Ignoring the abuses N. Ireland's Catholics continue to...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 01, 2001

Ignoring the abuses N. Ireland's Catholics continue to confront

The Sun's observations on the Irish Republican Army's disposal of arms were troubling ("Disarming Irish politics," editorial, Oct. 25).

For almost three years, the Ulster Taliban of Ian Paisley and David Trimble have done everything in their power to wreck the Belfast Agreement and restore direct rule from London. The "brinkmanship" The Sun applauds was their last irresponsible act. The arms were disposed of because the IRA garrison is being dismantled, not because of any buffoonery by Mr. Trimble.

The Sun asserts "the IRA must still end murders and intimidation in the Catholic communities" to preserve the peace process. May we remind you that during the four-year cease-fire, loyalists have bombed and burned seven churches and schools, murdered 10 innocent Catholics and are presently laying siege to Holy Cross Primary School, whose students must walk through a daily gauntlet of blast bombs, urine balloons and foul invective?

If there is any reason to be encouraged about this latest chapter in the Irish peace process it is the result of the continuing generosity of an oppressed people, not the smug antics of anti-democratic bigots.

James Gallagher

Washington

The writer is national president of the Irish-American Unity Conference.

The Sun's editorial "Disarming Irish politics" says that David Trimble's brinkmanship has been "vindicated." It should have said that his membership in the sectarian and bigoted Orange Order should be canceled as long as his supporters continue their daily harassment of innocent schoolchildren in North Belfast.

This has included several bombings of the parents, death threats against a priest and three parents and bags of urine and cleaning solvent thrown at the children. And where is Mr. Trimble in all of this? He has had nothing to say.

The Sun's coverage is one-sided and supports whatever the British say. Our Irish-American community deserves better.

Randolph Healy Cecil

Kensington

Only terrorists dispute Israeli-Lebanese border

In the first paragraph of the "Foreign Digest" item "Israeli jets attack suspected Hezbollah positions in Lebanon" (Oct. 23), The Sun states that Israeli warplanes attacked Hezbollah positions after guerillas fired rockets at Israeli outposts in a "disputed" border area.

The United Nations and the international community have concluded that Israeli forces have left Lebanon and moved to the internationally recognized border.

The only groups who maintain that the area is disputed are the terrorists. Yet The Sun continues to promulgate these and other inaccuracies.

Eugene M. Fischer

Baltimore

Criticism of Israel shows the president's hypocrisy

I find it extremely hypocritical of President Bush and the U.S. State Department to pressure Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory while the United States invades Afghanistan ("Mideast violence called threat to terror fight," Oct. 24).

Are these actions not parallel, with ours on a much larger scale? Are we and the Israelis not pursuing terrorists?

Would Mr. Bush not intensify the attack on Afghanistan if one of his Cabinet members was assassinated in a hotel?

Steven Pinson

Baltimore

Feature on child poet offers comfort and hope

The Sun's article about an 11-year-old poet and "humble peacemaker" with a rare form of muscular dystrophy is a message of comfort and hope in these difficult times ("Mattie's Heartsong," Oct. 20).

When I met Mattie, I was inspired by the writings of a then 4- or 5-year-old who had experienced unimaginable grief through the loss of his three siblings and much physical pain in his own struggle to survive.

And thanks to The Sun's story I had the pleasure of seeing him again on Oct. 21 at his book-signing event.

Dr. William Sciarillo

Baltimore

Firing judicious juror is an abuse of power

I was a juror along with Karen Piscopo on the Michael Conte trial, and she was a welcome asset to our jury ("Jury duty cost her her job, clerk says," Oct. 24).

Her demeanor and desire to continue to the end of this long and tedious trial were without qualification. Because of her knowledge of court process and because she had served as a juror twice before, she shed light on questions fellow jurors asked about courtroom procedures.

I found her a delightful, well-informed young woman with a true sense of the legal process and a willingness to make sound decisions. For her to be terminated because she did not go back to her office on days the jury was excused is a frightful display of someone's misplaced power.

Lois Bedel

Baltimore

Tax credits for solar power would cut dependence on oil

Since the tragedy of Sept. 11, a few people have correctly recognized the need to pursue alternative sources of energy.

One step in this direction is the Residential Solar Energy Tax Credit Act of 2001, which would provide a 15 percent tax credit for consumers who purchase solar electric and solar thermal products.

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