U.S. plans on Haiti called 'appalling'
As a former military man, I am appalled to see plans to invade Haiti taking shape.
Even with 266 Central American troops in the 10,266-man force, such an expedition would violate not only every principle of U.S. foreign policy toward its neighbors, it would also violate every precept of military doctrine.
About the only thing that has kept the U.S. from occupying Cuba over more than 30 years is that our country simply does not invade a foreign nation unless that nation poses a direct threat to us that cannot be controlled by other means. That's one of the reasons President Kennedy did not invade Cuba during the 1961 missile crisis.
The basic U.S. doctrine for using military force has always been a vital national interest. We have no vital national interest in Haiti, which poses no direct or indirect threat to our country.
I have heard administration officials, leading among them White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, give two reasons for invading Haiti: Haiti and Cuba have the only non-democratic governments in our hemisphere, and the U.S. has a duty to restore the "democratically elected" president . . .
The administration has no defined goal -- no eventual basis for claiming victory -- and no time or method for withdrawal.
The last time U.S. forces were sent into Haiti was 1915, and they left in 1934 without accomplishing anything but alienating the Haitian people.
In a news conference on Cuba Aug. 18, President Clinton stated, "This government is not in the business of choosing leaders for other nations."
By what edict of God does Mr. Clinton presume say who shall govern Haiti or any other country? Isn't that what he's trying to do now?
I read the Aug. 5 letter to your paper which was written by a citizen who had concerns about air pollution. He identified city vehicles as being among the polluters.
The Department of Public Works inspects every diesel and gasoline vehicle every 90 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. Emissions are checked as part of this process.
In addition to these inspections, DPW has begun the process of converting to clean alternative fuels.
We are also working with the University of Maryland in an effort to reduce particulate matter from diesel fuels. This is part of the broad program to clean the Chesapeake Bay.
Sometimes a vehicle may encounter an injector problem or some other malfunction. If you see a problem with a Baltimore City government vehicle, note its number and report it to us by calling 396-3609.
eorge G. Balog
The writer is the city's public works director.
It's not pork
Thank you for your lead editorial of Aug. 16, "Midnight basketball isn't pork." Exposing the real-life meaning of legislative proposals in Congress -- such as preventive programs in the crime bill -- is always urgently needed.
All too often some of the media simply regurgitate buzz words -- like "pork" -- as used by politicians and lobbyists to sour support for some piece of legislation.
The other day a network evening news anchor ended her report on compromises being worked out in the crime bill with the words "but still there is too much pork in it."
She quoted no one. She just spit up and out the undigested word "pork" with no attempt to inform citizens of the specific meanings behind the pejorative. That's not responsible journalism. Yours was! I'll take newsprint's in-depth journalism any day. And, of course, I despise perennial political -- well --
'J' for 'Juice'
Here is one O. J. Simpson development that has not been reported.
Scrabble players will be interested to know that, according to Webster's New World Dictionary, "OJ" is now its own word -- meaning, of course, "orange juice."
Since the letter "J" in Scrabble carries eight points, this two-letter word can be very useful.
Placing the "J" on a triple word score, for example, brought this player a surprising 25 points.
Francis J. Gorman
A foreign correspondent "finally found the most stunningly unusual" leader, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Georgie Anne Geyer's Aug. 24 column, "The woman who drives Iran's mullahs crazy," was as impressive as her subject.
As an Iranian scholar interested in politics of Iran and the world, I found myself feeling proud to have such a leader in a country where women are mostly ignored and suppressed by the ruling clerical regime.
Maryam Rajavi is a symbol of hope, unity and integrity for the Iranian people.
Mrs. Rajavi is carrying the flag of anti-fundamentalism against the most dangerous and inhumane regime.
We, Iranian-American scientists and scholars can only identify with her to stay dignified.
The Iranian regime as a major sponsor of international terrorism is an international outlaw and must be stopped.
The policy of softness and cooperation with that regime not only is not a solution to terrorism, but also it increases the chance that it may strike again soon.
Sooner or later, the Iranian people will welcome Mrs. Rajavi to their homeland, and the dark days of a nation will be over and we will all enjoy the days of rebuilding a democratic and modern Iran.
Taghi T. Arani
I really loved and fully enjoyed Georgie Anne Geyer's article headlined, "The woman who drives Iran's mullahs crazy," Aug. 24.
It is wonderful to see such a superb description of a woman (Maryam Rajavi) who seems to have enough love and compassion to bring an end to the tragedy in Iran.
Ms. Geyer's style in writing and the fact that she is also a woman definitely makes mullahs even more crazy. God bless her.
Pops, not Cops
What we need are not more cops.
What we need are fewer criminals.
Instead of a fictitious crime bill,
a good start would be to fire socially incompetent judges and parole boards.
Dump a crime bill that is costly and does not work.
Then seriously go to work on incompetence in parenting.
William H. Waring
Just another self-loader
The Sept. 1 Evening Sun editorial, "Dr. Franks' gruesomraffle," should be corrected forthwith.
The firearm raffled was handled through legal, federal firearms licensing channels and was subject to precisely the same federal and state laws as govern the sale of any other rifle or shotgun in Maryland. The raffle winner claimed his prize through a licensed firearms dealer, not Ron Franks.
With respect to your statements that "Congress voted to ban" and Dr. Franks showed "contempt for Congress," the ban covers newly manufactured firearms, not existing firearms in wholesaler, distributor, dealer or private hands. Therefore Dr. Franks did not show contempt for Congress.
The raffle was conceived in mid-1993, tickets were printed in December 1993 and sales began soon thereafter. This action certainly predated passage of either the House or Senate versions of the "crime" bill.
It also was in accordance with bill S.B. 619, the Maryland "assault" pistol ban, which specifically excluded the Colt AR-15 HBAR target rifle from the Maryland seven-day waiting period. The raffle has been, and still is legal, in every sense of the word.
The rifle in question is not an assault weapon. It is a civilian version of the military-style fully automatic M-16 currently in the hands of U.S. forces.
The AR-15 is a self-loader, one shot per trigger pull, like millions of other self-loaders which have been in the hands of law-abiding American citizens since before the turn of the century.
The writer is a volunteer for Ron Franks' Senate campaign.