Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 01, 2006

Bush tries to rewrite history on Katrina

Instead of focusing on the facts about Hurricane Katrina one year later (dead bodies still in abandoned houses, much of New Orleans still without electricity, uncollected garbage and debris in the streets along with countless homeless people, among other horrors), the Bush regime has embarked on a public relations campaign intended to do what it does best - rewrite history ("Reflecting on Katrina," Aug. 30).

The reality is that the federal government's botched response to Hurricane Katrina exposed the fact that four years after 9/11, the Bush team was unable to keep us safe.

The ones who most needed the government's help were the ones Mr. Bush and his government forgot.

Mr. Bush has either forgotten or broken his promise to learn from the disaster and to renew the fight on poverty.

As we are all in this together, it is clear that the time has come for a change.

Bob Kneebone

Towson

Abuse of Palestinians undermines security

John Murphy's article on the Palestinian Authority brings a critical issue before the public but leaves out an important aspect of the story - the U.S. role in first encouraging free elections in Palestine and then reacting to their results by imposing economic sanctions on the elected government and on the Palestinian people ("Palestinian Authority is hobbled and broke," Aug. 25).

Instead of recognizing the legitimacy of Hamas as the chosen leadership of a democratic entity, the Bush administration showed its hypocrisy by labeling the leadership as terrorists and threatening the banks operating in Palestine if they continued providing normal financial services.

This action undid years of struggle to achieve financial transparency and accountability in the Palestinian Authority's finances.

Still worse is the economic hardship caused by U.S.-supported closures of Israeli-controlled crossings in and out of Palestinian areas. While rationalized on security grounds, these closures are used by the Israeli government to minimize the economic activity that supports the Palestinian people. This policy results in deaths from curable diseases and injuries, and an increase in disease and disability among the most vulnerable, including infants, children, women giving birth and the elderly and disabled.

There is no security for anyone in the face of injustice so profound and pervasive that it amounts to slow, cruel genocide against innocent Palestinians.

It is time for Americans to see the truth - that unquestioning support for Israel costs us the respect and friendship of the world and exposes us to increasing terrorist threats.

Bea Dewing

Hyattsville

Appeasers overlook the Islamic threat

Like many of the peace-at-any-cost people in Israel, Trudy Rubin is ready to hand the knife to people who would happily cut her throat ("Negotiating with Iran may be our best hope," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 25).

Perhaps she has no knowledge of history. But it seems to me that negotiations with Adolf Hitler in the last century were an astounding failure that led to a world war.

Yet Ms. Rubin posits that negotiating with an Islamo-fascist state such as Iran is a good idea.

Perhaps she didn't hear Iran's president say on multiple occasions that he would happily blow Israel off the map.

The democratic world needs to wake up to the fact that it is at war with Islamo-fascism.

Israel is the canary in the coal mine. By the time she stops singing, it maybe too late for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, capitulationists such as Ms. Rubin continue to ply us with absurd opinions that fly in the face of reality.

Edward K. Leventhal

Baltimore

Maybe it's Rumsfeld who's truly confused

It's almost amusing to hear Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warn war critics about intellectual confusion ("Terrorists lie, Rumsfeld says," Aug. 29).

How intellectually confused is the administration that recognized an enemy in radical Islam and then attacked one of the few countries in the Middle East without a radical Islamic problem, thereby creating one?

Aaron Simon

Baltimore

Grading shell game hides real problem

The continuing stories and commentaries on the Baltimore public schools' change in minimum passing grades miss the real point.

This is a political shell game. It does not matter if we call a 60 or 70 a passing grade; what matters is what city students really know and have achieved relative to their contemporaries statewide and nationwide.

And with the possible exception of some specialized, selective schools, the city's schools in Baltimore are nowhere near on par with the public schools in the surrounding counties.

Does anyone seriously believe that grade of C in Baltimore is the same as a C in Howard, Frederick, or Montgomery counties?

Or that college admissions people don't know the difference between the academic achievement and expectations in the city and in higher-quality districts?

Grades are highly subjective, even within the same school.

It's time to stop playing word and number games.

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