Letters to the Editor
Volume VI Number 7
February 19-25, 1998

Kick in the Assateague

Dear New Bay Times:

Time was, I'd read Bill Burton when I wanted to know where the fish were jumping and where to get my deer. He'd tell us what DNR and Joe Sixpack had to say. Now I pick up New Bay Times and he's quoting guys named Milton and Chaucer! Has old Burton gone soft on us?

I'm just teasing. In his column about problems at Assateague, he is exactly right about our misplaced priorities. We've allowed so much construction north of there in Ocean City that we've destroyed the natural sand dunes and the protection for that part of the coastline. That is what was happening in the recent breach from the storms and flooding.

Burton is right when he says that people in government don't care about Assateague with its marshes, wildlife and wild ponies. I agree with Burton when he says: 'To hell with Ocean City and its priorities'. I'm just glad he didn't also use Shakespeare to make his point.

- Rob Green, Upper Marlboro

In Iraq, Who Would Be the Baddest?

Dear New Bay Times:

I can't help but ponder this question. The Gulf War was a "success." We successfully killed innocent people (who clearly had problems dealing with their own dictator). We successfully created poverty and destitution for its survivors, while Saddam Hussein managed to successfully elude it all.

Now, seven years later, we are falling for his gesturing and posturing a second time, seriously considering another attack.

To what end? By what exactly do we measure success? What do we believe we will gain? I am somewhat confused when Defense Secretary William Cohen says we shouldn't raise our hopes too high; that Saddam will still be in power after the second attack; that we will just "slow him down."

So we, the people of the United States, are willing to sacrifice more human life to slow down the tyrant who causes us fear and trembling. We would bomb and strafe the innocent to preclude Saddam from inflicting his own style of destruction. What is not clear to me is who exactly is the bad guy? Or who is the biggest bad guy?

As Americans today, we have not lived through war on this continent - at least not since the Civil War. We have seen pictures of war on television, our children have grown up playing video war games, we are reminded of wars past - some labeled as the "Great Ones," others as great mistakes. But have we tasted the blood taken from another by our own hands? Forgive me in my attempt to reduce this to its lowest common denominator, but complexity has no inherent sanctity.

If we, the people, wish to go to war, then we, the people, must realize that we are responsible for all of the death and destruction. It is not a video game. Would you look into the eyes of the men, women and children in the aftermath and say: 'We just couldn't negotiate on this; there was nothing we could do'?"

- A. Nikkolai, Shady Side

Sticks Up For Sauerbrey

Dear New Bay Times:

In his letter to the editor, Ron Camp complains that Ellen Sauerbrey has a "knee-jerk, anti-government" attitude and because of it, she's not the best candidate to tackle the Pfiesteria mess. In my view, it was government that got us this far by ignoring the watermen and the early signs of trouble. Not to mention letting the chicken industry dump (no doubt in return for campaign contributions.) My point is that government is not blameless here, and Sauerbrey may be as good as we're gonna get.

- Chuck Fuller, Annapolis

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