- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Bush saved Texas' health care, Sauerbrey says

In the recent debate, Vice President Al Gore once again demonstrated that he plays fast and loose with the truth. He tried to paint an inaccurate and misleading picture of Texas Gov. George W. Bush's efforts to provide comprehensive health care to the children of Texas. He wants voters to think that the governor is insensitive to the needs of children.
Fortunately, Democratic Texas state representative and former chairman of the House Public Health Committee Hugo Berlanga has given us the truth. He points out that "Governor Bush inherited a children's health care system that was in utter disarray." He went on to say, "I know that George W. Bush has done more to improve health care in Texas than any other governor in recent memory."
Mr. Bush supported billions in funding and real reforms to fix this system and make sure more children gained access to quality health care. Mr. Bush's bipartisan leadership passed the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other measures to get health coverage to more than 423,000 low-income children those whose parents earn up to 200 percent of the poverty level.
Instead of unfairly attacking Texas, Mr. Gore and his vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, should explain why there have been more than 4 million more uninsured adults during the past eight years and why they've failed to pass much-needed Medicare and prescription drug reforms for our senior citizens.
Maryland chairman
Bush-Cheney 2000
Towson, Md.

Debate over Armenian 'genocide resolution' continues

Many mistakes mar Bruce Fein's opposition to a pending House of Representatives resolution that defines as genocide the extermination of more than 1 million Armenians in World War I ("Genocide gyrations," Oct. 10). A big error was his attempt to neutralize the damning testimony of America's wartime ambassador in Istanbul, Henry Morgenthau, by pitting against him America's postwar high commissioner in Istanbul, Mark Bristol. The 1921 letter that Mr. Fein quotes, in which Bristol claims that reports "that the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus … are absolutely false," has little relevance to whether genocide was committed. Bristol's letter refers to the Caucasus in 1920, not to the time and place the great extermination occurred. The central scene of the crime was in the Ottoman Empire; the crucial years were between 1915 and 1918.
Manipulating Bristol to deny the destruction of the Armenians twists the truth, because Bristol himself believed that Ottoman officials ordered large-scale massacres. Writing to the State Department in 1924, Bristol referred to "the most barbarous acts of the regime in power at the time of the Armenian massacres," to "the cruelties practiced upon the Armenians by Turks acting under official orders, and in pursuance of a deliberate official policy," for which "there can be no adequate excuse."
Nevertheless, driven by commercial interests in Turkey, Bristol worked to "wipe the spot," as he put it, that tarnished Turkey. Now Mr. Fein is using one of Bristol's letters as a rag to polish Turkey's image. But Mr. Fein's effort to confuse members of Congress who are considering the genocide resolution is fatally flawed because it is possible to see the difference between falsification and fact. "In fact," Bristol once admonished a Turkish reporter, "the massacres of the Armenians have made a spot which is difficult to eradicate. You ought not to have done such things, yes, you ought not to have done it."
Professor of history
Glendale Community College

Your Oct. 12 editorial "Genocide by no other name" makes a good point in noting that the "Armenian aggression against the people of Azerbaijan, who are ethnically and religiously akin to the Turks, in 1995 led to massive casualties and has created hundreds and thousands of refugees."
In fact, the Armenian aggression, which began in 1992, resulted in the current military occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijan and the displacement of a million people giving Azerbaijan the world's highest per capita population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. This aggression was preceded by ethnic cleansing in Armenia, in which more than 200,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were exiled from Armenia. In 1992, Armenian forces massacred hundreds of civilians, including children and the elderly, in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.
To make matters even worse, in 1992, Armenian lobby groups secured passage of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which denies most direct assistance from the United States to Azerbaijan, including for several years humanitarian assistance to the IDP/refugee population.
Given the record, I find it impossible to agree with your conclusion that the Armenian genocide resolution should be passed by the House of Representatives. Far from being innocent, Armenians not only have stained their hands with the blood of many Turks, but also have pursued, over a significant historical span, their aggressive ambitions toward Azerbaijan and other neighbors. In the words of the British consul in Baku in 1918, Maj. Ranald MacDonell, who referred to wide-scale massacres conducted by Bolshevik-backed Armenian gangs: "There weren't any Moslems in the town except corpses." Let me emphasize that all this transpired at a time to which the resolution in question refers to as a period of "Armenian genocide."
There are serious moral questions about the motivations behind this critical ethnically driven resolution. Moreover, Congress certainly should not undermine U.S. strategic objectives, nor should it damage the uneasy peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Charges d'Affairs
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Clearing the air on Bush's environmental record

The world's greatest debater, Vice President Al Gore, said in the second presidential debate that Texas is No. 1 in industrial pollution. Texas is a state that leads the nation in chemical processing and oil refining, and this charge is based on Texas' ranking on the Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).
As H. Sterling Burnett, an environmental analyst for the National Center for Policy Analysis, has pointed out, it is not surprising that Texas ranks first on the TRI. The state has "the country's second highest population, the second largest land area which contributes to its having the highest energy use and some of the longest commute times nationally and the third highest state Gross Domestic Product."
"[Gov. George W.] Bush's environmental record," Mr. Burnett points out, "should be judged on the basis of improvements when compared to the environmental problems he inherited from previous administrations and against the records of other states and the nation."
The NCPA also notes that Texas has performed well in reducing EPA-monitored criteria pollutants. From 1995 to 1997, sulfur dioxide (SO ) emissions in Texas fell by 17.1 percent compared to an increase of 11.2 percent nationally. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions fell 23.6 percent in Texas while rising 8.2 percent nationally. Emissions of volatile organic compounds fell by 43.2 percent in Texas but only 16 percent nationally, and carbon monoxide emissions fell 12 percent in Texas but only 5.1 percent nationally.
When compared to the rest of the nation's utilities, Texas' plants have some of the best combustion controls and the most scrubbers and use primarily low-sulfur coal. Accordingly, per unit of energy used, Texas has the 17th-lowest state emission rate for SO and the 14th-lowest emission rate for NOx. By comparison, energy use in Mr. Gore's home state of Tennessee is inefficient and dirty. Per unit of energy, Tennessee has the fifth-highest emission rate in the nation for SO and the second-highest emission rate for NOx.
Hopefully, this letter will clear the air.

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