Aid to IsraelMike Lane's cartoon (March 7) depicting a...

the Forum

March 22, 1991

Aid to Israel

Mike Lane's cartoon (March 7) depicting a greedy Yitzhak Shamir demanding $13 billion in U.S. aid and whining ungratefully at getting only $650 million is a vicious assault on the truth.

Every country affected by gulf war costs has asked for and received huge amounts of aid, including Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and, yes, the United States.

Israel asked for $1 billion in assistance because other donors, like Saudi Arabia and Japan, would not have given anything for political reasons. Even that did not come close to making up the cost of Israel's state of high military alert for seven months, the collapse of its tourist industry, the shutdown of its whole economy for several weeks, large increases in energy costs and the damage and casualties resulting from 39 Scud attacks.

Norman Himelfarb

The writer is chairman of the public affairs committee for the Zionist Organization of America in Baltimore.

Help thyself

It seems Americans have reached the stage where they think money will solve every problem.

Unemployment rising? No problem: Congress can appropriate more money. Savings and loans close nationwide? No problem: Congress borrows billions to pay depositors.

Citizens afraid to walk the streets at night? No problem: Congress appropriates more money.

Abuses in the Medicare and Medicaid systems? No problem: Just appropriate more money.

The mere fact that we are bankrupt doesn't mean anything at all. Just keep on borrowing and taxing and it will solve everything! What happened to self-motivation or trying to help yourself?

George L. Greenwood

Glen Burnie

Misplaced pride

The U.S. is falling behind in the areas of income distribution, health care, poverty, homelessness, AIDS, education, drugs, crime, etc.

But in the "art" of war we are without serious competition. In technological instruments of death and destruction, we exceed all previous military empires in history.

The 100,000 or more people we just killed in Iraq and the 16 million more for whom we made life utterly miserable by destroying their water, electricity and sewage systems stand as an ugly monument to our military might.

Should this bullying of Third World people make us feel proud ` or ashamed and dirty?

A. Robert Kaufman



Your editorial, "An outright fraud" (March 14), suggests--ignorance of the constitutional process.

There is little ground for serious debate as to the original meaning of the Second Amendment. The following commentary

of Tench Coxe, which was commended by James Madison, was published in 1789:

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

For a further explication, you might consult "Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment," Michigan Law Review, November 1983, and "The Embarrassing Second Amendment," Yale Law Journal, December 1989. After perusal of these, The Evening Sun would be in a position to write a better comment on firearms ownership and the Bill of Rights.

ilner Benedict


Where was TV in peaceful protest

H. J. Rizzo and I must have read about very different statistics with respect to how the media reported the Persian Gulf crisis.

Rizzo says (Forum, March 11) that "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." In point of fact, the major TV news shows such as "Nightline," etc. took great pains to limit their quests almost exclusively to pro-war, white male, government employee and ex-government employee types when they aired Persian Gulf crisis analysis programs.

While I did see TV coverage of the violence which ensued when anti-war demonstrators marched in San Francisco, very little was seen of any peaceful anti-war demonstrations. Yet, more than 50 percent of members of Congress and the general public were opposed to rushing into war.

Maybe Rizzo was watching Canadian or Mexican TV.

H. Desser


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