Hunt for bin Laden must respect precepts America...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 20, 2001

Hunt for bin Laden must respect precepts America treasures

I just heard the president has hinted at having his suspect apprehended either "dead or alive" ("Take bin Laden `dead or alive,' president says," Sept. 18). How appalling in a land that prides itself on a justice system in which you are innocent until proven guilty.

Our president has now decided that he is the new law and order and become the judge and jury who has declared that bin Laden is not only guilty, but that he may justifiably be killed in the name of law and order.

Has our president lost his sense of what America means?

I say that the appeal should be "Osama bin Laden wanted alive, reward of $5 million in gold paid for him and $1 million in gold paid for his lieutenants," but only if they are handed over alive and alive only so that they may stand trial.

And why would we want them alive?

Because we as Americans deserve to see and hear what documented proofs the U.S. government may have.

And because we as Americans know without a doubt that the American way is to have any and all criminals brought to trial before their peers.

Henry Meseke Immanuel

Ellicott City

As a Christian and a loyal American who served voluntarily for six years in the United States Navy in World War II, it was with real concern that I read that President Bush wants Osama bin Laden delivered "dead or alive."

The God who Mr. Bush and I both worship, dying on His cross, said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

The fools who flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon died for their sins. Let us bring their co-conspirators to justice, not unlawful death.

Even a holy war must have an end.

John M. Nelson III

Cockeysville

Bush stands tall for nation's values

While in the grip of the cowardly attacks on America, I am thankful that the nation has a leader who stands tall against the enemies of American values.

President Bush demonstrated his stalwartness as he beseeched God's guidance and proceeded with confidence in dealing with the catastrophe and with genuine compassion for those directly affected.

As I pray for the victims and our beloved country, I also pray that Congress will support Mr. Bush in our fight against the tyrants who threaten our very existence.

Eve Lallas

Kingsville

Arab regimes must put radicals out of business

After the events of the past week,an ongoing military and intelligence effort to thwart terrorism is appropriate and necessary. But enlisting the Arab world in reeducating their people is the only long-term solution.

Currently, when a Palestinian suicide bomber attacks a civilian population in Israel he is treated as a hero and a martyr. His picture is carried on posters and his family is treated as dignitaries.

This must change. The family should feel shame and the bomber should be remembered as a criminal.

Arab governments need to confront the misinterpretation of Islamic principles and put these radicals out of business.

But as long as the current ideologies persist, we may be able to contain the acts of terror but they will continue.

Jonathan Hamburger

Baltimore

Osama bin Laden was once our ally

In light of recent events it must be noted that in the 1980s the United States supplied Osama bin Laden and the Afghan Muslim rebels with sophisticated weaponry and materiel in their war against the Soviet Union.

This begs the question: What is the difference between a "terrorist" and a "freedom fighter"?

Arthur Laupus

Columbia

Outflank the terrorists by aiding the oppressed

If we follow the lead of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, we'll attempt to shoot our way out of the present calamity. But it can't work. Do Israelis sleep more soundly now than they did 20 months or 20 years ago?

Fortunately, we can outflank all terrorism by rising to our full height and dignity.

If we are truly the champion of all oppressed peoples, we'll work tirelessly for a Palestinian state. We'll show mercy to the people of Iraq and bring our troops home from Saudi Arabia.

We'll initiate international investment in an economic renaissance for all parts of Asia and Africa.

We'll be a better Robin Hood than Osama bin Laden could ever be.

Gabe Sinclair

Towson

Declaring war is no way to safeguard our shores

Jonathan Turley's column "U.S. can beat bin Laden without a war" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 18) has given perspective to how our current lawmakers should approach retalliation -- that is, by treating Osama bin Laden and all involved in this attack as pirates.

We cannot declare war on a bandit group not recognized as a state. Our money and manpower should be used to strengthen our own borders and and keep track of temporary visa holders.

We should not risk more lives for revenge, but spend our resources on protecting the United States and our freedom.

Julie Wittelsberger

Parkton

Tragedy brings forward new generation of heroes ...

Like so many others of the "greatest generation," I have wondered who would be the heroes of our present time.

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