- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2001

It's not extreme to hold all life sacred

I hold human life sacred. As a mother and as an American, I oppose war because any war anywhere is a war on life. Without exception, anyone's war, however contemptible one's opponent, destroys life and creates horror, terror, grief and suffering far beyond the intended target.
The horrors of September 11 devastated countless thousands of innocent families and communities. That day truly will live in infamy. Bombing Afghanistan has devastated countless thousands of innocent families and communities. This campaign, too, will live in infamy.
I beg to differ with the contention of Michelle Malkin ("Hostile fire from eco-extremists," Dec. 11) that "eco-extremists" are endangering the nation by attempting to protect life. Human life is one part of a lovingly created and intricately woven fabric of life. When we assault one aspect of that living cloth, we weaken the whole at our own peril. Wanton destruction, whether for training or practice or war, assaults all the delicate and complex systems that support life air, water, soil, countless creatures great and small. New Yorkers are breathing that truth every day. It is undeniable.
War does not create peace. This is Orwellian double-speak on an absurd level. War begets war, hatred and suffering, and we go on reaping what we are sowing.
The American values of loving life and revering and protecting the beauty of creation are rooted deeply in our Christian heritage and also in the Judaic, Islamic, Buddhist and other traditions that are woven into the cloth that creates the American flag. Protecting the sacred value of all life is my responsibility as a citizen and as a human being. Those who would destroy life, anywhere, are extremists, not the other way around.

BETSY TOLL
Portland, Ore.

Murderous rage all around

The Washington Times in an editorial "(Nobles and Knaves," Dec. 15) tried to justify in a roundabout way the activities of the Jewish Defense League (JDL). The editorial, stated that JDL members had "reason to feel murderous rage." Now what I would like to know is whether the editorial board of The Washington Times would offer similar justification for terrorist activities by other groups such as Muslim fanatics. Somehow I am positive it would not.
If American Muslims were implicated in such a plot to blow up synagogues and offices of pro-Israeli politicians, it wouldn't surprise me to see your paper link their terrorist activities directly to the Koran and the Islamic faith. If you would do this with Muslim extremists, why aren't you doing the same with Jewish extremists. Why aren't you making the claim that the JDL was motivated by the Torah and the Jewish faith?
The Washington Times is responsible for helping to foster a climate of hatred against Muslim Americans. Your words defaming the Koran, the Islamic faith, and American Muslims in general, give comfort, aid, and encouragement to men with racist, criminal, and terrorist tendencies. I understand that you probably want to serve Israel and the Israeli lobby. Can't you possibly do it without spreading hatred?

MOHAMMED QUADIR
Brooklyn, N.Y.

When ends justify means

Your Dec. 17 story by Audrey Hudson, "Rare lynx hairs found in forests exposed as hoax," performed a genuine service to all Americans.
For years, radical environmentalists, some in government employment, have skewed and falsified data in scientific studies to achieve political goals, and no one was the wiser. Your story certainly lifted the rock and let the sun shine on that subject.
However, you could have served the public even better by digging further into the motives of those planting false environmental evidence.
Listening to those on the receiving end of environmental regulations, you likely would hear that the motives include the shutdown of virtually every human enterprise and the removal of all human presence from rural areas all over the nation, not just in the West.
You probably would discover that any hardworking local making such outlandish accusations inevitably faces an overwhelming outcry of "conspiracy theory" or "paranoia."
You could clarify the subject greatly by reporting on the individuals who perpetrated this lynx hoax. What did they have in mind?
It might reveal that some conspiracy theories actually reveal conspiracies and that even if you are paranoid, someone may actually be out to get you.

RON ARNOLD
Executive vice president
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Bellevue, Wash.

Hold federal agencies to a higher standard

It comes as no surprise to read that federal and state wildlife biologists have been discovered planting false evidence of the Canadian lynx on National Forest System lands in Washington state ("Rare lynx hairs found in forests exposed as hoax," Dec. 17). Locals long familiar with the area told the "experts" that lynx did not inhabit the area, but such evidence apparently is ignored by a new breed of biologists who know better.
Those of us in the land-use arena have known that oftentimes green groups will say or do anything to enact their agenda. That is their right. However, when federal agencies adopt that same credo, it casts a long shadow of doubt on their land-use-planning efforts, whether those efforts are underpinned by sound science or are policy-driven.
Events such as this lynx fiasco make it easy to become cynical about the whole process, and that is sad, given the importance of the agencies' mission. The blurring of no-holds-barred advocacy and management has politicized the process and is making it more difficult for agencies to take necessary actions to manage human activity and protect the environment.
For the past eight years, federal agencies have asked the American people to take precious time out of their busy schedules to attend a plethora of public meetings on large land-use-planning efforts. These efforts have as their foundation the protection of threatened and endangered species.
Millions of taxpayer dollars have been redirected from important recreation and resource programs at the Department of Interior or the U.S. Forest Service to fund these endless planning efforts. Some of us said these programs had no built-in safeguards to protect our access to federal lands by unscrupulous or agenda-driven agency biologists. We were told not to worry.
Elected officials and agency leadership must demonstrate a zero-tolerance policy for behavior like that in this lynx issue. On too many occasions, agency personnel caught misusing appropriated tax monies to enact the anti-access agenda of the environmental movement have avoided public accountability for their actions. The American public and the mission deserve more.
I once heard a popular green proverb that said, "Our agenda is so important that we have to lie." Though that philosophy may be understandable for some groups, I hope our nation and elected officials will hold the federal land agencies to a higher standard.

DON AMADOR
Oakley, Calif.

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