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Letters to the editor - 1/21/03

January 21, 2003

Bush is on track



To the editor:


Robin Poffenberger begins by talking about the failure of "regime change" by citing a single covert mission that preceded the Vietnam War. The fact that she fails to understand the profound difference between change attempted by a covert operation and a war is bad enough. To imply that we would not have been committed to the South Vietnamese regardless is, at best, ignorance of our intentions.

Finally, it seems to be "regime change" worked quite well during the World Wars and as a result of us standing strong against the Soviet Union. Ask the people of Eastern Europe if regime change wasn't successful.

As for the Bush administration being the only ones pushing for war against Iraq, I suppose she missed the vote in Congress and the United Nations authorizing the use of force if Saddam once again does not comply with the U.N. resolution. She must also have missed chief inspector Hans Blix's warning to Iraq that failure to correct the omissions in their report would mean war.

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Repeating the "Bush is making up for daddy" mantra is pure politics with no basis in fact. Saddam's Muslim neighbors cannot outwardly support the U.S. without fear of reprisal from their own citizens for supporting the "Great Satan" against another Muslim country. But there is not a single government named (Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) that supports Saddam Hussein.

Also, most of the tax cuts voted by Congress in 2001 are not even in place until 2005, so blaming them for causing the deficit is absurd. Even a Washington Post editorial responding to Al Gore's similar accusations stated that without the small reduction already in place, the economy would currently be worse. The tax cuts in place resulted in, at most, a 35 percent nominal decrease in revenue - the remainder of the "surplus" has been used up by the slow economy, the war on terrorism, 9/11 and its aftermath and some boondoggle congressional spending, which the president did not veto.

FDR didn't serve in the military. Neither did Woodrow Wilson and yet they committed U.S. lives to two world wars. President Clinton avoided service as well and committed the U.S. to more missions than any president in U.S. history.

Was it inappropriate for them to do so? Oh, and "bad Bush" for failing to do in 16 months what our previous president failed to do in eight years, namely, capturing bin Laden. Again, ask those affected. Ask the women in Afghanistan who can once again attend school, work and receive health care to rate Bush's "failure."

The administration is busy addressing the problems in North Korea accelerated by the previous administration's "framework" for peace that failed to disarm them or even slow down their march to nuclear capability. President Clinton was near a decision to use military force in 1994 when former President Carter stepped in to negotiate peace in our time. Although Clinton and his cabinet were aware of its flaws, none spoke out against the framework or made any efforts to fix them. I trust a solution will be found. It is unlikely North Korea would risk the wrath of both the U.S. and China by continuing on this course.

War is hell, but peace at any price is worse.

Greg Evans

Hagerstown




Special care



To the editor:


This letter is in response to E. Hawbaker's letter published on Jan. 14. Apparently there is some confusion as to just what the role of a nurse practitioner is and with regard to our education.

Nurse practitioners are a valued part of the medical team. We can be found in nearly all practice settings from the hospital critical care units to private practices. Patient care satisfaction surveys consistently support the fact that patients are satisfied and often prefer the care of a nurse practitioner to that of a physician.

We, however, are not the same as physicians. There are different types of nurses. Licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses. Each of these requires a different level of education and thus provides a different level of care.

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who not only has a bachelor's degree from a college or university, but also a master's degree. The master's degree is in advanced practice nursing for the specialty in which the nurse has had experience.

For example, I have a bachelor's degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins University. I worked as an RN in a variety of pediatric settings and then returned to the University of Maryland for my master's degree in Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing.

I now work in a private pediatric office providing primary care (physical exams, sick visits, gynecological exams). While it is true that our formal education is shorter in years than that of a physician, we specialize at the start of our advanced training and therefore are very qualified for the positions we hold.

It is not our goal to imitate physicians, but rather to provide the highest quality of care to our clients while working in collaboration with physicians.

Kelli Garber

Hagerstown

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