Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 07, 2003

Retreat in Iraq would embolden nation's enemies

Susan Reimer's column "War deaths rekindle old feelings of protest" (Nov. 4) highlights exactly what all the weak-willed naysayers in the United States believe about the war in Iraq. Let me try to refute her weak-kneed logic for turning tail and running.

First: The Vietnam War was fought as a defensive war, with no chance of victory. U.S. servicemen were never allowed to achieve a decisive victory, which could have been accomplished if President Lyndon B. Johnson and his inane administration had let them.

Second: Where was Ms. Reimer on Sept. 11, 2001? War was declared on us that day by fanatical terrorists who have to be eradicated or, at the very least, controlled. President Bush warned us that this would be a long, hard struggle. Afghanistan was just the first step; Iraq is the second.

While terrorists are still on the loose in Iraq and our soldiers are being killed in cowardly sneak attacks, are we to leave with the job half-done? To do so would only invite more terrorism, allow the Baathists to return to power, condemn many Iraqis to the vengeance of Saddam Hussein and leave the United States open to worldwide ridicule.

We would be perceived as cowards who only fight when the odds are overwhelmingly in our favor.

Third: Ms. Reimer's comparison of Iraq's ability to understand democracy to a first-grader's understanding would be apt if education stopped with the first grade.

But having been a teacher for 33 years, I can assure her that it doesn't, and that even though a first-grader cannot fathom what democracy is, he or she will eventually learn.

So will Iraq. And that country deserves a chance.

John Reynolds

Baltimore

The writer teaches social studies at Patterson High School.

Anti-war activists never liked Hussein

Why does Thomas L. Friedman insist on claiming that what he calls the "anti-war left" considers suicide bombers and other perpetrators of attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq "liberators" ("A radical difference between Iraq, Vietnam," Opinion Commentary, Oct. 31)?

Like many U.S. journalists, Mr. Friedman relies on the shopworn, cartoonish caricatures of "leftists" that exist mainly in their own overactive imaginations.

But the fact is that it was those who opposed Mr. Bush's war who foresaw the whole bloody mess into which Iraq has descended. No segment of the anti-war movement has ever thought Saddam Hussein was a good guy, that suicide bombers are heroes or that snipers and guerrillas in Iraq are "liberators."

It simply had a sharply different understanding (some would say, a far more sophisticated understanding) about how to go about subduing such enemies, including that it helps to have allies.

Jill Raymond

Silver Spring

Terrorists in Iraq only delay peace

Our soldiers are now in Iraq as peacekeepers and policemen. The Sun's front-page article "`We're in a war here'" (Nov. 3) detailed how 16 of these soldiers were murdered as they were traveling in a helicopter to return home.

But the terrorists who murdered our soldiers were referred to as "resistance fighters" in that article. I resent this. They are terrorists, Saddam Hussein loyalists or just plain criminals who only want to regain the power they had under the Hussein regime.

The vast majority of the Iraqi people only want peace -- but peace is being delayed by these terrorists.

Stanley J. Glinka

Ellicott City

Write positive story of adoption trade

As I started to read the articles about Marshall Islands adoptions, I grew weary ("Island adoption market delivers pain and profit," Nov. 2). Here we go again, I thought, another negative adoption story getting front-page coverage. And this being Adoption Awareness Month, how great it would be to see a positive adoption story make the front page.

I do want to commend The Sun for bringing attention to this tragic story. The practices involved are sad and unfair to all concerned and should not be tolerated.

Unfortunately, by not offering a comparison to the positive practices used in other countries, this article may, for some people, put a negative light on all international adoptions.

I challenge The Sun to do an equally large, front-page feature on the legal, healthy international adoptions done in other countries.

Liz Esker

Elkridge

Work to bridge `digital divide'

This time, the mayor called an Internet plebiscite on the color of a bridge and has graciously accepted the outcome ("Mayor defeated in battle of the bridge," Nov. 1).

As more and more issues are debated and decided online, whether by City Hall or neighborhood organizations, we need to enfranchise the scores of Baltimore neighborhoods whose residents lack computer access. These are the very neighborhoods that urgently require the city services and community support most easily accessed online.

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