Force Israel and Syria out of LebanonLebanon is a tragic...

LETTERS

April 24, 1996

Force Israel and Syria out of Lebanon

Lebanon is a tragic case of the bullying of a weakling while the mob looks on.

If, as we are lead to believe, Hezbollah is the reason behind this crushing attack by Israel, and Hezbollah is armed and financed by Iran and given freedom of movement by Syria, why then the brutal attack on Lebanon?

Lebanon is occupied by 35,000 Syrian troops. Do we expect the Lebanese army to brush aside Syria and clear the Hezbollah from the country?

If Israel is serious about eliminating the Hezbollah forces, why does it not attack Iran and Syria and thus eliminate the root of the problem?

Our present administration has adopted the attitude that they deserve it. The result is the tragic loss of innocent civilians.

A solution: Force both Israel and Syria out of Lebanon. Give the Lebanese army the wherewithal to assure their capability to control any dissident forces operating within their territory, such as the Hezbollah, thus provide for their own national security.

External security needs to be assured by the Unted Nations.

There are many economic, social and political issues for the Lebanese people to resolve. These can only be solved if their territorial integrity is assured.

Alfred H. M. Shehab

Odenton

National character and Nazi Holocaust

More than a half-century ago, Nazi philosophy, together with its terminology, found a well-deserved resting place on the dung heap of history. Or so you would think.

Reading the review of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's new book history, "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust," I was reminded of the fact that one of the Nazis' favorite terms was "Volkscharacter"' -- national character. I find it quite disturbing that this proto-fascist concept is alive and well not only in modern Western historiography, but obviously also in the mind and vocabulary of your reviewer, Jonathan R. Cohen.

There is nothing novel or challenging in attributing responsibility for the Holocaust to Germans. It should be a challenge, however, to critically examine fundamentally racist concepts of "national and racial character" if you have pretensions to be a serious historian or journalist -- even if you're dealing with the Third Reich.

J. Christoph Amberger

Baltimore

Organ donor cards can save lives

Thank you for your recent informative articles on issues related to organ transplantation and donation in the Baltimore area (March 24, 25, 27).

Individuals who desire to donate their organs can personally contract and sign a donor card at:

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie; and the Transplant Resources Center, Suite R, 1540 Caton Center Drive, Baltimore. Tel. 242-7000.

Individuals who are waiting to be transplant recipients, recipients of donated organs, donors of organs and their families who desire to become members of a support group for discussions, activities, education and advocacy may contact: TRIO of Greater Baltimore Inc., 2 East Madison St., Baltimore. Tel. 547-8947.

Please keep publishing these timely, informative medical news articles.

David Gaulden

Baltimore

The writer is a 1994 kidney transplant recipient.

Schmoke ought to prioritize spending

In a cruel ploy timed less than 24 hours after Tax Day, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has proposed a major increase in Baltimore's income tax. The City Council should exercise the same leadership it did in 1992 and 1993, when it rejected two previous Schmoke tax increases.

The mayor has warned that the tax increase is needed to avoid severe budgetary cuts. How severe?

Well, the proposed tax increase will raise about $5 million in additional revenue over the next six months. That comes to an extra half-cent per dollar spent in the current budget. Surely, the mayor can find $10 million in savings within a $2 billion budget.

In the longer-term, when it comes to budgeting, the mayor has to learn to prioritize. Public safety and education should be key priorities. Everything else, especially the rapidly growing social services programs, should be subject to budgetary discipline.

A policy that raises taxes first is economically destructive. Mayor Schmoke has to look no further than his neighbor to the south to see the devastation resulting from out-of-control tax and spending policies. Years of taxation without recourse have driven out Washington's middle-class tax base.

Baltimore should learn from Washington's mistakes, not repeat them.

Donald J. Sutherland

Baltimore

Punitive damages law should remain as is

I wholeheartedly disagree with Michael Olesker's March 19 column regarding the issues surrounding the Peter Angelos-sponsored punitive damages legislation.

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