Bombs don't produce a lasting peaceTwo views on the same...

the Forum

February 14, 1991

Bombs don't produce a lasting peace

Two views on the same page in the Forum and Other Voices (Feb. 5) deserve comparison. Anna Anderson's letter pinpointing our total lack of understanding of the Arab people and the devastating effect of this war makes more sense than Edwin Feulner's think-tank philosophy.

He said, "The objective of the United States should be ` peace between Israel and America's Arab allies. The United States has shown both sides that it is an honest broker. In the aftermath of the war, maybe they can just as deftly negotiate a lasting peace in the region." He also said, "When it [the gulf war] ends, Israel and its Arab neighbors will have an historic opportunity to make peace."

After 40 years of lost opportunities, what kind of peace can arise from the rubble of bombed cities? The peace enforced by the U.S. will certainly outdo anything imposed on weaker nations by the old colonial powers who did not find it necessary to destroy cities. It will require years of occupation and perhaps centuries of subjugation before the Arab people are "tamed" to the extent that they will be acceptable by Western standards.

F. Matthews


Devil's advocate

There was a time when there was great dislike and distrust between the people of the Eastern Shore and the people of Baltimore. I was about 6 or 7 then and remember some of the remarks: "You can tell an Eastern Shoreman by the mud on his heels" was a favorite expression of Baltimoreans. The Shoremen had some for the Baltimoreans also. As a result of this, Harry W. Nice was elected governor of Maryland. We had the unit rule then.

Time heals all wounds, so this animosity eventually went away, partly because of a fine man, J. Millard Tawes.

It appears our governor is going to succeed in turning back the clock.

The governor, like so many other leaders in history, has surrounded himself with "well-informed people." (This means people who agree with you.)

Every leader needs at least one devil's advocate. Those who don't have one eventually end up a failure.

Malcolm S. Barlow


Telltale stereo

Though a self-avowed liberal, I was somewhat disgusted to see the photograph that accompanied the story "Single mother of 4 feels pinch of rent increase" on the front page of your Metro section (Feb. 4). The preponderance of stereo equipment in the background was most disturbing.

I grew up in a rather large family. I remember fighting with my father when we kids wanted a color television set or a nicer stereo with a tape player. Getting those items took years of active lobbying, and I know now the reason was that my father didn't purchase those luxuries until he could afford them.

I do not take issue with Mrs. Lambert's hardship, and I allow for the possibility that those items might have been purchased during better times. But the picture and the article lead me to believe that the Reagan revolution isn't the only problem. How can people hope for things to get better when their priorities are so far out of line?

Timothy F. Crofoot



When the article on the afterlife in the Feb. 4 Evening Su quoted me, it unfortunately did not quote my most deeply held conviction: that Christian hope in the face of death is focused on the crucified, buried and risen Christ. I do not number myself among those who think (or act as if) "when his body perishes, his existence will end."

I believe that God's love will conquer the very real power of death. God holds us, living and dead, in the palm of his hand. The skepticism Christians have toward many other views of the afterlife is based on a conviction that they hope for too little rather than too much.

James J. Buckley


The writer teaches in the theology department at Loyola College.

War coverage

I've been pondering theater of the absurd. That's what television and, to a lesser degree, some radio and print news has become since Operation Desert Shield transmogrified into the Persian Gulf war and Desert Storm last month. Consider the historical perspective. Let's say, for example, the satellite and other communications technology we have today existed in 1942, and the media were called to a news conference at the headquarters of Adm. Chester Nimitz, the Pacific Fleet commander, in Hawaii.

I can hear the question now: "Admiral, is it true Ray Spruance and Jack Fletcher with the Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown are planning to ambush the Japanese fleet near Midway?" "I'm sorry," says Nimitz. "But I can't comment on tactical planning." In Tokyo, of course, the entire exchange is being heard and seen by the Imperial High Command.

Now let's move ahead to late May 1944, at the Supreme Allied Headquarters in London. There's General Eisenhower, affable as always. And there are the reporters with their cameras, microphones and recorders. "General, the weather seems to be clearing over the channel. Does that mean you're about to begin the land battle for Europe? And, I have a follow up. Do you still plan to land at Normandy?"

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