Bolton's record shows contempt for diplomacy

Thanks for the Sunday Sun's front-page article on John R. Bolton's role in pushing forward the Bush administration's mad rush to war in Iraq ("Bolton ran afoul of U.N. in '02 dispute," June 5).

It's ironic and sad that Mr. Bolton and this administration, which is seeking to bring democracy to Iraq, basically blackmailed the United Nations in April 2002 by threatening to withhold its dues to get a vote to oust Jose Bustani from his position as director of the U.N. Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Mr. Bustani, who was praised in 2001 by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell for his leadership qualities and who had worked for the destruction of chemical weapons in Russia, was apparently ousted for trying to bring an inspection team into Iraq to prove there were no chemical weapons in that country.

The United Nations' highest administrative tribunal has condemned this incident as an "unacceptable violation" of the principles protecting international civil servants.

Mr. Bolton should not be this country's ambassador to the United Nations.

Dave Schott


The more we hear about John R. Bolton, the more obvious it is that this man should not be representing the United States at the United Nations or anywhere else.

Not only does Mr. Bolton badmouth the United Nations, but he is obviously a bully who has no people skills.

Diplomacy is what is needed in dealing with other nations, not out-of-control behavior that would be banned from the schoolyard.

Joan K. Parr


Bolton and Bush both unfit to serve

Kudos to the Sun for headlining the Sunday edition with the article about John R. Bolton orchestrating the firing of Jose Bustani, a Brazilian U.N. official who in 2002 had the temerity to attempt to work toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis regarding Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction ("Bolton ran afoul of U.N. in '02 dispute," June 5).

This article proves not only Mr. Bolton's unfitness to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but also the unfitness of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to continue as president and vice president of the United States.

It decisively undermines Mr. Bush's repeated claim that he sought a peaceful solution to the crisis right up to the time that he ordered the war.

Martin S. Lefstein


Guantanamo holds worst of the worst

These bleeding hearts really should get back to the real world ("What's absurd is tolerance for acts of torture," letters, June 5). The people being held in Guantanamo Bay cannot be considered prisoners of war, political prisoners, etc. They are terrorists, period - the worst of the worst.

Nothing would please them more than being released to go back to the "insurgency." They live to kill Americans.

That's precisely why they are in Guantanamo to begin with.

How many members of Amnesty International would want them living next-door?

Lou Meyer


'No' votes send rebuke to Turkey

Todd Richissin's thoughtful analysis in "Netherlands votes against EU charter" (June 2) missed one message the voters sent.

The "no" vote in the Dutch and French referendums sends a clear message to Turkey that its chances for EU membership are slim to none.

Arun Khanna


The writer is a professor of finance at Butler University.

Push legislators to vote for slots

It is time to get tough and put House Speaker Michael E. Busch on notice that the slots issue needs to be resolved now ("Schaefer tells Ehrlich to get tough to gain slots," June 2).

I am in favor of forcing the Maryland legislature into a special session to approve slots in Maryland immediately.

The people of Maryland elected Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., but the will of the people is being stymied by arrogant politicians such as Mr. Busch.

If horse racing and the Preakness go under in Maryland, the ones to blame will be politicians such as Mr. Busch who have thwarted the slots bill for several sessions now.

Let's all get behind our governor, who has done a great job proposing a slots bill, and let the will of the people prevail and slots be approved.

Al Eisner


Busch honors ideals in gambling debate

The Sun's article "Gambling industry puts their money on state lobbyists" (June 1) explains a lot about how votes are cast in Annapolis. And then state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer had to get into the act, saying that the governor should "club" House Speaker Michael E. Busch to get slots passed ("Schaefer tells Ehrlich to get tough to gain slots," June 2).

Mr. Schaefer is dead wrong on that. If anyone should be clubbed, it should be Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who both claimed that the superior slots bill presented by Mr. Busch was unacceptable - perhaps because the House bill did not give the keys to the mint to the wealthy track owners?

Now Mr. Busch is being labeled an obstructionist when he's the only one in Annapolis with any integrity.

Henry Seim


Aid to Israel serves our national interest

G. Jefferson Price III is wrong to suggest that the United States has an interest in providing more funding to the Palestinian Authority and investing less in Israel ("Aid imbalance undermines search for Mideast peace," Opinion * Commentary, May 31).

The Bush administration and Congress have correctly insisted that the Palestinian Authority reform itself and commit to democratic norms. Until it does so, most Americans presumably have little interest in funding those whose most recent contribution to modern society is the suicide bomber - a tactic that now regularly maims and kills Americans in Iraq - and whose paid religious authorities continue to spew venom against democracies such as the United States.

Israel, on the other hand, is the one embattled island of democracy in that sea of hostility. Americans recognize that Israelis share our values of freedom of speech, freedom of religious practice, rights for women and the like.

Israeli schools teach peace, tolerance and respect, while Israeli medical and high-tech breakthroughs are saving and improving lives in America and around the world.

Finally, Israel is America's only real ally in the Middle East.

The money that America invests in ensuring Israel's viability serves America's interests well.

Aron U. Raskas


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