Collective will is needed to build on peaceThe United...

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March 11, 1991

Collective will is needed to build on peace

The United States and the United Nations now have a window of opportunity in the warm afterglow of military victory and the liberation of Kuwait. Law has emerged strengthened as the basis for international conduct. Even Israelis and Arabs share the experience of having been attacked by the same madman.

Simultaneously, however, there exists an ominous, enduring mood of frustration and anger among the Arab underclass. These grievances must be addressed if there is to be any chance for stability in the region. The Soviet Union and the Arab states need to be significant participants in this diplomatic effort. The issues should include guarantees of Israeli security; a Palestinian homeland; the elimination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; nurtured democratic institutions in the region; departure of most U.S. forces from the region; and outlawed state-sponsored terrorism.

The magnificent success of our recent collective effort does not guarantee success the next time. Now is the optimal moment to act for peace. It is only a matter of weeks before the world shifts its attention back to the Soviet Union, Japan or to the next crisis.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

We have seen a miraculous effort by our armed services against a formidable foe. This episode of bravery was from the same country that is mired in recession and bemoaning the loss of trade to other countries.

Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we turn back to our problems with renewed confidence, we could be entering a new phase of '' prosperity and economic security. It all depends on how America chooses.

Stanley M. Oring

Baltimore

To a wildly appreciative audience, President Bush declared that "we've finally kicked that Vietnam syndrome" and that "we can put that behind us now."

The horror of Vietnam is not a burden to be left behind and forgotten. It is a lesson to be carried and taught to all future generations of Americans. It is the proverbial mistake that, if not learned from, we are condemned to repeat again and again.

David Holmes

Baltimore

Media casualties

The news media can be counted among the war casualties from a public relations standpoint. They took an awful drubbing in the polls from a public which obviously had little sympathy for histrionics and temper tantrums from egocentric journalists when faced with the necessary curtailment of their much-misused press prerogatives.

During the Persian Gulf crisis, the mass media's lusting for a Vietnam protest replay was ill-concealed. The familiar anti-war groups and their supporters eagerly did their part, having dusted off their 1960s protest paraphernalia. With touching faithfulness, the news media were always on hand to give exhaustive coverage to anti-war demonstrations ` large or small ` even though statistics showed the peaceniks to be an insignificant minority.

But, instead of Vietnam-rerun scenarios, a spontaneous, massive wave of patriotism, nationalism and, yes, even spirituality began to roll across America. Nothing like it had been seen since World War II.

For a discouragingly long time, powerful, well-organized efforts have been exerted to brand our country as the "bad guy" in any unfolding scenario. But the surge of national pride and oneness that is now washing away this backlog of negative pre-conditioning is exhilarating. The courageous men and women of the military in the Persian Gulf may find when they return that their country is having a new birth of freedom.

H.J. Rizzo

Baltimore

No sometime thing

Your correspondent, J. Roy Galloway, has complained (Forum, Feb. 26) that Mike Lane "ought to wise up with his cartoons" in which he lampoons the actions of President Bush and General Schwarzkopf. Galloway complains that to "malign them editorially at this time certainly seems out of tune," "gets a little boring" and is "particularly offensive."

Still, Galloway says, "it is OK to lampoon newsworthy individuals," and "that is in the time-honored American tradition."

With all due respect, Mr. Galloway is right the second time, but he can't have it both ways. We must have a free press ` not a sometimes free press.

Desser

Baltimore

Don't laugh at Dan

As a long-time subscriber, I feel I have the right to question your taste in columns. On Feb. 25, you printed a column by Susan Trausch, "Laughing at Dan." To criticize is everyone's right, but to ridicule our vice president is in extremely poor taste. Can't you get any better writers?

Earl Matthews

Towson

Support, not satire

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