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Letters to the editor - 1/14/03

January 14, 2003

Cost of war is terribly high



To the editor:


Regime changes by an outside force seldom have the desired consequence.

In 1963 the C.I.A. engineered the overthrow of the Diem regime in Vietnam and for the next two decades the United States was bogged down in that terrible war which tore at the very heart of our nation's consciousness - ultimately ending in a disastrous defeat for the United States. But only after the loss of 50,000 American lives.

The Bush administration seems to be the only one pushing for war with Iraq.

Saddam's neighbors, with the exception of Israel, don't seem eager for war with the Iraqi dictator.

If Saddam's neighbors - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Turkey - who all share a common border with Iraq, have no problem with Saddam, why should the United States 8,000 miles away?

One of the reasons Bush has given for his obsession with Saddam's removal is that Saddam "tried to kill my Dad."

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Seems like Bush's agenda is based on correcting the mistakes of his father.

The ill-advised tax refund of 2001 that was supposed to stimulate the economy was really Bush's way of rectifying his father's famous "read my lips, no new taxes" speech.

Well Mr. Bush, our economy is still in a downhill spiral, the budget surplus of the '90s has turned into huge deficits, unemployment is growing, you are still committed to more tax cuts and you want to start a war with Iraq which, according to your own experts, could cost as much as $200 billion.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who both avoided military service, are about to send America's finest into combat in a war that could have devastating consequences for generations to come.

We lived with the Soviet Union and their weapons of mass destruction for four decades, so it should be no problem to contain Saddam and an arsenal that could be a fraction of the former Soviet Union's. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who knows firsthand the horrors of war, has advocated diplomacy as the solution, but has put his ideals aside under pressure from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

The United States already has the ongoing war with Al-Qaeda and our inability to capture its leader, Osama bin Laden.

Now we have the problem with North Korea and its declared intent to become a nuclear power. Just suppose, while we are wagering a war with Iraq, China decides to invade Taiwan, which the United States is bound by treaty to defend.

Maybe this is why Walter Cronkite, "the most trusted man in America" said war with Iraq may be the start of World War III.

Starting a war is easy. Winning and getting out is the difficult part.

Robin Poffenberger

Hagerstown




Jobs are hardly comparable



To the editor:


Once in a while there are articles, statements and lectures which beg and demand a response. Such an article was recently published in your paper under "Health Q & A."

The premise of the article was that a nurse practitioner is "comparable to a physician." Webster defines comparable thusly: "The representing of one thing to be like another."

Herein lies the fallacy. A nurse practitioner is just what the name implies: A nurse who has had two years of post-nurse training in which she/he rotates through medical departments, many on a part-time basis, for a few weeks.

Is this "comparable" to the years of training required to become a physician?

Probably the greatest sophistry is the fact that, too often, these practitioners do not inform their clients that they are nurses, thereby giving the false impression that they are physicians.

Comparable? I think not!

E. Hawbaker

Hagerstown

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