Suspend support for Israel's war After decades of...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

March 16, 2002

Suspend support for Israel's war

After decades of Israeli confrontation with the Palestinians, even the most determined war hawk should see that policy has failed and that the cost in Israeli and Palestinian lives is rising.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's brutal repression of the Palestinians has strengthened the will of their militants to strike back with their own brutality. Even his most dedicated supporters should realize that Mr. Sharon cannot forge a peace by waging war.

To encourage change, the United States should suspend all support for Israel's war against the Palestinians, because continued support with money, arms and war materiel stains the hands of the U.S. taxpayer with Israeli and Palestinian blood.

Escalation of troubles in the Middle East has brought previously unimagined tragedy to America's shores. If we continue to support Mr. Sharon's bloody policy, we will deserve what we get.

Americans should be mindful that we have been hit once, and we could be hit again and harder next time.

Continued attacks by Israel against the Palestinians will eventually encourage militant partisans to use weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons are available, and will be used if no other recourse is available.

For all of our sake, Mr. Sharon should be invited to retire to let someone else try to find a solution - a bloodless one.

H. K. Kuvshinoff, Baltimore

Question of the Month

After PSINet Inc.'s bankruptcy, the Ravens intend to resell the name of the city's football stadium. Should the team have control of the stadium's name? And what would you call the stadium?

We are looking for 300 words or less; the deadline is March 21. Letters become the property of The Sun, which reserves the right to edit them. By submitting a letter, the author grants The Sun an irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use and republish the letter, in whole or in part, in all media and to authorize others to reprint it. Letters should include your name and address, along with a day and evening telephone number. E-mail us: letters@baltsun.com; write us: Letters to the Editor, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278-0001; fax us: 410-332-6977.

An officer just doing his job

New standards for arrogance and condescension were set by Dan Rodricks regarding the dismissal of Baltimore police Maj. Donald E. Healy ("Elementary lesson in the error behind police ouster," March 8).

If, as Mr. Rodricks supposes, a black police major in Baltimore County sent out a memo instructing officers to stop white males in a particular area in their search for a violent white criminal, he would be hailed as a hero.

You see, the job of the police is to protect the rest of us from violent criminals, regardless of their race.

The problem with government in Baltimore City is that there is more concern over political correctness, holding power and getting re-elected than achieving results such as getting violent criminals off the streets and educating children.

That is why people continue to leave Baltimore.

Results matter, rhetoric does not.

Michael R. Baxter, Parkville

Imagine that a white man was identified as a rapist. Knowing this, Maj. Donald E. Healy had sent out a memo that read: "Every white man at the scene of the crime must be stopped."

I can assure all your readers that there would be no accusations of profiling and no public outcry.

In this case, the perpetrator was identified as a black man. Well, common sense suggests that you search for only black men in relation to this crime.

Of course "profiling" will occur. If a rabid red fox bit your leg, you don't hunt down raccoons. You hunt for the rabid red fox.

It's a waste of resources not to profile.

W. Thomas Sjolander, Baltimore

I find it disgraceful that a highly decorated police major was ousted from his position through forced retirement because he was out to catch a gun-wielding rapist who attacked a 57-year-old woman.

I am outraged that Maj. Donald E. Healy felt the need to apologize for doing his job. It sounds like the city lost a wonderful officer.

My sympathy goes to the victim, who seems to have been forgotten, not to the individuals who were offended by Mr. Healy's memo.

S. Smith, Perry Hall

Chief made right call on memo

Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris has been criticized from both sides for his handling of Maj. Donald E. Healy's memo ("Memo, outrage swiftly ousted officer," March 7).

One side says the memo is indicative of a prejudicial attitude among officers.

The other side says Mr. Healy's forced retirement is political correctness in the extreme. Both sides are wrong.

The vast majority of officers know racial profiling is a sensitive issue among the African-American community and respect that.

No officer is unaware of the issue, and it is likely many felt uncomfortable reading Mr. Healy's memo.

Mr. Healy, a good person and capable officer, made a careless mistake.

Careless, and unintentional, no doubt, but not without costs to the police department.

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