Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 26, 2006

Demand for troops may require draft

It is quite apparent that the global war against terrorism will continue in full force and frustration for years to come ("At least 152 Iraqis dead in bombings," Nov. 24).

This along with the need to rotate our strained and fatigued troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the number of troops we have in places such as Germany, Japan and South Korea and now the threats from Iran and North Korea, means that the demand for additional American troops will be inevitable.

Therefore one must ask, will volunteer enlistments be sufficient to meet these demands?

We can't afford to take the chance of waiting.

I strongly believe that the government must immediately act on one of two possibilities, or both, to help resolve this quandry.

First, we must make enlistment more appealing by giving military volunteers more choices about the areas in which they will receive training for today's highly technological military before they are transferred to front-line duty.

And second, we must appoint a congressional committee to investigate the option for some form of a conscription program and then bring the proposal to the floor of both houses of Congress for an open debate.

We cannot afford to delay; we must be prepared.

Quinton D. Thompson

Towson

Misguided policies prompt resentment

Larry Goodson is wrong in his assumption that "the United States is increasingly despised around the globe" ("Winning the battles but losing the war?" Nov. 19).

Speaking as a recent immigrant from one of America's closest allies, the United Kingdom, I can assure him that the United States and all things American are as popular as ever - it is just the nature of the rogue administration in the White House and its misguided foreign policies that people despise.

In Britain, even fans of the United States despair at what has happened in Iraq. But don't feel too bad: Prime Minister Tony Blair is even more unpopular in Britain than President Bush is on this side of the pond.

And Americans should remember that the penalty for being a leading force for good in the world is that everyone will hold you to higher moral standards.

This may seem unfair but it just goes with the territory.

So I think Americans should just live with it and make the ethical and practical adjustments that Mr. Goodson suggested.

As Sir Winston Churchill, who knew a thing or two about greatness, said, "The Americans will always do the right thing ... after they've exhausted all the alternatives."

And since the midterm elections, America at last seems to be on the right road.

Ted Newcomen

Church Hill

Nuclear power still too expensive, risky

Like a mad scientist trying to reanimate a long-dead corpse, nuclear-industry apologist Olivia Albrecht tries to give life to the discredited argument that nuclear power is the solution for our long-term energy needs ("The nuclear solution," Opinion

Commentary, Nov. 19).

Indeed, from the text of her article, one could get the sense that nuclear fuel is about as benign as a cup of coffee. But in fact, nuclear energy is not the panacea Ms. Albrecht makes it out to be.

The high-level radioactive waste generated in the fueling process is a toxic brew that remains deadly for generations - one need only look to Three Mile Island or Chernobyl to see the devastating effect even a small human or system failure in a nuclear facility can have upon the environment and human health.

Furthermore, the enormous costs associated with constructing, repairing and protecting nuclear facilities - a prime terrorist target if there ever was one - make nuclear power a financial loser.

Joshua Speiser

Baltimore

What's the reason for gas price spike?

I can't be the only one who has made the following observation, and it seems rather curious.

Gasoline prices at the pump fell steadily and dramatically during September and October.

Then gas prices stopped falling, turned around, and are now gradually but consistently rising - ever since the election ("Baltimore drivers hit road as gas prices rise," Nov. 22).

If my nose wasn't stopped up with fall allergies, I might smell some sort of conspiracy.

Iver Mindel

Cockeysville

Taneytown is right to embrace English

As a parent of a deaf daughter, I do not feel that Donald Langenberg's letter "Taneytown unfair to deaf citizens" (Nov. 19) is accurate.

My family speaks English and we converse with our daughter through signed English and American Sign Language.

American Sign Language is not a distant language - and it should not be compared with Chinese in the way Mr. Langenberg does.

And where does he come off saying that the deaf are not welcome in Taneytown?

No one is demanding that the deaf population use spoken English. They speak English with their hands.

I do not believe for one minute that Taneytown's City Council has erected a billboard that says, "Deaf Keep Out!"

I believe Mr. Langenberg owes every deaf person in Taneytown an apology.

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