- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 9, 2007

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The lessons of history

Regarding the editorial “The long knives” (Friday): I was expecting to hear how you thought the Democrats were getting ready to throw Gen. David Petraeus under the bus, just as Hitler did to Ernst Roehm and his SA cohorts to mollify the German Army and the expanding SS. But to my surprise, the only historical fact in the editorial dealt with the wartime union of the Soviet Union and Great Britain and the United States.

You take the Democrats to task for being “ignorant of history.” Try not to look to closely in the mirror. The policy followed in Anbar mirrors at least two from recent history. First, the British had a bad habit when setting up colonies in the Middle East and Africa of finding a small minority group and arming and educating them to run the local show much to the chagrin of the majority groups in the area. Needless to say it did not do much for peace and understanding after the British left. The second example would be the arming of the Afghan tribes to combat the Soviet Union. While the short-term goal of embarrassing our chief rival worked well, the long term consequences did not.

Lastly, concerning you assertion that “the debate is about to get ugly,” the debate is already ugly and not really a debate because neither side listens to anyone who disagrees, even to a minor extent.

JOHN L PERCER

Linthicum, Md.

Short on substance

Stella L. Jatras dismisses the substance of Bruce Fein’s Sunday column by attacking the messenger instead of the message (“Genocide as policy,” Letters, Wednesday). She implies that Mr. Fein cannot be trusted because he is a resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America. Mr. Fein had asserted in his column that the Armenian tragedy in the Ottoman Empire of 1915 cannot be called “genocide.” The Jatras letter falls short on the substance by quoting U.S Ambassador Morgenthau, whose wartime propaganda was later refuted by Adm. Bristol who replaced him after the war. Next, the letter repeats the supposed Hitler quote “Who after all remembers the annihilation of Armenians?” that no historian has authenticated.

Rosalind Ellis proclaims that Michelle Malkin’s praise for the Gathering of Eagles sickens her while she claims she supports those who travel to make their case in our nation’s capital (“A ‘persistent conflict’,” Letters, Wednesday). She thinks the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) demonstration is “free speech” but that the Gathering of Eagles counterdemonstration is “curtailing free speech.” Enough said.

ALI F. SEVIN

Fort Washington, Md.

Stop looking for another Reagan

Ralph Hallow reports that “skeptics” of Fred Thompson’s candidacy claim that “influential conservatives will not warm to him” (“Late entry could doom Thompson,” Nation, Friday). The skeptics cite two examples of Mr. Thompson’s failure to be a 100 percent pure conservative as proof that the rank-and-file won’t support him; namely, his Senate investigation hearings of the Clinton administration concerning the “China-gate,” and his vote in favor of McCain-Feingold.

My question to the skeptics is the following: If “influential” conservatives choose not to support Mr. Thompson because of a lack of perfection, then who will they support? Will they support the decidedly non-conservative Rudy Giuliani, the consummate flip-flopper Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee — who despite his virtues is clearly a second-tier candidate?

As for the American Conservative Union’s David Keene’s criticism of Mr. Thompson’s response to conservative critics of his role in passing McCain-Feingold, Mr. Keene would appear to be behind the curve. I have heard firsthand Mr. Thompson disavow McCain-Feingold as a “failure” that “hasn’t worked.” Mr. Thompson has also said that we should consider scrapping our federal campaign finance regime in favor of full, instantaneous disclosure.

Conservatives had better quit looking for perfection or for another Ronald Reagan, or we might find ourselves producing a sequel to the Democrats’ “in search of another FDR.” After 60 years they’ve come up empty, and have lost seven of ten presidential elections.

ROBERT BRANTLEY

Alexandria

A tale of two Olympics

This is a tale of two nations. Both were chosen to host the Summer Olympic Games and they both have many other similarities. History has a way of repeating itself. The two countries will be called country “G” and country “C”. The Olympic Games in question are in the 1930s and the 2000s.

Country “G”: This country was defeated in a war shortly after 1910 and after recovering, it was taken over by an authoritarian regime which renounced previous treaties and embarked on aggression against other nations as well as repression of its own citizens. This country was awarded the hosting of the 1936 Olympics with little objection from the United States or other nations. There were some objections from individuals who were troubled by the indications of repression of the freedom of “G’s” citizens by the government. This repression was directed at members of one particular religious group along with those who tried to expose the repression. It seems as if those countries which had defeated “G” in the war ignored such reports and often covered up such reports. Only later were country “G’s” crimes widely acknowledged.

Country “C”: This country has become a military and economic power. The tyrannical treatment committed by this country’s regime is, in many cases, similar to that committed by the government of country “G”. Again, no countries have raised objections to this country’s hosting of the Olympics in 2008. This is probably due to hoped-for increased trade with “C”. It is sad to say that, once again, the United States and its current administration is counted among those who support this “deal.”

The United States should withdraw from participation in the 2008 Olympic games. There is a precedent for this. In 1980, then-President Carter withdrew the United States from the Olympic Games due to the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. It was a principled stand, that, even if it had very minimal effects on world affairs, was the right thing to do.

The failure of the United States to act to withdraw from the 2008 Olympics will send a message to other nations who repress their citizens and especially the long-suffering citizens of country “C.” The message: “Abandon all hope of freedom. Don’t count on the great United States and their claim to be a champion of free people.”

Oh, by the way, Country “G” is Nazi Germany and Country “C” is the Peoples Republic of China (“Bush urged to boycott Olympics,” Nation, Aug. 23).

THEODORE BYERS

Annandale

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide