In the real world, Saddam Hussein and Iraq were impotent imposters. The "no-fly zone" instituted by the first Bush Administration after the first Gulf War, monetary sanctions and Hussein's paranoia combined to reduce this despot to second-rate dictator status.
Containment was effective and Iraq had no part in the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. In fact, Saddam Hussein's very presence provided a buffer zone and a counter-balance to Iran. The economy of Iraq was in disarray and as we have subsequently discovered, the infrastructure of Iraq was in an advanced state of decay. None of this seemed to matter. Reality and all substantiated evidence were tossed out with the dishwater.
Now at this later hour, we have a new commander in Iraq, General Petraeus. This is the same general who wrote the counter insurgency manual for the Army. Using General Petraeus' calculation, the military would require at least 100,000 troops in Baghdad to quell the violence. The balance of the country would require another 150,000 troops. This is a total of 250,000 troops and we are sending 21,000 to achieve "victory now."
The situation is so dire that what purports to be the Iraqi government cannot leave the fortified green zone. This government is propped up by an American administration, and both entities are construed on a foundation of sand. The hourglass is draining as Americans contemplate this nightmare.
In the Vietnam era "the wise men" predicted the nations of Southeast Asia would fall like "dominos" if we did not obliterate the Communist hordes. Today you can purchase products produced in Vietnam at any big-box store in America.
Currier and his fellow disciples anticipate the prospect of terrified Americans awaiting the next domino to fall in the Middle East. They have been terribly incorrect about every facet of events that have transpired to this point, and their histrionics offer little in the way of validated evidence to substantiate this ominous decree.
We are told "America cannot leave Iraq because the country will descend into a civil war." Wake up - these conditions exist now, and the Bush administration is the perpetrator and architect of this military and political catastrophe.
Here's a plan to protect America: Pull our troops out of Baghdad, pursue meaningful negotiations with Iran and Syria and impeach the Bush administration.
Jerome D. Martin
Death penalty is not a deterrent, it's punishment
To the editor:
Gov. O'Malley, you are correct, capital punishment doesn't stop people from committing crimes and for sure it's not a deterrent for murder.
The death penalty is meant for only one thing, and that is to punish the guilty person who took a life so that he will never get the chance to murder again. A Maryland Court of Appeals judge calculated it costs $400,000 more to process and imprison a death-penalty defendant than a defendant serving a life sentence, but he didn't say why it cost more.
It is because of the extra security provided and the many court appeals, all of which are paid for by the taxpayers. Some murderers are kept on death row for more than 20 years before they are finally put to death. Yes, it is expensive for the taxpayers, but if a murderer is found guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, he should not be held on death row for 20 years or more.
Let's not forget the two correctional officers who were murdered last year.
I believe no human being is put to death because of the color of their skin or race. The killer is put to death because of the heinous crime that were committed on another human being. The death penalty is not a deterrent and it will never be, and I hope all of you bleeding hearts realize that.
More than state should apologize for slavery
To the editor: