- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Cut off aid to Israel

The Dec. 28 letter “Jewish settlement” by Eric Rozenman would be laughable if the subject, Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinians, were not so serious. Mr. Rozenman states that the monstrous Israeli separation wall “is temporary, a counterterrorism measure, not a final border.” In fact, the wall snakes through Palestinian lands in order to encompass expanding illegal Israeli settlements. The wall is permanent and, according to international law, illegal.

Finally, Mr. Rozenman writes that “the legal status of the West Bank itself is disputed.” Not so. The entire world, except for Israel’s puppet government in Washington, condemns Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestinian lands and recognizes this occupation to be the root cause of the violence in the region.

The United States should cut off all aid to Israel and end its self-destructive alliance with Israel until Israel has ended its occupation. Only then will there be peace in the region.

RAY GORDON

Baltimore

What next in Pakistan?

Some say Benazir Bhutto was corrupt, others that she was the epitome of a self-serving politician. Besides her weaknesses, Mrs. Bhutto was fearless in championing democracy, freedom and tolerance, for which she paid the ultimate price with her life (“Bush, lawmakers condemn Bhutto’s slaying,” Nation, Dec. 28).

Along with democracy, of which Pakistan has known very little, Mrs. Bhutto wanted the destruction of al Qaeda and remnants of the Taliban, which were created by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan.

It appears that they destroyed her, and at the same time they silenced the voice of liberalism, openness and change, which Pakistan needs badly after years of dictatorship.

So, what is next in store for Pakistan?

The first priority should be to find who did this “cowardly act,” to use President Bush’s words. So many versions are floating around that it requires a U.N. resolution setting up an investigation like the ongoing investigation of the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. As a leader of the free world, the United States must demand that this action be conducted by a competent authority such as our FBI.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will still hold the upcoming elections, and that seems to be the right way forward. Countering violence with elections and democracy should stabilize the country; Pakistan will continue to burn until that happens.

However, many political pundits fear that Mr. Musharraf may reimpose martial law and thus extend his dictatorial rule. He must not only resist that, but must also pave the way for fair elections.

That means all political parties and their leaders should be free to participate in the elections, including Nawaz Sharif, who has been banned on trumped-up charges.

America has lot at stake should chaos in Pakistan continue to grow. In addition to the billions of dollars that we send to Pakistan for fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban, we have deep concerns about its nuclear weapons.

News reports suggest that the billions we have sent have been usurped by Pakistan’s army to procure weapons systems for countering our ally India, while both al Qaeda and the Taliban keep making alarming gains because of the lack of congressional oversight of those funds.

Because so much is at stake, the United States cannot wait and watch Pakistan burn out of control. This time we have to do more than just put together a behind-the-scenes Bhutto-Musharraf deal.

DAVE ANAND

Trumbull, Conn.

Shame on Maryland

Once again The Washington Times speaks out when other news outlets are quiet (“Maryland seeks to bar legislative-lawsuit testimony,” Page 1, Monday). The thanks of all Marylanders, already shocked by recent unnecessary tax increases, should go to The Times and the handful of Republicans who put the spotlight on our deceitful Democratic legislature.

Apparently, it is not enough to violate our Maryland Constitution. The Democrats, led by state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, also want to stop the key witness, Mary Monahan, the chief record-keeper of the House of Delegates, from testifying. Why the desperate move to stifle Mrs. Monahan? Could there be a hint of conspiracy among our Democratic legislative leaders, the attorney general and others to ram these ridiculous tax increases through before the anger of the Maryland citizenry becomes an unstoppable force? Don’t ask House Speaker Michael E. Busch. He already has stated that he will not answer questions about the lawsuit.

HARRY O’HAVER

Bowie

Sorry, blocked number

I read with interest the story “Iowans insist caucus role is deserved” (Page 1, Wednesday) and wanted to say that my sympathies go out to them regarding candidate contact strategies.

According the Pew Research Center, 81 percent of Iowa voters received robo calls in November before the caucuses. Some voters report receiving 10 calls a day. Can you imagine receiving 10 political calls a day?

So, it is with great sympathy that the members of the National Political Do Not Contact Registry (StopPoliticalCalls.org) say enough is enough. It is time for politicians to stop calling people up to 10 times a day and do the right thing.

SHAUN DAKIN

CEO and founder

National Political Do Not

Contact Registry

Washington

Don’t snub Ron Paul

According to the item “Fewer debaters” (Inside Politics, Tuesday), Rep. Ron Paul has been excluded from the Jan. 6 Fox News Channel debate, taking place two days before the New Hampshire primary.

According to the average of all polls, Mr. Paul is ahead of Fred Thompson in New Hampshire. In Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register poll, Mr. Paul is tied for fourth place ahead of Rudolph W. Giuliani. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the donations to his campaign were the largest of any Republican candidate reporting.

Fox News is including just five people in the debate. Because Mr. Paul is in the top five in both states and leads in reported donations, he should be included.

This is a clear act of media bias by Fox News, which advertises itself as “fair and balanced.”

Mr. Paul is the only candidate among the Republicans who is against the war in Iraq and against entangling alliances. According to a CNN poll, 68 percent of the American public also is against the war.

Fox News has been pro-war from the beginning. I do not believe Fox wants to have antiwar arguments presented by a candidate who is considered to be a conservative Republican. Mr. Paul’s point is that the United States cannot financially afford this foreign policy any longer.

The fundamental tenet of democracy is that you must have fair elections. How can you have fair elections if you don’t permit all the candidates in contention to have a voice? By excluding Ron Paul from these debates, Fox News is being neither fair nor balanced and has done democracy a great disservice.

ALAN KLEIST

Cheverly

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