- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2007

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Ugly immigration politics

To blast New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Newark Mayor Corey Booker (“Protect America’s children,” Op-Ed, Sept. 14) for somehow “subverting” the law by keeping state and local law enforcement focused on enforcing state and local laws and leaving federal immigration law to the feds is a scary attempt to push ugly politics over responsible governing.

When a self-serving aspiring politician blasts a governor and a mayor for doing their jobs, someone needs to call him on it. In reality, Rep. Tom Tancredo’s column shows him for what he is: a politician obsessed with taking a hard line on immigration as part of a craven if not desperate play with conservatives to prolong what is still a doomed presidential campaign.

Blankley’s departure

My sadness provoked by the sudden departure of Tony Blankley from The Washington Times is eased only by the assurance that he will continue his weekly column of succinct and informed political wisdom (“Blankley leaves Times for Edelman position,” Nation, Tuesday). He has demonstrated that brevity is not only the soul of wit but a key to understanding.

I hope K Street will not spoil him.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER

Chevy Chase

MATT NERZIG

Director of communications

Local 32BJ Service Employees International Union

New York City

How trade benefits the United States

Alan Simpson makes an excellent case for speedy passage of the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (“Support Korean free trade pact,” Commentary, Sept. 14), rightly citing the economic and foreign-policy benefits of increasing our presence in the most dynamic economic region on the planet.

Another point worth highlighting is the impact on jobs here at home. According to exhaustive research conducted by Business Roundtable, more than 31 million American jobs are tied directly to the international economy. This means that one in five Americans relies on the importing and exporting of goods and services for their livelihood.

As growth in exports is making the biggest contribution to U.S. economic growth in 14 years, the best way to build on that success is for Congress to implement the Korea-U.S. FTA. Passage of the agreement would mean U.S. businesses, workers and farmers would have greater access to Korea’s trillion-dollar economy.

Opponents of U.S. leadership in the international economy conveniently ignore the fact that nearly 96 percent of the world’s population lives outside our borders. America must trade to maintain our standard of living. Congressional approval of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement would show the world that the United States is serious about trade liberalization.

BRIGITTE SCHMIDT GWYN

Director

International trade and fiscal policy

Business Roundtable

Washington

How trade benefits the United States

Alan Simpson makes an excellent case for speedy passage of the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (“Support Korean free trade pact,” Commentary, Sept. 14), rightly citing the economic and foreign-policy benefits of increasing our presence in the most dynamic economic region on the planet.

Another point worth highlighting is the impact on jobs here at home. According to exhaustive research conducted by Business Roundtable, more than 31 million American jobs are tied directly to the international economy. This means that one in five Americans relies on the importing and exporting of goods and services for their livelihood.

As growth in exports is making the biggest contribution to U.S. economic growth in 14 years, the best way to build on that success is for Congress to implement the Korea-U.S. FTA. Passage of the agreement would mean U.S. businesses, workers and farmers would have greater access to Korea’s trillion-dollar economy.

Opponents of U.S. leadership in the international economy conveniently ignore the fact that nearly 96 percent of the world’s population lives outside our borders. America must trade to maintain our standard of living. Congressional approval of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement would show the world that the United States is serious about trade liberalization.

BRIGITTE SCHMIDT GWYN

Director

International trade and fiscal policy

Business Roundtable

Washington

Needed: a multifaceted approach

While I appreciate the use of historical analogy more than most, the one in Peter Huessy’s Op-Ed column yesterday disappoints because it oversimplifies the issue and, like a good coat of paint, distracts from major flaws (“When negotiation doesn’t work”).

Let’s look at a different analogy from the same time as Mr. Huessy’s. In 1941, Adolf Hitler confronted two problems nations often face when obligated by treaty. In the late spring, Italy invaded Greece because Japan and Germany were running roughshod over their enemies. This led to a resounding defeat and a bailout invasion of the Balkans by the Germans on the eve of their operation into the Soviet Union. Though it may be argued that this did not really hinder the German army in June 1941, it nonetheless caused distraction and later led to the need to become involved in North Africa.

On Dec. 11, 1941, Hitler declared war on the United States in response to our Dec. 8 declaration of war on the Japanese. One could say this was Hitler’s second greatest mistake, right behind his invasion of the Soviet Union. More than likely, he did this to get the Japanese to threaten the Soviet’s Far East forces. Needless to say, the Japanese demurred, having been roundly defeated in 1938 by Gen. Georgy Zhukov on the Manchurian border with Mongolia. Hitler’s unprovoked declaration of war played directly into Winston Churchill’s hand because he wanted to fight in Europe first and the Pacific second. Because of Hitler’s action, Germany found itself confronting a much more focused American public than he might have without them.

More than likely, today’s “Axis of Evil” will suffer similar if not greater problems because they are driven by beliefs that exclude almost all others. Strict doctrine makes it very difficult to find friends and allies. To assume that Iranian Shi’ites would be happy with Arab Sunnis is simply ignorant and does not even account for the Turks, the last Muslims to have a “unified caliphate.”

Another thing the United States did in response to joining the fight was to begin manufacturing massive amounts of goods, from felt boots for Soviet troops to Liberty ships to carry all of those goods to every corner of the Earth. I conclude that our ability to supply our allies with enough goods to fight was far more important than any one battle in the outcome of the war. We outmanufactured and the Soviets bled the Germans to death.

Defeating the terrorists will require much more than Mr. Huessy’s simplistic view that all parties that dislike us are somehow so closely knit together that they are indistinguishable. It will require a multifaceted approach far more complicated than our response in World War II.

JOHN L. PERCER

Linthicum, Md.

Learning history and citizenship

Though I seldom agree with Cal Thomas (and I have debated him) his column on the inadequacy of history and civics education was right on target (“Cheating college students,” Commentary, Wednesday).

As a former high-school teacher of history and government, I did my best to interest students in the importance of these subjects. However, my own observation, backed by several published studies, is that the social studies teaching field is too full of coaches whose primary interest is winning games and whose interest in good, informed citizenship is secondary.

Further, too many communities don’t want children to learn to think critically about anything or be exposed to “controversy.” During my first year of teaching, 1959-60, in a small, all white Midwestern town, I dared to have students discuss the civil rights movement and required them to read news magazines. Needless to say, my contract was not renewed. Far too many teachers have had similar experiences, such as biology teachers who teach about evolution.

Learning history and citizenship is even more important than preparing for a profession or trade.

EDD DOERR

Silver Spring

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