- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2000

Welcome to Cuban Americans questioned, appreciated[p]

How sad to see a newspaper whose views I normally support and defend become a mouthpiece for the Cuban-American community. I am not an "it takes a village" liberal, an immigrant basher or a supporter of the Castro regime. I am, however, a patriotic American.

While I was appalled at the infamous photo of Elian Gonzalez and the federal agent with his assault weapon, this is a matter for law enforcement to decide, and on this subject I have no comment. It is true that the Cuban-American community in Miami has made magnificent strides and has contributed mightily to our economy, but that does not give them the right to shut down streets, taunt those who do not agree with them or fly my magnificent flag upside down in contempt.

I believe many patriotic Americans share my feelings while at the same time deplore returning Elian to the communist prison that is Cuba. But to say "Cuban-Americans welcome," without the proviso that they also must recognize the anger they have unleashed among conservative, law-abiding, and patriotic people is irresponsible. I am proud to be an American, and every other American should be, too.

ROSALIND ELLIS

Baltimore

m

Thank you for your editorial about us Cuban Americans. I have lived in this country for 41 years, became a U.S. citizen in 1964, raised two children until they received their master's degrees and now am the proud grandmother of four American-born grandchildren.

I have never collected welfare or unemployment, and worked up to my 75th birthday.

There is news of grave frictions in Miami. We are being called "bananeros" (people from a banana republic), and that perturbs me. The romance of the news media, as well as the public in general, with the Cuban dictator escapes me.

CELIDA VILLALON

Oakland Gardens, N.Y.

Democrats launch a hypocritical lawsuit[p]

This is just too much. How can the Democrats have the gall to actually sue Rep. Tom DeLay over fund-raising tactics? ("Democratic committee accuses DeLay of racketeering," May 4)

The Democrats are a party that has admittedly accepted large illegal donations from communist countries; has used public television federally funded operations to assist it in fund-raising efforts; and we've seen its national leaders resign over activities similar to those listed in the suit.

Remember former Rep. Tony "Mr. Shakedown" Coelho, who today is part of the Gore re-election team? Today, the Democrats are led by a president and vice president whose sneering mockery of our nation's campaign financing laws is daily news.

The suit sounds like a laundry list of things Democrats do all the time. Fortunately for them, they have gotten away with it so far. The machinations of Democratic fund raising are so Byzantine as to make any schemes the Republicans might come up look like child's play by comparison.

Someone should use the federal racketeering law, known as RICO, on the Democrats.

The long tentacles of the Democrats' interlocking relationships with radical environmental groups, the lawyers' lobby, public television and the news media should shock the world and shake this country to its foundation.

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are treading on dangerous turf.

JAMES SIMPSON

Alexandria

Administration should be in hot water over decision on dams[p]

The Washington Times article about Army political appointees ordering the Army Corps of Engineers to delete from a report a recommendation that four Snake River dams be left in place shows once more that the Clinton administration placed politics above sound science ("Army Corps told to amend report," April 19).

Federal officials and environmental groups have long maintained that dam operations as well as other human activities in the Pacific Northwest are to blame for a precipitous decline in the West Coast salmon population that has been occurring since the mid-1970s.

Beginning last spring, when the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) placed several salmon subspecies on the endangered species list, federal regulators stepped up their efforts to implement measures, such as destroying dams, that they argue would aid salmon recovery in the region.

But NMFS regulators and apparently the Army's civilian appointees are ignoring a rapidly accumulating body of scientific evidence that shows that a naturally occurring increase in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean not man has caused the sharp decline in salmon. A warmer ocean, it turns out, hurts fish because it kills off much of their zooplankton food supply.

Interestingly, the oceanic phenomenon that has been so detrimental to salmon survival operates on a 20-year to 30-year cycle, and there is evidence that the ocean cycle is entering a cool phase that will stimulate a major rebound in the salmon population, rendering drastic policies such as dam destruction unnecessary. Unfortunately, the Army's civilian chiefs are more interested in beating the drum for the political agenda of environmental movements rather than listening to the informed recommendations of its own experts.

JOHN K. CARLISLE

Director

Environmental Policy Task Force

National Center for Public Policy Research

Washington

Unfair INS bureaucracy leaves activist behind bars[p

]Arnold Beichman's column on Iranian human rights activist Mahnaz Samadi, jailed and threatened with deportation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), reads like "Catch-22" ("Liberator in chains," Op-Ed, May 3).

She is a liberator, which is why the mullahs put her in jail and tortured her. She was granted political asylum in the United States because the mullahs put her in jail and tortured her. And now she is threatened with deportation because she is a liberator.

However idiotic, Miss Samadi's case should come as no surprise. Her arrest is but another in a string of political gestures that victimize Tehran's victims. The INS's policy, dictated by politics instead of principles, has come full circle and Miss Samadi is the unhappy victim of circumstance.

Despite much talk about "signs" that Tehran is improving its behavior, just days ago the State Department again acknowledged in its annual report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism" that Iran remained "the most active state sponsor of terrorism." The mullahs are not just wagging the dog; they are leading us around by the tail.

BOB SAFARI

Alexandria

m

I am ashamed at America's treatment of a refugee who sought shelter on our shores. I refer to Arnold Beichman's column on Mahnaz Samadi, who fled political persecution and prison in Iran, only to be politically persecuted and imprisoned by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Apparently, the INS's designation of victim and oppressor blows in the political wind.

Mr. Beichman's list of prospective INS deportees, past and present, under these bureaucratic rules is telling. Allow me to add Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner who strove to liberate South Africa from apartheid rule. How about Charles de Gaulle? Moses likely would have been deported after the plague struck the Egyptians to liberate his people. And let us not forget America's Founding Fathers, who also "prepared units under [their] command for coordinated attacks designed to liberate" the Colonists from the British crown.

The progress of human civilization is essentially owed to the people of various times and cultures who strove to liberate themselves and their homelands from tyrants. Clearly, since Miss Samadi was granted political asylum, she is a victim of Tehran's tyrants. So what is she doing in chains, and how can anyone seriously talk of deporting her? For shame.

DIANE ARANI

Woodbridge, Va.

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