Press has no right to endanger the lives of American...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 26, 2001

Press has no right to endanger the lives of American soldiers

The Sun's editorial concerning the free press missed a couple items ("A high-tech information war," Oct. 15).

What would be the penalty for an editor whose actions resulted in the deaths of U.S. servicemen or women? Death? Life in prison? What would he or she say to the mother and father of those servicemen? Husband or wife? Son or daughter?

The Sun argued: "But editors, not government, must be the arbiters of what's fit to air or print." What experience in international military operations would it use to make such life-or-death judgments?

I'm proud to serve my country. I'm honored to defend your freedom.

Please do not risk the lives of my fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines or Coast Guardsmen because of what you call "goofy restrictions on the media."

Tim Donahue

Fort Meade

The writer is a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army.

There is nothing more important to a democracy than the free exchange of ideas and information. And our Bill of Rights guarantees it. However, when troops or police are at risk, information specific to their security must be protected.

We can argue about sending troops; we can argue about bringing them home; but we must not release facts about ongoing operations that could put lives at risk.

However, we must not confuse censorship for operational safety with censorship for political comfort. The latter is categorically unacceptable.

Nicholas Clemens

Columbia

Colonialism isn't the cause of Middle East's turmoil

Michael Hill's column "Scars of colonialism are not quick to fade" (Opinion

Commentary, Oct 14) is a shameful and naive justification for the wanton, calculated and cold-blooded attack on the citizens of the United States on Sept. 11.

Mr. Hill insinuates approval of the view that we have brought this attack on ourselves through our cynical manipulation of weak and corrupt regimes in the Middle East. This view is a blatant distortion of the facts and reeks of appeasement.

The turmoil and injustice in the region is clearly the fault of the local elites and their supporters, who despicably exploit both the poverty and ignorance of their own people to their own advantage.

The elites are very often the instigators and, not often enough, the victims of ancient tribal and sectarian grudges. These animosities have condemned the people of that region to perpetual poverty and pain. No freedom of speech or thought is allowed. Women are chattel.

It is they who have sown the wind. It is they who will surely reap the whirlwind.

Michael L'Altrelli

Baltimore

Sharon's belligerent path only causes more violence

The Sun's article reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned the U.S. not to "appease the Arabs at our expense" ("Sharon rejects U.S. pressure for restraint," Oct. 8) should be answered by: "Don't continue suppressing the Palestinians at our expense."

From controlling less than 50 percent of Palestine after the United Nations-brokered partition in 1947, Israel now has absorbed more than 80 percent of the area for itself and, under Mr. Sharon, appears bent on effectively occupying the remaining land on which the Palestinians live.

It is obvious that a significant cause of the Arab and Muslim rage that precipitated the Sept. 11 attacks was the increasing tilt toward Israel in U.S. policy.

The United States must vigorously and publicly disassociate itself from Mr. Sharon's approach, which has only led to more violence.

Harry Brodie

Fulton

Undermining Israel to win short-term Arab backing

The United States is waging a just war against the terrorists who perpetrated the dastardly deeds of Sept. 11. Unfortunately, while doing so, it is courting those who openly support and play host to terrorist groups, including Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

And, while pursuing those who planned and financed the terrorist acts in New York and Washington the United States is condemning Israel for hunting down people who planned such acts as the suicide bombings of a pizzeria in Jerusalem and a disco in Tel Aviv.

By doing this, the United States is scaring a longstanding ally to win short-term support from the Arab world.

Amnon Birenzvige

Joppa

What right do we have to kill innocent civilians?

I have one question to American citizens: If it's wrong for them to attack and kill our innocent civilians, what makes it right for us to attack and kill their innocent civilians?

Margaret Baldridge

Baltimore

`Amistad' replica brought life to the Inner Harbor

The replica of the Amistad has come and gone, but it has left a great impression upon many Baltimoreans of all racial and ethnic groups. But I was disturbed by Gregory Kane's depiction of one student's bad behavior as typical of Baltimore City students ("An Afrocentric curriculum won't make students better," Oct. 13) .

The Amistad replica was geared to raise cultural and historical awareness. It had nothing to do with ebonics or an Afrocentric curriculum.

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