- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2003

No casualty of war

A clear case of embellishment worthy of the New York Times was the article by Jon Ward, “War casualties overflow Walter Reed hospital” (Page 1, Monday).

I have stayed in the Mologne House. This is not an outpatient facility. The Mologne House is an on-post hotel, period. The hotel is within walking distance of Walter Reed Hospital. Like any other hotel, it has a restaurant, maid service, etc. The hotel is frequently booked up, not because of the war, but because of its close proximity to the hospital and its proximity to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The hotel is usually full of medical personnel who are on temporary duty at Walter Reed or the Institute of Pathology. The need to farm out personnel for lodging at other hotels in the area is nothing new and is frequently done on other posts, bases, etc. when the need arises. When I was there earlier this year, before the war, I often saw people arriving at the front desk and being referred for lodging elsewhere (at government expense).

While the need to give priority to outpatients from Walter Reed is not lost on this reader, what the author suggests between the lines is also not lost. Once again, the need to make things read worse than they really are has taken precedence. The hospital is not overflowing with war casualties. That it is not is testament to the efficiency, professionalism and dedication of our ground forces in Iraq (and the military medical personnel between Iraq and the United States). If the author of the piece desires a comparison to the current patient flow, I would suggest that he contact personnel that worked at Army or Air Force medical facilities in Hawaii, or the West Coast in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s. I believe they could provide some perspective on what ‘overflowing’ with war casualties is really like.

LT. COL. THOMAS M. SEAY, M.D., USAF

San Antonio, Texas

Searching for energy

It seems that most commentaries about the dire energy picture and the white knight, hydrogen, follow the same pattern. First, we are told how bad off we are, then we hear about how wonderful hydrogen will be. Just before the end, when the discussion approaches the unavoidable question of where we will get the hydrogen, the writers quickly mumble something about renewables like the sun or the wind and how a big pile of money will buy that ticket to El Dorado.

The column “Answers blowing in the wind” (Forum, Sunday) is a case in point. Author Harry W. Braun spends the first half of the column describing said dire energy situation. I won’t argue with that, but where is the solution? Here is where the discussion switches to hydrogen, implying that it is the solution. We now are told how wonderful hydrogen will be — clean, non-polluting and, oh yes, “inexhaustible.” We can already see El Dorado beckoning in the distance.

Now, to the unavoidable. Though hydrogen is a wonderful fuel, it does not occur in nature as a ready source of energy. Alas, it has to be manufactured — using existing energy sources. It can be extracted from hydrocarbons such as natural gas (now we are back to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) or made from water using electricity from nuclear reactors or coal plants (yuck) or wherever else we can get electricity (here we mumble about solar power or wind).

So, the whole column boils down to solving our dire energy situation by cranking up renewables (wind, solar power, hydropower, geothermal sources, ocean waves and tides). This is familiar territory, and hydrogen was only a detour to here (a red herring); unfortunately, the walk to renewables remains more rocky than the talk. Renewable sources have long been part of our energy portfolio, but a minuscule part. The energy bill just passed by the Senate (“Out like a lamb on energy,” Editorial, Sunday) has a provision that by 2010 utilities must provide 10 percent of their delivered energy from renewable sources. That likely will prove technically difficult, expensive to the consumer and a source of political fireworks. Many other, especially European, countries also have similar mandates in different variants calling for x percent by the year 2000+x. Wind power is the front-runner among renewables (having achieved a per-kilowatt-hour cost almost on par with current electricity prices), but even there it can be a difficult road to El Dorado when green-talking liberals such as Ted Kennedy suddenly discover that wind turbines off Nantucket would be in their back yard and, therefore, do not want to walk there after all. In the utopian case, if we can indeed hold to x percentage in year 2000+x, we would get to El Dorado in 2100. I think the white knight will be jousting with OPEC for some time.

RON OLESCH

Annandale

Debating McCarthyism

I read with interest Arnold Beichman’s column in The Sunday Times (“McCarthyism up close,” Commentary). I also read Ann Coulter’s book, “Treason,” with her unabashed support for Sen. Joseph McCarthy. In her book, she made several references to the book, “Venona,” compiled by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr (Yale University Press, 1999).

After reading “Venona,” I find it difficult to refute Miss Coulter’s reasoning regarding Mr. McCarthy. Admittedly, he was an aggressive, abrasive and biased individual; however, his contention that the State Department was riddled with communists proved correct. As the old East Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin said, “I didn’t kill nobody that didn’t need killin.’” Mr. McCarthy didn’t expose anyone who didn’t need exposing.

I am sure Mr. Beichman thought he was speaking on behalf of all conservatives when he said that few of us support Miss Coulter’s allegations; however, the popularity of her book, which was on the best-seller list for many weeks, rivaling that of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, should be justification enough on the matter of conservative support.

JACK DORWIN

Livingston, Texas

In attempting to refute Ann Coulter’s thesis that Joe McCarthy’s poor reputation owes more to leftist smears rather than facts, Arnold Beichman unwittingly confirms her thesis.

Ever the epitome of fairness and objectivity, Mr. Beichman kicks off his column by underhandedly implying Miss Coulter’s book is “rant” comparable to “Mein Kampf.” This is followed by his ignorant boast that he actually hasn’t read her book. And what “evidence” does he have against Mr. McCarthy? In a witless self-parody of “McCarthyism” (henceforth to be known as “Beichmanism”), he happily regurgitates a short list of his favorite authors’ unsupported accusations and characterizations of Mr. McCarthy, all cited without reference to any actual statements or acts by the late senator. Which, of course, is precisely Miss Coulter’s point.

The only factual information the column presents about Mr. McCarthy is that he once “accepted the support of … [the] head of the Wisconsin local of the United Auto Workers,” who later proved to be a communist. If anything, wouldn’t this tend to prove Mr. McCarthy’s belief that communists were penetrating U.S. organizations? Not content to leave bad enough alone, Mr. Beichman closes out his vapid column by snootily offering to educate Miss Coulter, whose fact-filled, ground-breaking book on the subject is a runaway best seller.

Puh-leeze.

MICHAEL CRAWFORD

Great Falls

m

Arnold Beichman effectively smears Ann Coulter, calling her defense of Joseph McCarthy “rant” and comparing it, cutely poised as a mock example of her excess, to Hitler’s attack on Jews. And Mr. Beichman knows there are “more conservatives who have been sickened by her book.”

His review helps draw the line Miss Coulter is now etching into public discourse. This would replace with a single line the four lines dividing conservativeandliberalwhere conservative backs into “fascist,” and liberal into “communist.” Her point, that liberalism is now in practice what it was in sentiment, treason, is indeed an emetic medicine. Clear away this corrupting digest of shared principles among liberals, fascists, communists and conservatives, (a rag-bag of ex-Marxists, relativist economists, Burkeans and well-meaning people such as Mr. Beichman and Dorothy Rabinowitz) and see what emerges in its place.

This is the treason of liberalism. But it is now the agenda of the Democratic Party, as it has been the single teaching and policy basis of the elites in the West for more than a century. Miss Coulter is quite right. Mr. Beichman’s conservative friends who are made “sick” by a defense of Mr. McCarthy have been eating forbidden fruit, probably because they were liberals and communists early on. It is imperative that the line be redrawn now, for exactly the convergence between Western elites and Islam runs from their intersection at the point of agreement on a world state. It is not a coincidence that this intersection harbors the fatal totalitarian equation of murder and killing.

ROBERT J. LOEWENBERG

President

Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies

Jerusalem and Washington

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