Contextualizing war courage Thanks to The Washington Times for the critical editorial “The Appeasement Caucus” (July 9) highlighting the growing relationship between the mainstream media and leading Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. My chief criticism with the mainstream media is the lack of context.
In April 2003, Eason Jordan of CNN disclosed that CNN refused to air stories regarding atrocities carried out against Iraqis by dictator Saddam Hussein’s evil henchmen. CNN agreed to silence in order to retain a news bureau in Baghdad.
CNN accurately reported that the war is currently costing the United States $12 billion a month and is approaching $750 billion since the war began. However, CNN failed to provide any context to their viewers that on September 11 not only did the United States suffer the loss of 3,000 people but witnessed more than $2 trillion in losses in the financial markets in a single day. This is “the most trusted news organization in the world”?
On NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday, Sen. James Webb, Virginia Democrat, stated “al Qaeda came to Iraq because the United States was in Iraq.” Mr. Webb’s comments lack context as 14 of the 30 al Qaeda terrorist attacks were conducted prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, making al Qaeda’s assertion that the U.S. occupation of Iraq legitimizes their claim to murder people bogus. Consider: 4,895 people have been killed in these attacks and 12,345 have been wounded. The U.S. foreign policy has not created more terrorists, rather it has exposed them.
Should lawmakers embrace Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Reid and the mainstream media’s vision of immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, it will serve only as incentive for more al Qaeda attacks on our soil. Furthermore, the United States can probably expect to be drawn back into the Middle East within five years to face an enemy that could possess weapons of mass destruction. The United States will then face prohibitive costs in lost lives and resources.
Congress should pause and consider the courage of the passengers on United Flight 93 who gave their lives in stopping another terrorist attack on September 11 that many believed was headed for Capitol Hill and contrast it with the temerity of today’s “appeasement caucus” in Congress. If Congress successfully passes legislation for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, it should consider how the risks — in terms of loss of human life and finances — might be greater than keeping our military in Iraq.
MICHAEL P. MULHALL
Rockville Centre, N.Y.
The sun is hot
We are told by geologists, geographers, climatologists, oceanographers, astrophysicists, biologists et. al. that the Earth is warming and that this is dangerous. They plot the possible scenarios with each degree of temperature rise. They note positive feedback aspects such as the loss of ice means less heat is reflected back into space, so more loss of ice and so on. They note that the deep ocean methane hydrates, of which there are trillions of tons, only need the deep water temperature to rise by a few degrees to release all the stored methane; and methane is 200 times more potent a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide. They note that as the tundra thaws vast quantities of CO2 will be released. They use large computers to predict the futures that depend on how much more CO2 mankind releases and the predictions are all bad.
But not to worry, John Lewis says that he was taught that the sun was a “variable star” and it is this that is the definite cause of the warming (“A cool response,” Letters, Saturday). Well, that’s OK then. Perhaps he should contact the Stanford Solar Physics Research Group and give them the good news.
WILLIAM G. GARRETT