The 'Sparrows' of War

Regarding the opinion-page column "In War, Who Are the Sparrows?," March 6: I want to let you know that at least one other person is also uneasy amid all the flag-waving. The point that "even the 100 or 200 casualties are a universe of loss to those who lost them" particularly struck a responsive chord. I wonder how many of the families of those who died believe in their heart of hearts that getting Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait was worth the life of their son or daughter. I believe that the economic sanctions were success enough for collective security, whether or not they would have forced Saddam out of Kuwait.

Richard J. Bloomfield, Boston, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation

The author asks why Saddam Hussein didn't take warning from US actions against Libya and Panama. Perhaps it is simply that Saddam expected another response pitting one nation against another nation. The Persian Gulf war has changed that. From now on, instead of one nation being against another, it should be a world coalition of good against a nation bent on evil. The Gulf war has demonstrated this and has established a true deterrent against any tyrannical leader of any nation.

William S. Buchanan, Warminster, Pa.

The reality of war has not changed, despite our efforts to "sanitize" its language and restrict its visual impact. We bomb from 30,000 feet, shoot missiles and rockets into the air, and never see the ghastly consequences because press coverage is strictly censored. Still, covered or not, war continues to shatter bodies, blast dreams, and fracture families of friend and foe alike. And we lie to ourselves if we seek consolation in the thought that the Iraqi mother, father, husband, and wife do not grieve over the loss of a loved one.

The Gulf war represents an immense, tragic, human failure. We have perfected the means of mass destruction; we have failed to find and employ some nobler, more humane method of solving national disputes. This is a time of great sorrow for us all. As the author says, "we are all sparrows."

James H. Laird, Candler, N.C.

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