Sun readers react to impeachment and strike on Iraq

SATURDAY MAILBOX

December 19, 1998

The specter of partisanship and outright vindictiveness has again appeared in the totally unjustified statements by Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas and Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi.

Saddam Hussein tried to use the conflict to subvert the inspection process. President Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair had only a small window in which to respond.

Although the leadership in the Republican Party and its right-wing zealots would not hesitate to initiate military action during the Muslim high holy period of Ramadan, President Clinton understands the worldwide political consequences of such actions. The U.N. inspectors were safely out, and Ramadan was quickly approaching. To wait until after Ramadan would have given Saddam Hussein ample time to move his arsenal to new hiding places.

Instead of requesting the president's resignation, Mr. Armey, Mr. Lott and the rest of the Republican members of Congress should apologize to the American public and consider their own resignations from office.

It is quite clear that their hatred, self-righteousness and political posturing make them unfit to hold office. They are the ones incapable of performing their duties in both the national and international arenas.

Alan McAllister

Severna Park

Clinton should quit to close questions

The events in the Middle East make it clear that President Clinton should immediately resign.

It is unclear whether the events of this past year are "Wag the Dog," foreign policy or our opponents taking advantage of the scandals. But if Vice President Al Gore were president, this would not be in question.

When the president lies under oath, to his Cabinet and to the American people, how can we believe him or his administration?

I believe Mr. Clinton will do anything to remain president.

Harris C. Howland

Pasadena

Suspicions are why moral leader needed

The natural suspicions surrounding President Clinton's motives regarding the attack on Iraq are perfect examples of why our political leaders must possess high moral standards.

One could also make a good case that part of Saddam Hussein's motivation is the belief that he is dealing with a distracted U.S. president.

Theodore Myers

Baltimore

Aid, comfort to enemy is act of treason

Now the Republicans are accusing the president of putting American lives at risk to delay or impede his impeachment. This accusation and stated refusal to support him gives aid and comfort to the enemy. The other word for that is treason. If not treason, it certainly rises to the level of other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Of course, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and others can say and do any reckless, stupid thing they want with impunity.

Patricia Cole Blom

Brooklyn Whether the tail is wagging the dog or not, the end result is that the United States and Britain are waging war against Iraq, and innocent people are dying because of the fixation of these nations on Saddam Hussein.

Saddam Hussein is a nasty, brutish tyrant. Tyrants are denounced and overthrown, ignored, accepted or supported, not because they are tyrants, but because of their place in the economic world order.

Iraq does not have a monopoly on weapons of mass destruction. Russia, China and the United States -- the largest exporter of weapons in the world and the only nation to actually use nuclear weapons -- possess huge arsenals of mass destruction, as do smaller, but no less dangerous, nations.

What will the bombing accomplish in the long run? U.S. and British troops will be put in harm's way; after a brief pause, weapons of mass destruction will continue to be produced and possibly used in retaliation; thousands of Iraqi children will die of starvation because of continued economic sanctions and others will die as a result of the current attack; and Saddam Hussein will remain in power.

A more effective policy might include lifting economic sanctions, contingent on the resumption of United Nations' weapons inspections; ending the bombing; and delivering food and medicine to the Iraqi people, regardless of the status of arms inspections. The Iraqi people might stand a chance of overthrowing Saddam Hussein if they are not starving and being bombed into oblivion.

The death, destruction and suffering that will result from military strikes and the violence of economic sanctions are not morally or politically justifiable.

Lee Lears

Annapolis

Clinton had chances to respond to charges

U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes' questioning of the fairness of the impeachment process deserves a reply. Apparently he feels that President Clinton did not have a chance to respond to charges. This is not true. His responses have been evasive when given.

The only response possible is a complete admission of wrongdoing and an apology to the people and his victims.

William D. Townsend

Lutherville

Is there a reason to doubt Clinton?

President Clinton told us that the United States' bombing attack on Baghdad is not related to the impeachment hearings.

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