- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 29, 2001

Powell shouldn't cede authority to defend country to U.N.

In the Sept. 27 article, "U.S. can strike without U.N. nod," Secretary of State Colin L. Powell says President Bush has the authority to "take whatever actions he believes are appropriate in accordance with the needs for self-defense of the United States and of the American people." According to the report, Mr. Powell believes this authority is "based on Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which gives member states the right to self-defense."

He is wrong. That authority is granted by the Constitution of the United States. If Mr. Powell truly believes that the national sovereignty of the United States can or should be trumped by the United Nations, then he should resign as secretary of state.

Any other like-thinking public officials should follow suit. Furthermore, if the United Nations believes the same, then it is time for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations.


CARL P. ACKERMAN JR.

Purcellville, Va.

Now is not the time to squabble over Israel

Morton A. Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemns certain Muslim Americans for making statements in support of Hamas and Hezbollah. Yet his comments ring with hypocrisy and undermine the unity our nation needs in its fight against terrorism.

In a 1998 ZOA document called "Deir Yassin: History of a Lie," Mr. Klein attempted to whitewash a brutal massacre by the 1940s terrorist organizations Irgun Zvai Leumi and Lohamei Herut Yisrael, lauding those organizations as heroic.

History proves differently.

In a 1948 interview, an Irgun representative described their chosen methods as "terror, bombs, [and] assassination." The Irgun was responsible for what has been considered one of the worst acts of terrorism in the 20th century, the blasting of a wing of Jerusalem's King David Hotel in 1947, killing scores of civilians. The organization detonated bombs in public places such as bus stops, kidnapped soldiers of our ally Britain, beat them, hanged them and booby-trapped their corpses. The massacre of residents of the village of Deir Yassin was an especially grotesque act of terror, involving the intentional slaughter of more than 100 children, women and men. According to records of American intelligence, Irgun members physically terrorized noncooperative displaced Jewish survivors of World War II in postwar Germany.

The Lohamei Herut Yisrael, better known as the Stern Gang, assassinated the British chief in the Middle East during World War II, participated in the Deir Yassin massacre, murdered U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in Jerusalem, sent letter bombs to the British Parliament, and solicited an alliance with Nazi Germany.

Albert Einstein, once offered the presidency of Israel, described the organizations that Mr. Klein praises and defends as "fascist."

In these tragic times, American partisans on all sides of the moronic tribal-sectarian Holy Land squabble should spend less time making divisive, self-righteous recriminations and lionizing the homicidal champions of their respective viewpoints. Rather, Mr. Klein and others should embrace a more patriotic attitude and devote their efforts toward a campaign against the scourge of terrorism.


MATTHEW HOGAN

Arlington

The truth about Islam

I would like to respond to Tom Knott's Sept. 20 Metropolitan column "Arab-American suffers misdirected outrage, scorn."

Stereotyping is wrong, but when you classify a gentleman in this case a Pakistani as an Arab, you are adding to the confusion. Such false stereotyping lead to tragic results, such as the recent killing of a Sikh in retaliation for the World Trade Center carnage. Sikhs have absolutely nothing to do with this horrendous event. They are not Arabs, they are not Muslims and they come from India, which is a victim of the same type of terrorists who have attacked America. About 53,000 Indians have been killed in the past decade alone by Islamic terrorists.

As for stereotyping American Muslims, that is wrong, too.

The vast majority are peace-loving individuals. In the confusing aftermath of Sept. 11, however, many falsehoods are being disseminated. For example, it has been said that "Islam" means "peace." On the contrary, "Islam" means "submission," which is quite a different word altogether. There are ideologies in Islam such as the Wahhabi (from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula) and its offshoot the Deobandi (which is widely prevalent in Pakistan) that preach a narrow, hate-filled version of Islam to their adherents. Unfortunately, Wahhabism is the officially sanctioned ideology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

There is a propensity in the United States to be apologists for Saudi Arabia and Pakistan by dubbing them "moderate" states. These states are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

By aligning itself with such states, the United States is betraying her constitutional values. These are antediluvian societies stuck in a theology of the seventh century. They spread terrorism throughout the world by indoctrinating new generations of youngsters in these destructive ideologies. The Saudis are the financiers of this worldwide indoctrination, and the Pakistanis provide the infrastructure (buildings, teachers, etc.). Islam is not the problem, but Wahhabi Islam is.

It is understandable that the United States is making a virtue out of necessity in this instance, aligning herself with retrograde theocracies such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which have no separation of church and state. We should not forget, however, the true nature of these regimes and their religion.


KAUSHAL VEPA

Pleasanton, Calif.

Canadian people embrace U.S.; government less eager

There are many Canadians who are in full agreement with Arnold Beichman's Commentary column concerning the tepid response of the Canadian government to America's suffering ("Canadian umbrage," Sept. 26). We are flying U.S. flags, praying for President Bush, and hanging our heads in shame and incredulity at the stance adopted by our prime minister.

We can only hope that Americans will look past him and appreciate that there are millions of Canadians who are not only grieving with America, but recognize that our survival too is at stake in this war. God bless America.


STEVEN VAN DYCK

Toronto




Many Canadians, including myself, agree with the majority of points in Arnold Beichman's Sept. 26 Commentary column "Canadian umbrage." The current Canadian government is too lax and slow to respond, officially and on a large scale, to crises. Years of neglect have left the Canadian forces and many of our federal agencies in a poor state. Indeed, the government's initial response to the attacks, and its response to date, could have been much more supportive.

One must not forget the Canadian people themselves, however. Canada accepted hundreds of diverted flights from the United States, at an additional security risk and cost. A great number of Canadians opened their homes and hearts to stranded airline passengers. Thousands of Canadians lined up to donate blood, money and services. Dozens of off-duty firefighters and police officers drove down to help the search operation in New York City. Numerous cities, such as Toronto and Hamilton, offered to send a large portion of their emergency services to New York, despite not having enough to serve their own communities at times. During an official memorial ceremony at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on the Friday following the attack, an estimated 100,000 people showed up. This is all the more amazing when you consider that this ceremony was planned only a day or two in advance.

Can you think of another country where the response from the people was on such a scale?

Make no mistake, President Bush's omission of Canada from his historic speech to Congress was deliberate and well-deserved. That this was done in a speech that was on par with the "quarantine" speeches of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy makes the snub all the more deep, and all the more appropriate.

By no amount of afterthought, praise or apologies can the Canadian government make up for it. It would have been appropriate, however, to praise the Canadian people for their efforts and sentiments.


PERCY CONTRACTOR

Etobicoke, Ontario

Violence is Knott funny

Sports columnist Tom Knott's suggestion that Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, and Michael Jordan be deported to Afghanistan where they could be subjected to bodily harm went beyond bad taste to irresponsibility ("He's back [no Bull]", Sept. 26).

At this difficult time, while millions mourn the horrific loss of life due to the Sept. 11 attacks, joking references to the assassination of two prominent U.S. citizens is like rubbing salt in the nation's wounds.

Simply put, violence is not funny. Mr. Knott owes an apology to Mrs. Lee, Mr. Jordan and the U.S. public.


SISTER KATHY THORNTON

National Coordinator

NETWORK

Washington


NETWORK is a national Catholic social justice lobby.

In fighting terrorism, U.S. shouldn't create more international monsters

Osama bin Laden became the terror he is today due in part to the United States, which provided financial support for his fight against the Soviet Union. Our support of Saddam Hussein against Iran helped that dictator gain stature, as well. Other ill-chosen recipients of U.S. support include Indonesian President Ahmed Sukarno and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, among others.

The Justice Department is pushing to give the CIA more flexibility in working with individuals as evil as bin Laden. Do we want to create more terrorists with his capabilities? The Bush administration hopes to provide military support and other support to Indonesia. Do we really want a new Chile? Supporting abusers of human rights such as the Indonesian government will just create bigger problems that we will have to face in the years to come. It will also likely cost the lives of many innocent people.

What price must we pay for this "war" we are declaring?


MICHAEL PROULX

Washington

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