December 04, 2008

Smoke-free zones boost public health

Almost 16 years ago, my first son was born at Sinai Hospital. As we exited the hospital to our awaiting car, his first breaths of fresh air were actually a haze of cigarette smoke.

I wrote the CEO of Sinai Hospital at the time to complain. I never heard back.

When my second son was born years later, again at Sinai, the same scenario occurred.

I applaud City Councilman Robert W. Curran's efforts and hope the City Council approves the bill to limit smoking outside hospitals ("Smoke-free zone," editorial, Nov. 30).

Susan Seim, Lutherville

City Councilman Robert W. Curran's efforts to curtail smoking outside Baltimore hospitals from their doors to the curb is the right approach to a healthier environment.

He should amend his legislation to include nursing homes, too.

Jake Mohorovic, Dundalk

The writer is a former member of the House of Delegates.

Hypocrisy stains attack on Hussein

The writer of the letter "Hussein's brutality justifies Iraq war" (Nov. 28) argues that the Iraq war was justified because of the "brutalization of innocent men, women and children" by Saddam Hussein's regime. He concludes that politicians who supported the war "have the moral high ground."

But our government allied itself for years with that despotic regime. Our CIA reportedly even helped train Mr. Hussein's intelligence network.

Only after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait threatened our economic and political interests did America act against Mr. Hussein. Similar interests prompted the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Recall also that numerous other tyrannies in Africa, Asian and Latin America have received U.S. support when it suited our interests.

If ending the brutality of Mr. Hussein's regime had been the primary reason for the war, the supporters of the war might then claim some sort of moral high ground.

But you have no such moral ground when you oppose a tyrant you previously supported only after he threatens your economic and geopolitical interests.

What you have instead is a quicksand of self-righteous hypocrisy.

Robert Birt, Baltimore

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