Tolstoy on War
Editor: Reading ancient, world and modern history for the past 50-some years, and reading daily newspapers, I have to acknowledge the truth found in the following paragraph, copied from the essay "Christianity and Patriotism," by Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist and moral philosopher and a military artillery commander in the Crimean War.
"The bells will peal, the drums will sound, the priests will begin to pray for successful slaughter - and the old, well-known and terrible story will begIn all over again.
The editors of the daily press will start virulently to stir up men to hatred and manslaughter in the name of patriotism. Manufacturers, merchants. contractors of military supplies, will hurry joyously about their business, expecting double profits.
"And smothering despair within their souls by songs, debauches and liquor, hundreds of thousands of simple-minded, good-natured people. torn away from peaceful labor, from their wives, mothers and children. will march. with weapons of murder in their hands, anywhere they may be driven.
"They will march to freeze, to starve, to be sick, or die from disease, and finally they will arrive at the place where they will be killed by thousands, or kill other thousands themselves - men they have never seen before and with whom they have no quarrel. And again will men become infuriated, brutalized and bestialized, and love will wane in the world, and the incipient Christianization of humanity will be delayed for decades and centuries."
I believe that the context of the above essay applies to all countries, to all races, religions and culture.
Helen P. Skjoldager, Berlin
Editor: Before the Gulf war, the media seemed to believe that high-technology weapons were too complex ever to work. What the media failed to understand was that weapons must be designed on the leading edge of new technologies. As a result, temporary glitches may develop and certain paths must be abandoned for others that are more promising.
As the military learns more about the new and the systems our potential enemies are developing, it must change requirements to stay ahead. The Gulf war has shown us that technology wins battles and protects the lives of our troops. A few years ago, the precision and reliability of our systems today were Just dreams, but those dreams have come true.
Many Marylanders should be proud of their contributions to those systems that now protect our fight-ing men and women. This is a tough world and it will get tougher. But the military superiority and inner strength of Americans that protected freedom in the Cold War will some day win a worldwide lasting peace for our children.
Allan C. Stover, Ellicott City
Editor: Regarding the issue of the new female urinal considered for the new stadium: I am a 44-year old fe-male, a baby-boomer with a busted bladder following my childbearing years. a baseball fan with slightly arthritic knees and hips, a middle-aged matron with a habit of dressing in an assortment of clothing which includes restriction-of-movement underwear, pantyhose, slacks, or long skirts. Statistically, I represent a large segment of the American female population.
I read with interest the article on the proposal to use female urinals at the new stadium. This is an experimental invention of dubious practical merit. As a nurse who has had multiple opportunities to collect urine samples from women, I can assure you that this will be a difficult and messy affair. Users of public restrooms rarely find an adequate supply of soap, tissue, paper towels, or "seat covers" - what is to assure an adequate supply of "sanitary cuffs" at the new stadium?
Any bathroom designer who sincerely wants to improve traffic flow in the ladies' room needs simply to add additional stalls and get rid of the mirrors!
Barbara R. Gormley, Baltimore
New World Order
Editor: The eye-opening assortment of articles which appeared in The Sun under the heading, "What Kind of New World Order?" left me with a number of strong impressions. First, we Americans are terribly ignorant of the people, culture and politics that drive the Arab world, a reality as significant as the tyranny of Saddam Hussein in contributing to our involvement in the present war in the Gulf. Second. if the United Nations is destined to foster a lasting peace in the region after the war, it must diffuse the Palestinian issue, Institute a substantial, -permanent peacekeeping force in - the area and somehow put a stop to the unchecked trade in weapons of mass destruction that fuels instability in the region. It's going to be a difficult, lengthy process, but It's certainly consistent with the construction of a "new world order."
Joe Garonzik, Baltimore.
Editor: I am writing this letter because of the threatened closing of the Columbia Campus of the Maryland School for the Deaf.