Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 29, 2006

Falling gas prices won't bail out GOP

Columnist Victor Davis Hanson gleefully opines that the slight bump in President Bush's approval ratings, which is mainly tied to the reduction in the price of gasoline, will allow the Republican Party to sneak out wins in November as the Democrats stand pat ("The Republican tortoise is gaining on the Democratic hares," Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 22). He's whistling in the graveyard.

Unfortunately for Mr. Hanson and similar GOP optimists, this polling uptick, which is very minor, is not a trend.

When gas prices spiked, of course there was widespread discontent among the American people.

Anger was initially directed toward those in power - who are mostly Republican.

However, people grudgingly made adjustments and got used to the $3-plus-per-gallon prices, and the animosity dissipated to an extent.

The same thing will happen with the lower prices: early euphoria, to be sure, but, again, the initial "shock" will wear off.

And the gas price problem was only one of many concerns for the American people.

It was not the driving cause for the disaffection with the Republican-controlled White House, Congress and courts.

The issue that is in the forefront of people's minds now is one Mr. Hanson glossed over like it was no big deal: Iraq.

The voters will continue to see the war in Iraq as an abject failure - from its unjustified inception to the incompetent planning and execution in winning the peace.

The blame for this colossal travesty will be directed to the Republican president, vice president, secretary of defense and all the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate for their support of this boondoggle, which has cost us thousands of lost and broken lives, depleted our treasury, created more enemies, diminished our standing in the world and left us weaker in the war on terror.

The few bucks a tankful the voters will save until the election will not make them forget about the war.

Steve Charing

Clarksville

No place for torture in nation's precepts

The recent debate in Congress over military tribunals and the treatment of prisoners is very disturbing to me, as it likely is to the rest of the civilized world ("Congress nears OK of terror tribunals," Sept. 28).

When the world's most well-established democracy debates how much torture to allow on prisoners, without due process of law, we should all worry.

Despite the semantic maneuvering and legal wrangling, I think nearly every American would consider interrogation procedures such as repeated simulated drowning to be torture.

To force those who have suffered such treatment to then stand trial based on the information extracted during that torture runs contrary to the very principles on which our nation was founded.

There is no place for torture anywhere in the laws or values of the United States.

There is no room for forced confessions or trials with secret evidence.

Are we fighting the despots and tyrants? Or are we fighting to become despotic and tyrannical?

Omar Siddique

Ellicott City

Further withdrawals will endanger Israel

In his column "Unilateral withdrawal is Israel's best option" (Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 26), Evan Goldstein in effect repeats the discredited plan of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Kadima Party to withdraw from territory that is vital to the defense and security of Israel.

The expulsion of the Jewish inhabitants of Gaza has led to control of that area by Hamas, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad, groups that all have one objective - the destruction of Israel.

It is now clear that the Jewish presence in Gaza was required for the safety of the adjacent areas of Israel.

The idea of withdrawing from strategically critical areas of the West Bank, and thus leaving them under control of terrorist elements, would endanger not only the southern section of Israel but all of that nation.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Name a new bridge for an old governor

In honor of his years of dedicated service to the people of the state of Maryland, the proposed new bridge over the Chesapeake Bay should be named "the Gov. William Donald Schaefer Memorial Bridge."

Arlene Levy

Owings Mills

Steele's masquerade deserves criticism

The Republicans apparently haven't yet realized that their transparent efforts at spinning the unspinnable aren't working anymore.

For instance, the Republican writer of the letter "Betraying big bias against Steele effort" (Sept. 26) asserts that Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele is merely "seeking and gaining the support" of Democrats, and that The Sun's article "Democrats accuse Steele of `political identity theft'" (Sept. 22) "berated" the Republican "for daring to reach out to historically Democratic voters."

Actually, the article was about the incredible fact that Mr. Steele's campaign, in a pathetic and desperate attempt to distance itself from President Bush and failed Republican policies, has produced blue lawn signs that simply say, "STEELE DEMOCRAT."

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