War Crimes?In reference to Jonathan Power's Aug. 27 column...


September 01, 1993

War Crimes?

In reference to Jonathan Power's Aug. 27 column on the Geneva Conventions, it has been conveniently forgotten that during the gulf war slaughter, the Bush administration used fuel-air explosives, carpet bombing, napalm bombs and cluster bombs in ways which are inconsistent with international law.

Due to media censorship at the time, all that we remember are yellow ribbons and parades.

John Maclay


Sectarian Schools

Several statements in George Will's Aug. 26 column about California's Proposition 174 relating to vouchers for private school education raise troubling questions.

The article never mentions that "private schools" essentially refer to sectarian schools. Thus the proposed voucher system would force California taxpayers to support sectarian schools.

The article states that Proposition 174 will offer parents vouchers, leaving the reader with the impression that vouchers will be given to parents; however, the proposition I have read indicated that "the state shall distribute student scholarship funds [vouchers] directly to the school."

George Will predicts that "Proposition 174 would spur creation of new schools." Is this a benefit?

He scorns critics of the plan and says that parents could remove their children from "schools with silly curricula."

I suggest that schools with silly curricula are not the threat; California taxpayers should be more concerned about being compelled to support sectarian schools which promote intolerance of faiths other than their own.

The column mentions that "private schools often get better results than public schools." And why not? They can enroll the most promising students without any requirement to accept the less gifted, as public schools must.

Proposition 174 would exacerbate this reality, since one provision would permit a school to expel any student "who is deriving no substantial academic benefit" -- an open-ended opportunity to dismiss any student a school wishes.

Myron Bates


Federal Bias

The Aug. 17 and Aug. 22 articles on the National Security Agency and the Secret Service alleging discrimination against minorities lead me to write this letter.

I worked for the National Security Agency from May, 1984 to August, 1990. In my brief time there, I learned quickly that not only did the National Security Agency discriminate but -- and this is disheartening -- that they get away with it.

Government agencies like NSA, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service and the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have the power to get away with discriminating against their employees.

Until our congressional and senatorial representatives start an unbiased investigation of these agencies, these discriminatory practices will continue.

Shawn Baker


Illegal Immigrants

I was deeply upset with the letter written by Andrew Lee in the Aug. 14 Saturday Mail Box. I don't have any compassion for the 23 Chinese immigrants held in Maryland.

Last October I took a trip at my own expense to see how changes in China were developing. I spent approximately three weeks traveling through China, visiting places such as Beijing, spending time in the Forbidden City and generally mixing with the residents. The people were friendly and hard working.

I visited farmers and factory workers. Some people in the little communities and large cities have set up their little shops to sell goods. The whole country is trying to turn around and make for a nice peaceful society leaning toward our democracy type principles.

The 23 illegal Chinese immigrants have deserted their country at a time when their efforts and help to make China a free democratic nation are needed. I have no compassion for people who desert their home land at a time when they are needed.

Most illegal immigrants come to our country believing they will all become rich. They have a feeling we are land of millionaires. Many deceivingly appeal for political asylum.

It is time that we take a hard look at our illegal immigrants policies. Last year our government spent $8 billion feeding, housing and teaching many the English language. All were illegal immigrants.

It's time to close the door. Saving $8 billion would be great for us taxpayers and help President Clinton with his deficit reduction plan.

Daniel Chance


The Stars and Bars and the Southern Cross

Your headline -- "Simply Incorrect" -- that appeared above the letter from the gentleman from Chestertown (Dennis Olver, Aug. 20) re what he called "the Confederate flag" was a perfect description of his letter.

The letter writer was, indeed, "simply incorrect" when he stated that "the Confederate flag" in the insignia of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was "the flag of Lester Maddox, George Wallace, and Bull Connor."

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