Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 22, 2005

Context can't soften the deaths in Iraq

Thomas Sowell makes a comparative historical argument that suggests that the casualties in the Iraq conflict are minimal in the context of past wars ("Hyping losses while glossing over victories," Opinion

Commentary, Dec. 15). This argument is specious.

Today, we have a neoconservative brain trust that has assumed for the rest of us the responsibility for deciding, in secret and with arrogance and deceit, how and when the United States should use its military force to achieve its objectives.

Iraq has been a test case for these incompetent sophists. This is the real context for the 2,150 U.S. troops dead and the 15,000 injured, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian dead and injured.

To compare the war in Iraq to World War II is fallacious. That war was justified; this conflict is not.

Every death is a monumental human tragedy; there are no contextual comparisons that soften this fact.

Fred Lobbin

Columbia

Leaders did promise war with little cost

Thomas Sowell asks whether anyone believed the war in Iraq could be fought with few or no casualties ("Hyping losses while glossing over victories," Opinion * Commentary, Dec. 15).

But that is the way the war was sold to us. Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that the Iraqis would throw flowers at our feet. President Bush claimed "Mission Accomplished" after only two months.

I wonder if either man is aware that we reached 2,000 U.S. troop deaths in Iraq more quickly than we did in Vietnam.

And since it looks like we will be in Iraq for the foreseeable future, we can expect a lot more death and severe injuries.

Also, yes, a lot of us doubt we will begin pulling out troops when it is feasible.

And what is the definition of feasible?

Braxton Andrews

Baltimore

No liberties survive if terrorists triumph

I wonder what world the naive people who are criticizing President Bush for domestic spying live in ("Bush defends his spy powers," Dec. 20).

We are at war with ruthless murderers who will kill any American or Israeli citizen they can get their bloody hands on. This is very simply a kill-or-be-killed situation.

If the terrorists obtain nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and the means to use them in a major city such as New York, instead of the 3,000 who died in the 9/11 attacks, we might have 3 million dead in the next attack.

If domestic spying can keep that from happening, it should be used.

As the Supreme Court has said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

Michael Richardson

Baltimore

It is hard to comprehend why so many people are upset about National Security Agency activities that protect American citizens.

It seems to me that only those with something to hide would oppose eavesdropping.

These are extraordinary times. We are in a war unlike any other.

And no liberties will remain if our nation does not survive.

Benedict J. Frederick Jr.

Pasadena

Moving with haste courts new disasters

Some people never learn. President Bush responded to a question about the National Security Agency spying program by saying it "enables us to move faster and quicker. And that's important. We've got to be fast on our feet, quick to detect and prevent" ("Bush defends his spy powers," Dec. 20).

It sounds as though the next "Iraq" could not be far off - as we bomb, destroy, get answers as we go along, and admit to being in error later on.

William Laudeman

Timonium

Domestic spying belies Bush's words

From a speech by President Bush on April 20, 2004:

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires - a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.

"It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

Liar.

Richard Levy

Cambridge

The wrong place to shop with cops

In theory, the "Shop with a Cop" program seems like a great idea: Children can buy toys their families can't afford while bonding with a police officer. However, I am bothered by the fact that these toys were purchased at Wal-Mart ("Police take on a new beat - shopping aisles," Dec. 18).

Wal-Mart discriminates against women and fails to provide affordable, quality heath care for many of its employees.

As the nation's largest corporation and largest private employer, Wal-Mart sets an example for the rest of the corporate world, which makes its dishonorable activities all the worse.

In the future, perhaps the Baltimore Police Department and the Optimist clubs of Hamilton and Woodlawn will review the facts before choosing the site of the "Shop with a Cop" program.

Gila Heller

Baltimore

The writer is a 10th-grade student at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School.

Turn empty lobbies into winter shelter

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