Editor: In an editorial that appeared Jan. 2, The Sun stated that the Persian Gulf war ''itself was mercifully short and light on friendly casualties.''
Were the 200,000 dead Iraqi civilians and the 170,000 Iraqi children doomed to starvation ''unfriendly'' casualties?
Gerald Ben Shargel.
Editor: Abner Kaplan's letter of Jan. 1 faults state Secretary of Human Resources Carolyn Colvin's plan to restructure Aid to Families with Dependent Children, stating that welfare recipients won't be ''receptive'' because they are already hard put making ends meet by the end of the month.
He also condemns the plan's success because the recipients should have intensive counseling.
Carolyn Colvin's plan put the task of responsible parenting between welfare funds and the recipients to break the welfare cycle.
Her plan will not show immediate results but by the year 2000, children raised early up in a more disciplined home environment will certainly be on the first rung of the ladder out of the poverty hole.
It's pretty obvious that throwing money into the hole is not solving the problem. There only seems to be more people at the bottom and less money at the top.
A recipient's acceptance of the new rules is hardly relevant in these serious economic times.
For families mired in generations of hopelessness, helplessness and poverty, a plan to teach an old dog new tricks could be difficult and somewhat painful.
There could even be some casualties where family members refuse to comply, don't receive funds and suffer the consequences.
But irresponsible parenting and its unmotivated wayward offspring have to be dealt with as roots of the poverty cycle, not just as an acceptable way of life for welfare recipients.
As far as fulfilling the need for counseling goes, what a golden opportunity for the advocates of the poor to put their philosophies and dedication into local volunteer action, instead of espousing higher taxes for what will more than likely turn to be the already overtaxed middle class.
If anyone's reception of the plan is to be considered, it should be those picking up the tab.
I applaud Ms. Colvin's daring and innovative approach. She certainly has put in the time in the field to know what she's talking about. Let's give her a chance.
Editor: At a time when Maryland State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein is calling for regional cooperation, (''Maryland Needs Regional Services,'' Perspective Dec. 29), the Baltimore Regional Council of Government's existence is being questioned.
The Regional Council provides a forum where local governments in the Baltimore region (Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties) can share information and devise cooperative methods for solving common problems.
Recently, the Regional Council was instrumental in assuring continued federal transportation funds for the Baltimore region by performing analyses which show that the current regional transportation plan conforms with standards outlined in the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act Amendments.
A reservoir watershed management agreement formulated by the Regional Council in 1984 and reaffirmed in 1990 established an inter-jurisdictional commitment to protect the region's water supply.
The Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee managed by the Regional Council has saved participating local jurisdictions at least $80,000 in the past two years through economies of volume buying. Administrative duties performed by the Regional Council on behalf of four local jurisdictions assure Rental Allowance Program housing assistance for families in imminent danger of being homeless.
Consensus among varied groups can be very difficult, but, we in government must learn to do more with less and, as the pressures of citizens' needs collide with wrenching budget cuts, cooperation is the best option.
At the direction of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, we are reorganizing to better deliver our services. We urge Comptroller Goldstein and other policy makers, legislators, local elected officials, business owners and private citizens to support the Regional Council in its continuing efforts to strengthen the Baltimore region.
Regional cooperation can work for all of us. The key is active participation.
Anthony J. Ambridge.
The writer, a Baltimore City councilman, is acting chairman of the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments.
Editor: Boris Yeltsin has got to be one of the most adept politicians in the last half of this century.
He hasn't made a wrong move on his way to the top of the ladder in Russia and/or the Soviet Union.
Except one -- he has moved too fast.