Caving in to terror is no way...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Caving in to terror is no way to handle Arab aggression

Perspective section editor G. Jefferson Price III calls Israel's invasion of Lebanon an "offensive war" when in fact it was a defensive one ("Arafat and Sharon should pay us back," Sept. 23). Israel invaded southern Lebanon to root out terror organizations based there that were launching raids on northern Israel.

It is this type of twisted logic that the Islamic world uses to attempt to justify its terror -- always excusing it by pointing at what it calls Western "aggression," when that so-called aggression is always defensive actions to protect the innocent, while the Islamist acts are always aggressive and intended to hurt the innocent.

For this reason, the United States has been correct all along in its support of Israel, whose supposed "aggression" is nothing more than an attempt to protect itself from the same terrorists we all now face.

Daniel Freitag

Owings Mills

Years ago, when G. Jefferson Price III was The Sun's Jerusalem correspondent, his Israel-bashing and uncritical admiration for Palestinian Arabs made me cringe.

He now re-emerges in the Perspective section to offer the United States this brilliant advice: Let's combat terrorism by forcing Israel to cave in to terrorism.

How predictable.

How sad.

Andre-Philippe Katz

Baltimore

Palestinian people don't owe us anything

G. Jefferson Price III's article "Arafat and Sharon should pay us back" (Sept. 23) notes: "The United States has poured billions upon billions of dollars, years of energy and diplomacy into getting these two enemies to make peace. It's payback time."

The Palestinians would have very little to pay back; we have done next to nothing to help them, as contrasted to all the unquestioned support -- financial, military, moral -- that we have given Israel over these many years.

But I agree we should cut off all support for these adversaries. Our lopsided interference in their affairs is probably the cause of most of the problems in the area over the past 50-some years.

If the Israelis were willing to share the original Palestine and allow the Palestinians a viable state, it would certainly go a long way toward stabilizing the region.

Doris Rausch

Ellicott City

Ruppersberger's policies don't match his rhetoric

Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger writes persuasively about taking "stock of how people want to live" and "what makes a neighborhood" ("It's no joke: Dundalk worthy of preservation," Opinion* Commentary, Sept. 28).

He writes that these include, among other things, good schools, safe streets, sidewalks, green spaces, variation in housing style -- all the things that characterize a traditional community.

Can this be the same man who, against vigorous objections from residents, has authorized construction of a 1,000-bed jail in Towson -- in an established neighborhood with sidewalks, green spaces, safe streets, variation in housing style, a good school and playground?

Vivian Woodward

Alphonse Chapanis

Towson

Why are landlords allowed to ignore code violations?

The Sun's article "House in fatal fire had code violations" (Oct. 2) left me enraged. How do the county, city and state continue to allow landlords to ignore legal notices that continue to mount and fatalities because of their failure to correct health and safety matters?

Edmund Ogonowski was served papers in July about the conditions at the Ferguson home in Dundalk, but ignored those violations. I ask: Why is he and his company allowed to prey on the poor by violating the county's housing codes?

In this case it cost five lives. How many more people will die before he accepts responsibility for his lack of morality?

Peter J. Schap

Cockeysville

Senators should vote to protect our flag

We have seen a great display of our flag since the tragic events of Sept. 11.

My hope, and that of many other patriotic Americans, is that Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes will finally vote yes on the flag amendment.

If passed, the amendment would make it a crime to destroy our flag.

Janet Yeatman

Fort Howard

Fighting world's poverty is best way to stop terror

The United States should be spearheading a well-publicized international effort to wipe out poverty and starvation around the world, especially in the most likely breeding grounds for terrorism.

Over time, this should go a long way toward reversing the anti-American feelings that now abound throughout the Middle East and other unstable areas.

Sandy Frank

Baltimore

Valuing our diversity separates us from terrorists

The recent letter "Revive our Christian heritage to save families, freedom" (Sept. 23) deserves a response.

If the terrorist attack of Sept. 11 and the subsequent attacks on people of Islamic and Middle Eastern descent have taught us anything, it is that we need to strengthen support for diversity in this country. The difference between us and the terrorists is that we accept people regardless of their beliefs and value each member of society.

Our Founding Fathers understood the need to keep religious bigotry out of government. Rather than founding a Christian nation, they founded a nation that would be a safe haven for all, regardless of religious affiliation.

All Americans should recommit to being a nation that values and accepts differences.

Don Himes

Baltimore

Cutting curbside pickup won't cure city's leaf woes

How will the new leaf pick-up policy save the city money ("City ends curbside leaf vacuuming service," Sept. 26)?

The city will still have to vacuum streets, as leaves don't just fall on taxpayer-owned property. And now the city will have to use landfills to dispose of thousands of plastic bags of leaves from all parts of the city, Ten Hills and Forest Park, not just Guilford and Homeland. Those leaves are now composted and used as mulch by the city and neighborhood association beautification programs.

Last year's problems were caused by a chaotic and disorganized effort by the Department of Public Works.

If you try to fix every problem at DPW by cutting a needed service, soon there won't be any services left to cut.

Eric F. Waller

Baltimore

Revive the tradition of burning fallen leaves

After reading about the end of curbside leaf collection in the city, I suggest we go back to burning leaves in the fall ("City ends curbside leaf vacuuming service," Sept. 26).

As I walked through Roland Park delivering the Evening Sun, there wasn't anything more invigorating than walking through the neighborhood and smelling burning leaves.

It was great fun, and I never heard of an injury or fire caused by burning leaves.

R. A. Bacigalupa

Baltimore

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