- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 12, 2004

The cost of illegal immigration

Regarding “Rounding up all illegals ‘not realistic’” (Page 1, Friday) by Jerry Seper: Asa Hutchinson has once again clearly demonstrated that he is not up to the task of protecting the U.S. borders.

His statements and inaction show that rich bureaucrats have little view of reality from the gated communities in which they live. Mr. Hutchinson speaks of a lack of will on the part of the American people to uproot illegal aliens in the United States. How did Mr. Hutchinson arrive at such a conclusion? The only lack of will is on his part.

He speaks of the American people not wanting to cover the cost of searching out and capturing the illegals. This ploy is just a smoke screen to take the pressure off of his shoulders so he can return to his country club for a round of golf.

Illegal aliens, and there are far more than the 8 million that Mr. Hutchinson acknowledges, cost the American taxpayer more than September 11, the Iraq war and every natural disaster each year. Our medical, legal and educational systems are cluttered with them. Our streets, not Mr. Hutchinson’s, are plagued by illegal alien gangs.

He speaks of “compassion” for illegal aliens, yet he never mentions compassion for the American citizens who pay his salary with nothing to show for it. Mr. Hutchinson is supposed to be working for the American citizen, not for some illegal-alien front organization. We need to replace Mr. Hutchinson and replace him with a hard-nosed realist who wants the job and will do it.

WILSON L. FARIS

Gaithersburg

Terror and Chechnya

SharonBehnquotes Michael Radu, a senior fellow and terrorism expert at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, as saying “Chechnya is right there with Afghanistan and the West Bank and Gaza as a clear-cut case of Islam being under attack and having to defend itself” (“Russia ties school siege to Chechens,” Page 1, Friday).

One day before the third anniversary of the insane attack upon the World Trade Center, and the vicious murder of 3,000 innocent unarmed civilians by Osama bin Laden and his Taliban co-conspirators — how dare The Washington Times print such a calumny that the necessity of deposing the Taliban and wiping out a safe haven for mass murderer bin Laden is an attack on Islam?

The Washington Times owes its readers an apology. If Islam hadn’t attacked first, it would have no reason to defend itself. Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank-Gaza; they all want to wipe Israel off the map in a second grand holocaust.

Now, how in the name of reason and common sense does that translate into Islam being under attack.? And since when is an unremitting attack on civilians (especially women and children) on buses and in malls, homes and restaurants a defense of Islam?

Under those circumstances, Islam is indefensible because it is now simply a religious excuse for mass murder. What is the Foreign Policy Research Institute and who funds it? By what credentials does Mr. Radu claim to be an expert on terrorism, since he indicates by his statements that he is in favor of and gives the lamest of excuses for acts of terrorism?

RANDALL B. PEPIN

Woodbridge, Va.

On the election and security

Vice President Dick Cheney’s outrageous warning to American citizens — vote Republican or die (“Cheney hits Kerry on national security,” Page 1, Sept. 2) — displays his utter contempt for the democratic process and for American voters.

So voters who freely exercise their constitutional right to choose the next president will be to blame if another devastating terrorist attack occurs? Giving new meaning to the policy of pre-emption, it seems he blames Americans — pre-emptively — for any future terrorist attack, should voters have the audacity to make the “wrong choice.”

Mr. Cheney’s apparent belief in his own prophetic powers seems delusional, considering his appalling record of simply getting it wrong. Here’s the guy who terrified us with visions of mushroom clouds coming from Iraq, knew Iraq was packed with weapons of mass destruction, assured us Iraqis would greet us as liberators, was sure turning Iraq into a democracy would be a snap and was certain Iraqi oil would pay for the war. And of course we could trust our great friend Ahmed Chalabi, now accused of espionage.

With a record of failures like this, I can sure see why Mr. Cheney is worried about Americans voting for Democrats. But subverting our democracy with fear-mongering is unpatriotic, and playing politics with our national security is irresponsible. There’s no excuse for it.

Well, Mr. Cheney, Americans don’t like bullies — a discovery you are likely to make on Nov. 2, when Americans vote the bully off the island.

SUSAN MAYER

Lee, N.H.

Private party or public expense?

After reading the article “Bucking conventional thinking” (Page 1, Sept. 4) about the costs versus the economic benefits of the Democratic and Republican conventions, I wondered why taxpayers are covering any of the costs for either of these conventions.

Why is the federal government spending $100 million on security for private parties? The Constitution entrusts the federal government with national defense. There is nothing in the Constitution about providing security for private affairs. Would the federal government supply my private party with security? Of course not. And it shouldn’t. Security is one of the overhead costs, just like food and entertainment.

The conventions were well-scripted. The candidates already had been chosen. Why is it necessary for the taxpayers to subsidize a bunch of wealthy politicians taking in millions of dollars in contributions from corporations and special-interest groups?

If the politicians are so “compassionate” toward the poor and working families, how can they justify using taxpayer money that could be better spent on the social programs they insist are so vital and necessary?

Why can’t the parties use their own funds to pay for all associated costs? Because corporations and special interests already donate millions of dollars to the parties, why not let them sponsor the conventions? If the cities are in financial difficulty, how can they justify spending taxpayer money on political conventions to benefit the businesses in those cities?

The cities should be trying to attract businesses by changing their liberal, anti-business tax-and-spend policies. Why should the taxpayers reward mismanagement and nanny-state policies with what is essentially a welfare program for politicians?

WILLIAM J. HAUGER

Fredericksburg, Va.

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