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Letters to the editor

April 19, 2007

Cost of war has been limited



To the editor:

Fighting the war against terrorism has been going on in earnest for about five years. It has cost us in blood and treasure, but the cost has been disproportionately borne by the few - the American military and their families. The rest of us have felt no pain and many have actually prospered because of the war.

It is this latter point that is so infuriating to me. In a nation of more than 300 million people, only a tiny fraction are negatively affected in any way. They or their loved ones have suffered no loss nor been wounded, nor been exposed to enemy fire. Further, the overwhelming majority have no direct contact with anyone who has so suffered. Yet to hear the liberal members of Congress and the vocal war protesters cry out about the costs and consequences of the war, one would think that we were experiencing the Normandy invasion or, in an earlier time, Antietam.

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Here are the actual human costs as of March 20. In Iraq, we have had 2,601 combat deaths and 621 who died of non-combat causes for a total of 3,222. To put this in some political context, the average death toll per congressional district (there are 435) in more than four years of fighting is roughly 7.41.

We have had 24,187 wounded in Iraq in the same period but 13,415 or 55 percent of those wounded returned to duty in 72 hours or less! Shades of John Kerry and his three Purple Hearts!

In Afghanistan, we have suffered 370 American deaths in five years of fighting there. There have been 1,133 wounded, of which 455 (40 percent) have been returned to duty in 72 hours or less!

Moneywise, we've spent a couple of hundred billion dollars on the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But did you know that the great bulk of these funds have been spent right here in the U.S., going into the pockets of American firms and American taxpayers? This is, in part, why the American economy is so good (4.4 percent unemployment). Wars pay, as they always have.

What in the world are those bleeding hearts in Congress saying to the 300 million of us? That we shouldn't or can't afford to protect ourselves from enemies who have vowed to kill us? That we just don't have the national will to tolerate those levels of casualties and spending?

Does the Congress think so little of "We the People" that they dare not trust us to have the courage to save ourselves? Or is it just Bush- hating that is at the heart of their professed sympathy for our troops and their mission? Why else is Congress trying to do everything in its power to cause us to fail in our fight against terrorism?

Donald R. Currier
Smithsburg




Stop telling us what not to do



To the editor:

I'm so tired of politicians and certain sects of people using half- truths, lies or simply not comparing apples to apples. It's becoming obvious that we are letting ourselves get as two-faced as politicians.

You have politicians and nonsmokers now saying we should ban smoking in any and all public places. So that means their rights count for more than smokers, eh? I didn't see that in the Constitution.

I'm not saying smoking is good for you, but it's a lot less dangerous than other things. Let's compare some things:

1. Automobiles are more harmful than smoking and create more fumes harmful to the ozone layer.

2. Cell phones that cause auto accidents kill more than smokers.

3. People applying makeup while driving kill more in auto accidents than smoking.

4. Cities - car fumes, crime rates, factories and business with their fumes and waste - kill more.

If you people want to call this land of the free, then quit trying to punish certain people and telling them when and where they can do something and that your rights mean more than theirs. We tried prohibition one other time and that didn't work. Everybody should think before they speak and then keep it to themselves.

Roy Barnhart
Smithsburg




Clean air trumps right to smoke



To the editor:

This letter is in response to Greg Scandlen and other smokers who feel as he does (see letters in Sunday, April 8 Herald-Mail) about the new laws banning smoking in restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.

This issue is not about "free association" as you put it. It is about the health of restaurant employees and patrons. Our right as nonsmokers to breathe clean air trumps your right to smoke. Bottom line, end of story.

And while you are at it, when you step outside of a public building to "enjoy" your cigarette, please move far away from the door - we don't care to walk through a smokescreen on the way in.

James Hoffer
Smithsburg




Join us Saturday to share positive parenting tips



To the editor:

Members of the Friends of Education Exchange Club will join thousands of fellow Exchangites across the country for the single biggest child-abuse prevention service event in Exchange's 96-year history on April 21. They will be participating in the Believe in the Blue child abuse prevention project from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of the Wal-Mart on Garland Groh Boulevard in Hagers-town.

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