Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 13, 2004

President takes a strong stand on Israeli land

President Bush showed pragmatism and practicality when he informed the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat and the international community that Israel should not be expected to give up the Israeli communities on the fringe of Jerusalem and decrease the width of Israel at a critical point at which it is only about 11 miles wide ("Two advocates for Israel," editorial, Sept. 7).

Whether Sen. John Kerry would be bold enough to make such a statement is questionable.

President Bush has made it clear that there must be a penalty for the 56 years Arab nations and Palestinian Arabs have attempted by war and terror to destroy Israel. The loss of a few acres is little payment to Israel for the suffering the Israelis have endured.

Peace will only come when the Palestinian Arabs and their terrorist organizations realize terror will not win and that their goals can be achieved only by negotiation in good faith.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

The Geneva Accords are real road to peace

The Sun's editorial "Two advocates for Israel" (Sept. 7) makes several very important points.

As The Sun states, we need our president to "actively engage in a conflict that enflames Islamic militancy, to think creatively on intractable issues and to take political risks to reinvigorate a defunct peace process and advance it."

Unfortunately, none of the key players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be up to this task. President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are both so intimidated by Israel and its wealthy, influential lobby that they will do only what Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tells them. And neither Mr. Sharon nor Yasser Arafat wants a peaceful solution.

But the best hope for peace in the Middle East continues to be the Geneva Accords, an unofficial peace agreement negotiated last year by Israeli liberals and moderate Palestinians. Not only are these accords far more detailed than the "road map to peace," they also mark the first time that a final status agreement has ever been crafted by Israelis and Palestinians.

Whoever wins the presidency in November should take the initiative to see that this accord is implemented.

Ray Gordon

Baltimore

Wasting lives, money as nation struggles

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence should have concluded by now that President Bush's pre-emptive war in Iraq has been and will continue to be far too costly in American lives lost (more than 1,000 and counting) and in the thousands seriously injured and maimed, as well as in billions upon billions of taxpayers' dollars ("For Bush, incorrect assumptions and rising costs in Iraq," Sept. 8).

In the meantime, our country's infrastructure continues to crumble; thousands upon thousands of families are without health care; the number of people living below the poverty line is rising as many people are working for a pittance with the minimum wage at the paltry sum of $5.15 an hour while jobs are being outsourced to China, India and elsewhere abroad by corporate America; energy prices are at high levels; and our public schools are in shambles.

Yet Mr. Bush continues to spend our money fighting his war in Iraq.

One word describes this waste - lunacy.

Harry F. Cooper

Elkton

The premises of war in Iraq were wrong

Mark Matthews' article "For Bush, incorrect assumptions and rising costs in Iraq" (Sept. 8) should be required reading and probably should have been on Page 1A rather than Page 13A. It very effectively lays bare the false premises on which we went to war as "casualties climb, reconstruction falters and democracy stumbles."

I wonder if the vice president even remembers saying that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq as the toll of American lives grows worse each day.

And when will the Americans who sincerely believe that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks see that misrepresentation for what it is?

Velva Grebe

Towson

Convention appealed to baser instincts

Paul Moore's description of the Republican National Convention touched on a few of the multitudinous low points of that contrived, made-for-TV production ("Marketing campaign," Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 5).

As I see it, producer-director Karl Rove provided plenty of red meat to keep TV viewers entertained along with the people in the live audience who clapped, hooted and waved signs after each rude and disingenuous remark titillated their baser instincts.

This multimillion-dollar production might be written off as "politics as usual" if it weren't for the severity of the real and present danger to ordinary American citizens and future generations throughout the world as war and killing escalate, the environment is polluted and its beauty ravished, government is wrapped in secrecy and military might, greater wealth for the privileged at the expense of the poor is the order of the day and our nation ceases to be an example of democracy or freedom for the world.

Elizabeth W. Goldsborough

Owings Mills

A regime change for activist courts

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