Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 10, 2004

Weapons report shows Iraq war not warranted

For more than a year, the American public has waited for weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq. It is now only too clear that this will never happen ("Top inspector says Iraq had no illicit arms," Oct. 7).

The report from the head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group reinforces what many Americans have long believed -- that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq before this war and that America went to war in Iraq based on false premises.

The report states that Iraq has not had weapons of mass destruction since 1991 and that since that time the country's ability to produce such weapons has diminished. This is in stark contrast to what President Bush has been preaching since Sept. 11, 2001.

Before the war, sanctions were working in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was contained inside Iraq and posed no direct threat to the United States.

But instead of allowing sanctions to work, the United States invaded Iraq. More than 1,000 U.S. soldiers, numerous government contractors, and countless Iraqis have died in the war that ensued. That number, unfortunately, will only continue to climb. And Iraq is now a lawless state opened up to terrorism.

President Bush created this situation and has not presented a clear plan to extract us from Iraq.

Jennifer Lewis

Columbia

Ignoring the toll war takes on Iraqis?

How is it possible that we as a country and The Sun as a reporter of the news can display such callousness toward the innocent Iraqi people?

The most damning article to date about the war on Iraq reported clearly that Saddam Hussein was not producing weapons of mass destruction before the war ("Top inspector says Iraq had no illicit arms," Oct. 7). Yet with the exception of a quote from Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, there is no mention in this article of the innocent Iraqi lives that we have taken in the war.

The number of our troops lost in this war is regularly reported, but nowhere in The Sun do I read statistics on the loss and wounding of innocent Iraqi citizens.

I am appalled by this lopsided and callous reporting.

Sarah Littlepage

Baltimore

Inspector concluded sanctions didn't work

In Friday's Sun, reporter Mark Matthews wrote: "In fact, [chief weapons inspector Charles] Duelfer concluded that the sanctions were unraveling to the point of being in `free fall' during the late 1990s as Hussein sought to exploit loopholes, manipulate the U.N. oil-for-food program and spin a web of corruption through bribes and concessions to countries, companies and even U.N. officials" ("Bush defends policy despite arms report," Oct. 8).

In contrast, the editorial "A slim reed" (Oct. 8) in the same issue stated: "The inspector's report conclusively shows that the sanctions against the regime were working."

Question: Do The Sun's editorial writers read the paper's news reports?

Evan Alevizatos Chriss

Baltimore

Gun control turns Britain more violent

In The Sun's article "Attitudes toward guns predict places in a divided electorate" (Oct. 4), law professor Mark Anderson "points to Britain -- where there are strict gun controls, and far fewer guns in the homes and on the streets -- as a model he wishes the United States would follow."

But since banning most guns from private ownership after the shootings at Dunblane in 1997, England has become the most violent Western industrialized nation, according to the U.N. Crime Victim Survey. Violent crimes have increased by 40 percent since the ban, according to British Home Office statistics.

Where's the peaceful society that was promised with comprehensive gun control? And who on earth would want to follow such an example?

James Mullen

White Hall

Make companies pay fair share of taxes

It would be interesting to learn the names of the 110 large Maryland businesses that paid no state taxes in the 2002 tax year ("Plan for tax breaks decried," Oct. 5). And I agree with Tom Hucker of Progressive Maryland that the situation is "outrageous."

I, for one, prefer to do business with companies that pay their fair share.

And it is shocking that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. feels it necessary to give financial assistance to large corporations such as Black & Decker, W. L. Gore and Legg Mason.

What other companies are getting this break?

Shirley Bowers

Baltimore

No Child Left Behind lacks the right focus

Alec MacGillis is caught up in a means-ends confusion in his analysis of the federal No Child Left Behind law ("School reform lacking how-to's," Oct. 3).

Even if the government did spell out detailed guidelines about the kind of technology to invest in, it would do little to help teachers and students. That's because the focus of NCLB is on outcomes -- not on process. While the two are interrelated, they're not the same thing.

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