Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 30, 2003

President's rush to war has made world less safe

No one should be surprised that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has "breathed new life into the jihadist movement" ("Iraq war providing a boost to al-Qaida," Nov. 22). During the buildup to the invasion, anti-war activists desperately tried to warn that this would happen.

It is frightening to contemplate, but we must now face the fact that, in its rush to war, the Bush administration has made the world more dangerous, not safer.

You can't go around invading other countries -- especially one that was posing no threat to you and had nothing to do with 9/11 (claims by the Bush administration notwithstanding) -- without enraging people and driving some of them into the arms of a movement that opposes what you are doing. In this case, for those so inclined, the obvious choice is to join al-Qaida.

The Bush administration has been nothing less than reckless in its unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq. We really shouldn't be surprised that this kind of brute force has infuriated many people in that part of the world and pushed some into the hands of al-Qaida.

Joanne Heisel

Columbia

U.S. won't allow Iraqi self-rule

Michael Hill raises a key question: Would policy-makers in the United States tolerate an Iraqi government that is not to their liking ("Searching for Democracy," Nov. 23)? I suggest that the answer is a resounding "No."

Suppose, for example, that Iraqis elected a Shiite-dominated government that nationalizes oil and forms a defensive alliance with Shiite Iran? The United States would not allow it to be sworn in.

Remember 1953, when the CIA helped overthrow the elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh because he dared nationalize Iran's oil industry? Or U.S.-sponsored coups in Guatemala, Brazil, Indonesia, Greece and Chile, to name a few related events?

U.S. policy since the end of World War II indicates that it is unlikely our leaders will tolerate anything less than a vassal state in Iraq.

Dean Pappas

Baltimore

Appropriations chief will serve state well

While this "hometown gal" appreciates the confidence The Sun expressed in me in the editorial "A Voice for Baltimore" (Nov. 20), I want to assure Sun readers and Baltimore City that the person named by House Speaker Michael E. Busch to replace Appropriations Committee Chairman Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings is an excellent one. The Speaker's choice is Del. Norman H. Conway, a veteran of that committee who has served as its vice chairman for several years ("Busch names Conway to post," Nov. 22).

I had the good fortune to serve on the Appropriations Committee with Mr. Conway at a time when we were forced by a recession to cut funds to social services and health care programs. I remember his caring and support on issues that impacted the Baltimore area and our citizens.

He is a man of great conviction, and, it is those same convictions that will continue to serve us in this region.

I look forward to working with Mr. Conway as we tackle issues important to the Baltimore region such as school funding, mass transit needs, and economic development.

Maggie McIntosh

Annapolis

The writer chairs the Environmental Matters Committee of the House of Delegates.

Slots haven't helped Delaware very much

The editorial "Sharpen your pencils" (Nov. 23) was most informative for Marylanders. But what they must know is that having "racinos" isn't what it may be cracked up to be. Just look at Delaware.

I know not what rate of return my adopted state gets from its "racinos" but I do know that even though we have no sales tax, we do have one of the highest income tax rates in the country. So I figure having these slots isn't the end-all for revenue.

Of course, we hope Maryland doesn't get slots because that would cut into our take. If Pennsylvania licenses slots, too, we are sure to see a sales tax hike or pay more income tax.

Whatever happened to the concept of full employment at a living wage with all the tax revenue that would generate?

Randall Miller

Ocean View, Del.

Woman's Exchange boosts city's renewal

The Sun's article on the revitalization of Charles Street reminds us of the importance of preserving the past and giving it life in the present ("$53 million perking up Charles St.," Nov. 25). But it had a glaring omission in the list of businesses with significant recent investment and it requires comment.

The Woman's Industrial Exchange at 333 N. Charles St. is one of the leaders in the Charles Street revitalization effort. With the help of the Abell Foundation and the France-Merrick Foundations, preservation advice from Maryland Historical Trust and the support of donors and patrons, we've completed a $2 million renovation.

We've created seven market-rate apartments, returning residents to homes above storefronts.

We've restored the first-floor kitchens and dining room, added disabled access from Pleasant Street and enhanced the value of the property as a commercial location.

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