The Baltimore Sun

Series ignores success in effort to rebuild Iraq

The Baltimore Sun's recent coverage of the Iraq war borders on treasonous ("Sun special report: Exodus from Iraq," Dec. 28-Dec. 30).

In three related articles, reporter Matthew Hay Brown chronicles what he determines to be a "humanitarian crisis." Unfortunately for Mr. Brown, the definition of the term "crisis" requires the situation to be in the direst of straights, when in fact the situation in Iraq is improving daily.

In his highly questionable understanding of the region, Mr. Brown neglects the countless humanitarian relief efforts and reconstruction projects that are helping to improve the lives of ordinary Iraqis every day.

Most notably, while constantly assailing the U.S. war effort and the subsequent rebuilding operations by focusing on negative information and ignoring the unprecedented amount of positive news coming out of Iraq on a daily basis, Mr. Brown neglects to include any interviews with U.S. service members and commanders on the ground.

If the author possessed even a rudimentary understanding of counterinsurgency doctrine, the method American forces are using to pacify and rebuild Iraq with astonishing success, he would understand that it is imperative to speak with these individuals to gain a balanced understanding of the situation.

It is a disservice to the brave Americans risking their lives every day in service of their country and the Iraqi people to ignore their success.

I would challenge Mr. Brown, or any Sun reporter for that matter, to better serve readers by spending time with American troops on the front lines in the war on terrorism in order to depict accurately not only their perceived struggles but also their many successes in making the world safer for peace-loving peoples.

Unfortunately, I fear that this is a risk that few journalists would be courageous enough to take, when it is much safer to simply criticize our troops from a distance.

J.H. Ferguson, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The writer is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Care center will save open space, create jobs

Thank you for the recent editorial regarding the Keswick Multi-Care Center's proposed purchase and development of certain surplus land of the Baltimore Country Club in Roland Park for a continuing-care retirement community ("Tie-breaker," editorial, Dec. 15).

Keswick sincerely believes that its proposal is a unique and compelling opportunity, not only for the company but also for the Roland Park community and the city of Baltimore.

The project will result in the following benefits:

* Keswick will continue its long-standing mission of providing quality continuing care in Baltimore with a new and needed first-class continuing-care facility.

* The Roland Park community will enjoy a substantial amount of preserved green space, with significant safeguards regarding future development, while adding to its community a first-class continuing-care facility. * Baltimore will gain a $200 million capital investment by Keswick, one than involves no subsidies or payments in lieu of taxes and will create 500 jobs during construction and 150 permanent jobs once the center is completed.

Keswick will continue to consider modifications to its original concept that can create additional green space while permitting a facility that will be compatible with the Roland Park community.

The mayor has requested that the Roland Park Civic League and Keswick enter into constructive discussions.

We support the mayor's request and look forward to engaging the Roland Park Civic League in this process.

Libby Bowerman, Baltimore

The writer is the CEO of the Keswick Multi-Care Center.

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