Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 23, 2004

War on terror must not ignore causes of anger

Cal Thomas left us no doubt where he stands in relation to the "war on terror" and who should run it in the future ("Another blow in this world war," Opinion * Commentary, March 17).

"If elected president, Sen. John Kerry would return American decision-making to the dithering and powerless United Nations," he writes. I wasn't aware that American decision-making was ever in the hands of the United Nations. And of course he also declined to examine whether the United Nations' powerlessness might be due to its lack of support from the United States.

On other points, he is even clearer. Terrorists must be "harassed, wiretapped, invaded, shut down and eliminated." He also asserts that those who disagree with the doctrine of pre-emption must be "either one of them or seriously deluded."

Well, I'm not one of "them," so I must be crazy. Or perhaps I'm one of those "academics and other remainders from the '60s" who want to attack the root causes of terrorism, who "ponder, `Why do they hate us?'" But in Mr. Thomas' version of America, that's not even a legitimate question. "We shouldn't care," he claims. Instead, we should concern ourselves with how best to "eliminate" them.

Well, I guess that's a load of worry off my back. And never mind the fact that our military action so far has utterly failed to "eliminate" terrorism - and has, in fact, been a wonderful recruiting tool for those same terrorists.

In Mr. Thomas' view, we should continue to fight the symptom while ignoring the cause of the disease: America's quest for oil; its lopsided support for Israeli interests; its Janus-like stand on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons - these are but minor details, not worthy of discussion.

In Cal Thomas' America, we should all just shut up and go back to watching American Idol, leaving the big decisions to the big players. Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Thomas, but I'll have to decline.

Jody Feezer

Mount Airy

Spanish didn't scorn effort to fight terror

When the Cal Thomases are done spouting rhetoric about Spain caving in to terrorists or repeating the error of appeasement, it might be worth stopping a moment to notice that Spain is not in any way backing out of the "war on terror" ("Another blow in this world war," Opinion

Commentary, March 17).

It has continued arresting the people responsible, and it will continue cooperating with international efforts to track and capture terrorists. And the new government has said it will even keep its troops in Iraq if command is turned over to the United Nations.

What the Spanish people are rejecting is the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Carl Aron

Baltimore

Bush is still deaf to critics' concerns

President Bush asked the world to unite in fighting terrorism ("President urges coalition on Iraq to remain united," March 20). However, Mr. Bush shows no evidence of having heard or respected the sentiments against pre-emptive war voiced again last weekend in global protests.

Reconciliation and unity can be achieved only when the opinions, rights and needs of all are respected.

Robert E. Griffin

Forty Fort, Pa.

Why not examine impact of illegals?

It's a shame our Democratic-controlled state House Economic Matters Committee killed a bill to establish a task force to study the economic impact of illegal immigrants ("City delegates reject bill to align elections," March 20).

What are they afraid of? Are they afraid that once the honest citizens find out how much tax money is being spent to provide food, housing, education and health care for illegal aliens, they would start asking questions?

People who come here illegally are criminals and should be treated as such.

Kurt S. Willem

Hydes

Let Palestinians build new bridges

Perspective section editor G. Jefferson Price III's perspective is a little off ("Good fences really don't make good neighbors," March 21).

Israel's security walls were built to protect the Israelis from the Arab suicide bombers, who value no human life - not even their own. If any innocent Palestinians have been killed in the process of destroying Arab caches of guns and munitions and the tunnels to smuggle them, this was not intentional.

However, Nuha Khoury's statement quoted by Mr. Price is correct: "We don't need fences. We need bridges."

Since the Israelis have already built the fences, let the Palestinians build the bridges.

Elaine Rosenbloom

Baltimore

Israel unable to find partners for peace

In his column "Good fences really don't make good neighbors" (March 21), G. Jefferson Price III makes many salient points about the security fence that Israel is building to keep out suicide bombers. However, it takes two sides to negotiate, and I fear that most Israelis today despair of finding an honest partner on the other side who can deliver anything except words.

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