Letters To The Editor


October 03, 2006

Enemy's resolve isn't reason to curb fight

Leonard Pitts Jr.'s column "In the war on truth, truth wins a battle" (Opinion Commentary, Oct. 1) posits an apparent contradiction between the president's call to remain steadfast in Iraq and a National Intelligence Estimate stating the war is spawning more Islamic radicals.

Mr. Pitts finds this conclusion alarming, as if he expected a different relationship between our waging a war against a suicidal and dedicated enemy and the enemy's willingness to fight and die.

He uses the NIE's findings as proof the war in Iraq was a strategic mistake. But Mr. Pitts' column represents muddled thinking concerning the nature of the war and our enemy, whether it be a Sunni or Shiite militiaman in Iraq, a member of the Taliban in Afghanistan or a bomb-toting suburbanite in London.

Iraq has certainly evolved into a war with unanticipated negative consequences for all sides. But it is also, for better or worse, the first real test of America's commitment to confront the status quo of radical movements and despotic regimes in the Middle East.

And unlike President Bush, Mr. Pitts naively and wrongly assumes that if we had simply ignored Iraq and accepted the status quo, we would not be involved in a fierce ideological struggle of historic proportions.

Brooks D. Tucker


The writer is a member of the U.S. Marine Corps reserves.

Spurn the senators who restrict rights

I would like to thank Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes for voting against the detainee bill ("Detainee bill wins passage in Senate," Sept. 29).

This bill, which unfortunately passed the Senate, 65-34, removes the right of habeas corpus for some prisoners and basically allows these detainees to be held in prison indefinitely whether or not they have committed a crime.

As long as the military believes the detainees are enemy combatants, all bets are off for a detainee who may be innocent.

The proof of guilt could be based on hearsay evidence and confessions obtained through "coercion" - in other words, torture.

This is something we as a country have abhorred since our Constitution was written. But now President Bush, along with 65 U.S. senators, has proclaimed that this is OK in the name of the "war on terror," although I think it clearly still is unconstitutional.

We owe it to ourselves as American citizens not to let the 65 senators who voted for this bill get re-elected and to make sure President Bush and his cronies are held accountable for all their wrongdoing, including leading this country into a bloody war without end under false pretenses.

Barbara McNamara


Bill gives president way too much power

Reading The Sun's article "Detainee bill wins passage in Senate" (Sept. 29), I was surprised that it didn't focus on the fact that under this legislation, President Bush now can declare any American citizen an "enemy combatant" based on his questionable judgment.

Torture is horrible and immoral. But if that doesn't get the public's attention, how about the idea that Mr. Bush - as the "decider" - can have people arrested and moved to a prison where they may be left to rot indefinitely, with almost no rights to prove their innocence?

This detainee bill was about more than foreigners - it was about Americans handing over their basic rights to a power-obsessed president and vice president.

It's time for America to wake up.

Lisa Mayo


Curfew curtails freedom of Iraqis

After reading "Plot fear prompts curfew in Baghdad" (Oct. 1), I remembered that we called the invasion of Iraq "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Now they can't even go out of their houses.

George Gregoire


Garages gut demand for public transit

I couldn't agree more with Klaus Philipsen that the city has no business subsidizing downtown parking lots ("Parking-garage glut sucks the life out of the city," Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 29). I would add that parking lots kill public transit where it functions best - downtown.

It's a vicious circle. The city builds parking lots for suburbanites (and their allies, such as the Baltimore Development Corp., the Downtown Partnership and the city Parking Authority).

The subsidized parking lots encourage everyone who works downtown to drive downtown. And then, because they don't use public transit, these same suburbanites complain about public investment in transit, as no one in their social circle uses it.

I would like Baltimore to take the position of cities such as Portland, Ore., and just about every major city in Europe and pointedly discourage downtown parking.

But unfortunately, the area's political class is in the habit of driving everywhere, which means getting downtown by any other means simply isn't on their radar screen.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr.


Demolition dims Charles St. trade

The closing of Charles Street during the business week to speed the demolition of the Rochambeau Apartments is another stunning example of the arrogance of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.