- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 19, 2004

‘Had we not confronted Iraq’

Jay Ambrose is right on target with his column “Defending civilization” (Commentary, Saturday). When will the people in this nation realize that we are in a struggle to save Western civilization? Those who are still fixated on our failure to find weapons of mass destruction within Iraq and on their hatred of President Bush give no credence to the chemical weapons recently found in Jordan.

Nor do they give any consideration to the circumstances that would exist had we not confronted Iraq but let Pakistan’s nuclear expert Abdul Qadeer Kahn continue to peddle his wares to Iraq, Iran and others.

If we fail to meet this challenge with the dedication and perseverance it deserves, we will face another Dark Ages. Consider that demographics and immigration in Europe indicate that by 2050, Europeans will be in the minority in their own countries. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are not replacing their aging populations. Muslim immigrants represent 20 percent of the French population.

Under these conditions, with jihad still rampant, it takes little imagination to see Muslim control of Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East (goodbye, Israel) and Indonesia by midcentury.

I agree fully with Mr Ambrose’s closing comment that “our civilization could be done serious and lasting damage if we do not fight this fight as if we mean it as much as we did the Cold War or World War ll.”

CAPT. RED STEIN

U.S. Navy (retired)

Edgewater, Md.

Is Bush a conservative?

You wrote in the Monday editorial “Bush’s conservative support” that “the president showed why conservatives will support him in November: Because he is one of them.” Unfortunately, he is not.

Under President Bush, the Republican Party has become the party of big government. The government has grown bigger and bigger, with more agencies, bureaucracies and enforcement programs. This president and a Republican Congress have given us an 8.2 percent annual increase in discretionary domestic spending (that’s non-defense, non-entitlement), far greater than anything during the Clinton administration or any other administration since Richard Nixon’s. This administration has given us the largest new entitlement program in almost four decades. Mr. Bush has yet to veto a single spending bill.

Mr. Bush refuses to secure our borders. He has proposed a de facto amnesty for illegal aliens. He has given us an unconstitutional campaign-finance law that prohibits corporations and unions from talking about any federal candidate 60 days before an election.

This administration gave us a massive federal education spending bill, a function not authorized by the Constitution, without even school choice or other reform provisions. It gave us a massive agricultural subsidy bill. Then it gave a massive insurance bailout to supplement the massive agriculture bill. It gave us steel tariffs.

Mr. Bush has said he opposes overturning Roe v. Wade. He has allowed some stem-cell research. He has created new programs for the government to spy on ordinary, law-abiding Americans with the Patriot Act.

Mr. Bush has sent American soldiers to serve under U.N. authority. The Bush administration apologized to China after a U.S. spy plane collided with a Chinese plane, instead of demanding an apology from the Chinese for this act.

This is not a conservative record. It is the record of a “me-too” liberal Republican. If conservatives want to vote for a genuine principled conservative, they should consider supporting Michael Peroutka, a Marylander, on the Constitution Party ticket.

TIM PHARES

Laurel

Battle of the branches

Two points in response to the three reasons Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Jim Talent gave for pursuing a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage” (“The bench vs. people,” Op-Ed, Monday):

m Contrary to their contention, same-sex unions in Massachusetts will not “make traditional marriage a thing of the past.” Folks desiring a traditional marriage between a man and a woman will continue to be able to enter into such traditional marriages. No one is forcing anyone into a same-sex “marriage.”

m If the concern is activist judges striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a constitutional amendment is not the only means of protecting states’ rights in this regard. Congress just needs to work up the nerve to invoke Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution and strip the federal judiciary of its ability to rule on the act.

Power-stripping the judiciary would require only a majority vote in Congress rather than the two-thirds required for a constitutional amendment. However, it also would require a great deal of congressional courage to take on a co-equal branch of government. Huffing and puffing about something you know ain’t gonna happen is a much easier way out.

CHUCK MUTH

President

Citizen Outreach

Washington

Absurdity unbound

Regarding “Lawsuit in death of aliens lingers” (Page 1, Monday): I don’t know which is more absurd — that the families of people who died trying to illegally enter this country feel that those deaths are the fault of the U.S. government or that a federal court in Tucson, Ariz., ordered “further discovery” to determine if the government is, in fact, at fault.

Why should tax dollars be used for water stations in the middle of nowhere? Or worse, why should they be paid as wrongful-death benefits to survivors of noncitizens who were, after all, breaking the law?

BETH H. MCMULLEN

Rockville

Two views of Berg slaughter

The article “Powell raps Arab silence” (Page 1, Monday) states that Nicholas Berg’s father, Michael Berg, blames President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for the death of his son. I’m sure we all feel the same sorrow and compassion for the Berg family, but Michael Berg’s judgment must be clouded by grief if he believes anyone but his son was responsible for the events that led up to Nicholas’ unfortunate and heinous murder.

I have a background similar to that of Nicholas Berg, in that I’m 27, an engineer, from the Midwest, and I can’t begin to comprehend what Nicholas Berg thought he was going to accomplish over there. To my knowledge, Mr. Berg headed to Iraq without a translator and without any true form of protection, ignored the State Department’s advice to return to the United States and even refused a ride home. Obviously, his captors deserve the final blame, but Michael Berg needs to look no further than the reckless actions of his son if he wishes to determine culpability.

It is unpleasant to raise such issues while the family endures the pain of such a horrific and public event involving a family member. However, in my mind, the accusations Michael Berg raised that changed his status from grief-stricken father to activist.

BRIAN WALSH

Alexandria

Good for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Standards of accountability must apply across the board. Where, indeed, is Arab outrage over the murder of a civilian, Nicholas Berg, or does that apply only to Muslim civilians? And what about the cowardly masked executioners?

As bad as the treatment of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison has been, there is a commitment by the Bush administration to investigate the incidents and punish the perpetrators. And the prisoners are still alive. Where is the Arab commitment to bringing masked terrorists to justice?

A double standard is no standard. It’s not a moral argument, either.

BRIAN FEELY

Washington

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