Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 13, 2004

Killing renews nation's resolve to defeat terror

If there were any lingering doubts about why the United States is in Iraq, then the barbaric killing of Nick Berg erases them ("Captors behead civilian worker," May 12).

Although only one person was killed in this incident, the inhumane act of beheading Mr. Berg parallels the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in its atrocity.

I hope this act will ignite once again the united American passions to defeat the Muslim fanatical terrorists.

It is time to stop playing politics with the terrorist issue. It is also time to stop negotiating with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his followers, and remove this pestilence from the face of the Earth.

Ron Wirsing

Havre de Grace

Brutality is legacy of President Bush

The zealots who beheaded the innocent American Nick Berg are despicable barbarians who deserve the wrath of all sane and caring people ("Captors behead civilian worker," May 12). Their identification, capture and punishment should be a high priority.

That said, the overriding issue for Americans is whether or not Mr. Berg or any American citizen or soldier should have ever been placed in harm's way in Iraq in the first place.

The answer is no, and those who believe otherwise have been misinformed or misled by an administration that relies on a false sense of patriotism - a "my country, right or wrong" mentality - that leads to the kind of prisoner abuse that has inflamed both militants and moderates in Iraq and other Arab nations.

In short, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis and more than 700 brave American soldiers, and now the executions of nonmilitary American citizens, have become part of the legacy of President Bush.

Bill Blackwell

Timonium

Publishing photos led to grisly murder

Although I wouldn't recommend that anyone view it, we can all thank the media outlets that rushed to publish the pictures of abused prisoners at American hands for the video of the beheading of Nick Berg ("Captors behead civilian worker," May 12).

According to Mr. Berg's murderers, he was killed in retaliation for the prisoner abuses depicted and described for the world.

Would it have been too much to leave the pictures of that abuse unpublished until after the removal of American troops from Iraq?

Some will say that the media were compelled to report the abuse. Some will say that it could have waited. Some will say the timing of the publication of those pictures was un-American. Still others will say that the media will do whatever it takes to hurt President Bush.

But in the event they don't ask themselves, we can ask members of the media: Was the publication of the photos showing abuse of prisoners worth the cost?

Perhaps the publishers can ask the family of Mr. Berg.

Bruce Robinson

Baltimore

Find a way out of Iraqi quagmire

The consequences of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq continue to bring misery and suffering to both sides ("Captors behead civilian worker," May 12).

The abuses committed against Islamic prisoners of war and the subsequent brutal retaliation against American soldiers and civilian workers are only widening the conflict.

The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld triumvirate has sucked America into a war that in retrospect was doomed to fail without the support of the United Nations and the backing of all freedom-loving countries.

Now the problem is how to extricate the United States and its allies from the quagmire, for surely that is what it has become.

Albert E. Denny

Baltimore

Backing Rumsfeld puts onus on Bush

Regarding President Bush's unequivocal backing of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, I can only add that by absolving Mr. Rumsfeld, he has taken the responsibility for the torture and humiliation and Iraqi prisoners on himself ("Bush praises defense chief," May 11).

It is not Mr. Rumsfeld who should resign or face removal; it is Mr. Bush.

Bob Gray

Baltimore

Bush must clarify his own war record

President Bush must take responsibility for what he has allowed to happen in Iraq.

He can no longer hide. He must stop attacking Sen. John Kerry's war record and start telling the truth about his own.

Idalee DiGregorio

Baltimore

What teachers need: dedicated students

Gregory Kane asks if the public school students of today need better teachers ("High-quality teachers transcended Brown case," May 8). I propose that today's teachers need more students who are interested and willing to work hard to get a good education.

They also need administrators that will truly discipline unruly and disruptive students and forget about hurting the students' self-esteem - that only comes with hard work and real accomplishments.

Students need parents and a community that will provide what University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski III was quoted in the column as calling "supplemental activities - music lessons, museum trips and other things" that once strengthened a student's "thinking and reading skills."

Nina M. Harkness

Baltimore

No mention of troops from Parkville Guard

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