- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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.

In October 2006, CNN agreed to air video of an American serviceman being murdered by a terrorist sniper in Iraq. Last week CNN provided “news analysis” highlighting the costs of the war in Iraq.

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

Harrow, Middlesex

England

‘Misguided souls’

It was a great shame that the first opening of a Senate session with a Hindu prayer was disrupted by three misguided souls (“Prayer protesters,” Inside Politics, Nation, Friday). Their actions were patently un-Christian in that they opposed fundamental Christian values of love, charity and kindness.

It is ironic that Hindu philosophy, which has helped to mold the modern American culture via the transcendental philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, was heckled as unacceptable and foreign. The fact is that Emerson drew his inspiration from sacred Hindu texts — Bhagwat Gita, Vedas and the Laws of Manu. His postulation that God is present in all humans and the universe is basic Hinduism — Tat Tam Asi (“That Thou Art” in Sanskrit). This was very controversial in the United States in the mid-19th century as it opposed the church’s doctrines of separateness of man and God. However, it was not far from the words of Jesus Christ, who said “He who drinks from my mouth shall be as I am and I will be he” in the Gospel of Matthew.

Narrow-mindedness, closed-mindedness, intolerance, cruelty, ill will and aggressiveness are the hallmarks of the forces of darkness, which are on a rampage in the world today. Conversely, the characteristics of decency, kindness, peacefulness, charity and caring are also evident everywhere in the world, except they don’t generally make headlines.

A wise man once said you can change the world by first and foremost changing yourself.

SHIRISH KOKATAY

Philadelphia

True grit

President Bush is succeeding mightily in continuing the war in Iraq despite increasing opposition from members of Congress (“GOP leaders press Bush for Iraq plan,” Page 1, Saturday), who appear to have no staying power in a venture that is extremely important to the United States and the Western world.

Soon, it appears it will be Mr. Bush alone who has the grit and determination to see the necessity of taking arms and opposing the onslaught of radical Islamofacists who are determined to destroy Western civilization.

Mr. Bush is reminiscent of a postwar Japanese prime minister, Shigeru Yoshida, who was mockingly called “one man” by legislators because he stubbornly refused to wait for a consensus in joining with the advanced Western countries to counter the Soviet Union in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Apparently the United States has become a devotee of consensus politics, where Congress demands a role in executing power reserved by the Constitution to the executive branch, and Mr. Bush has the temerity — in the eyes of many legislators — to be “one man” in doing the job he’s supposed to do: defending the nation from foreign aggression.

America’s record against Islamic aggression over the last half-century has been dismal. In fact, America — focused on the Cold War defeat of the Soviet Union — has not persevered in the face of open aggression. The Korean War could have been a complete victory if Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s concepts had been followed; the Vietnam War fiasco was caused by lack of determination by the American people and the Democratic Congress; and the lack of a steadfast response to 50 years of Muslim attacks, beginning with the Suez Crisis of 1956 and continuing today across a wide swath of the globe, from Morocco to the southern Philippines, along with the weak-kneed approach of the Democrats (now joined by so many Republicans) have shown Islamic leaders that the United States has no staying power.

America is indeed fortunate to have a leader in Mr. Bush — “one man” — who has the guts to persevere when so many in Congress are giving up in the face of potentially the greatest threat ever faced by the United States.

WILLIAM F. NIMMO

Virginia Beach