If U.S. can't assist Bosnia, ask IsraelRarely have I taken...

THE FORUM

August 14, 1992

If U.S. can't assist Bosnia, ask Israel

Rarely have I taken a position on the use of military force to resolve an international problem . . . But the situation in Bosnia is very different and does require military action.

Although no well-known multinational corporations worth sending American soldiers to die for are located there, as in the Persian Gulf, a return of a Nazi-like era needs to be quelled immediately.

It would be best for the United States to play a humanitarian role and send air strikes to selected batteries of artillery, identified rail lines leading to concentration camps, or to occupy the Sarajevo airport.

If the U.S. is unable or unwilling to take such action, then it should be performed not by any European nation but by Israel.

* Only Israel has the military capabilities and the experience to perform such a bold raid. They've proven their abilities by attacking the nuclear power plant in Iraq and rescuing hijacked civilians in Uganda.

* As a country of Holocaust survivors, it is probably best able to understand and appreciate the horrors that are being perpetrated in Yugoslavia.

* They will show to their perceived enemies that Israel, and Jews throughout the world, will always have a protector, even if it is Israel itself.

* The majority of victims in Bosnia are Muslim. Israel would score a coup in international relations with Arab nations and Muslims throughout the world.

Myles Hoenig

Baltimore

Cuomo on abortion

Governor Mario Cuomo's column on the Aug. 7 Other Voices %% page was a thoughtful, intelligent approach to the eternal question of abortion.

The governor took the question to a higher level, to the area of DTC public/maternal health, which is where it should be if we are ever going to bring the debate to a calm, reasoned resolution.

The governor did not mention the possibility of the abortifacient RU486 being made generally available; education, and the avoidance of undesired conception, along with RU486 as the back-up, could go far to reduce the harsh debate on first, second or third trimester abortions. The question would become largely moot, in most people's eyes.

We need to get on with it, and the governor's comments are to the point.

James V. McCoy

Phoenix

Stealth senator

Sen. Paul Sarbanes recently criticized Secretary of State James Baker's possible move to head the Bush re-election campaign as a misuse of taxpayer dollars.

It is ironic that Senator Sarbanes, one of the biggest spenders and taxers in the U.S. Senate, should worry about several thousand dollars while he costs taxpayers billions of dollars pandering to union bosses and welfare and government worker interest groups.

Senator Sarbanes has been called the "stealth senator" because he is seldom seen or heard from. With inane accusations like the one above, maybe it is a good thing that he doesn't say more.

Ray Gordon

Baltimore

Back to basics

President Bush told delegates to the Boys' National Youth Conference that Governor Clinton is stealing his slogan, "Now that we have changed the world, it's time to change America."

Mr. Bush should take a good look at the carnage, poverty, starvation and political instability remaining in today's world and spare us his version of a "new world order" with "a thousand points of light."

He also should spend less time golfing, jogging, boating, fishing and hunting, and spend more time solving these problems instead of compounding them with his unrealistic stand on world population control efforts, which is the root cause of many of the world's problems today.

Albert Antonelli

Baltimore

Mencken and FDR

In Paul T. Bohn's piece on H. L. Mencken, one of the 20th century's most readable essayists, Mr. Bohn mentions some of Mencken's favorite targets -- Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover (Other Voices, July 10).

Baltimore's most famous critic and tickler of risibilities also let fly from time to time strictures against Franklin D. Roosevelt,

successor to Hoover in 1932. (In one of his milder moments, Mencken accused FDR of having "perfumed tonsils.")

As a longtime Mencken booster, what cudgels my sconce is why so many people seem to think of Mencken as a 100 percent FDR-hater. Was he really that bad? Consider, for example, a few points from an Evening Sun column Mencken wrote in 1934:

* FDR's popularity was due, Mencken wrote, to "a widespread and not irrational confidence in his intelligence and courage."

* And again: "I suspect that Roosevelt's hold on the people is that they recognize him to be what is called, for lack of a better word, a gentleman. Most of them, I suppose, would have difficulty defining the term, but all the same they know what it means . . . A gentleman will fight longer, and can be trusted further."

* And again: "This country will remain safe . . . so long as it is in the hands of a man of character, honest, gallant, and mellowed and moderated by a sense of humor. Most Americans believe Roosevelt answers to these specifications."

Are those the words of a 100 percent FDR-hater? Hardly.

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