Bombing Iraqi targets would lead to conflict that is not...

Letters to the Editor

November 28, 1998

Bombing Iraqi targets would lead to conflict that is not clean, 0) easy

It is with utter dismay, and even revulsion, that I hear so many citizens criticizing President Clinton for hesitating to bomb Iraq. They, including many members of Congress who should know '' better, say that they want him to order a "massive bombing" to bring down Saddam Hussein.

Those who advocate this bombing are not thinking it through. First, we cannot bomb missile sites and weapon hordes only. When we start dropping bombs, many unintended targets will be destroyed, including houses, schools and hospitals. Many civilians will be killed and maimed, including women and children.

Eventually we will suffer retaliation, and as a result, American lives will be lost. There is no such thing as a clean, easy war. After we bomb, kill, maim and destroy, exactly what will be gained? We can say that our honor is intact? We can say we warned you? We can say we are sorry for the death and destruction?

I certainly cannot criticize the president for being prudent and cautious. My prayer is that he will not heed the voices of those who sit in their living rooms, in front of their televisions, and think they are experiencing war.

John P. Kimball

Baltimore

Shouldn't need incentives to become organ donors

I was deeply saddened after reading Froma Harrop's column "Compensating organ donors" (Nov. 16).

It is distressing that a system for compensating donors is needed as well as incentives to sway Americans into the organ donor program.

Shouldn't the fact that you are possibly giving another human a chance to live be incentive enough? Is our world driven by money to the horrific extent that people have to be compensated to participate in a program that helps other members of our society?

People are dying waiting for organs, lingering on waiting lists, hoping that some generous person will give them a life-altering gift. We have advanced technologically, but not morally if innocent people are dying simply because others do not take the time to mark one simple check in a box, a check that might save someone's life.

Lauren K. Wons

Fallston

Compensate teachers to bolster profession

I applaud Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, for her accurate and sensible commentary on the insufficiency of teacher compensation ("A teacher shortage strategy," Nov. 12).

In a 1996-1997 survey by the American Federation of Teachers, the average maximum salary for a teacher with a Ph.D. and approximately 18 years of experience was $49,443. Some software technicians easily make that much after only one or two years of work. The enormous difference in compensation reinforces the lack of respect for teachers. The honorable profession of teaching is greatly undervalued in Maryland and throughout the nation.

For obvious reasons, careers in science, business and technology are more lucrative to our college graduates than is the teaching profession. Dr. Grasmick's intelligent suggestions regarding bonuses for high-caliber teachers and state help for the pursuit of further education should be considered seriously.

Teachers play crucial roles in the development and nurturing of today's youth. They are the ones who must educate our future thinkers and leaders. It is only right that they be fairly compensated for their dedication.

Pushpa V. Raja

Lutherville

City has its luxuries but not all its needs

While driving south toward Interstate 95, I passed our two grand stadiums -- about half a billion dollars worth of concrete sitting empty on a big chunk of valuable downtown real estate surrounded by acres of asphalt.

Even empty, the stadiums burn enough electricity to sustain a small town.

Meanwhile, I have read in The Sun that teacher Katherine Zito has been walking to a branch of the Enoch Pratt Library for books for her students because Highlandtown Elementary No. 237 has no library ("Book campaign nets thousands of gifts for Highlandtown school without library," Nov. 24).

And in a column next to that, I see our City Council "approved an annual tax break of up to $400,000 to a developer of 151 luxury apartments downtown." It further noted that the council recently "granted the proposed Wyndham hotel a 20-year tax break estimated at $25 million."

The Sun reports "the majority of council members supported the measure, saying the tax breaks are a way to lure residents back into the city." I wonder if people will really be eager to move back to a city where elementary schools lack libraries.

If they have children, will they want to send them to such schools? If they don't have children, will they want to live among kids who grow up that way, or among the adults they become?

Councilman Martin O'Malley "views the tax breaks as the only economic tool the city has to lure new development."

I love luxury as much as the next person. But amid the ostentation of the sports stadiums, what exactly is it we are developing -- luxury, or lives?

Franklin T. Evans

Baltimore

Ritalin helps some overcome obstacles

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