Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 12, 2006

Ignoring the images of success in Iraq

Clarence Page's column "Covering the war while fighting it" (Opinion * Commentary, July 7) struck a nerve.

His thesis is that "cameras should be issued to all of our soldiers. Then we wouldn't have to wait for the Pentagon or the White House to let us folks back home know what we should be outraged about."

As a retired soldier who has been to Baghdad, I can promise you that there are thousands of images and videos shot by soldiers sent home to America that depict all of the good works of our forces in Iraq - schools opening, power restored, water stations repaired, Iraqi soldiers trained, hospitals built, supplies donated and public relations activities.

However, Mr. Page and the rest of the mainstream media follow the "If it bleeds, it leads" theory of journalism, and these images never seem to make it to the news.

For instance, The Sun routinely lists the U.S. casualties of the war regardless of whether they have any connection to Baltimore. But it routinely fails to cover re-enlistments, awards and other good news for Maryland soldiers.

Please tell Mr. Page that he can find the kind of images he proposes we should obtain from Iraq on several blogs.

However, they will disappoint him - as they are overwhelmingly images of success in Iraq, not failure.

Douglas Dribben

Woodstock

Local soldier died for a foolish war

The Rev. Ross Syracuse has it all wrong: Army Spc. Michael J. Potocki did not give his life for all of us; his young life was stolen from him because a political war of choice was foisted on the military and this country by a president and vice president who seem to be devoid of morality ("Soldier `gave his life for all of us,'" July 9).

Rather than tears of mourning, there should be screams of outrage that this occupation continues three years after we began the war and that more than 2,500 military men and woman have been killed, as well as tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, whose horrible fate was apparently of no concern to this president.

Many more innocents will die unless we leave Iraq immediately, tear down the bases we are building and devote ourselves to building peace and justice for all nations.

That is the special mandate of this country.

It is what Americans are supposed to do.

I mourn Specialist Potocki's useless death. But he did not die for me.

I am sorry beyond words that he had to die at all.

Maria Allwine

Baltimore

Nader's lament is truly a wake-up call

It would be easy to dismiss Ralph Nader's column "Break down barriers to minority parties" (Opinion * Commentary, July 9) as sour grapes, but really it should cause us to wake up and smell the coffee.

For any who may blame Mr. Nader for Al Gore's loss of the presidential race in 2000, it would be better that we look at our complacent and defeatist attitude and spend more time, as Mr. Nader said, in "groundbreaking agitation and educational campaigns."

While it might have been tactically better to vote for Mr. Gore, it is our view of political office as a game to be won, that keeps us from addressing the most important and difficult issues in a way that truly looks at our long-term greater good instead of short-term glory.

Judith Kaplan

Glyndon

Israel's attack only adds fuel to the fury

If Israel treated the Palestinians with some humanity and respect instead of continuing its brutal oppression and occupation of them, then perhaps groups such as Hamas wouldn't be so popular among what was once one of the most secular populations in the Arab world ("Israelis won't leave Gaza," July 10).

Israel's recent acts of collective punishment will surely create more hatred, anger and despair among Palestinians.

Therefore, support for radical religious groups, suicide bombings and terrorism will continue as well.

Paul Baroody

Baltimore

Eliminating assets that made Sun shine

If a reader happened to look inside the Business section of Friday's paper, he or she discovered that The Sun is taking another giant step backward by eliminating the last of its foreign bureaus ("Tribune Co. is closing Sun's foreign bureaus," July 7).

Ten years ago there were eight bureaus; today there are three; soon there will be none.

In an Orwellian pronouncement, Editor Timothy A. Franklin says, "We'll continue to have a storied tradition of foreign reporting - just in a different form." Right.

This is just the latest sign of good journalism and The Sun parting company.

The Washington bureau seems to have all but disappeared. The local editorial cartoonists have disappeared. The Maryland section is heading in that direction. Many familiar bylines have gone elsewhere.

Having foreign bureaus, a large Washington bureau and top-rated cartoonists made The Sun unique. Now what does so?

The closing of the foreign bureaus is rationalized by saying duplication will be avoided and other corporate papers will take up the slack.

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