The war began when America was attacked

What G. Jefferson Price III fails to realize is that this country is at war ("Americans deserve Bush's profound apology," Feb. 1). The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, 2001, started this war. We were attacked; almost 3,000 people died on that morning.

Husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, firefighters, police officers, etc., who died that day all have loved ones who are still grieving and praying that we don't have a repeat performance. President Bush has decided to take this war to the enemy, and the battleground is Iraq. It's better to fight there than in the streets of Baltimore.

If Mr. Price, Howard Dean and the rest of the liberal pinheads had their way, Saddam Hussein and his sons would still be handing out money and weapons to al-Qaida around the world and this war on terror would not be fought in Iraq, but in our cities, shopping malls, churches, etc.

But do we want our children and grandchildren living in fear of suicide bombers like those in Israel?

Thomas J. Korpela


It is G. Jefferson Price III, not President Bush, who owes an apology to the families and friends of service people in Iraq. The suggestion that their sacrifice has been in vain is despicable, odious and unconscionable.

Those brave soldiers died in a war that wasn't "cooked up in Texas," but was brought home to every American on Sept. 11, 2001.

Daylin C. Louderback


Families of the dead deserve an apology

G. Jefferson Price III's column "Americans deserve Bush's profound apology" (Feb. 1) was a beautifully written and powerful case against our ill-advised invasion of Iraq.

Whether the intelligence was wrong or manipulated, the results have been appalling: Hundreds of American servicemen and women killed and several thousand maimed. I wonder why there hasn't been even stronger outrage.

I can only hope, with Mr. Price, that the families affected will have "a profound apology and a persuasive reassurance that it won't ever happen again."

Velva Grebe


Was the war based on mistakes or lies?

David Kay's recent pronouncements on the nonexistence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have left the Bush administration in an awkward position, backpedaling as fast as it can ("Bush to order probe of data failures in Iraq," Feb. 2).

The bottom line is that the administration's primary rationale for a pre-emptive war, the imminent threat of WMD, was false.

What makes this all so uncomfortable for the administration is that there are only two plausible reasons why its case for war was bogus: Either our intelligence information was grossly wrong or the administration deliberately exaggerated the threat for political purposes.

So, it turns out we started a war either because of a mistake or because of a lie, and I'm not sure which is worse.

Bill Donahue


Bush's phony budget aids rich, hurts poor

President Bush has released a deceitful budget that conceals the real costs of his massive tax cuts for the rich by only projecting the costs for five years ("Bush budget aids defense, home security," Feb. 3). Past presidents have given 10-year budget projections, but since Mr. Bush wants to push for more giveaways to the rich, he conceals the cost to our children and grandchildren.

The projected $521 billion deficit for fiscal 2005 is the largest in history, yet it doesn't even include the true costs of the Iraq war.

And the majority of the budget cuts are to programs that aid lower-income citizens.

Roger Fitzgerald


Merit scholarships encourage hard work

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who himself benefited from many middle-class "entitlements," misses the point on merit-based scholarships ("Scholarship fate hurts some, aids others," Jan. 31).

Rewarding academically successful university students has the "trickle-down" effect of encouraging students in lower grades to strive to meet the high standards set by students such as Colin McGuigan and his intellectually talented peers across the University System of Maryland.

Why Maryland would be working to discard merit-based scholarships when other states are looking to adopt such programs is a mystery. Perhaps the governor's willingness to gamble with the state's higher education reflects his enthusiasm for funding education through gambling.

Barbara M. Simon


Use state's influence to limit drug costs

As a second-year medical student at the University of Maryland, I agree with the editorial "Health care hoax" (Feb. 2) about the need to control pharmaceutical spending.

As we are taught all of the drug names, mechanisms and side effects in class each day, the side effects of the cost for elderly and low-income patients, including the 650,000 uninsured Marylanders, are often overlooked.

The only way drug costs can be contained for state and federal programs is if the programs bargain with drug companies. The current Medicare reform law is a sweet deal for the pharmaceutical companies because it doesn't allow the government to negotiate lower prices for drugs.

I hope our representatives in Annapolis will have more foresight and support the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative's Health Care for All plan, which would use the state's massive purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices for Maryland's plan.

Jamie Johnston


Broadcasting filth, censoring ideas

I thoroughly agreed with Cal Thomas about the Super Bowl halftime mess ("The Caligula Broadcasting System's halftime orgy," Opinion

Commentary, Feb. 4).

What I find more disturbing, however, is that MoveOn.org was not allowed to purchase 30 seconds to show a commercial about the deficit. Apparently, it's all right to censor free thinking and protect the audience from controversial ideas, but anything else, no matter how sexually explicit, violent or tasteless, is fine.

Mary C. Smith


Super Bowl exposure isn't worth any study

Every minute of the day, millions of people's lives are damaged, ruined or ended by war, famine and disease. I very much doubt anyone's life has been damaged by a peek at Janet Jackson's breast ("Revelations resulting from halftime show," Feb. 4).

Media entertainers must have some comic relief, I suppose. But it would be a waste of our taxes for the Federal Communications Commission to spend a minute or a dime on a nonissue such as this one.

David A. Penney


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