- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 28, 2001

Noble: Reps. Roscoe Bartlett, Walter Jones, Lois Capps and other like-minded legislators who are leading a campaign to block the Armys black beret handout led by chief of staff Gen. Eric "Self-esteem" Shinseki.

Gen. Shinseki started the problem when he ordered the berets, traditionally worn only by the elite Army Rangers, put in the hands of every soldier by the Army´s birthday, June 14. Birthday suits would be more appropriate, especially considering that to make the deadline, the Army had to order many of the berets from China.

Since China has already received a sizable chunk of the $35 million beret contract, it should consider using the $100 million U.S. plane still sitting on Hainan island for delivery.

House members plan to attempt to block the self-esteem giveaway by introducing legislation canceling the production contracts, either as a stand-alone bill or as an amendment to the 2002 defense budget bill being written this summer.

In an interview with Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times, Mr. Bartlett suggested that the Army is "politically incapable of doing the right thing, which is to say we will cancel the black beret program."

Wise soldiers should tip their caps to the legislators working to ensure that the next time they are stranded in China, they won´t be wearing something that was made there.

Knave: The Chinese Foreign Ministry and its spokesperson Zhang Qiyue for leading a campaign to intimidate America and its democratic allies.

After approving a much-needed arms package to Taiwan earlier this week (no, it did not include an order of black berets), President Bush pledged that he would do "whatever it took," to help Taiwan defend itself, including the force of U.S. arms.

In so doing, Mr. Bush echoed the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, who said, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

China´s leadership, whose liberties with liberty are well-recorded (and reconnaissanced), was enraged. Mrs. Qiyue called Mr. Bush´s remarks, "erroneous" and suggested that the United States, "has drifted further down a dangerous road."

That dangerous road, which the Chinese leadership so brutally roadblocked at Tiananmen Square, is the road to liberty.

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