- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 7, 2006

Appeasing Iran

The primary issue with the United Nations and the European Union’s handling of nuclear proliferation is their approach to foreign policy (“Nuclear danger from Iran,” Editorial, Wednesday). Dysfunctional multilateralism relies strictly on economic paradigms that manage political and social risk through opt-out or exception actions. Herein lies the problem: The exception becomes the rule.

Such was the case with North Korea and now with Iran. If Iran obtains nuclear-weapons production capability, it will initiate a nuclear arms race in Middle East. At its culmination, where will the Free World determine the source of the terrorist nuclear detonation that follows? This year’s awarding of the Nobel Peace prize for nuclear nonproliferation is a political oxymoron. It should have been labeled the Chamberlain Appeasement Prize.

LARRY STONE

Peyton, Col.

Disuniting Democrats can’t unite

Tony Blankley wants to end disunity over the war (“Let’s organize to end war disunity,” Op-Ed, Wednesday) and clearly that is a noble pursuit. While Mr. Blankley does not lay the blame for war disunity at the feet of liberals, they certainly have the franchise on dissent. Unfortunately, though, unity is unlikely to materialize for three key reasons.

First, liberals don’t believe we are in a war. Since September 11, the liberal conscience has waned. They cringe when words like “evil” or “enemy” are applied to any group of ne’er-do-wells bent on destroying Western civilization as we know it (except when the supposed destroyers are Republicans).

These self-appointed intellectuals are far too nuanced to deal in absolutes. The liberal theory is simple: We just need to understand why they don’t like us and appease them. Their theory falls dangerously short in the world of radical Islam, where people are born and bred to hate and kill.

Second, liberals won’t unite to end war disunity. Not because they don’t want to, but because they have built a Ponzi scheme of antiwar sentiment on lies and fear and such notions as President Bush lied to go to war and Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

If Mr. Bush lied, how did he convince John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and others to also lie when they said that Saddam Hussein had WMDs without any doubt?

Third, liberals couldn’t unite even if they wanted to. They can’t because underneath the lies and fear that support their Ponzi scheme of antiwar sentiment is a foundation of political contributions.

As oil lubricates the engine of the American economy, political contributions provide the grease for the remaining moving parts. Speaking out against liberal causes exposes the lies and fears for what they truly are. This exposure will dry up contributions and will not go unpunished by other liberal politicians.

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman made a similar plea to end war disunity late last year, and it may cost him his Senate seat. What message does that send to our brave troops and cowardly enemy?

DOUGLAS W. ROBINSON

Ashton

It is Tony Blankley’s sense of humor that leads me to believe that he, a fellow conservative, is a cut above the callow boys like Rich Lowry and people like Rush Limbaugh.

Thomas Sowell has summed up the problem with George Bush and the whole country perfectly, but he doesn’t know it. When he said people choose tyranny over chaos every time, he could have been describing the intellectual chaos in the United States today.

People and nations are always defeated by their own flaws. The great failing in the United States today is not decadence — that bugaboo so often blamed for a nation’s weaknesses — it is intellectual confusion, a paralysis where every citizen in every town, county and state and all nationally elected officials, even President Bush, worship and pay homage to two Gods: one liberal and one conservative. It is a deadlock that neither side can win. The liberal side’s ideas are outdated, but the conservatives shun all popular culture, which is the only way to win people’s hearts and move them along to decisive action.

Where are the movies, the novels, the songs that celebrate individuals who achieve something, who are brave? People who have character, principle and fortitude? Where are the odes to true love and sacrifice and nobility, or even simple elegance? They languish because conservatives won’t sully their intelligently designed little hands by reaching for the hearts and souls of their fellow man.

But, of course, nothing can be done. People are what they are and can only understand what they know. What we will all have to endure before another generation of stories and emotional growth is born, no one can say.

MARCY O’ROURKE

Bergenfield, N.J.

A staged ‘rescue’ in Gaza

What’s wrong with this picture? The Associated Press reports that Alessandro Bernardini, an Italian “committed to the Palestinian cause,” is kidnapped from a minibus containing other passengers in the Gaza town of Khan Younis. Four hours later, Palestinian security agents “stormed” the building where Mr. Bernardini was being held, “burst” into it, “exchanged fire” with the kidnappers, and rescued Mr. Bernardini, who was unharmed. Despite security forces surrounding the building and engaging in a gun battle, no one was injured and all of the kidnappers escaped (Palestinian agents free Italian hostage in shootout,” World, Monday).

Oh, and Mr. Bernardini — who reports drinking tea and smoking cigarettes with his abductors — remains committed to the Palestinian cause, although your article does not mention whether this commitment is to the Fatah-linked Palestinians who likely kidnapped him, the Fatah members of the Palestinian security forces who rescued him, the anti-Fatah Palestinians who decry Fatah corruption, the Palestinians who have joined or supported the terrorist group Hamas and other anti-Western terrorist groups or the Palestinians who support any number of powerful tribal families that, at times, join with or fight against any or all of the above.

Either the security forces of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas are simultaneously superhumanly competent and hopelessly inept — they conducted a bloodless, lightning-strike rescue but allowed all of the kidnappers to escape — or this was a setup with a willing “victim” to boost Mr. Abbas in the upcoming legislative elections. Sorry, but the former scenario doesn’t pass the gentlest of smell tests. Ever since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000, real conflicts in Gaza always involve bloodletting.

SAMUEL R. LEWIS

Oak Hill

Germans were interned and mistreated, too

Bruce Fein states that European internees in the United States during World War II were vetted, while Japanese were not (“If men were angels,” Commentary, Wednesday).

I was interned at age 17. If vetting implies that we had counsel, then that term is an absurdity. James Rowe, then Franklin D. Roosevelt’s assistant attorney general, took great pride in the fact that attorneys were generally excluded from the 60,000 people arrested, mostly Germans, arrests that resulted in over 15,000 internments.

Rowe’s statement, made to the Relocation Study Commission, added that this was deliberate in order to be more efficient.

Mr. Fein should inquire about the reasons behind the continued confinement of many of us until September 1947, when I was released from Ellis Island at age 22. In Crystal City, Texas, I was interned with equal numbers of Japanese and Germans and one Italian.

As far as I know, Mr. Fein is correct that there were no incidents of riots or bombed buildings and no prosecutions for “aiding the enemy.”

Internment was not a racial matter. It was and always will be a political matter, inasmuch as the government continues to be empowered thereto by the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. I consider the Patriot Act to be redundant in that regard, in fact.

EBERHARD FUHR

Palatine, Ill.

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