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Letters to the editor 9/13

September 13, 2002

War in the eye of the beholder

To the editor:

Some days you just have to wonder about the leadership, sincerity and morality (or lack thereof) of some of our country's leaders. Here is the text of a speech from the president regarding Iraq and Saddam Hussein:

"What if Saddam Hussein fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of sanctions and ignore the commitments he's made? Well, he will conclude that the international community's lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on doing more to build an arsenal of devastating destruction. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some way, someday, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal."


"We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen. There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein."

Now the kicker: That speech was given by President Bill Clinton in early 1998. And Clinton's call for action against Saddam was heartily supported by leading congressional Democrats like Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Bob Graham, Patrick Leahy, and Christopher Dodd, who have spent months criticizing the Bush administration for saying essentially the same thing! They even co-sponsored a bipartisan congresssional resolution in 1998 that urged "the president to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."

It seems that when Democrats were working with a president from their own party they sang a different tune about Iraq than they sing today. I wonder why? Could the upcoming November elections have anything to do with it? Do they want to keep Bush from "getting credit" for doing what Clinton failed to do in 1998 and beyond? What does it say about those "leaders" for them to do a policy flip-flop as soon as a Republican is elected president and put politics ahead of their country's security? And what does it say about our news media that these facts are all but unreported except in conservative media outlets? I wonder why ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN reporters, or New York Times and Washington Post reporters, don't print these facts and ask these questions? You decide.

Steve Bell


Are elderly less valuable than swans?

To the editor:

I would like to know why it is going to take time for the City of Hagerstown and the Hagerstown Housing Authority to provide security for the residents of Walnut Towers. These people are the elderly, handicapped and disabled. They are the most vunerable people in our society.

You tell them that until you get them an answer to their problem that they are supposed to protect each other. Didn't one man get stabbed doing just that? I am sorry if I am missing something in the article, but putting a police officer at this location, or hiring a security guard from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. sure seems like a logical solution to me. Is my memory failing me, or don't I remember the city doing just that to protect the swans in City Park several years ago?

Sorry city council, but this should not even be a debatable issue. Money should not be an object when it comes to protecting our senior citizens. I am sure that there is someone who is currently unemployed, someone who that would gladly take the job for a reasonable rate, to open the doors for our senior citizens, and at the same time check on who belongs in the building and who does not.

There should be absolutely no reason for another incident in Walnut Towers or any of our elderly complexes.

Angie Harsh


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