Strategic BombingEditor: The article, ''Strategic Bombing...


January 30, 1992

Strategic Bombing

Editor: The article, ''Strategic Bombing of Germans,'' by William Pfaff (Jan. 23), is inaccurate in some of its statements.

Mr. Pfaff refers to ''Strategic Bombing'' in his title, then describes the ''saturation, carpet or mass bombing'' of German cities.

The term ''strategic bombing'' refers to the selection of specific military targets, such as railroad yards, airfields, oil refineries, steel mills, armament factories, and all other industries, the destruction of which will inhibit the enemy's ability to wage war. It has nothing to do with killing civilians.

The next incorrect statement is ''U.S. heavy bombers bombed German cities by day while the RAF bombed by night.''

I flew 30 missions over Germany in heavy bombers (B-24s and B-17s) in World War II as a lead crew pilot, leading squadron, group, wing and division formations. On each mission, we were assigned specific military targets, sometimes within a city, but we were never assigned a German city as a target.

!Ellis M. Woodward. Baltimore.

Self-Made Loss

Editor: The theme of Dennis O'Brien's Dec. 29 article, "Family's deserted house is not a home -- but they are required to care for it," is that the homeowners, the Grants, are frustrated and "being ground up by the wheels of government." The article leaves one with the impression that the county government has somehow wronged these homeowners, but a logical analysis of the facts presented leads one to the obvious conclusion that the Grants find themselves in their predicament solely due to the decisions they have made.

As a community leader often engaged in battle with Baltimore County officials, I am certainly no defender or champion of the county bureaucracy. This article, however, was so one-sided and unfair to Public Works Director Gene Neff and the county that I was compelled to come to their defense.

The county told the Grants it was "considering" buying their property, after which the homeowner, "who is a real estate investor, took that to mean the county would eventually buy the house" and proceeded to build and move into another house elsewhere in the county. Thus, the Grants ended up owning the two houses because they do not know what the word "considering" means.

The fact that the house has now been broken into and vandalized is the result of the owner's inability to keep good tenants in the property and not the result of any county actions. The Grants' lament that they have "no choice but to use the $70,000" insurance settlement to repair the house is ridiculous whining. That's the purpose of having insurance.

The homeowners, who will "eventually make a tidy profit," which according to my calculations will be in the neighborhood of $700,000, want the county to decide once and for all if it is going to condemn and buy the property.

As a county taxpayer, I would strongly object to the county buying any property until it is irrevocably clear that the property is needed for a county project. County officials refuse to say when they may decide on condemnation because they don't know.

The project for which this property may be necessary has not been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers or the EPA and probably will not be approved for several more years. To suggest that the county and Mr. Neff have somehow wronged the Grants by not buying their property before it is needed is a cheap shot, not supported by the facts.

!Robert D. Sellers. Towson.

Ignorant Article

Editor: I feel that I have to object to the ignorance displayed in your recent article, ''State seeks to alter sullied image with anti-smoking pitch.''

I am a teenager who smokes and is fully aware of the risks and dangers of cigarette smoke. I was profoundly offended by remarks by Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini, an admitted chain-smoker himself, who says that children are influenced by the advertising of the cigarette companies and that is why many children start smoking.

I got the clear impression that Mr. Sabatini was implying that we children can't make up our own minds; that we soak up everything we see and hear about smoking and have no opinions on the issue.

If I weren't a smoker, I don't think that I would take a look at the Marlboro Man or Old Joe the Camel and say ''Gee, that man looks so 'cool' smoking that cigarette'' or ''Man, look at Old Joe the Camel smoking that cigarette. I want to be just like him. Toss me a cigarette 'cause I want to be cool.''

I'm not saying that children don't smoke because they think it's cool, but I know for a fact that they don't start smoking because of a cartoon character or because a man dressed in a cowboy suit says that it is the ''in'' thing to do.

Usually young teens start to smoke because they are going through a phase of rebellion or defiance toward the parents. Every teen goes through it. It's a part of growing up.

Heather Walsh. Columbia.

Dire Warnings

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