If U.S. can't assist Bosnia, ask IsraelRarely...


If U.S. can't assist Bosnia, ask Israel

Rarely have I taken a position on the use of military force to resolve an international problem . . . But the situation in Bosnia is very different and does require military action.

Although no well-known multinational corporations worth sending American soldiers to die for are located there, as in the Persian Gulf, a return of a Nazi-like era needs to be quelled immediately.

It would be best for the United States to play a humanitarian role and send air strikes to selected batteries of artillery, identified rail lines leading to concentration camps, or to occupy the Sarajevo airport.

If the U.S. is unable or unwilling to take such action, then it should be performed not by any European nation but by Israel.

* Only Israel has the military capabilities and the experience to perform such a bold raid. They've proven their abilities by attacking the nuclear power plant in Iraq and rescuing hijacked civilians in Uganda.

* As a country of Holocaust survivors, it is probably best able to understand and appreciate the horrors that are being perpetrated in Yugoslavia.

* They will show to their perceived enemies that Israel, and Jews throughout the world, will always have a protector, even if it is Israel itself.

* The majority of victims in Bosnia are Muslim. Israel would score a coup in international relations with Arab nations and Muslims throughout the world.

Myles Hoenig


Cuomo on abortion

Governor Mario Cuomo's column on the Aug. 7 Other Voices %% page was a thoughtful, intelligent approach to the eternal question of abortion.

The governor took the question to a higher level, to the area of DTC public/maternal health, which is where it should be if we are ever going to bring the debate to a calm, reasoned resolution.

The governor did not mention the possibility of the abortifacient RU486 being made generally available; education, and the avoidance of undesired conception, along with RU486 as the back-up, could go far to reduce the harsh debate on first, second or third trimester abortions. The question would become largely moot, in most people's eyes.

We need to get on with it, and the governor's comments are to the point.

James V. McCoy


Stealth senator

Sen. Paul Sarbanes recently criticized Secretary of State James Baker's possible move to head the Bush re-election campaign as a misuse of taxpayer dollars.

It is ironic that Senator Sarbanes, one of the biggest spenders and taxers in the U.S. Senate, should worry about several thousand dollars while he costs taxpayers billions of dollars pandering to union bosses and welfare and government worker interest groups.

Senator Sarbanes has been called the "stealth senator" because he is seldom seen or heard from. With inane accusations like the one above, maybe it is a good thing that he doesn't say more.

Ray Gordon


Back to basics

President Bush told delegates to the Boys' National Youth Conference that Governor Clinton is stealing his slogan, "Now that we have changed the world, it's time to change America."

Mr. Bush should take a good look at the carnage, poverty, starvation and political instability remaining in today's world and spare us his version of a "new world order" with "a thousand points of light."

He also should spend less time golfing, jogging, boating, fishing and hunting, and spend more time solving these problems instead of compounding them with his unrealistic stand on world population control efforts, which is the root cause of many of the world's problems today.

Albert Antonelli


Mencken and FDR

In Paul T. Bohn's piece on H. L. Mencken, one of the 20th century's most readable essayists, Mr. Bohn mentions some of Mencken's favorite targets -- Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover (Other Voices, July 10).

Baltimore's most famous critic and tickler of risibilities also let fly from time to time strictures against Franklin D. Roosevelt,

successor to Hoover in 1932. (In one of his milder moments, Mencken accused FDR of having "perfumed tonsils.")

As a longtime Mencken booster, what cudgels my sconce is why so many people seem to think of Mencken as a 100 percent FDR-hater. Was he really that bad? Consider, for example, a few points from an Evening Sun column Mencken wrote in 1934:

* FDR's popularity was due, Mencken wrote, to "a widespread and not irrational confidence in his intelligence and courage."

* And again: "I suspect that Roosevelt's hold on the people is that they recognize him to be what is called, for lack of a better word, a gentleman. Most of them, I suppose, would have difficulty defining the term, but all the same they know what it means . . . A gentleman will fight longer, and can be trusted further."

* And again: "This country will remain safe . . . so long as it is in the hands of a man of character, honest, gallant, and mellowed and moderated by a sense of humor. Most Americans believe Roosevelt answers to these specifications."

Are those the words of a 100 percent FDR-hater? Hardly.

Wells Mears


Thank youuuu to a winner who never quit: Rex Barney

They used to call him "Wild Rex Barney." He was 19 years old in 1943 when he became a major league baseball player with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Within a year, Wild Rex had pitched in three World Series games. He struck out Joe DiMaggio with the bases loaded. Joe DiMaggio said Rex Barney was the hardest-throwing pitcher he had ever faced. In 1948, Wild Rex pitched a no-hitter against the Giants, who were considered one of the hardest-hitting clubs in major league history.

By 1948, people said he was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He was on top of the world. Everybody was his friend.

Then the unthinkable happened. He broke his leg sliding into a base. The accident also injured his arm and altered his pitching motion. Sports medicine didn't exist then, and physicians did not have today's knowledge for treating sports injuries.

He never used the accident as an excuse. He fought to stay in the game, but he lost the battle. He could no longer pitch. Wild Rex was finished at the age of 27.

It broke his heart. Suddenly, all those "friends" no longer had time for him. Another broken heart. Did he let it keep him away from the game? Of course not. He fought for a new position -- announcer.

In later years, Rex was diagnosed with diabetes. It changed his life. Strict diet, no alcohol, a lot of testing, vulnerability to infections and difficulty in healing.

He was The Voice of the Orioles by then. For years, he combated infections in his foot and leg. Then came a stroke, then a heart attack. There have been many hospitalizations. Did he let it all keep him away from 33rd Street? Not a chance.

Rex watched the last game at Memorial Stadium from a hospital bed. It was another hospitalization fighting infections in his foot and leg. Of all the people in all of Maryland, why did it have to be Rex who couldn't be at the stadium?

The leg amputation has been a long time coming. Amputations can be a very sad result of diabetes. It still must have been a shock, and another broken heart. Has he let it keep him away from the new ballpark? Not on your life. Rex is currently re-learning to walk using a prosthesis.

Will he be able to walk into the press box at Camden Yards unassisted, without a cane? What do you think? Rex has an inimitable style and is a baseball institution in Baltimore. You won't find anyone with a word against him. He's never been a quitter. He learned to cope with life on life's terms. He made his way with grace and charm, and he's teaching us by example.

Rex Barney -- Thank youuuu!

Signe Lauren



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