Parents have a right to know abortion plans
Linda Cotton's article, "The state can't force teen-agers to talk to their parents" (Jan. 25), made the case against parental notification when it concerns abortion. We learn of Becky, a teen who died from an illegal abortion rather than face her parents. It's a touching tale. But Ms. Cotton's argument essentially is, "If .. you can't beat 'em, join 'em." In other words, don't make a law if people will break it.
This train of thought just doesn't hold up. Should we abolish speed limits because some people will still speed? Should we legalize drugs just because some people won't stop abusing themselves?
As a parent I think I should have the right to require my children to be home at a certain time, even though they may break that rule. The same holds true for abortion: I should have the right to know if my child is considering one.
Becky made a bad decision that cost her life. But that is no reason to get rid of parental responsibility.
Of oil and armies
One thing strikes me as very peculiar about the Mideast war. It seems to have popped up from nowhere, and suddenly half the U.S. military is now sitting on 40 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.
I was struck by the contrast between reactions to U.S. soldiers overseas.
Last week, as I watched coverage of the Gulf war on TV, I saw some elderly Israeli women taking bags of "goodies" to U.S. soldiers who had just arrived to help man the Patriot missiles. When a soldier thanked one of the ladies, she exclaimed, "Not thanks me, thanks you."
What a difference between that reception and the reception given our boys in Saudi Arabia! Our soldiers have been there for six months and ' at the Saudis' request they are not permitted to go near a Saudi city or speak to a Saudi civilian, lest they contaminate Saudi society. Our Arab allies seem to want us to do their job for them and then get out of their world as soon as possible.
Our men were yanked away from their jobs and families and I, for one, do not think of them as corrupt infidels. I much prefer the Israelis' reaction: "Not thanks me, thanks you!"
Mary Beth Jarosz
The Saudis recently agreed to give the U.S. $13 billion to fight for them. The Israelis have agreed to allow us to do their fighting for them in exchange for $13 billion. Make sense?
Israel is being lauded for showing "remarkable restraint" in the face of aggression by Iraq; it would surely be foolish to do otherwise ' at least until it has its hands on our latest weapons and technology and all the money it can reasonably expect to get from us. Why should Israelis risk themselves when someone else is eager to do their fighting for them ' and even apparently willing to pay for the privilege.
A much more humanitarian thing to do with this money (assuming we are unwilling to spend it on the many needs of our own country) would be to assist Jordan in caring for the thousands of refugees there, and to aid the Palestinian refugees their homeland. There have been many, many more Palestinians killed, brutally tortured and maimed than there have been Israelis, even allowing for the Iraqi aggression.
Perhaps it is time to stop and re-evaluate the situation in the Persian Gulf. Now could be the time to see a real beginning of global peace.
Let's face it, peace in the Middle East will never be possible if the Israeli-Palestinian issue is not addressed; Saddam Hussein has said from the start that he will not withdraw from Kuwait until it is discussed.
Now is the time that George Bush could make the political move of this millennia call for world peace. Agree that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute needs to be addressed and truly work to resolve it. Yes, the reality is that it will be very difficult, but the first steps must be taken. Let Bush set the example of the strength and courage that a commitment to world peace requires. Let other world leaders see that bold steps can be taken.
How could Hussein say no? He would have to withdraw or lose face with his followers. His objective would be met and so would many of ours. Let him be a hero and stand in the spotlight with Bush, because he would be standing in Bush's shadow. Show the Moslem nations that we really are fighting for peace. Stop it now before the ground war inflicts tens of thousands of casualties and the hate and fear grows even more. Stop it now before the reprisals of worldwide terrorism begin.
Dell P. Cohen
Friends in need
Among other facts to emerge from this war, two things have become very obvious to me. These are that, in spite of the emergence of semi-super economic powers such as Germany and Japan, only Israel and the United Kingdom are willing to support us, at sacrifice to themselves. Perhaps now we will see *less publicity about those two brave groups, the intifada and the Irish Republican Army, which use young children throwing firebombs and rocks to do their dirty work for them.
In his engaging article stating President Bush and advisers are too sanguine about the economic cost of war (Other Voices, Jan. 18), Robert Kuttner says: "My dictionary offers two definitions of 'sanguine.' The second is 'confident, optimistic.' The first is 'consisting of or relating to blood'."
Naming "consisting of or relating to blood" as a "first" definition of sanguine tends to make dedicated logomachs scratch a little, as H.L. Mencken used to say.
Although a good dictionary has no equal as a first-class quiet persuader, inveterate word buffs and good-usage manuals make distinction between "sanguine" (meaning confident or hopeful) and "sanguinary" (meaning bloody). The prestigious Follett's "Modern American Usage" scolds a biographer of Walt Whitman for referring to the poet as "the sanguinary Whitman" when sanguine is the word obviously intended.
As Kuttner suggests, Bush administration economists might be labeled sanguine. Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, a kind of two-legged animal in human form, might well be described as sanguinary, meaning bloodstained or bloodthirsty.