Terrorist as ally
George Bush has welcomed a terrorist as an ally ' because, in war, expediency outweighs principle. If our president would use a little foresight, he might be able to persuade Hafiz Assad to free the U.S. hostages who are being held in Syrian-controlled Lebanon.
Waste of time
President Bush is sending James Baker to Baghdad. Macho, egotistical, warmonger Bush is sending Baker with the same hardline, threatening, militarily aggressive message the administration has been talking, rather than sending Baker to negotiate a peaceful settlement. That makes the trip worthless.
Harry E. Bennett Jr.
Follow the leader
President Bush is getting ready to wage war in the Middle East in the name of the American people. As Lt. Col. Ollie North said: He [Bush] is our commander-in-chief, and we must follow wherever he leads us no matter what or who or when or how or where. Let noncombatant immunity be damned!!
If pilots and bombardiers refuse to comply with the order of the commander-in-chief, will they be charged with treason and shot? Rep. Dan Rostenkowski wants to tax Americans for Bush's Mideast venture. Why can't those who declare war pay for it?
Herbert J. Scism
Attack Iraq now
I believe that by releasing the hostages Saddam Hussein is buying time to develop nuclear weapons and move his troops into position. Whatever Saddam does, he does for himself, and I doubt he will give up Kuwait it's much too rich a prize. Many of the members of Congress have shown the world how naive and idealistic they are. It's good to love peace, but very foolish to wait until your enemy is as strong as you are and it becomes necessary for you to fight him for your survival.
I agree with President Bush, Secretary of State Baker and others who argue it's far better to attack now and lose a few thousand lives while we have the superior strength than to wait and lose hundreds of thousands when the enemy is much, much stronger.
Stop the buildup
Judging from the plethora of letters to the the Forum, the literate majority clearly opposes sending troops to Saudi Arabia. So when are we going to hear from the illiterates who support Bush's escalation?
A. Robert Kaufman
Respect the U.S.
No cross or star of David is allowed to be worn by our troops in Saudi Arabia. No American flag will fly in the gulf. One U.S. spokesman recently said: "Out of courtesy to the host nation, we don't fly flags. It's us respecting them." How about them respecting us? Americans are putting their lives on the line, so why should they have to apologize for being Americans of a faith other than Islam?
I guess when our troops start coming home in body bags, Saudi Arabia and our U.S. commanders won't mind allowing the American flag to be draped over their caskets.
The oil barons and the State Department are selling this country down the drain to appease Arabs. It has been reported that Syria has been given approximately $1 billion (part of which is U.S. dollars) for participating in the coalition against Iraq, and it is trying to buy surface-to-surface missiles, jet fighters and tanks from North Korea with the money. Syrians invaded Lebanon and killed thousands of Christian Arabs; are they to be rewarded for this while American Christian and Jewish soldiers lay down their lives to assist a country that is offended by our flag?
Working for affordable city housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has made earnest efforts to work with Baltimore city in correcting the problems identified in the recent report sent to the city's Department of Housing and Community Development.
The staff of the Baltimore HUD office must continue to do a thorough job of reviewing programs to ensure that federal funds are spent as mandated by Congress. In doing so, we are safeguarding the funds available for housing and community development needs so that they are spent effectively and that they reach those for whom they are intended. The city of Baltimore should do no less.
Each year Baltimore city receives about $22 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and approximately $5 million in program income. As the grantee, Baltimore city is given the responsibility for the expenditure of those funds. In assuming this responsibility, the city certifies to the federal government that it will spend the money in accordance with federal laws and regulations.
The purpose of our monitoring of the block grant program is to ensure that the funds are used as the law intends primarily to benefit low- and moderate-income residents. For years HUD has assisted the city in addressing problems associated with the management of block grant money and oversight of its sub-recipients through training, technical assistance and support. We are continuing this effort.
Maxine S. Saunders
The writer is manager of the Baltimore office of HUD. 5