Justice abroad but none at homeNo one has yet addressed...

the Forum

January 17, 1991

Justice abroad but none at home

No one has yet addressed the Persian Gulf crisis in terms of the percentage of minority soldiers who have been sent to the Mideast to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The latest figures indicate that minority personnel are about 61 percent [of U.S. forces]. I found this outrageous in terms of the eagerness of President Bush to go to war against Iraq. I wonder if Bush would be so eager to go to war if most of the soldiers came from the elite families of this country.

One would certainly have to question why minorities should be fighting for rights of the people of Kuwait when they have limitations on their freedom here in the United States. Minorities have good reason to refuse to go to the gulf to defend the rights of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, since Mr. Bush just recently vetoed a major civil rights bill. A look at the history of this country shows that minorities have fought in almost every war without having the freedom that the majority has become accustomed to.

In watching the debates in the U.S. House and Senate concerning support for the president's authority to authorize a military strike, I noticed that there were few minority representatives speaking about the escalation of activity in the gulf in terms of the percentage of minority personnel who would be involved relative to the total numbers of troops. It is incumbent upon black members of the House of Representatives to speak to the large percentage of minorities being sent to the Persian Gulf.

Collis D. Patterson

Baltimore

A Soviet 'Kuwait'

Saddam Hussein's bloody seizure of Kuwait is condemned by the civilized world. Nevertheless, [Soviet President] Gorbachev thinks he can exploit the world's preoccupation with the Persian Gulf by laying brutal siege to his own "Kuwait" ` Lithuania. In a classic demonstration of unprovoked Stalinist aggression, Soviet troops are carrying out Nobel Peace Prize winner Gorbachev's orders to grind down on independent Lithuania. Blood has been spilled, lives lost, property taken, and it is only the beginning.

Saddam Hussein could learn a few things from Gorbachev. Saddam seized Kuwait with the whole world glaring its disapproval; Gorbachev is going about seizing his "Kuwait" with hardly any notice at all. Wisdom suggests, however, that President Bush had better start noticing and defending America's image of fairness and evenhandedness. Otherwise, our anti-war protesters will be able to add credence to their claim that it is oil which motivates us in the Persian Gulf not the liberation of Kuwait.

America must stand for justice, freedom and human dignity wherever they are threatened. All American aid to the Soviet Union should be immediately withdrawn, and February summit plans should be canceled until Soviet troops are recelled from Lithuania and the other Baltic nations and all communications are fully restored.

H. J. Rizzo

Baltimore

Support our troops

As I listened to many of the congressional speeches, prior to the votes authorizing the use of force in the gulf, I was struck by the thought that this was Congress at its best. I believe Senator Mitchell, the majority leader, put it best when he said our support for these personnel is "firm, unshakable and enduring."

I sincerely hope Senator Mitchell's words are not forgotten. War will result in many soldiers dying, and many more will likely return disabled, in need of various types of care and assistance in readjusting. The families of the soldiers who do not return will require special assistance for many years to come.

Now is the time for the commitment to care for these people to be made a commitment that cannot and must not be forgotten a few years down the road.

Robert V. Hess

Baltimore

Mideast pretext

If anyone wants to know why George Bush appears so relentlessly driven to have his "splendid little war" in the Persian Gulf, I suggest that person look not at Kuwait, but at such international hot spots as Rhode Island and the Bank of New England.

A quarter-century of "post-industrial" economic insanity has gutted our manufacturing base while puffing up junk bond-type usury and quick-buck speculative "growth." The ongoing lTC banking mess in New England is just a taste of what is to come.

Rather than admit that the hot-air "recovery" of the 1980s has in fact led us to the precipice of that unutterable "D" word, the president has resorted to the oldest political trick in the book: Concoct a pretext for an overseas war to divert the yokels' attention from the impending depression at home.

With some notable exceptions, Congress seems to have bought into it. Will the American people?

Douglas Mallouk

Baltimore

Draft inmates

If our 17-year-old young men do not have the right to say no to a draft, then the same should apply to the prisoners in our jails, who are able-bodied, capable of defending our country and of draft age.

If prisoners were drafted, they would be giving back to their country and to their society. Taxes would go down and jail overcrowding would ease.

It's not fair that fathers and sons, doctors and lawyers, should fight while prisoners remain safe.

Renee Reno

Rossville

Mismanagement

Why is it that our governor and legislators can spend our state into a half-billion-dollar deficit and then have the gall to ask that we taxpayers pay still more taxes to balance the budget? I feel that since they put the state in this situation, they should spend their own money such as their raises and big pensions before asking for our help. After all, isn't this mismanagement the same thing as Old Court?

Jacque C. Tomalavicz

Baltimore

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