Bloody BaltimoreWith the murder rate soaring in the city...

the Forum

August 17, 1992

Bloody Baltimore

With the murder rate soaring in the city, Baltimore is not the city that reads, but it is, tragically, the city that bleeds!

Geraldine Segal

Randallstown

The world shudders -- and hesitates

In 1945, all mankind recoiled from the inhumanity that had occurred in the previous eight years.

All the world spoke in a single voice and said, "Never again."

Never again would we stand by and watch as people are, because of their religion, pushed into cattle cars and sent for days without food or water to await their deaths.

Never again would we watch orphans separated by race sent on hazardous trips through sniper alleys, through the remnants of the cities.

Never again would we forget Edmund Burke's admonition, "All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing."

Now the world is again doing nothing. As the "great leaders" of Europe give away the freedom of Bosnia the way their fathers gave away the freedom of the Sudetenland, their citizens say collectively, "What a shame."

As people are forced to concentration camps, the Serbs say they are separated for their own safety and the world considers it an internal matter. Many will ask what choice do we have. We have the option to act now the way we should have a half-century ago.

I wish that the nations of the world, acting as united nations, would bomb the rail lines the way they should have bombed the rail lines that moved a million to their deaths at Auschwitz.

I would hope that they would shut down the roads the way they should have shut down the roads that led a million more to their deaths at Buchenwald.

The nations of the world, though, do not unite for these things.

America, at its inception, believed that people were endowed by their creator with a right to life and liberty. Again, Americans are asked whether that meant all people -- or strictly American people.

Twice in this century have we saved Europe from itself. The time has come again.

Many will say that we are not the world's policeman. If that is so, that's a shame. The world needs a policeman. If it won't be the United Nations who protects the people of the world then the duty falls to us.

Before the horror continues, work to ensure that the Bosnians and other minorities in Yugoslavia don't join the Armenians, Gypsies and Jews as a people of a holocaust.

Al Mendelsohn

Baltimore

Saddam didn't win but didn't lose, either

I think that Mona Charen (Other Voices, Aug. 10) contradicts herself when she says, "As a member of the 'No Fan of George Bush Club,' . . . this is starting to look like piling on."

I must conclude that the conventional wisdom that kept several serious challengers from running against Mr. Bush still makes us accept a too rosy view of the Persian Gulf war. Consider this criticism:

Fourteen-hundred years of Arabian tradition as well as Saddam Hussein's ego proclaim that the survivor against great odds won as good a victory as the opponent who didn't smash him.

In football terms, Saddam beat the point spread. If it was necessary to go to war to stop him, it was necessary to march on Baghdad and install a new government.

On the other hand, if establishing a new regime would take too much effort, then we should not have gone to war. All we did achieve -- assuring that only a Kuwaiti may tyrannize Kuwait -- isn't worth the destruction we've wrought.

The Democrats said that we wouldn't win anything worth fighting for and we didn't win anything worth fighting for. Those who can criticize them as being right for the wrong reason are furious at Mr. Bush for throwing victory away.

I haven't heard anything which justifies Mr. Bush's stopping when he did. Yet, no commentators recognize that the arguments against total victory argue against any counterattack. really think this is because they're unwilling to sound conventionally unwise.

Paul O'Brien

Baltimore

Community service

The decision to include 75 hours of community service in the requirement for high school graduation will create a new problem. The state did not specify that such work be well done, just that it be completed.

As in all specific requirements for such demands, a system of accountability will be developed, at a cost, which will confirm that each graduate-to-be will have given the specified time.

May I suggest that neither education nor students will improve because the method for implementation of service experience for students is not consistent with the way teachers work best. It is now to be a chore.

If, instead, the state were to urge faculty to include service in their lesson plans, and if the state were to make available to faculty the money that would be spent on the project, faculty could get incentive money and recognition for innovative ways for service to be included as a part of the established curriculum.

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