- The Washington Times - Monday, December 4, 2000

Domenici bid is not challenge of Lott

The Nov. 30 Op-Ed column "Senate leadership fight," on Senator Pete V. Dominici's campaign for the chairmanship of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, was remarkable on several counts. Because my name was featured prominently, perhaps I may be permitted a response.

The authors, who never contacted me or Mr. Domenici about this race, are to be admired; of the six assertions they make about Mr. Domenici and his staff, only five are wrong.

• At no time did I or any other member of Mr. Domenici's staff claim that Mr. Domenici was running for policy committee chairman because of Sen. Trent Lott's "flaccid" leadership (a characterization used by the authors of the piece, but never used by me or Mr. Domenici). Mr. Domenici, far from challenging Mr. Lott's leadership, told the majority leader on Nov. 8, the day after the 2000 elections, that he wished to nominate Mr. Lott for another term as leader.

• Mr. Domenici must be the only pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-balanced-budget defense hawk ever characterized as a "liberal." I can only chuckle at the discomfort this label brings to those few true liberals who still haunt the Senate chamber.

• Only Mr. Domenici and I have any "list" of those who support Mr. Domenici's campaign, so I am bemused by those who claim to have reviewed one.

• Mr. Domenici's senior staff members have been around a long time, so they can think of no endeavor more likely to backfire than a staff trying to lobby on a leadership race.

• Mr. Domenici's campaign has nothing to do with the 1990 term-limit reforms adopted by the Senate Republican Conference, for after all, he is the challenger and not an incumbent asking for any special dispensation from established rules.

Consistent with an age of argument by mere assertion and targeted propaganda, the piece conforms admirably to the current Washington milieu.

STEPHEN BELL

Chief of staff

Sen. Pete V. Domenici

Washington

Pakistan is guilty by association

In response to my Nov. 14 Op-Ed column, "The other rogue state," Asad Hayauddin, press attache of the Embassy of Pakistan, writes that my assertion about Pakistan's involvement in terrorism is "unsubstantiated" ("Pakistan prosecutes persecutors of minorities," Nov. 22).

Yet from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29, the Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the world's leading terrorist organizations, held an international convention in a suburb of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. The Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party) may not be on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations, but it is the godfather of several groups listed as terrorist by the U.S. government.

The convention was attended by Rached Ghannouchi, who is the fugitive head of Tunisia's terrorist organization Ennahda. Mr. Ghannouchi has been barred from entering the United States.

The convention also was addressed by Syed Salahuddin, "supreme commander" of Hizbul Mujahideen, which is but another name for one of the groups listed as terrorist by the State Department.

Hizbul Mjuahideen's specialty is killing Hindu villagers in isolated regions of Kashmir, a policy deeply resented by the victims' Muslim neighbors. Qazi Hussain Ahmad, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami, made Mr. Salahuddin the hero of the Islamabad convention.

Mr. Ahmad has argued repeatedly for retaliation against Americans if the United States takes any action against Osama bin Laden. An Arabic book written and published by bin Laden's partisans mentions that as early as 1980 he used to frequent Mr. Ahmad's headquarters in Lahore, Pakistan, to make donations to the Jamaat-e-Islami.

As far as Islamist terrorism is concerned, past governments of Pakistan have substantiated it abundantly.

In 1973, the Pakistani government arrested the then head of the Jamaat-e-Islami and prepared to ban this terrorist group. An oil-rich Arab state, however, prevailed upon Islamabad not to touch the group.

The present government in Islamabad may find it difficult to prove that all previous investigations were wrong and that the jihad proclaimed by the Jamaat-e-Islami and its various regional offshoots is nothing but moral rearmament. Jamaat-e-Islami takes pride in its terrorist activities and is always keen on providing hard evidence to bolster its image as a party of hard-liners.

In Canada and the United States, its branches even ran a campaign supporting the terrorist government of Sudan, another rogue state.

KHALID DURAN

Editor

TransIslam Magazine

Bethesda

Breast implants are not safe

I was disappointed to see the inaccurate and biased interpretation of breast implant science published Nov. 20 in The Washington Times ("Hush good news on silicone.")

In that Op-Ed column, John Meroney portrayed himself as an independent "science writer" interested in the "government research" being conducted by Dr. Louise Brinton at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on the health effects of breast implants.

In the first of a series of studies conducted on more than 13,000 women, Dr. Brinton concluded that implants don't cause cancer. In the same study, however, she highlighted a serious problem the delayed detection of cancer in women with implants. Discovering cancer at a later stage makes surviving the disease less likely.

Dr. Brinton concluded that more research is needed to determine if the death rate for women whose cancer is discovered late increases over time. This always has been the primary concern regarding breast cancer for women with implants.

Contrary to Mr. Meroney's assertion, breast implants are not safe. Numerous scientific bodies, the Food and Drug Administration and even the manufacturers themselves have attested to the serious complications caused by breast implants broken and leaking implants, pain, infection, hard breasts and migration of silicone to the rest of the body. Repeat operations often are required to remove failed implants, scar tissue and otherwise healthy breast tissue damaged by leaking silicone.

Mr. Meroney has been attacking Dr. Brinton and her research in conservative publications for more than two years long before the research even was completed.

He is indeed right that the estimated 2 million women with breast implants "deserve to know" the truth but his groundless attacks will not lead to that outcome. Only legitimate, independent research and researchers such as the NCI and Dr. Brinton can make that happen.

SYBIL NIDEN GOLDRICH

National Silicone Implant Information Clearinghouse

Los Angeles

Sybil Niden Goldrich received silicone breast implants after a bilateral mastectomy in the 1980s. Persistent ill health led to three implant-replacement operations. An article she wrote for Ms. magazine in 1988 about her experience and the medical community's indifference drew widespread public attention and ultimately led to the FDA's moratorium on silicone breast implants in 1992.

The mystery of voter intent

Democrats have perfected the art of creating specious arguments and red herrings; it is a skill they have worked at assiduously and honed over the course of past decades. Their most recent specious concept is "voter intent."

They say, in effect, that it is not the marks (or lack of marks) on a ballot that should count, but voter intent. In effect, they say that, separate from the marks on the ballot and somehow knowable.

But that is a false dichotomy; the marks on the ballot are the only way we have of knowing voter intent. For our purposes, the marks on the ballot are "voter intent"; the two are synonymous.

That is why elections have always been determined by the number of votes a candidate gets, not by the number of voters who intended to vote for him. We can only draw inferences about how many voters favored a particular candidate by seeing how many voters actually marked, punched, or otherwise indicated on the ballot a vote for that candidate.

In the real world, we can only know people's thoughts and intents by observing their outward behavior. Thus it is a philosophical mistake to reify "voter intent," i.e., to treat it as a concrete thing in itself. Until known by outward expression, voter intent is only an abstraction.

And furthermore: a dent is not a hole.

LARRY EUBANK

Bloomington, Indiana

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