Middle East talks should be a model for dealing with...

Letters to the Editor

November 17, 1998

Middle East talks should be a model for dealing with Iraq

Thee editorial "Multilateral response to Iraq's provocation" (Nov. 11) exemplifies the adage that it's a lot easier to see what others should do than what we should do ourselves.

The Sun regularly promotes negotiation and constructive interaction between Israelis and Palestinians, people who have bombed each others' school buses and villages, and who, needless to say, have strong reasons for fear, distrust, and not giving each other the time of day. The Sun has rightly recognized the futility of either side trying to intimidate or force its will on the other. The Sun has praised them for sitting down to discuss their mutual needs and to work out their problems diplomatically.

Unfortunately, The Sun cannot see that such a process is the only way to make war between Iraq and its neighbors more and more unlikely.

The Sun persists in assuming, in our case, that sanctions (that kill children as surely as bombing school buses or villages) can win security and then be ended. "Sanctions should end when original terms are met and weapons of mass destruction are destroyed. . . . They should not be kept on until [Iraq's] dictator is gone. . ."

This is unrealistic. It is impossible to search every square foot of Iraq's thousands of square miles to verify that all weapons of mass destruction are destroyed.

The only choices that are realistic are to starve Iraqis with sanctions until Saddam Hussein dies of old age or to deal with him the same way we expect Israelis and Palestinians to deal with each other and so gradually incline him to more responsible thinking and interaction with his neighbors.

Bob Krasnansky

Ellicott City

Send prayers, contributions for Hurricane Mitch victims

You have seen reports of the destruction in Central America by Hurricane Mitch.

I am part of a sister parish relationship with the Lutheran Church in Nicaragua and have received detailed reports from my friends. They tell stories such of children who were tied in tree tops to survive the flooding -- they were tied so they would not fall when they slept or lost consciousness.

Please pray for these victims of nature and their own government, which was slow to declare a national emergency. Send contributions through your churches. Please help in some way.

Bob Swensen

Glen Arm

More Wright architecture needed to spare mediocrity

Two articles in the Nov. 8 Arts & Society Section created an interesting contrast of styles.

On the one hand, we read about Frank Lloyd Wright, the greatest American architect (though not without his personal flaws).

On the other hand were the grotesque and vain show houses of the idle rich that sit like stains upon the landscape of the Maryland shore.

If only we had more geniuses of Wright's courage to stem the tide of such overbearing mediocrity.

Had Wright indeed lived another 40 years, who knows what wondrous and organic dwellings might have blossomed where sprawl and cookie-cutter sameness continues?

Michael Martin


Eastern medicine's benefits for the Western world

Daniel Greenberg's comments on the Opinion Commentary page ("Wrong prescription for alternative medicine," Nov. 12) about the National Institutes of Health study of alternative medicine have some validity, but opinions are changing more quickly than he thought.

I attended the First International Congress on Tibetan Medicine in Washington earlier this month. Wayne B. Jonas of the National Institutes of Health said during a presentation that he wants us to benefit from Tibetan medicine, which predates Western medicine.

The Italian medical school I attended taught me to listen to my patients, to observe them carefully, to provide soothing medical care and to adhere to my science rigorously. The school, founded in the 13th century, is much more like the Tibetan school than American schools.

At the congress, I spoke with a mainstream scientist from Harvard who visited the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute to learn about Tibetan meditation. American "orthodox medicine" is already learning from Tibetan and European doctors.

Lawrence Vidaver, M.D.

Glen Burnie

The writer is clinical instructor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical School.

Maryland could never elect someone like Jesse Ventura

I was thrilled to hear of Jesse "The Body" Ventura's election as governor in Minnesota.

It is refreshing to see someone with honesty and character be elected to political office in this country. Unfortunately, someone like Mr. Ventura could never win a governor's race here. Maryland is too much of a status quo state.

Apparently, a lot of people in this state enjoy high taxes, high insurance rates, overflowing government regulations and an economic base that is fleeing to neighboring states.

Patrick W. Feuerhardt


Democrat hee-haw happy over GOP field for 2000

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