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Caller IDEditor: In Roger Simon's recent article...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Caller ID

Editor: In Roger Simon's recent article on Caller ID, he was incorrect in his assumption that Caller ID would make having a non-published number useless. Simon should have realized that non-published numbers would still not be accessible to the general public. The caller with an unpublished number can only be identified by those people he calls. Therefore, having an unpublished number would still serve a purpose.

John Homans.

Baltimore. Editor: Though I want peace just as much as anyone, I can't understand those who would have it without cost. What these "peace-mongers" don't seem to understand is that having peace is a luxury, somewhat like owning a home. There is a price one must pay to enjoy its comforts. When the blue ink of diplomacy fails, as now, payment must be made with the red ink of war.

The "peace-mongers" argue that we have no business being in the gulf; that we are not the world's policeman; that this is strictly an Arab problem. These people have lost sight of our role as the leader of human rights around the world.

The rape of Kuwait, the destruction of her children and her neighbor's cry for help made it essential that we intervene. If that wasn't reason enough, the threat of a nuclear-capable Iraq, as well as the potential for Saddam Hussein to hold hostage every barrel of oil in the Middle East, made intervention imperative.

It is not just in defense of America and its way of life that our troops are in the gulf. They are there for all the decent, peace-loving people. "Peace-mongers" need to remember that we as a nation think not only of ourselves, but also of the well-being of others. This we must do if we would continue to promote freedom and democracy around the globe.

The president has thus far done an outstanding job in his handling of the crisis and, like the troops, deserves our heartfelt support. Even the support of "peace-mongers."

Luis Ranzolin.

Silver Spring.

Misrepresentation

Editor: On the morning of Jan. 16, the day after Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and President George Bush's foreboding deadline, I found my picture placed next to a misleading headline on the front page of The Sun's Today section.

The headline read "Hell No, We Won't Go. Once Again, Students Rise In Protest." The event that the article referred to was a church service, followed by a march, which honored Dr. King and supported a peaceful solution to the gulf crisis.

What was called a student uprising in the article was, in fact, a passive gathering consisting of members of the church, children with their parents, a handful of students, and various other concerned citizens.

While at the demonstration, I did not hear anyone say anything even close to, "hell no, we won't go.

Rather, there were calls for peace and jobs for the poor. The people I witnessed at the demonstration expressed great care for American people and society, not opposition to them.

I have a relative in the gulf, as do some of the people I spoke with at the gathering. It was certainly not my intention and I do not think it was anyone else's to show opposition to relatives and countrymen in the gulf.

Rather, it was a demonstration in support of peace for America and the world, peace for soldiers and civilians, on the eve of war. I feel that the article did not express the true nature of the demonstration and I deplore such misrepresentation.

Dan Madey.

Baltimore.

Cost of War

Editor: I hate war. I hate to think of the death and injuries that will come to our troops in the Persian Gulf. Victory will add to our ego, but will be meaningless in the overall picture of the Middle East in the future.

Would a cease-fire cause Saddam Hussein and the United Nations to negotiate terms? I hardly believe Hussein is yet in a position of defeat or will think with his mind. He will only act out his emotions.

I have mixed feelings concerning this conflict. On the one hand, I can understand the U.S. and U.N. effort to stop the encroachment of Iraq, with the possible take-over of other nations in the Mideast.

On the other hand, I can sympathize with the protesters of the war, feeling that were it not for oil, we would not be involved.

I am certain that we will prevail, but at what cost? Have the political wheelers and dealers thought of the future and what will evolve from this conflict and how to deal with it?

The desire for power among the few, creating unrest in the people, will upset the equilibrium of the entire planet.

J. Carmel.

Baltimore.

Lost Innocence

Editor: Each generation experiences an awakening to life's realities and an accompanying loss of innocence. My generation (I am 17) has fallen into the gutter of superficiality and overt materialism. Reality is not yet a concept to be understood. We worry about trivial matters: whether someone else will be wearing the same dress as I am, whether my nail polish matches my outfit, whether I'll get the car tonight. The exploding conflict in the Middle East has brought reality into perspective for us. With the freshness of the war, like the crisp crimson of recently spilled blood new in our minds, innocence will fade for this generation, only to be replaced by the starkness of reality.

The omnipotent threat of death has not become truly tangible. We are young, beautiful, new drivers, new dreamers. We are the future; we are immortal. The gulf war will shatter that vision like fragile china hurled upon cold, unyielding concrete. The possibility of the draft directly affects us. Eighteen-year-old boys could be sent to the inferno in the gulf, only to have their newly blossomed flesh eaten by pitiless chemicals and eager bullets. Death seems so far away, but it could be as close as our fathers, brothers and friends. Not since Vietnam has America felt such intense grief of all-encompassing death.

This generation has not yet felt the true meaning of grief. This, too, will be brought into sharp focus as love dies and dreams are left hanging in the gallows of Hussein's madness and pride. The sound of a nation weeping, unheard by the virgin ears of this generation, will fill the streets and our souls. No one will cry because crying comes from the body; weeping comes from the heart. How horrible it is that we will learn that we are essentially the same in such a tragic manner! We will learn that no matter how much money our parents make, where we live, or what kind of car we drive, we are all human. We all share the future, death, and grief. We will all share the pain, as well as the results of this war.

How fitting it was to call Jan. 15 a deadline! How horrible that the dead will be those we knew, loved and admired. The line will extend from our lives into the next generation and become their nightmares and unreality, as Vietnam is for us. The call of death has sounded a strange, unfamiliar call, but the echoes will be the body bags and tears of a nation.

Margaret Huh.

Baltimore.

Die Is Cast

Editor: Michael Olesker's column Jan. 22 correctly defends the right of the anti-war protesters to express their opinions. But I think it also is important to remind them that they are encouraging Saddam Hussein, prolonging the war and jeopardizing our military personnel.

In what seems to be a critique of the war, Mr. Olesker quotes Dr. Eric Belgrad, "They (the Iraqis) will take the blows (of the war). They will dig in and wait for us to attack."

This seems to me to be an argument for the war, because if they have the fortitude to survive warfare they could survive sanctions more easily with less suffering.

Indeed, it is likely that they would not be allowed to suffer very long because other Muslim countries such as Syria, Jordan, even Iran, would come to their aid because of religious fanaticism.

The rank and file in those countries already are clamoring for Mr. Hussein's success. So a stalemate might occur and Mr. Hussein would emerge stronger and abler to proceed with his ruthless conquests.

Let us hope that the protesters will realize that the die is cast and that continuing protests will be counter-productive.

May the rest of us pray for, thank and honor those brave people who are fighting for our country and the well-being of the world, and may the news media take notice thereof and act accordingly.

!Carlton W. B. Command.

Baltimore.

Black Business

Editor: Regarding your MBW cover story, Jan. 14, it is worth noting another person, Samuel T. Daniels, who has been in the forefront of black Americans who have assisted black-owned businesses.

Mr. Daniels founded the Council for Equal Business Opportunity, Inc. (CEBO) in 1967 and led its development for more than 20 years. During this time, his leadership was responsible for "the creation and expansion of over 500 businesses and the creation and retention of over 3,000 jobs."

Although now retired, Mr. Daniels continues to be an advocate for black-owned business development.

Leon Bridges.

Baltimore.

Japan's Interests

Editor: Although not a combat partner in the war against Iraq, Japan supports the effort financially and has a vital stake in the outcome. But in addition to that, it has a strong technological interest in the performance of advanced American weapons in the gulf.

Why? Because the Japanese, already world leaders in consumer electronics, are rapidly developing the capability to compete with the United States as a builder and supplier of sophisticated missiles.

Long held back by legal constraints against the development and export of weapons, Japan has undertaken a massive build-up of research and manufacturing capability in advanced missiles, using as a foundation its existing strength in electronics.

Under license from the United States, it produces four major tactical missiles -- the Sparrow, Sidewinder, Hawk and Patriot -- representing mainstream American missile technology. The Patriot, particularly, is grabbing the headlines for its effectiveness against Scud missiles.

However, Japan is gradually turning away from manufacturing U.S.-designed systems and putting greater emphasis on developing an array of tactical missiles, including an anti-ballistic system aimed at shooting down missiles launched from the Korean peninsula or from the Chinese mainland, according to Larry Dickerson of Forecast International, a Connecticut market research firm. Outlays for the program are expected to total at least $7.57 billion.

Internationally known giants such as Mitsubishi, Nissan, Kawasaki and Toshiba, which possess expertise in the systems that comprise the principal components of missiles, are prominent in the new development.

Experts say that if this formidable lineup of industrial power houses chooses to put together a processor for the next generation of radar, Japan would indeed constitute tough competition for American industry.

Albert E. Denny.

Baltimore.

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