- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cleaning up Clinton’s mess

Once again, President Bush is having to clean up the mess left by the inaction of President Clinton. The United States attacked suspected al Qaeda members responsible for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings (“Leaders place hope in African peacekeepers,” World, Jan. 2). Had Mr. Clinton been serious about doing his job as president instead of reaping the benefits of the position, we might have taken care of the problem in 1998 instead of 2007.

I only wish we could scrap the political correctness in Iraq as well and let our troops get the job done. Unfortunately, the liberal media and liberal groups have stifled our success. War cannot be waged with political correctness.

Victory in Iraq for the United States and the Iraqi people is the only answer. If the left cared as much about America winning as it does about Mr. Bush losing, we would have the job done.

The tunnel vision and ignorance of the liberal ideology is frightening.

DEBBIE GAMBLIN

Brandon, Miss.

Scare tactic by Barney Frank

The Inside Politics column on Monday quotes Rep. Barney Frank as claiming that the administration is using a variation on “ethnic cleansing” by delaying action on rebuilding in Louisiana to decrease the number of black voters there by 100,000.

Mr. Frank seems to have overlooked the fact that these displaced people will continue to vote no matter where they reside. His claim, therefore, must be considered no more than another racist scare tactic to frighten blacks into remaining within the Democrats’ fold. Mr. Frank’s claim also is quite consistent with the conspiracy to block needed educational options for blacks by opposing vouchers and charter schools.

DENIS ABLES

Vienna

Smelt the Iron Triangle

Robert Scales bemoans what he sees as the hollowing out of U.S. military capabilities (“The military budget pie,” Op-Ed, yesterday). One reason the Army’s budget is constrained is because of the money we’re wasting on Cold War-era weapons systems such as the F-22 and Virginia class submarine.

Heaping more pork on the half of the budget pie that constitutes the Pentagon budget is not going to make us safer as a nation. Defense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product has decreased because of dramatic economic growth in the United States. Arguing for higher levels of defense spending in terms of GDP just for the sake of spending more isn’t sensible.

Our new defense secretary and Congress should assess the billions wasted annually on weapons programs that clearly are inappropriate for the current defense environment.

This year should be spent stamping out the pork-barrel spending that supports defense industry overcapacity and bloated Pentagon budgets. However, the government won’t put an end to pork-barrel spending as long as the Iron Triangle of the military, industry and Congress is permitted to manipulate the political process and maintain its stranglehold on our federal budget priorities.

BEN COHEN

President

Business Leaders for

Sensible Priorities

Burlington, Vt.

An assault waiting to happen

The article “Immigration debate gets religious” (Page 1, Monday) brings up a number of points about the need for hearings on the subject before any legislation is proposed. There is a genuine need to consider all factors affecting our entire approach to immigration. A thorough examination of the policy toward birthright citizenship, for the children of those who are in this country illegally, is a good place to start.

Border security must be improved substantially, as well as a guarantee that employers verify the Social Security number and the legal status of all persons hired. If these conditions are improved, we can undertake a review of those in the country illegally. However, there must be assurances that any amnesty for those already here will not lead to a program that will attract more people to evade our immigration laws.

A wide-open door for anyone who wishes to come into our country illegally is an invitation to disaster, allowing in potential terrorists who would pose an alarming risk to our security and also raising our population, leading to numbers that would ensure that we would reach a population of a billion people in this century. If we allow this to happen, it inevitably will lead to an assault on the middle class and our becoming a Third World country.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

Bad book deals

Sunday’s editorial “A classic brouhaha” says that classic but unread tomes in the Fairfax County library system are going to be saved from the “two-years-or-the-dustbin” checkout policy, at least temporarily. It doesn’t mention whether the librarians are disturbed that nobody checks out these books. I suspect their portion of tax dollars is tied somehow to the number of visitors to their libraries and total numbers of checkouts. So they feel pressed to appeal to the lowest common denominator just to justify their own existence. Why don’t they just set up a Starbucks inside? Instead, I suggest that the librarians, plus the rest of us who are interested in an educated citizenry (that means elected officials, too) ask educators why classic literature isn’t read. Certainly it is not because the school systems are so rich that they can afford to buy these books themselves or that all students can afford to purchase their own copies. The fact that the books are being saved means there must be at least a few people who still recognize their value.

My son goes to a Catholic liberal arts college, at no small expense to us. Last semester, in his last literature course of his academic career, he was assigned to read “Brokeback Mountain.” Even if one does not object to the content, everyone should agree that this is pulp beach reading. The college’s defense certainly would be that courses using classic literature were available to my son and that the fault lies with him, but I bet it will hesitate to admit that it is not pushing the non-English-major portion of the student body very hard. I find this deeply offensive and insulting to the intelligence of these young minds.

Sadly, I feel sure my son’s expensive and highly selective school is no exception to the norm, and I think librarians will tell you that the idea of reading the “great books” is dead in our high schools as well. Is that what librarians believe should have happened? What did they read in school? Oh, I suppose most librarians were educated in the post-Vietnam age of pablum, which is about when the perfidy against our youth gained a firm foothold in our schools. Maybe libraries should just rent some cheap warehouse space to mothball all the decent literature until our education system comes to its senses and raises the least common denominator.

KATHLEEN REITZ

Derwood

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide