25 years as a longshoreman, I am sick of outside comment from people who don't know what they are talking about.
We have had to put up with The Sun painting us as the villains. Thus the local reader thinks the same.
As a member of Local 333, I don't agree with everything everyone in all locals has done. But the governor and most businesses would like to do away with the union altogether.
Well, hurray for Richard Hughes and Ed Burke. They would not back down from management and our governor.
What most readers do not realize is that the state and its high rent have driven more work and lines from the Port of Baltimore than the longshoremen have.
Editor: On Dec. 18, a pro-life group, Operation Rescue, attempted to block anyone from entering the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Howard Street. That day, I was scheduled to undergo a biopsy to detect the severity of a pre-cancerous condition known as dysplasia. Dysplasia can be life-threatening.
I was enraged that Operation Rescue members would try to prevent me from entering the clinic. I felt harassed, bullied and frightened. I know I speak for all women who rely on clinics, even those who are having routine gynecological care, like myself.
I am grateful to Planned Parenthood for providing free and low-cost care. I would have skipped the routine PAP smears that detect dysplasia because I cannot afford a private gynecologist. I have no health insurance and earn $220 a week.
Women die of preventable cervical cancer, even today. I was almost one of them. Groups like Operation Rescue make it more difficult for women to get critical care.
I ask the governor and the General Assembly to make illegal the blocking of any clinic. Women don't have time to take off work and reschedule because of this nonsense. Pro-lifers should be allowed to protest only from a reasonable distance.
My right to prompt, medical attention needs protection. No group should be allowed to block any medical facility preforming a range of life-saving medical services.
Editor: I was shocked to read of the arrogance of the Department of Transportation to recommend a 5 percent sales tax on motor fuel. Here we are at war, the economy is down, people are being laid off, and the average person facing too many problems now, and they come up with this so that they can build some new roads and bridges.
First, a sales tax will be a tax on a tax. The state is already collecting 18.5 cents per gallon, and this will add another 7 cents per gallon. What you pay at the pump is one thing, but a rise in gas taxes will add cost to everything you buy. Every item you buy has transportation cost added into the price.
This increased cost will be passed onto the people who are up to their necks now. Did the state ever think about improving its efficiency? Did it ever think about holding off some of these unnecessary programs such as the stadium, the golf course in Western Maryland, the light rail, and a lot more of the governor's pet projects?
Well the whole issue will be settled in the legislature. So call your delegates and senators, and tell them how you want them to vote. And start keeping score on how they vote on issues that affect you. Read over your score at election time and vote accordingly. Start now.
James W. Seifert.
In the Baltics