The BombIn the article (July 5) about Ilse R. Keuls...

LETTTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 13, 1994

The Bomb

In the article (July 5) about Ilse R. Keuls' imprisonment by the Japanese in Java, she says, "Thank God for the atomic bomb. I'm grateful for it because otherwise we might never have been freed."

We are coming up on the 49th anniversary of the dropping of the bomb, and with it we will get the usual condemnations of its use by the revisioners and latter-day experts -- not to mention the politically correct.

When the war ended in the Pacific Theatre, a great number of the prisoners of the Japanese were brought to Okinawa for treatment and fattening up so they could be shipped home in a reasonable condition.

At this time the show "This is the Army" arrived on Okinawa for a few performances. I remember a huge amphitheater where we were all seated. There were thousands of us in the audience.

A large area in front of the stage was reserved. We were all seated, and then the band started up a march, and from the back in came the former P.O.W.'s -- Javanese, Indonesians, British and Gurkhas.

The shrieks were deafening and the smiles on the faces of the former P.O.W.'s brought tears to the eyes of everyone present.

Who knows how many of these people, P.O.W.'s and troops, who were preparing for the invasion of the Japanese mainland, would have died had the bomb not been dropped.

I for one say, "God Bless Harry Truman."

Lee Horowitz

Baltimore

Von Braun

Edward Miller of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies wasn't paying enough attention when he listened to Tom Lehrer's songs back in 1965. " '. . . Where they come down, that's not our department,' says Werner von Braun" was a line from a comic song, not the theory of a superb engineer and visionary.

Thumbs down on Miller for being unable to recognize a parody. Thumbs down on Neal Peirce for his "Hummingbird" approach to source authentication and for foolishly spreading this slander (Opinion * Commentary, July 4).

Dr. Von Braun cared very much where his rockets landed, whetherV-2, Redstone or Saturn V, and was a pioneer in turning swords to plowshares by promoting the Apollo Applications Program (Skylab), and in showing how space technology can serve us all here on earth . . .

Denis Bond

Columbia

Not a Cult

Susan Paris' letter of July 4, regarding the controversy between medical research and the animal rights movement, made some valid, level-headed and rational points in her first two paragraphs.

But she lost her credibility and my willingness to listen when she irrationally relegated "the entire animal rights movement" to the "museum of cult oddities."

If she was trying to garner support for her agenda, then certainly offending and dismissing many people concerned with animal welfare is a tactical error.

Mary Ann Williams

Baltimore

Juicy Story

Clarence Page (Opinion * Commentary, July 8) states that if the people who were murdered in the Simpson case were black, there would not be the tremendous media interest in the situation. Therefore, race is a very significant factor.

Race may have a part, but I believe that in this case, it is not significant. The emphasis is so much on Mr. Simpson that the victims are almost overlooked. The reason is that Mr. Simpson is a very handsome, famous, successful, wealthy and sophisticated person.

One can hardly imagine him to be a wife beater, let alone someone who would murder two people in such a violent manner. This significantly increases the drama of the situation.

Much more important is the fairly recent, and most intense increase, in scandal journalism that has moved out of tabloids and the less reputable TV news shows into the main line press and into programs like "60 Minutes" and "20/20."

There is so much competition for a juicy story that every dramatic crime and scandal will be milked for every ounce of sensationalism to meet the insatiable curiosity of the public.

George B. Laurent

Baltimore

Not Brutality

Jesse Chapman was black; three of his five arresting officers were white. Once again, with the untimely demise of Jesse Chapman, racism has reared its ugly head.

This, at least, is what some of the individuals picketing the Western District police station would have us believe about the death of Mr. Chapman while he was in police custody.

According to reporter Peter Hermann, "About 25 protesters showed up at the station yesterday, calling the officers and the department racist" ("Protest resumes at police station over death of man," July 7).

Another demonstrator was quoted as saying. "[The officers involved] are not welcome guests in our community." (I assume upstanding citizens such as Mr. Chapman are welcome.)

I am very happy that these vigilant citizens are so concerned for the rights of Mr. Chapman, cocaine user and woman batterer.

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