- The Washington Times - Friday, October 8, 2004

Kerry and nukes

In twin columns Tuesday, Frank Gaffney Jr. and Lawrence Kudlow detailed Sen. John Kerry’s views on how best to deal with global nuclear proliferation (“Global test … nuclear nonsense,” Commentary). Both writers clearly expressed the Democratic presidential hopeful’s wrong thinking on this vital subject. However, what both men failed to note was a revealing statement Mr. Kerry made during the Sept. 30 debate with President Bush.

While discussing U.S. plans to develop “bunker buster” nuclear warheads, Mr. Kerry chastised the president for sending a mixed message about nuclear proliferation by supporting research and development of these new nuclear weapons. Most revealing, though, was Mr. Kerry’s statement that the president was “pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.”

The idea that the United States would build a weapon it does not intend to use is highly illogical.

Mr. Kerry also believes that should the United States develop a new type of nuclear weapon, nations that don’t have nuclear weapons would increase their efforts to develop their own nuclear weapons. This idea is absurd, as Libya, Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Pakistan all pursued and developed nuclear-weapons programs while the United States and former Soviet states were reducing their nuclear arsenals.

The election of Mr. Kerry to the presidency would send a clear signal to the nations of the world of weakness and moral ambiguity. At this time in history, as international terrorist organizations compete for the next September 11, the United States must have a president willing to use its full military arsenal, including nuclear weapons, to defend our nation.

PHILIP J. EVELAND

Aiea, Hawaii

Abstinence and the city

Your article “Safe-sex, abstinence programs applauded” (Metro, Thursday) is misleading. It gives the impression that the District government, specifically the Department of Human Services, is doing a credible job in promoting abstinence from sex outside of marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As an abstinence-based teen-sex prevention educator, I have been in contact with DHS since 1997. I have experienced nothing but obfuscation and frustration in trying to work with DHS to fund our program, Urban Life Training & Reality Assessment (ULTRA) Teen Choice, which provides education, programs and peer counseling to help youths succeed in life by abstaining from sex outside marriage and abstaining from drugs and alcohol. At first, DHS indicated that it wanted to fund programs like ours. Then it indicated that it would not. Then it said it would provide application guidelines for community-based organizations, but it never did.

When inquiries were made as to how the Federal Title V abstinence-based money was spent, DHS refused to make a copy of the grant application available. Department heads and employees would not return phone calls.

According to the DHS Web site, the CD to which DHS administrator Kate Jesberg refers in your article as being instrumental in reducing teen births was just released Aug. 30. The programs run by CatholicCharitiesand Covenant House reach just 400 youths per year.

Sex-abstinence programs, such as ULTRA Teen Choice, must be seen as major contributors to the fact that fewer youths are having sex. DHS has been much more of a hindrance in promoting abstinence. Its use of federal funds earmarked specifically for abstinence deserves a thorough investigation. We need clear answers about how the money actually was spent.

RICHARD URBAN

Executive director

ULTRA Teen Choice

Washington

Gunshots, vandals and Democratic 527s

I read in your paper and elsewhere of gunshots being fired into a Bush-Cheney campaign office in Tennessee, and numerous instances of vandalism directed against Bush-Cheney yard signs here in the D.C. area that have resulted in significant property damage and led to arrests (“Campaign signs face partisan ire,” Metropolitan, Wednesday).

A reasonable person must ask: How do people become so passionate about a candidate that they violently break the law to express their dislike? Unfortunately, the answer is readily apparent to anyone who has followed this campaign.

For more than a year, many so-called 527 organizations have spewed forth a steady stream of lies, distortions and half-truths against President Bush. Their themes have been readily adopted by the Democratic Party, its presidential candidate and his surrogates.

It is time for the Kerry campaign to step forward and denounce the vitriolic, hate-filled speech and invective that inspires the party’s less scrupulous partisans toward violence. Several months ago, George Soros made a comment that he saw many similarities between Nazi Germany and what the United States is becoming. Statements such as this are part of the problem

But then, maybe he has a point — one he didn’t mean to make, but an important one nonetheless. Just as the Nazis used hyperbolic hate speech to incite the masses, we see the Democratic Party and its operatives doing the same.

FREDERICK J. BROSK

Columbia, Md.

Iraq: Play ball

Your article on baseball in Iraq (“Baseball a hit in Iraqi opener,” Page 1, Sept. 21) struck a responsive chord with those of us who work in humanitarian assistance and development. For U.S. soldiers isolated in a hostile environment, being able to alleviate their boredom and isolation by introducing Iraqi children to the joys of playing America’s favorite pastime conjures up memories of more pleasurable experiences back home in the United States.

Our organization, International Relief and Development Inc., is a nongovernmental organization working in Iraq and about a dozen other countries to deliver relief and development services to the most vulnerable populations of the world. Recognizing the importance of engaging youths in sports, IRD helped form boys’ and girls’ baseball and softball teams in the communities of Baghdad in April. The girls’ softball team was the first female team in Iraq.

IRD provided coaching assistance, and with the help of the Utah-based Operation Home Run, also provided bats, balls and other equipment. Through IRD’s work with the local communities, the Iraqi National Baseball Federation was created, and the first tournament for baseball and softball was held June 12, months before the games referred to in your article.

In addition to the programs in Iraq, IRD has been supplying donated baseball equipment to groups in Serbia and Ukraine and assisting in the development of youth sports programs in Montenegro.

JOSEPH R. FERRI

Director, program operations

International Relief and Development Inc.

Arlington

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