- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Exposing 'myths' about Iraq

The article disclosing the International Atomic Energy Agency's response to the falsehoods spread by the Bush administration about Iraq was, for the most part, excellent and informative ("Agency disavows report on Iraq arms," Nation, Friday). Unfortunately it also perpetuated a myth: that U.N. weapons inspectors were "kicked out" by Saddam Hussein in 1998. In fact, the inspectors were withdrawn, on the advice of President Clinton, immediately before the Operation Desert Fox bombing campaign began in December of that year.

In the aftermath of the bombing, and because of the (later acknowledged) presence of American spies on the United Nations Special Commission, Saddam refused the inspectors re-entry in early 1999.

It is only through an acknowledgement of all the facts relevant to the current crisis that war can be averted and Saddam's threat contained. Here's hoping The Times continues to give the public all the relevant facts.


GRAEME CHEADLE

Brampton, Ontario

Title XIII goes down for the count

Tuesday's editorial "A ticklish compromise for a trickle of oil" indicates that there are problems with the Senate's three "climate change" titles being considered by Republican conferees as a trade-off for a very restricted opening of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil production. In the interests of space, I will comment on the most obscene result in the event of such a compromise.

Title XIII, which allocates billions of extra taxpayer dollars for climate research, falls woefully short of exposing the actual boondoggle at stake. It rewards the most politicized "scientific" endeavor in memory. The bureau in question, the U.S. Global Change Research Project (USGCRP), was exposed in a lawsuit I filed on behalf of Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican; Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri Republican; and Joe Knollenberg, Michigan Republican; the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI); and others (CEI vs. Clinton, et al.).

USGCRP has two functions, one of which it performed curiously and for the first time just as its political patron, Al Gore, made his stretch run for the White House. We sued, properly discrediting its "National Assessment on Climate Change." We demonstrated numerous statutory violations committed in a rushed pursuit of an incomplete, inaccurate report in time for the 2000 election. In turn, it has been disowned by the Bush White House for not representing formal government policy.

Given its record, USGCRP must be scrutinized closely, not further empowered. Yet, Title XIII part of the Global Climate Change Act of 2002 not exposed to the committee process or debate amends the "scientific assessment" requirement for a national assessment without amending or adding protections against problems exposed our lawsuit.

Even worse, Title XIII would add to U.S. law the anti-scientific presumption that "climate change" is a recognized, detectable, man-made effect, distinct from the natural processes that dictate climate. It fails to provide for judicial review of authority already demonstrated as subject to politicization and other abuse. This sub rosa effort also calls for rushing matters of evaluating and acting upon geological cycles thousands of years long on the basis of mere years' worth of observed data.

Climate-change advocates insist this matter is the most pressing environmental issue of our time, yet they have ducked using actual science and now seek to amend the relevant scientific research provisions through a backdoor amendment not subjected to the committee process or even substantive floor deliberation. This is a prescription for policy disaster.


CHRISTOPHER C. HORNER

Counsel and senior fellow

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington

Author and reviewer behold two different Americas

The worlds reviewer Herb Greer and I inhabit apparently are so different that we see nothing the same way, including the numeration of my latest book, "Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt," which he overcounts by more than 100 pages ("Letting guilt lead nation into fantasy world in which 'victims' call the shots?" Books, Sunday).

Unlike Mr. Greer's view of America from his home in Salisbury, England the federal government does require the creation and maintenance of "non-hostile work and learning environments," which, among other things, encourage black and feminist studies; these same institutions impose quotas for designated victims by invoking a highly selective notion of "inclusiveness."

Contrary to Mr. Greer's America, this nation is undergoing huge moral changes, e.g., in the public perception of the nuclear family and gay marriage. And, yes, our national leaders do repeatedly apologize for our history of discrimination and promise to take appropriate action to undo its effects. President Clinton's speech about American Christian guilt for the crusades, slavery and the Holocaust, which Mr. Greer treats as insignificant, did not represent the ravings of an isolated lunatic. They were the words of an enormously popular American president, which were wildly cheered by his Georgetown audience.

A few comments are necessary concerning what my books do not state or imply. For example, I never claimed that the United States "overthrew" Chilean President Augusto Pinochet. Nor do I claim that the United States has gone as far as Canada and Western Europe in the enforcement of political correctness. What I do say is that Americans are responsible for much of the destruction of civil liberties in Germany because of the measures we imposed during our occupation, and that political correctness in the United States is a political, managerial instrument, not simply an academic idiosyncrasy.

What surely has rattled Mr. Greer is my suggestion that the "conservative movement" glorifies the managerial state while fixing the blame for political correctness on academics. Whence the endlessly repeated mantra about universities being "totalitarian islands in a sea of freedom." Having worked on them for more than 30 years, I find that such islands look like the Euro-American mainland inhabited by state bureaucrats, journalists and liberated career women.

I do not write as a far-right critic of the system. As my book "After Liberalism" makes clear, the advent of universal suffrage in industrialized Western countries rendered it likely that both liberalism and democracy in the 20th century would become intertwined with an expanding administrative state. The changes caused by this process need to be meticulously examined. I also indicated that not all administrative democracies are fated to become multicultural. Thus, it is necessary to study culture and religion to grasp the reasons why contemporary administrative regimes have developed as they have.

Despite our different views of America, Mr. Greer at least should know that I am a dedicated researcher who does not hold "conspiracy" views or store guns for the posse comitatus.


PAUL GOTTFRIED

Elizabethtown, Pa.

Distorting Vietnam's 'ethnic harmony'

"The Montagnards" (Editorial, Sept. 19) is replete with distortions and outright lies.

Many ethnic groups such as the Brau, Bru-Van Kieu, Cho-ru, Co-ho, Ede, Gie-Tieng, M'nong, Ra Glai and Xo dang live harmoniously in Vietnam's central highlands. The term Montagnard is a remnant of colonialism and the American war, when foreign armies used divide-and-rule tactics to try to create ethnic hatred and divisions in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese government has maintained a consistent policy of equality, unity and mutual assistance among all ethnic groups in Vietnam. We have been working hard to narrow the gap between the cities and rural and mountainous areas. We give preference to ethnic minorities in education, health care and cultural preservation and development. The poverty rate, as recognized by the World Bank and United Nations Development Program, has been down considerably for the past five years. In 1995, the average poverty rate in Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak and Lam Dong was 42.5 percent. By the end of 2001, it was down to 17 percent.

We strongly reject allegations of forced sterilization. In Vietnam, family-planning methods are voluntary and subject to informed consent. The Penal Code of Vietnam prohibits the deprivation of physical freedom and severely punishes anyone who ignores that prohibition. In the words of the former United Nations Population Fund's country representative in Vietnam, Erick Palstra, the International Commission of Jurists' report, which was cited in the editorial, was "an inaccurate, false, and biased report to discredit the Vietnamese government."


NGUYEN THI THAI THONG

Press attache

Embassy of Vietnam

Washington

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