Shortsighted policy in gulf warIs there such a thing as...

the Forum

July 22, 1991

Shortsighted policy in gulf war

Is there such a thing as "international" human rights? If so, aren't Americans guilty of violating them?

Our government has obstinately refused to lift the sanctions against Iraq. As a result, 80 percent of Iraqi children are undernourished and slowly dying for lack of food, clean water and medical facilities. Several U.N. and American medical teams have visited Iraq and come up with the same appalling conclusion - 170,000 Iraqi children will die by the end of 1991. Can we deny that the United States is at least compounding this tragedy by blocking efforts to lift the sanctions?

Moreover, why have we sealed off this beleaguered country behind Middle Age walls while the world around it is poised to enter the 21st century? Is it because our request that Mr. Hussein get out has not been honored? Does it really seem likely that a tyrannical strongman would even consider stepping down? And is it likely there is enough vitality among lesser leaders in that country to put him down?

If that really was our primary aim, we missed our chance ` and the lives of countless Kurds, who believed our declared intentions, bear tragic witness to our shifting policies.

Let us again embrace and exercise our national capacity for sympathy and generosity toward less fortunate human beings. Let us admit our shortsightedness and use our ingenuity to solve, not further, the myriad global problems that abound.

Elisabeth Rouse


Baltimore Stadium

Many suggestions for naming the new stadium have appeared recently. The suggestions come from readers as well as members of the staff. Epithets range from shallow flattery to cryptic tongue-twisters.

Let's not get carried away. I say keep the name as simple as possible and give the stadium unmistakable identity nationwide, worldwide.

And now - how about a rousing cheer for (you guessed it) Baltimore Stadium!

Loretta Brigerman


On medical bills

I sympathize with Frank D. Roylance, who described his frustration in attempting to decipher the various bills and statements from his wife's outpatient surgery ("A Billing Morass," Other Voices, July 9). Even those of us who work in the health-care field find this difficult at times.

I can, however, answer at least one of his questions. The "pathology test," for which he was billed $78, consists of a microscopic examination of the tissue removed at surgery, in order to establish the definitive diagnosis of the disease process. This is the only way to determine whether the patient is suffering from cancer or a benign disease and, more specifically, what type of cancer (there are literally hundreds) or what particular disease.

Clearly this is a serious responsibility and, accordingly, the examination is always performed personally by a pathologist - a physician with at least four years' specialized training after medical school. Lengthy training and experience are necessary to recognize the subtle abnormalities under the microscope which are the key to accurate diagnosis.

I note incidentally that the $78 is the lowest of all the bills which Mr. Roylance received. Obviously, pathology is the biggest bargain in medicine today.

Maurice B. Furlong Jr.


The writer is president of the Maryland Society of Pathologists. A

Hang 'em high

Here's a solution to the horrible crime wave we are confronted with:

When criminals are caught, give them a fair trail, as was done in the old West. The next day, hang them in the village square. That would show the public that crime will not be tolerated.

I am so disgusted with this so-called justice system that I don't feel like voting anymore.

Helen Dvoskin


A hostage deal?

No matter the denial coming from the president, George Bush appears to be up to his neck in the Iran-contra scandal. His culpability and knowledge of the release of the hostages in time for the Reagan-Bush post-inaugural celebrations strain his credibility. In view of the increasing circumstantial evidence, a full investigation should be initiated. Mr. Walsh, the special prosecutor, should be granted whatever time is necessary.

With all the thievery and corruption in the Reagan-Bush administration, the average citizen is cynical about our political system. To restore some belief in the system, the pursuit of the truth is required.

Thomas M. Waldron

Glen Burnie

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