- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2004

Whose side is she on?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the war in Iraq has driven Georgie Anne Geyer off the deep end, as evidenced in her Saturday Op-Ed column, “Easing the mule from the minaret.”

After beginning with her mule analogy, she proceeds to inform us that the regime of Saddam Hussein was already “collapsing” when we foolishly invaded and that we have become a “destructive force” for evil.

She then goes on to quote “expert” opinion found in such left-leaning outfits as The Washington Post and The Nation. Not satisfied with this, she finds it “prominent and wise” when a good friend of hers accuses our American fighting forces of being akin to Hessian mercenaries. Shades of Michael Moore and his characterization of Iraqi terrorists as Minutemen. To wrap up this piece of foolishness, Miss Geyer digs up some NATO functionaries to predict that the Iraq war will mean “the destruction of the American Army.” Will someone please enlighten this woman?

JIM RADER

Gaithersburg

Look out for the working man

Patrice Hill’s report on the latest job numbers and the state of the economy (“Falling job growth, stalling wages bode ill for shopping,” Page,1 Saturday) was right on.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the economy, I think your paper hasbeen far too willing, especially in the run-up to the recent election, to be less than hard-nosed about the facts.

Not all conservatives are successful businessmen. Some of your regular readers, like me, are just lowly laborers, and this report told it how it really is down in the trenches.

Prospects are bright for highly educated workers with specialized skills, but for your average worker, things are not so sanguine.

Those of us who work in the trenches have known for two or three years that our real wages are stuck or declining. This can’t go on forever, or there will be an upheaval in politics, one not likely to favor Republicans.

Conservative leaders and the media need a little enlightened self-interest. They may not like the “working man,” but each one has a vote. Someday the chickens may come home to roost.

Let’s avoid that by insisting on attention to this problem from the White House and Congress. For starters, we need tougher immigration control, and second, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can in our educational system to prepare our children for the new globally competitive labor environment. Finally, we need to work to ensure fair trade, with emphasis on “fair.”

WILLIAM DOOLITTLE

Spring Lake, Mich.

Managing wild horses

I would like to respond to Christopher J. Heyde’s Friday Op-Ed column, “Home on the range.” Mr. Heyde, who is concerned for the safety and welfare of wild horses, states that an amendment to thefederal appropriations bill sponsored by Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana “has dealt a devastating blow to a program whose enforcement agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has never embraced a concern for the suffering of wild horses.”

Because I have had the pleasure ofdiscussing wild horse issues withMr. Heyde, I must say that he once again has omitted a few pertinent facts. I will agree that the BLM’s wild horse program has not been a model of range management, but this is not because of uncaring agency personnel.

Let us consider how wild horse advocacy groups have spent their time and efforts to block any effective management of the largest “unmanaged”species roaming our Westernlandscape.

These horses have become pawns in the political arena of the West, where many organizations only wish to see the cattlemen and sheepmen eliminated from public lands. Virtually all management plans attempted by the BLM are challenged by litigation, which slows the agency’s ability to proceed in a timely fashion.

While these tactics are winding their way through our court system (often for many years), the horses continue to breed, produce foals and overgraze lands that may have been overgrazed already from excess numbers.

Eventually, the crisis of excess numbers and overgrazed lands often creates a scenario of horses dyingof starvation or thirst.

This scene creates a hysterical outcry from animal advocacy groups, which then raise money from concerned donors. The donations allow for the salaries andtravel expenses for these “concerned” advocates to continueworking against the BLM to prevent “the suffering of wild horses.”

(Do we see a vicious circle here?) Manywould beunemployed if the crisis ever stopped and, therefore, work very dedicatedly toward their own job security.

One group’s mission to save wild horses was so successful that the organization has moved to Hawaii.Apparently, living on the beach helps with the stress of raising money to fight for the wild horse in Nevada.

Mr. Heyde cites Velma Johnston’s “Wild Horse Annie” crusade to save the wild horse as a mission gone awry. I have been told recently by people who were close to her, “She would roll over in her grave if she saw the conditions under which the wild horse now has to live.”

She was a practical woman whose good work has been desecrated by others who have a totally different agenda. Her mission was to improve the lives of the horses.

Manyorganizations have been working to keep the wild horses on public lands that cannot support their numbers. Now, a much needed amendment will allow the BLM to sell at auction all wildhorses more than 10 years of age and those that have been offered three times for adoption.

These animals do not have to go to slaughter, as Mr. Heyde would lead you to believe. Iwish to remind him that the auction yardswill also accept bids from organizations and people who wish to provide suitable homes for the horses.

Many of these horses will cost less than $100 to purchase. This is a lower price than the minimum $125 that folksare required to pay at a BLM adoption site.

TheBLM’s short-term cost to provide for these excess wild horsesis approximately $18 million to $20 million per year. The private sector has the ability to provide better care and management for approximately $4 million per year. Mr. Burns’ amendment simply offers the American public a choice.

MERLE EDSALL

Sonora Wild Horse Project

Harrison, Mont.

Hold leaders accountable

Your article “Republicans warn of party split over immigration” (Nation, Friday) prompted me to respond.

First, political leaders, liberal and conservative, who oppose including the provisions to secure our borders in the intelligence bill should be held accountable if in the future Americans are killed by terrorists or illegal criminal aliens.

Second, President Bush proposes increasing the number of visas initially to foreign workers, low-skilled and professional, who are here illegally as well as to those who are living abroad, as long as they can find employers willing to hire them. Subsequently, those “temporary” workers could apply for U.S. citizenship. Those who deny that this is a de facto amnesty plan should take a lesson in plain English.

Third, if the president is a serious champion of moral values, he should not teach Americans the wrong values by rewarding illegals who have broken our laws with benefits.

Last, Mr. Bush and Congress should heed prize-winning Mexican novelist Elena Poniatowska. She has publicly said: “Mexico is recovering the territories yielded to the United States by means of migratory tactics.” The writer has taught at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, etc.

We should remember that children born in the United States, even of illegal immigrants and guest workers, are U.S. citizens and future voters.

YEH LING-LING

Executive director

Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America

Oakland, Calif.

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