- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cardiac arrest at the FDA

The photograph on your Tuesday front page headlined “Hillary health care” shows Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, in Jerusalem holding a CardioPump — a device used to assist in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This device was developed in the United States, and data supporting its effectiveness were published in the pre-eminent American medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine. Nonetheless, the CardioPump is illegal here because the Food and Drug Administration has refused to approve it. In the mid-1990s, in fact, the FDA halted tests of the device because unconscious heart attack victims had not “consented” to its use.

The CardioPump is essentially a sophisticated suction cup, enabling emergency medical personnel to administer CPR more effectively. It poses no risk, but there is some dispute over how definitive the supporting data are. If the device were approved here, hospitals, physicians and ambulance systems could make their own decisions on whether to use it. Because of the FDA, none of them has that option.

Unless, that is, they’re in Jerusalem or in any of the other major foreign cities where the CardioPump is in use and where an American senator can travel to pose for a photo-op with the device.

SAM KAZMAN

General counsel

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington

On illegals, take a Californian cue

Thumbs up to Tom Knott’s Thursday column, “Will state hit brakes on illegals’ driver’s licenses?” Metro). I live in California, ground zero for illegal aliens, but unlike Maryland, we are still denying illegals the privilege of having driver’s licenses. It costs Californians $10 billion a year to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens. California is in debt for $38 billion. Mr. Knott writes, “All this is symptomatic of a nation that has lost its way, of politicians who lack the spine to enforce our laws, of the loony left who traffic in their smug superiority.”

It’s time to admit that the Bush administration is deeply committed to Wall Street’s interests. U.S. merchants want taxpayer-subsidized foreign labor in order to make profits beyond belief. These merchants put profit before country, and their lackeys, the corrupt politicians, see to it that illegal immigration continues, and they see to it that illegals enjoy all the privileges of legal U.S. residents. Sadly, the next Democrat in the White House and Democrats in Congress will do the same as President Bush and his administration. The right and the left have been bought by the U.S. merchants, and Wall Street is running this country, no matter what party is in power.

I’m Hispanic; I came to the United States as a legal immigrant; I’m a naturalized U.S. citizen; and I think illegal aliens are a slap in the face to those of us who came by obeying the law. It is a lie that all American citizens of Hispanic descent are pro illegal entry into the United States.

HAYDEE PAVIA

Laguna Woods

South Asian realities

Your editorial “Terror and tension in South Asia” (Thursday) prompts a rebuttal. Yours and nearly every other Western assessment of Jammu and Kashmir starts from the premise that Pakistan is a party to the dispute, because Kashmir Valley’s population has been majority Muslim from India and Pakistan’s independence in 1947 onward. Tellingly, in 1947, the Lakshadweep islands, today a union territory in India, had a larger percentage of Muslims, and the presence of Islam there predates Islam in Kashmir by centuries. Yet Pakistan’s Army post-independence chose to make an issue only regarding Kashmir. Why?

The reason is simple; a claim on Muslim-populated islands would have strengthened Pakistan’s naval position. By cynically exploiting the Kashmir issue instead, Pakistan’s army has built up its viselike grip on Pakistan’s body politic. If that were not reason enough, the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 has already broken the myth of Pakistan as the nation for Muslims in South Asia.

Furthermore, your editorial missed key related aspects of Pakistan’s continuing military misadventures. The real reason for Pakistan’s focus on dominating Afghanistan is not strategic depth for military purposes, but rather the pre-emption of any popular movement in its North West Frontier Province, NWFP, for joining Afghanistan. Historically, there always has been a desire among Pashtuns on both sides of the border to join in a common political entity. Even today, Pashtuns in NWFP refer to Afghans as brothers and tellingly refer to going to the plains of Sindh and Pakistan’s Punjab as going to “Hindoostan.”

Last but not least, recruits for growing worldwide Islamic terrorism are primarily madrassa graduates from Pakistan, as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld noted a while back. However, Mr. Rumsfeld did not suggest ways to combat this problem.

I have two simple suggestions in this regard. Most Pakistani madrassa graduates have two marketable skills: They speak Arabic, and they know how to use small arms. First, using U.S. aid for the establishment of Arabic call centers in Pakistan to serve Middle East outsourcing business would provide employment to these potential holy warriors while helping Pakistan’s economy. Second, U.S. aid for recruitment of madrassa graduates in Pakistan’s paramilitary frontier corps would enable them to make the transition from holy warriors to holistic warriors.

ARUN KHANNA

Visiting professor of finance

College of Business Administration

Butler University

Indianapolis

I’m disappointed by the editorial “Terror and tension in South Asia” for showing moral equivalence between Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and Indian “concessions” in Kashmir. It also is disheartening to note that even after four years since September 11, there is little appreciation for the fact that the war on terror cannot succeed when the United States selectively prosecutes the fight against terrorists.

For instance, the group that India credibly blames for the Oct. 29 attacks in New Delhi, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has direct links to al Qaeda. Some of the perpetrators of the July 7 attacks in London were trained in LeT camps in Pakistan. Australia recently arrested many LeT-trained terrorists who were plotting to blow up a nuclear reactor, among other things. LeT-trained terrorists also have been arrested recently in the United States. In fact, virtually every major Islamist terrorist attack since September 11 has had some connection to one Kashmir-linked Pakistani group or another. Terrorism experts agree that Pakistan’s role today as the hub of transnational jihadist groups is therefore directly tied to the country’s continued use of terrorism as a state policy instrument.

The editorial also calls on the United States to lean on India to provide “concessions” to Pakistan should Islamabad try to restrain the terrorists under its employ. This is an outrageous suggestion. If the United States were to pressure India, it would send a clear message to Pakistan that terrorism works. Second, this idea is based on the wrong notion that India has not made any concessions already. During the 2002 border crisis, Western commentators pointed out that India’s refusal even to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan was untenable and that it was unrealistic to expect Pakistan to abandon the use of substate forces in Kashmir without a quid-pro-quo from India. However, successive Indian governments have since made moves to put Kashmir on the negotiating table with Pakistan. India also has agreed to soft borders and numerous other Pakistani demands.

However, it appears that the Pakistani establishment is still not willing to give up the jihadist option and has moved the goal posts to demand a large territorial concession from India as a prerequisite to curtailing jihadists. This is untenable. Pakistan cannot expect to gain territorial concessions from India because that is unacceptable to New Delhi. Therefore, for the United States to let Pakistan hold a crackdown on terrorists hostage to a pipe dream is both foolhardy and morally unjustified.

At the end of the day, the United States must realize that terrorism is like water in the sense that it takes the path of least resistance. If the United States takes tough action against Arab groups and gives a free pass to allies such as Pakistan to maintain their pet terrorist entities, al Qaeda will simply adapt to that circumstance. The London attacks and the Australian terror scares are manifestations of this phenomenon. The only way to defeat terrorism, therefore, is to devalue it by discrediting the idea that states or groups can use suicide bombers to achieve political ends. Anything else is a will-o’-the-wisp.

KAUSHIK KAPISTHALAM

Atlanta

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