- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 25, 2004

The significance of Clinton’s surgery

That former President Bill Clinton could get the emergency heart care his survival required within three days underscores a life-and-death difference between medicine under capitalism and under socialism (“Clinton’s surgery likely to be routine,” Nation, Sept. 6).

Under the system of socialized medicine in Canada and Europe, people die because waiting lists to see doctors are too long to permit them to receive cardiac care in time to save their lives. In Canada, for example, according to a recent study, a patient typically must wait 24 days for an appointment with a cardiologist — and 15 additional days for the type of emergency bypass surgery that saved Mr. Clinton’s life.

Similarly, a Swedish government survey showed that Swedes can be forced to wait as long as 11 months for a diagnostic heart X-ray and up to eight months for essential heart surgery. The upshot, according to one research cardiologist, is that at least 1,000 Swedes die each year for lack of heart treatment.

The moral belief in the right to health care beyond what an individual can afford — health care at other people’s expense — leads inevitably to demand for unnecessary or superficial care that clogs doctors’ offices, overfills hospitals and tasks the health care system beyond its capacities. The predictable result is the endless waiting lists of socialized medicine.

The choice facing Americans is stark: the rights-respecting free market of capitalism, where goods and services are produced in abundance, including health care, or the chronic disasters of socialism, where thousands die because of continuous shortages.

DR. ANDREW BERNSTEIN

Ayn Rand Institute

Irvine, Calif.

Pakistan and militant Islam

I would like to offer an Indian point of view in response to the Pakistani view given by Mansoor Ijaz (“Kashmir: Defining the road to peace,” Commentary, Wednesday).

I am afraid that many components of the “peace” proposal put forward by Mr. Ijaz in reality promote an Islamist view at the expense of non-Muslims. For instance, increased trade and much freer movement of people would mean an essentially one-way transfer of Muslim populations from Pakistan to India, along with some terrorists, given that Pakistan higher rates of population growth, unemployment and poverty than India.

It must be remembered that according to recent polls, more than 50 percent of Pakistanis support Osama bin Laden. When Mr. Ijaz’s own country, the United States, has put Pakistanis on special anti-terror watch lists, why is he asking Indians to allow freer movement?

Mr. Ijaz conveniently fails to mention that Pakistani Kashmir is almost entirely cleansed of non-Muslims; this is true in the rest of Pakistan as well — with most non-Muslims driven to India. If Pakistan is the “logical home for South Asia’s Muslims,” then it should take Muslims — minus the land — from Indian Kashmir and settle them in Pakistani Kashmir. Making a territorial adjustment in Indian Kashmir in favor of Pakistan is allowing further expansion of militant Islam’s frontiers.

MOORTHY MUTHUSWAMY

Coram, N.Y.

Enforce immigration laws

Public safety and protecting our communities from criminals are of paramount importance to every American. That is precisely why we oppose Rep. Charlie Norwood’s CLEAR (Clear Law Enforcement for Alien Removal) Act, which would force all state and local police to act as federal immigration agents enforcing civil immigration law at the expense of criminal law (“Immigration bill’s author says foes favor criminals,” Nation, Thursday).

Rather than targeting all immigrants, making them less likely to report crimes, offer testimony and contribute to community safety, Mr. Norwood should craft legislation that targets criminals, be they immigrants or not.

Vocal opposition to Mr. Norwood’s legislation has come from police chiefs, police associations, and state and local governments across the country. They wisely object to Mr. Norwood’s attempt to destroy community policing and undermine public safety. We believe in effective law enforcement and effective immigration enforcement, and, unfortunately, Mr. Norwood’s bill does neither.

FRANK SHARRY

Executive director

National Immigration Forum

Washington

Archery on the cheap

I was excited to see your recent article on archery (“Archers hit the target for fun, competition,” Weekend, Thursday), having been involved with this Olympic sport for the past 10 years and being a National Archery Association Level III instructor.

I was disappointed, however, that no mention was made of the alternative to profit-based archery instruction in Northern Virginia. There are at least two clubs in this area that offer nonprofit archery instruction.

The Queen Ann Archers is one of the oldest and largest junior archery clubs in Virginia. Instructors are certified and donate their time. Equipment is offered for a small rental charge. This year, the Queen Ann Archers has added an adult program. For more information on this, visit www.queenannarchers.org.

Another alternative for low-cost, qualified archery instruction in the area is the Prince William 4-H Trigger Time Shooting Sports Club, which serves residents of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. Information on this organization can be obtained through the same Web site.

Archery is a very exciting and interesting sport. There are several paths to acquire skill in it and information on it — not all of which cost a lot of money.

MARY LECOMPTE

Manassas

Foreign choppers questioned

Even though I usually agree with the Cato Institute’s experts, I differ strongly with Charles V. Pena on the proposed Marine One acquisition (“Presidential copter fleet,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

Marine One is by far the world’s most frequently photographed and viewed helicopter. Adoption of an obviously foreign-designed helicopter sends a strong message that no American helicopter was good enough for Marine One service — that we had to go to a foreign source. This would amount to another put-down for the United States in a world where perception is often more important than fact.

Never mind that it might have been assembled in the United States. A Toyota Camry or Corolla is still a Toyota, whether assembled here or in Japan. The fact is, overdependence on foreign sources for vital defense or essential civilian materials is the same as oil dependency — it gives foreign powers influence over us. We could one day be in a position of having to jump through hoops at the direction of a foreign power, just as we are with oil.

We must maintain control over our vital industries and materials if we are to not be controlled by foreign powers. Rome fell after it jobbed out its military to slaves and foreign mercenaries.

ROBERT B. HIXSON

Columbia

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