We supported the wrong side in VietnamDuring the Vietnam...

the Forum

April 18, 1995

We supported the wrong side in Vietnam

During the Vietnam war, I would drive past the National Cemetery in Baltimore and always feel saddened as I watched the green hillside facing Wilkens Avenue turn white with the graves of young men we were bringing back home in body bags.

I hated that war because I knew even then that it was based on lies from start to finish.

The corrupt South Vietnamese generals, whose Swiss bank accounts were being filled by American largess, were no patriotic defenders of freedom and democracy.

In contrast, the leaders of the north, having fought the good fight to free their country from both the Japanese and the French, were driven into the Communist camp by our intransigence in failing to recognize the legitimacy of their cause. We were supporting the wrong side.

One lie led to another. The domino theory was concocted. The attack on our naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin was a fabrication engineered by President Lyndon Johnson and used to bully Congress into approval of a vast escalation of the war. It kept getting worse.

Now we see a tearful Robert McNamara telling us on national television that it was all a mistake.

But the mistake, as he sees it, is that we continued to send more troops to the Far East even after he and his hand-picked staff had serious doubts that a military victory was possible.

That error might almost be characterized as an honest mistake in judgment. What is inexcusable is that the American people were lied to and led by their leaders into a war that was not in our national interest and should never have been fought in the first place.

Fred Gornick


Omit 'adopted'

When, in your obituaries and articles, you refer to the ''adopted'' child of whomever, you diminish adoptive parents everywhere. I think I speak for many of us when I request that you please stop it.

Pamela T. Prenger


Reward was paltry

Isn't it wonderful that there are still people like Laurie O'Connell? She's the Loyola graduate student who found $6,000 in an unidentified purse and returned it to the couple who had lost it. Ms. O'Connell put the bag in a safe deposit box and waited for information about the possible owner.

Antonina Berest and Iosif Tsitlik, the Russian immigrant couple who had carelessly lost the money don't know how lucky they are. It is disappointing that their reward to the finder merely consisted of six red roses and a tea cozy.

In many countries a gift equalling a percentage value of the returned property is considered in order. I believe Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and the City of Baltimore should do something to publicly commend Laurie O'Connell for her honesty and diligence. It might make up for the shabby thanks she got from the Russian couple.

Rosalind Nester


Unfair to young

It was with great dismay and perplexity that I read the March 12 article by staff writers Thomas W. Waldron and William F. Zorzi Jr. The article's title, "Young's ties to health-care firms stir questions," is at best misleading, as the article confirms questions only in the minds of the writers.

Further, the article offers no rationale at all for singling out state Sen. Larry Young. It offers nothing in terms of what percentage of state legislators have other jobs, where their campaign finances come from or how they represent the varied interests in their districts.

It is believed that Senator Young, like all legislators, actually has a responsibility to engage in activities on behalf of the total constituency which they were elected to represent. This constituency includes business as well as labor.

Over the years, Senator Young has well represented the citizens of his district, and indeed the citizens of this state.

This is indicated by the fact that the senator has been re-elected several times and has been rewarded by his peers with greater leadership responsibilities.

In closing, I found the article to be irresponsible and insulting. I would hope that in the future, The Baltimore Sun will cease to "stir questions" through innuendo and insinuations.

Robert Moore


The writer is the president of the Health Care Workers Union.

Dangers of meat

The report that a six-year Harvard University study of nearly 45,000 health professionals found no relation between fish consumption and reduced risk of heart disease points out the folly of seeking improved health by changing from one kind of meat to another.

Public concern with health hazards of red meat during the past decade has raised U.S. per capita fish consumption by 25 percent to over 15 pounds per year.

But fish and other seafood sources spend their entire life filtering industrial waste, agricultural runoff and urban sewage. Though lower in fat and cholesterol, their flesh contains ample supplies of heavy metals and pesticides, responsible for several forms of cancer and birth defects, as well as agents of infectious diseases.

Remedies are few. Thorough cooking destroys most pathogens, but does nothing to the toxic substances.

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