Letters to the editor - 4/2/03

April 02, 2003

Spare us lectures from chicken hawks

To the editor:

I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1966 and later served 13 months in Vietnam. During the 1968 Tet offensive, I was stationed at a fire support base several miles below the DMZ, trying to survive repeated artillery and rocket attacks.

So I don't need the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader Tom Delay preaching to me about the responsibilities involved in being a loyal American and impugning my patriotism, and the patriotism of other veterans, many of whose experiences were far worse than mine, for questioning the motives behind George Bush's war in Iraq.

Each of the persons named above, and many of their Republican and Democratic colleagues, had the opportunity to serve in his country's military but, for one reason or another, chose not too.

Being in elective politics, these high-flying war hawks have been asked on more than one occasion why they didn't serve in the armed forces. I would love to have heard some of the excuses. These very vocal boosters seem to think that everything about war is just peachy, except apparently the prospect of actually having to personally fight in one.


This president's style of diplomacy, of strutting about the world's stage in all of his Texas tough-guy plumage trying to muscle (and bribe) other sovereign nations into line was a work of art. As a result of its decision to comply only with the international treaties it likes (and disregard the ones it doesn't), the administration is destroying long-time relationships in both Europe and Asia.

The administration and its supporters in Congress apparently feel that shared sacrifice and responsibility, in the face of a looming and potentially astronomical war debt and deficits as far as the eye can see, is to boycott the Dixie Chicks, dump on Hollywood and substitute "freedom" fries and toast for the French varieties. If money were hay, the size of the proposed tax cuts would make an elephant gag.

During the Clinton administration, there were many Republicans in Congress, who, with Jerry Falwell-like ardor, were preaching about the sins of deficit spending. There was even serious talk about adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The deficit hawks were in a near state of apoplexy over the thought that their grandchildren's futures were being mortgaged because of the "Clinton deficits."

Well guess what? Clinton balanced the budget with scant Republican support. But, apparently there's now a "new paradigm" which says not only that huge deficits don't matter anymore, but that they're actually good for the economy. It's time to head for the tall grass!

But, not to worry. The war will soon be over, the world will be secure and safe for democracy (like those in France and Turkey) and Israelis and Palestinians will lie down together in peace like the lion and the lamb. And, unlike Monty Python's Norwegian Blue Parrot, the economy really is just resting.

Doug Martin
Middletown, Md.

Name a road after the A-10

To the editor:

Regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq, one thing remains - the support of our American soldiers. Keeping this in mind I am sure that a large majority of the people in the United States regard the A-10 Thunderbolt or Warthog, whichever you choose to call it, as a superb veteran of two conflicts.

One newsman on MSNBC gets excited every time he sees or hears about it. I recently ran into a few people who had absolutely no idea that this plane had been produced in Washington County. We have a vested pride in its success and I think it's about time that we recognize it. I suggested to some of our county and city officials at the end of the Gulf War and have again repeated my request during the current conflict that the name of the road at our airport be changed from the nondescript "Airport Road" to "Thunderbolt Way," "Warthog Loop" or something reflecting the fact that our local people in this county are part of the A-10 program and we are darn proud of it.

How many success stories does this aircraft need? It is now as famous as the B-17 and the P-51 were in their day as being the dominant force for our troop support. I would solicit any e-mails of support to my e-mail address at, and send a copy to our County Commissioners.

Lynn W. Dick

What's to protest?

To the editor:

Why are you protesting? Are you saying it's okay to use weapons on innocent women, and children? To use those same women and children as shields on the battlefield? Are you saying it's okay to take small children from their homes and force family members to fight or the whole family will die?

Is that okay, being a coward and fighting that way? Or is it because you think it's okay to lie about having weapons that can kill the entire world if that weapon is not taken away?

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