- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Standing for freedom

As I read the Jan. 8 Op-Ed column “Iran’s naked ambitions” by Uzi Rubin, a quote I had read somewhere slipped into my mind: “You may not want to go to war, but war will come to you.” It looks as if some people want to provoke us into a confrontation and change our way of life.

We must resist peacefully and mightily against this irritant. I have followed the flow of information on Iran, and a school of thought wants us to have peace at any price, such as during the Cold War era, when we wrestled with the spread of communism and the quote at the time was “better red than dead.” I’m of the Patrick Henry school of thought: “As for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”

I hope America and its allies will have the courage and resolve to continue to stand up for freedom and liberty. Otherwise, the West is in deep trouble.

HESTER M. ADAMS

Beltsville

Romney vs. McCain

It’s critical to appreciate the pivotal role our border security plays in our “war against terrorism,” keeping in mind that “amnesty” is anathema to border security. A nation without enforceable borders will not long survive.

Mitt Romney is exceedingly strong on each of these principles, while his opponent, John McCain (who conducted himself like a petulant child in the recent Republican debate) has proved that illegal immigration is an issue on which he cannot be trusted.

Don’t be misled by Mr. McCain’s “Clintonian lies” concerning Mr. Romney’s record (“Romney hits McCain’s ‘dirty tricks’ on Iraq,” Nation, Thursday).

GREG NEUBECK

Lynn Haven, Fla.

A dubious consistency

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was not in the Senate at the time of the vote for the Iraq war (“Obama touts war opposition,” Page 1, Friday). Given this fact, I think it is misleading to say that he did not vote for war. He just did not vote.

Second, I do not feel it is correct that the good candidate is the one who is “right from the beginning.” I think the great leader is the one who can change his mind according to different circumstances. I do not think a president should use his or her office to practice his or her political beliefs. A good leader should consider all data and parties involved before making a decision. The idea that Mr. Obama was “right from the beginning” makes him sound like someone who has made up his mind before understanding the particulars of a situation in depth.

CLAUDIA DE LIMA

PIERECKDESA

Contract administrator

Brazilian Naval Commission

Washington

McCain an ‘elitist’

Your Friday article “Spectrum of Republicans embrace McCain” (Nation) argues that because talk-show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh are lessening their attacks on “moderate” candidate Sen. John McCain, the conservatives in the Republican Party will likely follow suit.

However, that does not necessarily follow because Mr. Limbaugh is a dedicated Republican, not a conservative. He is adept at shooting holes in the Democrats’ positions, but he does not champion conservative principles per se.

Mr. McCain served bravely in the Vietnam War. However, during his long stay in Congress, he has become just another Beltway internationalist elitist. Like virtually everyone else in Washington, he serves the interests of the big transnationals and therefore cannot afford to take an interest in the well-being of the nation as a whole. In addition, he is basically a liberal Democrat whose voting record is embarrassingly similar to that of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

For the past two years, the blue state Republicans have been talking themselves into repudiating and ignoring the conservative wing of their party, just as the Democrats did in the 1960s.

FRANK CONNER

Newnan, Ga.

Preventing violence

In his Friday letter to the editor, “Commerce produces peace,” Felix Rosenthal claims: “After two massively bloody, destructive world wars, the nation-states of Europe finally adopted a legal system to avoid future wars to settle differences. There is no reason why this civilizing concept that allows the European Union to avoid war cannot work equally well globally.” This statement is incorrect.

Apparently Mr. Rosenthal fails to understand that before World War II, there already was a “legal system to avoid future wars to settle differences,” which was called the League of Nations and had been created after World War I to settle differences between countries and prevent wars. That league, despite having the legal authority to settle differences and apply sanctions to offending governments, failed to prevent another devastating war that killed millions of people.

After World War II ended, yet another international institution, the United Nations, was created to provide a “global legal system to which conflicting nation-states can appeal.” The United Nations, like all previous attempts to govern international conflicts, failed to prevent wars like the Soviet military invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

Peace in Europe was not achieved by the existence of the United Nations or any other “civilizing concept.” It was achieved by the deployment of NATO troops and military equipment that acted as deterrence to invasions and insurrections within the allied countries.

I, for example, was not stationed as a member of NATO forces in Germany from 1985 to 1988 simply for training. I was armed and deployed there as deterrence to a military invasion of Western Europe. That deterrence worked during the Cold War, and it continues to work today. NATO forces still exist in Europe, not because of the United Nations but in spite of it.

Even here in the United States, it is not the threat of legal sanctions that prevents violence; it is the threat of force. That force can involve local police and civilian militias or the military power of federal and state militias. Even Mr. Rosenthal’s home state of Virginia maintains a state militia called the National Guard, which protects its government and residents from all threats, foreign and domestic.

Only the threat of armed resistance can deter invasions and insurrections. The American Civil War is a bloody testament to the limits of civilized laws and their ability to prevent wars.

RAYMOND SWANSON

Minneapolis

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