Blood, oil and pride in the gulf

Forum Extra

January 18, 1991

AS A KID I learned this riddle: What's black and white and red all over? War.

As I grew up, I learned two more things about war. First, it isn't funny. And second, no matter who comes out on top, we lose.

First we lose the fathers of the children born to soldiers now serving in the gulf. The ones who aren't killed will return to hold their babies for the first time, having killed, and with a permanent legacy of memories: blood, bombs and body bags.

Then we lose those babies who will embrace their daddies' pain and grow up believing that no matter what else democracy means, eventually it boils down to us against them, and that aggression and violence solve problems.

We lose our opportunity to develop as a nation when literacy programs are closed because the country needs fighters, not readers, and the military needs the additional funds.

How many of the young men murdering each other on the streets today were fathered by the veterans of the last war? Haven't we taught our youth to die over territory and the price of drugs on Pennsylvania Avenue when we send them to die over the price of oil in Kuwait?

It costs all of us. We're still paying for the last war. And isn't the price too high?

Bonni Goldberg

Baltimore

* * * It seems that Mr. Bush thinks the "right to oil" is more important than "right to life" for United States servicemen and women and children of Kuwait and Iraq.

George N. Webb

Baltimore

* * * It seems to me that while some compare the present Persian Gulf War to the Vietnam "conflict," there exists one striking difference between the two.

The goal of the American effort in Vietnam was, supposedly, to stop the spread of unjustified aggression. Likewise, that is an important aspect of our current "mission." Certainly that is a noble aspiration. However, the "oil factor" stands as an obvious ulterior motive, a purely economic interest which cannot do justice to the loss of American lives.

Chris Boggs

Bel Air

* * * Members of Congress and private citizens who oppose President Bush's position don't seem to realize that [we] hold the No. 1 position among nations. All who voted to oppose Bush and his cabinet [in a resolution that allowed him to initiate war] voted to abdicate the U.S. position in the world.

The president is not wrong to do what is necessary to retain world respect. The United States must be firm and strong.

Charles Walker

Baltimore

* * * "Our God and soldier we alike adore at the brink of war, not before. After the peril is past, both are alike requited; God is forgotten, and the soldier slighted."

In the future, may we show more compassion and respect for those who are sacrificing so much to protect our freedom.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

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