Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 18, 2003

Hoping for calm does not protect nation's security

Donna Owens states in her column "America in dismay" (Opinion

Commentary, April 14) that she does not pretend to have all the answers. What an understatement. She offers only her wishes and desires.

It is easy to turn a blind eye to those who have every intention of harming the United States and its allies. It is easy to say we need to wipe the pixie dust off our eyes and make an effort to ensure that this is the last war ever. It is a nice intention, but the road to, well, you know where, is paved with such intentions.

And the only reason Americans are fearful today is because we believed, until Sept. 11, that we were somehow removed from the violence that takes place daily around the globe. In the past, we as a nation would hunt down the perpetrators of such acts and bring them to justice. And now we are doing the same thing, only we also warn those who harbor criminals that we will not accept this type of behavior.

If we ever want to be truly free, we must make the rest of the world understand that we will not stand for such terrorist acts. There is a price for freedom, and the brave men and women of the military have paid that price throughout this country's history.

Ms. Owens states that fear has not only permeated our nation's collective psyche, it has "stepped inside our homes, pulled up a chair and eaten a sandwich." I don't believe this to be the case. I believe that it is the terrorist states that now understand the meaning of fear.

As President Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

And I will go one step further to say we also have to fear those who would trade our freedoms for the lack of fear.

Lance Lewis

Gettysburg, Pa.

Syria is next target for empire-building

At last weekend's peace rally in Washington, many asked: "Who's next? Syria? Iran? Saudi Arabia?"

It is apparently Syria. Syria's deputy ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, has denied the Bush administration's allegations, but to what effect ("Marines free 7 American POWs," April 14)? The Bush administration will ignore this denial, just as it ignored U.N. protestations against its aggression in Iraq.

Is it possible for President Bush and his cronies to become any more transparent in their arrogant designs for hegemony in the Middle East?

All our president has to do is say the words "chemical weapons" and point an accusing finger, and we Americans are supposed to agree that this is righteous and justified.

This takes a page right out of the Salem witch trials. Raise popular concern to the right level of hysteria, point an accusing finger, and the condemnation is complete.

If our voices are not raised loudly enough in protest, we will one day find ourselves citizens of an empire, not a democratic nation.

Mark Grimes

Columbia

Liberation exacts a frightful cost

Last week, I read The Sun's feature article "Treasures at risk" (April 10), describing the 4,000-year-old cultural heritage preserved at Iraq's National Museum. Just three days later, I was completely sickened as I read the report, "Millenniums' riches looted in just 2 days" (April 13).

What a tragedy. Wouldn't you suppose that the same high-tech force that could mount a lightning strike in an Iraqi hospital to rescue a prisoner could have sent a special force in to defend these priceless treasures?

We are liberating a people, but at what a tremendous cost in lives, property and irreplaceable artifacts.

Robert Schulze

Elkridge

Halting bridge walk sends wrong signal

The decision to cancel this year's Bay Bridge Walk was apparently made solely in the context of homeland security ("Anti-terror effort calls off walk at Bay Bridge," April 13).

But consideration should have been given to the effect the bridge walk has on the people of the surrounding area. It makes folks feel good - and it's one of those traditional spring events that make living in this area so enjoyable.

At this time in international events, we need some springtime events that will get life in the United States back to normal - and the bridge walk is an event that can demonstrate to folks in this area that life can be normal and that we can get out and do fun stuff.

I propose that we, the citizens of Maryland, rescind the cancellation of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk and make a concerted attempt to get back to being free again.

Jim Williamson

Savage

Erosion of liberties poses a real threat

I find it sad and alarming that, on back-to-back days, The Sun ran two letters in which the slow yet steady removal of our civil liberties was waved away with the old clichM-i: If you aren't doing anything wrong, what's the big deal ("Make violators pay the price," April 13, and "Overstating threat to our civil liberties," April 14)?

One "big deal" is that, as we have seen, it results in a domino effect, in which the relaxation of one liberty justifies future relaxations.

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