- The Washington Times - Friday, December 3, 2004

A Palestinian state?

Your article “U.S. groups sees opportunity in Arafat death” (World, Wednesday) quoted me in such a way as to give the erroneous impression that I might support the eventual creation of a Palestinian Arab state.

Not every group in the world deserves its own sovereign state. The Palestinian Arabs have demonstrated, through decades of massive terrorism and indoctrination of their children to hate and murder Jews, that they want a sovereign state for the purpose of advancing their goal of destroying Israel.

Moreover, they want to establish their state in the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which have been the heartland of the Jewish homeland since biblical times and belong, by historical, religious, and legal right, to the Jewish people.

The Arabs already have 22 sovereign states. They should not be given a 23rd, especially when it is clear that it would be a terrorist regime and a brutal dictatorship that would threaten America’s ally Israel and destabilize the entire region.

That’s the last thing the world needs.

MORTON A. KLEIN

National president

Zionist Organization of America

New York

Tell it like it is

As a soldier on the ground in Baghdad, I greatly appreciated Helle Dale’s column (“Biased coverage in Iraq,” Wednesday, Op-Ed). As sad as I am to say it, the media’s bias here is willful. I’m here at what used to be Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace, now the U.S. Embassy in the green zone.

The media has an office here in the palace. They see the same things I see, talk to the same people I do, hear the same rumors, etc. Yet they consciously omit the good things. I see it every day, and I find it sickening. I’m also one of those soldiers you mentioned who is constantly having to explain to the folks back home what’s really happening here. I shouldn’t have to do that. The Iraqi people, at least here in Baghdad, are thrilled that we’re here and extremely grateful for what we’re doing for them. There’s no shortage of them who are more than willing to tell their stories to the media, or anyone who’ll listen. Please write more about this subject because the major media refuse.

SGT. PATRICK OWEN

Baghdad

Revisiting welfare reform

In “Tilting for the children,” (Op-Ed, Thursday), Suzanne Fields encourages parents to “be there” for their teenage children in larger chunks of time. I applaud her for highlighting the reality that parents must have time to parent. Where we part company is on the question of why parents have so little time.

Though Mrs. Fields focuses on the few upper-middle-class women who may have the economic resources to reduce their work hours, I cannot ignore the reality that many more mothers and fathers live in low-income families and have no options about caretaking time.

Their employers demand many hours and provide relatively low pay. Two and three jobs are the necessary minimum to meet the rent. Further, after welfare reform, they increasingly cannot turn to the state to help out in times of exceptional need, such as when a teenager begins to act out.

Under welfare, they are subject to a work requirement of many hours a week. Child-care assistance is rare for older children, regardless of their personal fragility or the harshness of their neighborhoods or schools. Refusal to comply with the work requirement means an end to the minimal cash assistance provided as “welfare,” and it can jeopardize access to food stamps as well.

Is this what we want for the parents of our most vulnerable children? I hope not. These parents need to be able to meet the demands of work and family life. To give their children the parental time they need, we need to take a hard look at welfare reform, the Food Stamp Program and the minimum wage.

KAREN CZAPANSKIY

Professor, University of Maryland School of Law

Member, Council on Contemporary Families

Takoma Park

Don’t push too hard

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota is obviously right that Kofi Annan should go (“White House backs Annan after demand for ouster,” Page 1, Thursday). However, the State Department’s position of offering half-hearted public support while working behind the scenes to undermine support for Mr. Annan is likely the best tactic to cause him to leave. We must not appear overly excited about Mr. Annan. The problem is much bigger than one man, even if he is the secretary-general. We want him gone; it would be good for the United Nations and the United States. Nevertheless, the more loudly we say we want him gone, the more resistance there will be from those who look for every opportunity to block U.S. goals.

ROSS G. KAMINSKY

Boulder, Colo.

Ukraine needs more than lip service

Why is it that the neoconservatives, including President Bush, find it so easy to talk about democracy in Iraq but pull their punches when it comes to Ukraine? (“Opposition demands new Ukraine vote,” Page 1, Nov. 27.)

Day after day, hundreds of thousands of patriots fill the streets of Kiev and other cities, demanding democracy and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. All they get from Mr. Bush is an assurance that the world “is watching very closely.”

Ukraine is a nation of 48 million people. It sits at the fulcrum of power between Russia and the “new Europe” to which the administration likes to refer. Clearly, the outcome of Ukraine’s political crisis will affect the national interest of the United States.

While U.S. forces duke it out in Iraq and Afghanistan, trying to bring democracy to people who never asked for it, pro-Western demonstrators in Ukraine get little more than lip service from the Bush administration.

REP. MARCY KAPTUR

Co-chairman, Congressional Ukrainian Caucus

Toledo, Ohio

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