- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2006

The Mexicans’ boycott

Illegal immigration fanatics are planning protests in Mexico on May 1 (“Mexican boycott targets U.S. firms,” Page 1, Saturday) encouraging Mexicans to buy “nothing gringo” because our country has the audacity to contemplate legislation to stop the flood of illegal aliens into our country. Those aliens flagrantly violate our immigration laws, jeopardize our national security and place an enormous monetary burden on U.S. taxpayers to subsidize their presence in our country. If they want to boycott everything “gringo” so badly, why don’t they start by not entering this “gringo” country illegally, which would have prevented this unnecessary, unwanted and unsustainable mass invasion of illegal aliens into the U.S. in the first place?

GREG HORAK

Aurora, Colo.

Rumsfeld bashing

At a time when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens daily to wipe Israel off the map and, whether it likes to admit it or not, the whole world looks to America for protection as this crisis grows, I can understand why the six retired generals who are criticizing Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld are exactly that — retired (“Generals defend Rumsfeld,” Page 1, Saturday).

Mistakes well may have been made in the run-up to the war, but any strategist worth his salt (as all generals must be) should always see the bigger picture above a personal gripe. So for these retired officers to demand publicly that an existing military leader be overthrown is such bad form that it more than raises a few questions about their ability as commanders and their interests in this war.

This whole scenario is so completely outside the proper chain of command that it serves only to undermine the coalition. The generals’ only duty, whether active, retired or dead, is to keep Operation Iraqi Freedom powerful and its enemies on the back foot.

The problem with the press is that it makes generals and presidents of us all and therefore can corrupt many. The press excels at treating any news story like an episode of “Pop Idol,” the British show on which “American Idol” was based, and thus it opens doors to the most useless of contributors if they can cause controversy and melodrama.

I believe the lies that the European press spread in the run-up to this war — the complete anti-American bias about another Vietnam in the making when all we should have focused on was the task at hand — were the reasons the coalition was reluctant to send into the region what was needed in the first place.

Many of the news stories that have enveloped this conflict never should have been presented, and the fact that they were makes the press very much to blame for the future. There is only one acceptable outcome in this war, and that is to achieve democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan — as well as seek the undermining and, where possible, destruction of Islamic fundamentalism and the terrorism it has spawned. That is, to a large extent, being achieved in many regions of the Middle East.

NEIL PRICE

Bedford, England

If one believes the mainstream press, one would get the impression that all retired generals want the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. With the vast number of generals in retirement, the six or so who have come forward are insignificant.

Keep in mind that Mr. Rumsfeld has ruffled many general officers’ feathers since taking over as secretary of defense. He is truly transforming the military to fight future wars, and these generals are uncomfortable with it. For example, field artillery is of limited value today and will be in the future, so artillery officers don’t like Mr. Rumsfeld and feel threatened.

Gen. Eric Shinseki, the former Army chief of staff, was a typical Clinton-era general. He was sensitive and cared more about the self-image of soldiers than their capabilities. He gave Army troops new black berets as a “symbol of their transformation” rather than actually transforming them. Gen. Shinseki was a big proponent of the Crusader field artillery system which was slow, heavy and would be obsolete the day it hit the inventory. This was typical of a general officer’s lip service to “transformation” instead of to actually doing something about it. Mr. Rumsfeld figured this was a no-brainer and canceled the Crusader system. Mr. Rumsfeld didn’t even attend Gen. Shinseki’s retirement ceremony, much to the amusement of those of us in the active-duty Army.

Retired generals who are sniping at Mr. Rumsfeld made their bones during the Clinton era. Therefore, they got ahead by instituting sensitivity programs such as programs to prevent sexual harassment, training in consideration of others and other mandatory training sessions that had nothing to do with our wartime mission. Most are not warriors in the true sense and have other agendas and/or inadequacies.

The most unforgivable sin Mr. Rumsfeld committed in the eyes of the general officer corps was that he passed over many active-duty generals and pulled a Special Forces general out of retirement to replace Gen. Shinseki as Army chief of staff. This was an unbelievable slap in the face to all those eligible generals on active duty at the time. It was made even more painful for those general officers that Mr. Rumsfeld picked a Special Forces officer. Again, this was in keeping with Mr. Rumsfeld’s desire for true transformation. The Quadrennial Defense Review bears this out in that it uses Special Operations as the base model for servicewide transformation.

The retired generals should take Gen. Douglas’ advice and just fade away — and please, do it quietly.

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 3 JAMIE THACKABERRY

Army Special Forces (retired)

Johnsburg, N.Y.

Spin cycles

I rarely agree with a Democrat, but Sen. Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota is correct that “corporate strategy is to export good American jobs and then to import cheap labor.” Incredibly, now the Senate also wants to sneak in 300,000 to 400,000 temporary workers to further undercut the American worker (“Unions worked up over illegals,” Page 1, Saturday).

Evidently, the open-border crowd of both parties is continuing its relentless assault on the middle class. Even more disturbing is that except for a few conservative radio shows and Internet sites, both the old and new media are mostly on the side of big corporations. The old media favors Democrats, and the new media favors Republicans, and the truth is lost in a sea of partisan spin.

Thankfully, because of the outcry from its listeners, conservative talk radio at least is revealing the dangers of our open borders and has come out strongly against the Senate guest worker amnesty plan. However, rarely do conservative radio hosts directly blame President Bush for our wide-open borders, even though, as commander in chief, he can begin immediately to enforce existing immigration laws without new legislation.

Unfortunately, in recent days, influential radio hosts have been babbling on once again about trivial partisan issues instead of keeping the pressure on Mr. Bush to begin immediately securing our borders. Most of these conservative pundits also are virtually silent about Mr. Bush’s cheap-labor trade strategy to outsource much of our manufacturing capability, which also sells out America’s middle class, sovereignty and national security.

Patriotic Americans thus see both parties (and their media cheerleaders) selling out them and their country for cheap labor and votes. The only hope for the Republican Party is for conservative news organizations to tell the truth about the dangers of Mr. Bush’s globalist economic strategy. In addition, the conservative press and broadcasters must urge Republicans in Congress to break with Mr. Bush’s anti-American policies and support a pro-American economic and national security agenda.

Otherwise, the Democrats will gain seats this year and possibly become the majority.

LEWIS SPECTOR

Doylestown, Pa.

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