Patience with war has simply run out

In his statement to the House Armed Services Committee, excerpts from which appeared in The Sun, Anthony H. Cordesman warned of the dangers of abandoning Iraq too quickly ("Lesson unlearned on danger of spin," Opinion * Commentary, April 1).


His message, like that of Sen. John McCain, is that Congress should not react to past mistakes by the administration by demanding a withdrawal before Iraqi forces are capable of restoring peace and stability.

Mr. Cordesman is haunted by the devastating consequences for the brave officers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam that followed our departure from that war before that army could stand on its own.


However, Mr. Cordesman did not mention the overarching lesson learned in Korea, and relearned in Vietnam: The American people will not tolerate a prolonged, costly involvement in the civil war of another country.

As described by Mr. Cordesman, the human costs of our early withdrawal from Iraq may be tragic. No one can be sure whether the strategic consequences of the withdrawal would be grave, as predicted by Mr. McCain, or as benign as the consequences of leaving Vietnam.

However, it is absolutely certain that the American people will not be disabused of their desire to end our involvement in Iraq as rapidly as possible.

David A. Plymyer


Make those profiting pay bill for the war

I agree with Anthony H. Cordesman: The funding bill passed by Congress is the wrong way to try to end the war ("Lesson unlearned on the danger of spin," Opinion * Commentary, April 1).

No date for withdrawal of troops from a war zone should ever be publicized.


However, borrowing money to fund the war should be stopped immediately.

Congress needs to pass tax bills that would force the people who are making the profits from the war to pay for it.

Then watch how fast we decide that the war in Iraq is futile and we need to alter our course.

R. Lam


Single-party rule trounces the public


The Democratic-controlled House of Delegates' approval of electoral vote "reform" is just one more instance of the inherent dangers of a one-party state government. The Democratic-controlled state Senate passed much the same bill, which is now likely to be signed by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley.

As The Sun's article "Delegates approve popular-vote bill" (April 3) notes, opponents of the bill "argued that the General Assembly was acting in haste and without fully studying the impact of such an enormous change."

Why would the people's Assembly act so hastily?

Because it can.

This is just one of many examples of an out-of-control legislature that runs roughshod over the wishes of the people and abandons all common sense.

Sine die can't come soon enough.


R. W. Kocher


No woman is ever obligated to have sex

I was horrified to read this quote in Monday's Sun: "Once a woman has consented [to sex], 'it's her obligation to finish what she started'" ("Debating the rules of sexual consent," April 2).

The fact that this idea is being given any kind of validation at all is unacceptable.

I am raising my daughter to know that she is never "obligated," under any circumstance, to have sex with anyone at any time. Period. I am also raising my son to follow this basic, elementary moral code.


I wonder if those who feel otherwise would hold men to the same standard.

If a man is questioning or curious about his own sexuality, would he also be "obligated to finish what he started" if he verbally consented to an activity without realizing, until late, what he had gotten into?

Is the legal right to change one's mind only a male privilege in this society?

Kathleen J. McGuire

Owings Mills

Driving and texting an unsafe mixture


I read the article "'Driving while texting'" (March 30) with extreme concern, and I am sickened by the risk-taking behavior of Alan Hyman and other drivers who think they can send text messages and drive at the same time.

I am a former military flight physician and a former aviation medical examiner certified by the Federal Aviation Administration who has extensive training and experience in safety, aviation, mishap investigation and the human factors involved in accidents.

I can assure Mr. Hyman that he possesses no special skills or superhuman abilities that let him drive and text-message at the same time safely.

Mr. Hyman is an accident waiting to happen and has relied on luck and the astute driving of those around him to avoid an accident so far.

He has no idea how many "near-misses" or "close calls" he has had, because he is not fully aware of other drivers on the road.

Dr. Charles E. McCannon



The article "'Driving while texting'" made much of Alan Hyman's experience and the fact that he is a commercial driver and licensed pilot as evidence that he is qualified to safely text-message while driving. However, I am not impressed by that. I have seen so-called professional drivers do rather dumb things.

The fact that Mr. Hyman is a pilot does not magically qualify him to multitask safely.

Using a cell phone while driving is hazardous enough; text-messaging is ridiculous.

Ed Craven



Plastic bag ban could curb litter

San Francisco has just passed a law outlawing the use of plastic bags by supermarkets and large drugstores.

Baltimore County should do the same thing.

It would be well worth the effort to shop without those bags, as our shopping centers and surrounding neighbors are littered with them today.

Paul Pellegrini



Focus on boy's arrest overlooks death toll

I was upset at the arrest of the 7-year-old boy for riding a dirt bike. But I'm also upset at the lack of parental responsibility in failing to supervise a child on a motor bike in Baltimore.

I'm also upset that members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People objected to the arrest ("Angry questions confront mayor, police," March 28) and at the protesters who showed up at City Hall to protest it ("Mother calls arrest retribution for protests," March 26).

More than 65 people have been killed in this city this year. Yet one 7-year-old boy's arrest gets more attention than any of these murder victims.

The NAACP and everyone who attended the City Hall rally should apologize to the families of those killed in this city.

In the past three weeks, I have lost two relatives to violence in this city.


I will always remember the day of my cousin's funeral as the day Baltimoreans were outraged at the arrest of one 7-year-old boy and forgot about the 65 people murdered in the city so far this year.

Alfred Brown