- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Reno's proposal
Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno suggested yesterday that she and fellow candidates for governor of Florida should scale back fund raising in light of the Sept. 11 attacks that left nearly 7,000 people dead or missing.
However, Miss Reno's rivals for the Democratic nomination in 2002 pointed out that limits on fund raising would benefit the former attorney general at their expense, because she already is well known.
With the Florida race for governor projected to cost as much as $40 million, Miss Reno said the candidates should discuss among themselves whether that was too much at a time when the nation was potentially preparing for war and charities were stretched to their limits.
"I think at the appropriate time we should take it up, but right now we want to avoid making it a partisan issue," Miss Reno said at a Florida AFL-CIO conference in Orlando.
Miss Reno, a Miami native, is the best-known Democrat challenging Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, the younger brother of President Bush.
Some of her Democratic opponents rejected Miss Reno's idea, Reuters reported.
"We have to raise some money just to increase our name recognition," said state Rep. Lois Frankel, who suspended fund raising after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "How does anyone know who I am compared to Janet Reno? The same is true for Jeb Bush."

Small dramas
"Gazing down from the gallery into the House chamber during Bush's speech, I found myself focusing on two small dramas," Nicholas Lemann writes in the New Yorker.
"Every time there was an applause line, the Supreme Court justices would conduct an instant, mute conference, through glances: Should they stand and clap? Justice Sandra Day O'Connor seemed to be the signal-caller here, and the criterion seemed to be whether Bush had said something indicating a policy choice that might one day come before the court or made a point of general agreement," Mr. Lemann says.
"At 'We will come together to strengthen our intelligence capacities,' the court sat; at 'The hour is coming when America will act,' it stood. Every time the justices got, or gave themselves, the green light to stand and clap, Justice Clarence Thomas clapped more heartily than the others.
"And then I watched the diplomatic corps row upon row of ambassadors from all over the world. During the sections of the speech where Bush was condemning bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the Taliban, a few of the foreign diplomats did not stand at all. A few more stood stiffly, with their arms at their sides. None of them applauded enthusiastically."

Change in plans
"The terror attacks have forced some 2004 Democratic presidential hopefuls to suspend operations," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has iced fund raising until spring and cut his fund-raising staff by nearly 50 percent. All's not lost, however, since the Vietnam vet is using the time to flex his foreign-policy credentials. Ditto for other heavyweights, except Al Gore. He is sticking with the political thing, planning a big Iowa speech, and then hosting a major Democratic National Committee fund-raiser in Silicon Valley. And it's curtains for rookie Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolina trial lawyer, says a foe, 'unless you're considering a class-action suit against the Taliban.'"

Yielding to terrorists
"Terrorists first succeed when they create the death and destruction they seek. But they win a second victory if we then allow them to alter our way of life and convey weakness. The country should hesitate before, in the name of safety, it gives terrorists too many symbolic victories," the Wall Street Journal says.
"Take Reagan National Airport, which nearly two weeks after September 11 remains totally closed. Certainly caution is justified. As Defense Secretary Rumsfeld points out, the flight paths into and out of National are seconds away from the White House, the Capitol and the Pentagon. Yet the plane that crashed into the Pentagon took off from Dulles airport, the substitute for Reagan National. Planes flying from Dulles and Baltimore are only three minutes flying time from downtown Washington; it's not clear to us what anyone would do in the two minutes of extra warning," the newspaper said in an editorial.
The newspaper added: "We very much doubt that keeping the airport closed permanently would significantly reduce the threat of another suicide hijacking. And we agree with Rep. John Mica, [Florida Republican and] chairman of the House subcommittee on aviation, that in permanently closing Reagan National, 'We would be yielding to the very best wishes of terrorists.'"

Tennessee pride
You may not have heard of Tennessee state Rep. James O. Naifeh. He is the speaker of the state House who earlier this year rebuked Rep. Henri Brooks, a fellow Democrat, for Miss Brooks' refusal to stand to pledge allegiance to the American flag.
Mr. Naifeh, an American of Arab descent, was an infantry platoon leader in Vietnam and fully supports President Bush's war against the terrorists responsible for Sept. 11 hijacking attacks.
"I wish I were younger so I could be in the Army as part of the scout team that goes and finds those who did this so we can do the justice that needs to be done," Mr. Naifeh told The Washington Times' Ralph Z. Hallow.
Mr. Naifeh, 64, says he wishes Uncle Sam would require young Americans to serve their country: "One of the worst things the United States did was to abolish the [military] draft."
As for Miss Brooks who views the U.S. flag as a symbol of slavery and racism her response to an interview request was succinct: "I have nothing to say to The Washington Times."

Blood on their hands?
Latest entry in the "blame America first" sweepstakes:
The Sept. 14 prayer ceremony at the National Cathedral attended by former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George Bush and Bill Clinton was "a most extraordinary ritual of hypocrisy and deceit," Sara Pursley writes in LGNY, a New York journal for homosexuals.
"[T]there was not an ex-president in that church who did not have the blood of tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim civilians on his hands, and who did not commit these acts in the name of the American people," she said.

Like father, like
Denial, they say, is not just a river in Egypt. It happens that Egypt is home to the father of Mohamed Atta suspected of carrying out one of the Sept. 11 terrorist suicide attacks.
"It's impossible my son would participate in this attack," the elder Mr. Atta tells Newsweek magazine.
Mr. Atta says his son was the victim of an elaborate plot by Israeli intelligence.
"The Mossad kidnapped my son. They used his name and identity. Then they killed him. This was done by the Mossad, using American pilots."

Teach your children well
Who is more intelligent and mature a New York liberal or her 13-year-old daughter? You decide.
"My daughter, who goes to Stuyvesant High School only blocks from the World Trade Center, thinks we should fly an American flag out our window," writes Katha Pollitt in the latest issue of the Nation. "Definitely not, I say: The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war. She tells me I'm wrong the flag means standing together and honoring the dead and saying no to terrorism.
"It seems impossible to explain to a 13-year-old the connection between waving the flag and bombing ordinary people half a world away back to the proverbial stone age. I tell her she can buy a flag with her own money and fly it out her bedroom window, because that's hers, but the living room is off-limits."

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