LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The Baltimore Sun

New troops will add fuel to Iraq's fires

Sending more troops into Iraq is like pouring more water on a gasoline fire. It will never work, and it will only makes things worse ("Senate Democrats differ on troop increase," Dec. 18).

You cannot put out a gasoline fire with water, because the water rolls off the gasoline, spreading the fire.

Likewise with sending more troops into Iraq: The presence of U.S. troops there is a big part of the problem, and adding more will only make things worse.

Here is a clue from the common experience of mankind: If you are doing something the wrong way, doing more of the same will never fix the problem.

The solution is to recognize the problem and change the direction of your efforts.

In Iraq, we are doing things the wrong way. Our invasion is the original cause of the problem, because there was no way a Christian-majority army from a "infidel" country which supports Israel could ever have been welcomed as liberators by the Muslim Arabs of Iraq.

The whole idea was ignorant and delusional from the beginning. But we invaded anyway, and now Iraq is falling apart because of what we've done, and we are stuck in a great big mess of our own creation.

So can any reasonable person truly believe we would make things better by sending in more troops now?

We should be doing the very opposite: withdrawing our troops immediately, then trying to clean up the mess some other way.

the Rev. Bill McGinniss

Alexandria, Va.

President tunes out voice of the people

The Iraq Study Group has issued its report and little in it apparently appeals to President Bush. The latest reports suggest the president is instead considering sending more troops to Iraq ("Senate Democrats differ on troop increase," Dec. 18).

The president often talks about his "gut instincts," and this is not altogether a bad thing. But one must wonder what sort of instinct urges a move toward putting more troops into a conflict that has progressively gotten worse the longer we have been there.

Has it escaped this president's notice that occupations are generally resisted by those who are occupied?

Compound that occupation with torture, humiliation and the killing of innocents and the resistance to that occupation only broadens and deepens.

Mr. Bush's approach is baffling considering the results of the midterm elections, in which most of the electorate suggested it would like to see our engagement in the Iraq war end as soon as possible.

The president seems to be intent on denying that result.

The people have spoken. The president is not listening.

Is Congress listening?

Dave Lefcourt

Ellicott City

Carter courageous in criticizing Israel

Josh Getlin's review of President Jimmy Carter's new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, was one of the better I've read ("Carter's attempt at literary troubleshooting blames U.S., Israel for blocking peace moves," Dec. 10).

Commentators such as Alan Dershowitz have attempted to vilify Mr. Carter. But their remarks are totally lacking in substance.

Indeed, these attacks support part of what Mr. Carter is saying - that in this country, one is not allowed to criticize Israel without running the risk of being called anti-Semitic, uninformed, indecent, etc.

There is much more open discussion of this conflict in Israel than in this country. And Mr. Carter has courageously undertaken to tell the truth about Israel's land-and-water-grabbing, as well as other brutal acts of oppression against the Palestinian people.

Mr. Carter should be praised for this, not condemned.

Doris Rausch

Ellicott City

Let family dispute be a family affair

How distressing that The Sun would write a major feature regarding the Knott family's legal battle over money slated for the family foundation which was donated instead to charity ("Knott battle could be over," Dec. 17).

The Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation has donated millions to benefit the citizens of Maryland. This disagreement among siblings over these funds is a private matter.

And why would The Sun go as far as quoting from a personal letter addressed to "Dear Sisters and Brother"?

This only adds to the public embarrassment this fine family does not deserve.

Glenda Bueche DeVage

Forest Hill

New grant policy hurts the disabled

The United Way of Central Maryland's recent decision to eliminate virtually all funding for individuals with disabilities and their families is the culmination of a steady retreat from its 30-plus years of supporting this particular community ("United Way shifts tactics," Nov. 30).

In response to the United Way's redefined impact areas and its expressed desire to award major grants, preferably to partnership projects, The Arc of Baltimore submitted a proposal for funding, along with its sister chapters in Central Maryland - the Arcs of Howard County, Anne Arundel County, the Northern Chesapeake Region (Harford County) and Carroll County.

The request, which the United Way declined in its entirety, focused on the most vulnerable among us and the families who struggle with the demands of providing intensive and continuous care.

Gilbert F. Kennedy III

Baltimore

The writer is board president of the Arc of Baltimore.

Omitting a local 'Sound Vision'

The Sun's article about Sound Garden and the state of bricks-and-mortar music stores left me gasping over an obvious omission ("Sound Vision," Dec. 13).

It mentioned struggling national chains Tower Records and Sam Goody and local also-ran An Die Musik a couple of times each.

But it never once made a reference to Record & Tape Traders, a thriving home-grown chain of 11 stores which has been active in the Baltimore area since 1977.

This is like writing a story about The Baltimore Examiner and the state of the daily newspaper business in Baltimore, without mentioning The Sun.

Jim Maher

Baltimore

The writer is the manager of Record & Tape Traders' Towson and Charles Village stores.

Dead geese photo a repulsive image

I don't know who is deciding what articles and pictures to run in The Sun. But I think that person has lost his or her mind. Maryland readers outside the Eastern Shore have no interest in the gory details of goose preparation ("Tiny shop cleans up after the feathers fly," Dec. 18).

Plus, the picture of dead geese was totally uncalled for - and it was very upsetting first thing in the morning to see a picture of dead geese lying on the floor and a little girl holding a limp dead goose.

Doesn't The Sun have better things to write about - such as human interest stories that are inspiring and uplifting?

One week before Christmas, surely The Sun could find something more sublime to write about.

Louise Dorsey

Towson

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