Lashing out recklessly would only bring us still more...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 19, 2001

Lashing out recklessly would only bring us still more enemies

The temptation to lash out in vengeance against the shadowy figures who brought true horror to our nation is great. However the potential for a vicious cycle of violence is quite real. Cool heads must prevail in the days and weeks to come.

We must resist the temptation to lash out in ways that have proven time and time again to drive more people into the radicals' arms. We cannot afford to create any more enemies.

And the more moderate political and religious leaders of the Arab-Islamic world have a vital role to play. Rather than shut them out, we should challenge them and support them in bringing the extremists in their community to justice according to the strict laws of Islam.

The reputation of Islam has been undermined by extremists. It is in the interest of moderate Muslims to bring their extreme wing under control.

But we must resist acting in a rash way that promises to stir further resentment against the West.

This would risk the very existence of our civilization as we know it. We need to step back from the brink.

Jim George

Baltimore

In our wish to punish the perpetrators the Sept. 11 attack on New York and Washington, we seem to have zeroed in on the Mideast as the source of the culprits.

But we must be careful to avoid falling into the "lose-lose" situation that exists today between the Palestinians and the Israelis, who counter each attack by counterattack, alternating endlessly.

Certainly, we must retaliate, but in determining the level of violence, it would be prudent to ask, why we are so hated? And why are people willing to give up their lives to inflict damage on the United States?

S. M. King

Baltimore

Appeasing aggressors always leads to disaster

Over 60 years ago, as war clouds gathered in Europe, British leaders attempted vainly to figure out what they themselves were doing wrong in trying to meet the demands and grievances of a fanatical dictator in Germany.

History has shown that this was the wrong approach. Germany's force needed to be met, early on, with British force.

In 2001, some would suggest the tragedies of Sept. 11 are mainly become of issues and events brought about by American policies, that the United States needs to have a dialogue with those who killed U.S. civilians on American soil.

If this sounds familiar, it should since this is the path British leaders of the 1930s took. The results speak for themselves.

Andy Passman

Catonsville

After the provocation, where will response fall?

If the Sept. 11 tragedy was Pearl Harbor, what will be Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Karl Smith

Salisbury

Deliver humanitarian aid along with the bombs

I support President Bush's declaration of war. At the same time, I suggest that the United States move swiftly to increase the amount and visibility of its international humanitarian aid.

The effect of this dual strategy, I hope, would be to emphasize the generosity and magnanimity of America even as we take destructive, yet necessary, steps to stop our enemies.

In short, we must show the world, as we unleash our military power, that our force is being used not for retribution but, as paradoxical as it might seem, in pursuit of a more civilized and humane world.

But if we drop only bombs -- while failing to airlift food and medicine -- we risk further antagonizing people who regard the U.S. as evil as well as those nations which may be on the fence about siding with us in the difficult days ahead.

Scott Sherman

Baltimore

The Bush administration provides ideal leadership

Our country is in the best hands it could possibly be with President Bush as our commander-in-chief, supported by the expertise of Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

We can take comfort in knowing that we have an administration that is up to the enormous challenge that lies ahead.

Also, in urging drilling for oil in Alaska President Bush's vision has been for the United States to be self-sufficient and not dependent on the Middle East for resources.

I hope those who opposed him in the past on this subject see things much differently now. In this time of crisis and uncertainty, we feel the peril of being dependent on these countries more than ever.

Stephanie Bagley

Mike Bagley

Timonium

Omitting `under God' sends wrong message to children

When I looked through The Sun on Thursday, I was pleased to find a poster of the American flag that I could display on my office door as a show of patriotism. I quickly realized however, that in our small classical, Christian School in Abingdon, that poster was unacceptable.

The caption read "One nation, indivisible...": How could you take God out?

The fact that the United States was founded by God-fearing men makes our wonderful country what it is. It is for the freedom to worship God that so many men and women still fight for our country.

What message do you send our children when you remove words from a creed every schoolchild knows by heart?

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