Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 04, 2003

It's patriotic to protest rush to war

Instead of addressing the reasonable challenges put forth by the anti-war movement, Mona Charen is stunningly thoughtless and petty in dismissing it as anti-American and comprised of communist sympathizers ("Marching against America," Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 27).

Not only is it safe to declare communism long since dead, but one need only look to the likes of conservative luminaries such as Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger and Rep. Dick Armey to find other voices who have expresses doubts about this war.

The anti-war movement's motivations are rooted in a love for America and for the ideals it stands for, not in hate.

The only anti-Americans are those trying to deem unpatriotic a tradition that has been so fundamental in making America great: a healthy distrust of government.

John C. Marchelya

Baltimore

Mona Charen again marches out the offensive claim that those who question the president's desire to attack Iraq are "anti-American."

That's strange, because the right to dissent is one of the most cherished cornerstones of the America that I love.

Carl Aron

Baltimore

Mona Charen's column "Marching against America" was a nostalgic, if somewhat nausea-inducing, blast from the past. Once again we hear that a protest against war is the work of those all-too-familiar outside agitators and communists - reds who have hypnotized soggy-minded liberals into anti-American fervor.

I suppose it's too much to expect that Ms. Charen will ever acknowledge that there are Americans of every political stripe who are legitimately opposed to war when it runs against America's best interests and finer instincts.

Or that it's possible to be a patriot and work for peace.

Steve Stiles

Randallstown

The implication of Mona Charen's column "Marching against America" (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 27) is that the protesters demonstrating against President Bush's looming war were anti-American.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Dissent and protest are the fundamental tools by which we participate in and maintain a democracy. True patriotism demands that our elected officials be held up to public scrutiny and that every action of the administration be scrutinized.

If there are to be lives lost on either side, I am going to ask why. I am going to ask why on posters and march the streets demanding answers and responsibility of my elected officials - answers we have not received from this administration.

And although Ms. Charen would like to portray me as un-American or anti-American, I will do it because I am an American: a patriotic American who demands of my president and Congress that they act in the nation's best interests and promote the values of this country - democracy, peace and justice for all.

Yara Cheikh

Baltimore

Looking for excuse to bash America

The so-called "anti-war" movement is nothing but an anti-America movement.

Where were these demonstrators just a few months ago, when India and Pakistan were on the verge of nuclear war?

Millions of civilians were under threat of annihilation, as these two nations rushed men and machines to the border. Yet there were no demonstrations here, or in Europe, no actors calling for peace. No insults were hurled at the leaders of the two nations.

The naive fools in this country and in Europe who say they are against war are, in truth, just happy to have an excuse to rally against America.

Tony Dean

Perry Hall

Let's execute those who kill blacks, too

I believe Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele is taking the wrong tack regarding imposition of the death penalty ("Lt. governor to seek study of capital punishment," Jan. 27).

The question should not be why so many criminals are getting the death penalty for killing white citizens, but why criminals are not getting the death penalty for killing black citizens.

Oscar Schapiro

Pikesville

City policies cause death-row disparity

I read with interest the article "Lt. governor to seek study of capital punishment" (Jan. 27). And I wonder how many of the more than 200 murders a year in Baltimore are eligible for the death penalty and, if they are, why prosecutors don't seek capital punishment.

If prosecutors did, I believe we wouldn't be making such an issue over black murderers who killed white people being most likely to be on death row, because most of the murders in the city involve black people killing other black people.

Michael B. Campbell

Nottingham

NASA's key mission deserves full support

As a layman, I can only surmise that the Columbia tragedy may have been largely the result of shortcuts forced on NASA by budget restraints placed on the agency by every administration and Congress since the 1980s.

The federal government has spent billions on wasteful, pork-barrel projects while allowing one of our most important and treasured endeavors to scrimp by with the leavings.

NASA personnel are highly dedicated and skillful professionals attempting to achieve breakthroughs in the most difficult and dangerous environment ever faced by mankind.

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