- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Kerry’s affront to allies

Regarding the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism: Sen. John Kerry says, “I know what needs to be done, and I know what has been done wrong” (“Kerry terms terrorism ‘most urgent’ threat,” Page 1, Saturday). He also alludes frequently to his desire to marshal other countries, particularly through the United Nations, to accomplish what “needs to be done.”

If this is true, he has a bizarre way of articulating it. The worst and latest example is his criticism of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Mr. Kerry accuses Mr. Allawi and President Bush of lying to put a good face on the Iraq situation. To criticize and insult our allies is certainly not the best way to win them over.

Vice President Dick Cheney rightly lambasted Mr. Kerry for this, saying that he was “appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage when he rushed out to hold a press conference and attack the prime minister.”

Now, at least to judge by his latest “plan” as articulated in a speech on foreign policy at Temple University in Philadelphia, Mr. Kerry is trying to sound more and more like Mr. Bush. I continue to be less and less impressed with anything Mr. Kerry says as he digs his hole deeper and deeper.

RICHARD LAMBERT

Rockville

Three cheers for Norwood

Hooray for Rep. Charlie Norwood, Georgia Republican, and his Clear Law Enforcement for Alien Removal Act, as described in The Washington Times (“Immigration bill’s author says foes favor criminals,” Nation, Thursday).

Mr. Norwood is one of the few in Congress who is not playacting at fixing immigration laws. The ethnic lobby attacked the CLEAR Act because it would help prevent illegal immigration. Bravo, Mr. Norwood.

You and more than 80 percent of all Americans want reform. As usual, the lobbyists are buying votes to keep reform from happening. Let’s get enough others in Congress to pass Mr. Norwood’s meaningful bill, which can stop most of the estimated 3,000 to 4,000 illegals crossing the Arizona and New Mexico borders daily.

DONALD A. COLLINS

Board member

Federation for American Immigration Reform

Washington

Questions on illegals’ votes

Your article “Little to stop illegal aliens from voting” (Page 1, Friday) quotes immigration experts who say there likely is little voting by illegal immigrants. My question is, how can anyone know? In 1997, a congressional investigation determined that illegal aliens had voted in the Orange County, Calif., race between Robert Dornan and Roberta Sanchez for Congress. Yet no steps were taken to eliminate the problem.

With some estimates topping 10 million illegal aliens in the country, we must take measures to protect our right to vote. The last presidential election proved to be one of the closest in history. Failure to take action to identify legal voters and keep illegals from voting is unconscionable and must be corrected.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

Canada, more than a U.S. ally

Arnold Beichman gets it wrong in “Canada’s cold shoulder to U.S.” (Commentary, Sept. 20). When the United States was attacked on September 11, President Bush has stated, one of the first phone calls he received was from then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, offering Canada’s support and condolences. The president said, “It was like getting a call from a brother.”

When America closed its airspace that day, Canada gave a home to 211 aircraft and their 33,000 passengers. Stephen Jay Gould, who spent an unexpected week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, called it an “act of human decency.” Three days after September 11, Mr. Chretien and American Ambassador Paul Cellucci led a gathering of 100,000 Canadians on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in a nationwide day of mourning for the September 11 victims.

Canada was the first to follow the United States into the northern Arabian Sea with warships as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001. All of our fleet has served in the war on terrorism. Canadians have died in combat to liberate Afghanistan. More than 11,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors and members of our air force have served there since 2002.

The United States has recognized Canadian valor: Thirty Canadian soldiers have been awarded Bronze Stars. Canadian snipers were credited by the American command with having saved U.S. lives in Operation Anaconda in 2002. We are actively supporting the reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq. To learn more, we suggest you visit www.canadianally.com.

On the domestic front, cooperation between our nations is safeguarding our ports and borders. Together, we are determined to make North America more secure to do the daily business that underwrites our mutual prosperity. As Prime Minister Paul Martin told Americans in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July, “Canada and the United States should see each other as more than simply important partners, more than simply friendly neighbors. … It’s time that we understood our responsibilities as joint stewards of North America and those areas where, at least, our common interests intersect.”

Canadians and Americans work together; play together; and, in the campaign against terrorism, fight together. We have created in North America an approach to neighborly living that respects our individual approaches but celebrates our pluralism and commitment to freedom and democracy.

COLIN ROBERTSON

Head, Washington secretariat

Embassy of Canada

Washington

Hot air on emissions standards?

Barry McCahill’s column “Hot air on climate deaths” (Commentary, Wednesday), regarding the California Air Resources Board’s vehicle emissions standard, is riddled with errors and corporate spin.

Mr. McCahill suggests that the standard would compel automakers to reduce the weight of their vehicles. Yet the ARB laid out comprehensive technological compliance plans for all vehicles to meet the proposed standard without any reduction in vehicle weight.

Moreover, Mr. McCahill is wrong on safety. Size and design, not weight, are the critical factors. A driver’s risk of dying is the same in the massive Chevrolet Suburban as in the tiny Volkswagen Jetta. In fact, the death rate for occupants of sport utility vehicles last year was 10 percent higher than for people in cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Mr. McCahill’s arguments are phony, and so is his group, SUV Owners of America. The group is run out of the offices of Stratacomm, a D.C. public relations firm whose clients include the Big Three automakers. Mr. McCahill’s arguments, down to the specific examples, mirror talking points put forth by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers at a press event in California the same day his commentary was published.

Pure auto-industry spin — not facts or an interest in Californians’ health and safety — are behind Mr. McCahill’s misinformed argument.

JOAN CLAYBROOK

President

Public Citizen

Washington

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