- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2003

Dissension and division in the Mideast

Thank you for publishing David Nassar’s exceptionally good letter (“No ‘zero-sum game,’” Wednesday). He summed it up quite well by saying, “Peace is not an ethnic birthright.” The most important function of the peace advocates is merely to be witnesses to the horrors wrought by Israel’s racist war on the oppressed and persecuted Palestinians.

Those International Solidarity Movement peace advocates are today’s most valiant heroes in bravely standing up to a well-armed and racist nation and doing what they can for real justice and a lasting peace.

How dare we accuse any Palestinian or their pro-peace supporters of being terrorists when Israel sends in helicopter gunships and “accidentally” kills innocent Palestinian women and children with brutal missile attacks.

No one should be discriminated against because of race or religion, and it is insane that superpower America willingly arms and empowers Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Holy Land.

Zionism really is racism, and pretending it is not has only misled many otherwise decent people into thinking and doing despicable things. There is no security in institutionalized racist hatred; there is only a continuing holocaust and flagrant violations of both moral and international law. There is nothing but chaos, suffering and pain on both sides of Israel’s apartheid walls.

ANNE SELDEN ANNAB

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Jack Rutner says former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was willing to give up almost all of Judea and Samaria and Gaza (“No ‘zero-sum game’”). Not so. He was going to keep 9 percent of the very best of this stolen land and set other conditions that were totally unacceptable. Incidentally, the names Judea and Samaria were correct 2,000 years ago, not today. Also, having lived in a place 2,000 years ago does not mean the land is still yours. If this were true, the land also would belong to the Amorites who were there before the Israelites.

He says Yasser Arafat wants to eliminate Israel and has launched a war of terrorism to that end, and that this is Nazism by another name. Well, Israel has effectively eliminated 78 percent of Palestine and illegally annexed land for settlements and did this partly by using terrorists to clear out the native population; the terrorist groups were Haganah, Stern Gang and the Irgun Zeva’i Le’umi. I therefore presume that Israeli actions count as Nazism by another name.

As to Mr. Rutner’s views on the beautiful person Rachel Corrie, I will not comment because The Washington Times certainly would not print it.

WILLIAM G. GARRETT

United Kingdom

Another admiral

Having served in Beirut with the Marines back in 1983, I very much enjoyed Harlan Ullman’s piece (“Hire an admiral,” Op-Ed, Wednesday). But there is one admiral not included who also served in a similar role as those mentioned in the column.

Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was chairman of the Accountability Review Boards that were established in 1998 to investigate the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa. I agree there is certainly a trend here.

FRED C. LASH

Media and Public Inquiries

Office of Congressional and Public Affairs

Naval Sea Systems Command

Washington

Natural gas

Your editorial “Perilous natural gas shortage” (Tuesday) brought attention to a critical issue but managed to ignore its fundamental cause: depletion. Fossil fuels are finite — natural gas production is natural gas depletion.

U.S. oil production peaked in 1970 at 9.6 million barrels per day and has fallen since then to 3.4 million barrels a day in spite of extensive new drilling. With natural gas, we are running to stand still: The number of gas wells completed more than doubled from 1999 to 2001, yet production has remained the same. U.S. natural gas production can’t be maintained much longer and soon will enter its terminal decline.

With massive investments in pipeline and liquefied natural gas facilities, imported natural gas might temporarily fill the gap. But global gas production is predicted to peak around 2020. Pouring money into natural gas infrastructure isn’t a long-term solution. We need massive investment in energy efficiency and development of renewable energy sources. Rising gas prices will help drive this investment.

We need to face the fact that a finite world can’t support infinite economic growth or an increasing population.

CARL HENN

Rockville

The news media finally has awakened to the looming supply problems with an energy source that we have in abundance, natural gas. It is not that this problem could not be seen a long way off. Indeed, with every million acres of “pristine wilderness” or “fragile marine ecosystem,” we have drawn lines on the map where we “just can’t allow” drilling.

It should come as no surprise, then, when we suddenly find ourselves in a supply crunch and are “dependent” on foreign supplies or forced to go without.

Consider that even the actions of the same well-intentioned crowd of people to prevent drilling forces the country to look elsewhere for supply and permits these same folks to then complain that U.S. consumers are not “paying the real price” for those supplies in terms of the costs of military action. Such sequestration also permits them to press an agenda for “sustainable” energy, which of course replaces natural gas from the ground with natural gas from manure — at 10 times the cost — and is an excuse for a forced reduction in consumers’ choices of washing machines, personal transportation, home construction and even refrigerators.

Coincidentally, any solutions that are acceptable to this same crowd always involve increased costs, larger government and reduced freedom. The natural gas supply problem was created an acre, a drilling site, a pipeline at a time. It won’t be solved overnight.

EWIN H. BARNETT III

Boone County, Mo

Protecting U.S. citizens, present and future

Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat, is quoted as giving the following reason for opposing the bill approved by Congress last week to ban partial-birth abortions: The federal government has no right to “barge into [a couples] bedroom, to sit down at their kitchen table and put our hands on our hips and preach to them what they should do. They know best. They know better than we do.” (Inside the Beltway, Monday)

This is a pitiful statement used by many politicians who promote the killing of unborn American citizens. Would they or could they use the same excuse if a man and woman had an argument in their bedroom and in anger the man killed the woman? Of course not, because no one has the right to kill.

The government not only has the right, but it has the obligation to protect its citizens, present and future.

BEN SANTAITI

Chairman

Pro-life Committee

Knights of Columbus

Olney

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