- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Gore is no saint

I am disturbed by Tod Lindberg's Nov. 28 column, "Albert of Arc: Gore and Democrats are true believers." Principle is not something that can be turned on or off, it is something that is applied habitually.

In his column, he writes: "A couple of years ago in this space, I wrote that the only rational explanation for why the House of Representatives voted to impeach Bill Clinton was principle." And yet not one of Mr. Lindberg's "principled" Democrats in the Senate voted to impeach a president who lied under oath in a court of law.

Do men of "principle" state "no controlling legal authority" to explain their campaign fund-raising involvement? Even former Sen. Bill Bradley, a fellow Democrat, during his bid for his party's presidential nomination expressed his concern that if Mr. Gore couldn't tell the truth as a candidate, that he would do the same as president.

If the contesting of the Florida vote count was truly about "principle" and "fairness," then why did the vice president only seek recounts in three counties that are heavily Democrat? If the roles were reversed right now, would Mr. Gore be contesting this election because Republican "voices" were believed to be "silenced"?

Do not confuse the desire to maintain power with that of "principle." If Mr. Lindberg seeks men of "principle" in our nation's history, I suggest he read "Profiles in Courage," if he hasn't done so already.



Collapse of 'global warming' talks a good omen

The collapse of the "global warming" talks in the Hague may well prove to be more of a historic event this year than the presidential election of Texas Gov. George W. Bush("The good news on global warming," Editorials, Nov. 28). It is, indeed, good news.

"Global warming" is a term that is used to influence America to surrender its sovereignty to international laws minimizing our use of fuels. But it is not scientific reality, and makes for poor policy.

America's de facto energy policy is fatally flawed; we eschew our plentiful native fuels coal and uranium and pay for Middle Eastern oil with the blood of our military. (The United States has other useful fuels: gas, hydro, bio and solar. But even combined, they cannot satisfy our energy needs alone.)

Meanwhile, the growing debacle in California is a foretaste of massive suffering to come; the state has asked that even the use of Christmas lights be minimized. The state's two major electric utilities will be bankrupt next year without painful, urgent policy changes. Imagine 50 million people without power.

We can still restore our technology laws to sanity. The United Nations, however, is a far more primitive political body, and not yet ready for prime time.



Aid to Turkey should come with conditions

In his Nov. 27 Commentary column "Turkey targeted by EU," Don Feder repeats an assertion made by many individuals naive in foreign policy: That Turkey is an important ally for the United States and the European Union and, consequently, that the United States should make an exception and overlook the Turkish government's abuses of civil rights and liberties (such as freedom of speech), its spite for democratic principles and its disrespect for international law and the territorial sovereignty of their neighbors.

Mr. Feder may well sympathize with the fact that Turkey is currently spending billions on military procurements, which will wipe out any possibility of peace on Cyprus, an island that Turkey is occupying illegally.

He also may fail to object to how the nation prohibits Kurds from speaking freely in their own language and constantly provokes war in the Aegean Sea. It is clear, however, that Turkey is a destabilizing element in the Southeastern Mediterranean that is taking advantage of current U.S. geostrategic objectives for its own expansionist agenda.

A careful analysis of Turkey's strategy in the region reveals striking parallels with how Iraq's Saddam Hussein used American interests for his own good and then turned against the United States. This is Turkey's long-term objective, despite the friendly overtures its military makes to the Pentagon. Turkey is an Iraq ready to explode if true democracy is not promoted there.

The EU demands on Turkey are exceptionally fair, and any true democracy would accede quite readily. Turkey, however, has a long way to go.

Instead of tacitly approving the bellicosity of the Turkish military aristocracy, Mr. Feder might consider writing an analysis on a better course of action. The billions of dollars the United States is spending there are destined to derail any prospect of peace in the region. The money could be much better spent to prop up Turkey's economy, to educate its people and to improve their quality of life.



The two wars in Vietnam

Jeffrey Hart's thoughtful Nov. 22 Commentary column, "Korea and Vietnam," is correct in most of the comparisons it makes between American involvement in the Korean War of the 1950s and the Vietnam War(s) of the 1960s and '70s.

The column's concluding paragraph is seriously in error, however, when it states, in part, "Basically, we won the battle against North Korea and China [but] lost the battle against North Vietnam because we did not destroy its ability to fight… ."

Unfortunately, even as excellent a commentator as Mr. Hart has fallen victim to the propaganda argument that there was only one Vietnam War and that America lost that war in June 1975.

This is incorrect. There were, in fact, two Vietnam wars. The first began in 1961-62 and ended with the Paris Peace Accords of January 1973. This was a Korea-like armistice under which a militarily subdued North Vietnam withdrew to its own boundaries and formally assured both the United States and the international community that it would cease its cross-border attacks on South Vietnam. Case closed.

It was not until two years later, in January 1975, that the second Vietnam War began. This came following President Richard Nixon's post-Watergate resignation, during the "thin ice" administration of an unelected Gerald Ford and during the dominance of anti-war congressional Democrats who cynically had cut U.S. aid to South Vietnam in half.

Knowing full well that there would be no further intervention by American combat forces under such circumstances, Soviet-supported North Vietnamese forces invaded and overran the South, blitzkrieg-style, in just four months during which no U.S. combat forces were involved.

After this action began the infamous "domino" years of 1975 to '80, during which at least 10 and perhaps as many as 20 nations (depending on how expansively they are counted) either fell to the Soviet empire or became sufficiently single-party socialist as no longer to require Marxist-Leninist "liberation."

Because Mr. Hart's essay does not address this enormous post-Vietnam expansion of the Soviet empire, I will leave that much-misunderstood period in world history for another day.



Jim Guirard is president of the TrueSpeak Institute, a private organization devoted to truth in history and truth in language in political affairs and public discourse.

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