Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 02, 2002

Hold America to high standard on human rights

The Sun's editorial "Saddam's response" (Sept. 18) was right in calling for a strong United Nations resolution on Iraq, but the United States should hold itself to the same standard of respect for international law.

It is embarrassing to mock Iraq for ignoring U.N. resolutions when the United States has ignored resolutions calling on us to pay U.N. dues we owe.

Likewise, President Bush chastises Saddam Hussein for violating human rights and concealing prisoners of war. But the Bush administration is sabotaging an international criminal court designed to call human-rights violators to account.

That court would give the world a much more effective response to war crimes and to massacres of minorities, like those in Rwanda, Bosnia and Iraq. If he were serious about preventing genocide, President Bush would work for the international court, as well as against Mr. Hussein.

Mr. Bush's criticism of Mr. Hussein for repressing Kurds and other minorities also carries the stench of hypocrisy. We allow China to occupy Tibet and Russia to brutally crush the Chechens. Indonesia just set free some soldiers who murdered Timorese, and the Bush administration wants to reward the Indonesian army with stronger ties.

Making war on Iraq in the name of the Kurds only makes sense if we hold our allies to the same standard.

Matthew A. Feigin

Baltimore

Give the president a ticket to Baghdad

Let's see. Iraq is in violation of a string of U.N. resolutions. So is Israel. Shall we bomb Tel Aviv? Hmm. Iraq is a dictatorship seeking weapons of mass destruction, but it is no threat to its neighbors, who oppose President Bush's hunger to go to war.

Pakistan is a dictatorship with known weapons of mass destruction with which it threatens its democratic neighbor, India, and it certainly supports terrorists in Kashmir. Shall we bomb Karachi?

If this war-happy president is so anxious to go to war with Iraq, give him a rifle and an airline ticket to Baghdad.

John V. Chamberlain

Towson

Opposition to strike on Iraq is growing

Sen. Tom Daschle's condemnation of President Bush's statement that senators are not interested in the security of the American people is a step in the right direction ("Daschle seeks Bush apology for patriotism," Sept. 26).

But Mr. Daschle needs to take the next step: Holding back congressional approval of the president's dangerous crusade for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq.

If anything is threatening U.S. security, it is the president's attempts to initiate military action without the support of the United Nations or many of our allies. Such action against Iraq would, in effect, identify the United States as the only viable target for future terrorist attacks.

Mr. Daschle needs to listen to the voices of Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State Colin Powell and other senior officials who have advised a more diplomatic strategy in our dealings with Iraq.

He needs to listen to the Democrats who have had the courage to speak out against a unilateral invasion. Most important, he needs to listen to the American people who are increasingly critical of a pre-emptive strike.

Emily Lattimore

Baltimore

Bush should put cards on the table

The easiest way for President Bush to get his way with the United Nations, Congress and the American people is to stop trying to bully everybody and show us the proof that he says that he has.

Charles Woodford

Baltimore

FBI can't handle more information

Let me see if I understand this: The same U.S. Department of Justice that did not have the time, personnel or understanding to follow up a memo supported by facts from one of its own agents regarding potential acts of terrorism ("FBI agent was on scent of 9/11 plot," Sept. 25) now enlists all Americans to report anything that looks suspicious.

Have things changed so much that the FBI now has the resources to follow up each tip -- or to plow through them to find the most viable?

Or could this just be another tactic by the administration and the Justice Department to simulate action and progress when there is none?

Susan Sachs Fleishman

Baltimore

Internet users need anti-virus guards

I am appalled that The Sun would print the atrocious advice given in James Coates' column "Setting for files can operate as a firewall" (Sept. 26).

To claim that turning off file sharing is sufficient security for anyone surfing the Web, let alone for those with DSL or cable connections to the Internet, is the equivalent of telling someone in a high-crime area, "It's OK, you can just dodge the bullets."

A good anti-virus package, kept up to date, is an absolute must. Not all viruses reach you in suspicious-looking e-mails. From my own experiences and those of my clients, I can attest that viruses can just as easily come in legitimate e-mails from friends and associates who are not protected.

I recommend firewalls for anyone who uses the Internet, and would say they are a necessity for anyone with an "always on" or broadband (cable or DSL) connection.

B. Field

Hanover

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