- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Bring back George Washington's Birthday

The article, "Rescuing Washington's birthday," (Feb. 19) makes clear the loss our nation has suffered by replacing George Washington's Birthday, Feb. 22, with the generic "Presidents Day," on the third Monday of February. Reps. Roscoe Bartlett and Tom Tancredo are to be commended for attempting to right this grievous error.

Certain elements have made a deliberate attempt over the last 30 years to play down the importance of George Washington in American history. The truth is that there would have been no United States without Washington.

By 1780-81, the colonies were losing the war with Britain. They were dispirited and ready to quit. Only through Washington's perseverance and superior leadership were the colonials and the Continental Army persuaded to continue enduring the dreadful hardships and sacrifices that eventually brought victory and independence. Any attempt to diminish his importance is strictly historical revisionism.

We should continue to recognize our first president's memory every year by redesignating his birthday as a holiday, in place of Presidents Day. The 1968 Monday Holidays Act which could more accurately be described as the "Tourism Promotion Law" inflicted a gross travesty on our commemoration of important dates in our nation's history. Just as Veterans Day was returned in 1975 to Nov. 11 (celebrating the armistice ending World War I in 1918), so should Congress re-establish Feb. 22 as a legal holiday, George Washington's Birthday.

We don't need a Presidents Day. There are some chief executives, lacking in virtue, we would like to forget.

BILL NIMMO

Virginia Beach, Va.

Freedom House defends accreditation allies

We appreciate The Washington Times devoting attention to the efforts to exclude a broad range of nongovernmental organizations from the United Nations system ("Whose rights, whose humanity?" Feb. 13). Freedom House, which features in your editorial, wishes to state for the record that as our accreditation is under challenge at the U.N. NGO Committee, the U.S. Mission, led by Richard Williams and assisted by Peggy Kerry, the NGO liaison you criticized in your editorial, are championing our cause. Their support for our continued right to speak out at the United Nations has been vigorous, fair, highly professional and non-ideological. This is what we expect of our American representatives, and in all of our experiences we have found them to uphold a professional and non-partisan stance.

ADRIAN KARATNYCKY

President

Freedom House

New York

Abortion has helped to create culture that victimizes women

While I applaud the persons working to try to reduce the amount of violence against women, they are whistling in the wind if they don't address the abuse of women inherent in abortion ("V-Day program's goal: End violence against women," Feb. 16).

Every day, women are abused, exploited and violated when their pre-born babies are horribly executed. Abortion has helped to degrade women, increasing the likelihood that they will be victims of other forms of abuse.

The majority of women are pressured into having abortions they don't want to have, and many have severe psychological problems as a result. Most couples who have an abortion break up shortly after. No doubt, many domestic violence incidents are rooted in the tragedy of abortion.

This particular form of violence against women and the preborn (which occurs 4,000 times a day in the United States) has helped create a "culture of violence," which has manifested itself in other abuses of women, such as rape, and other forms of violence, such as murder.

To reduce any one form of violence, we must condemn all forms of violence, including abortion. Violence begets violence.

RICHARD RETTA

Rockville

Democratic senator challenges market price of airline travel

What is it about the laws of economics that liberals don't understand? In your Feb. 12 "Inside the Beltway," North Dakota Sen. Byron L. Dorgan whines that while a plane ticket from Washington D.C. to Bismarck, N.D. costs $1,687, it only costs $406 to escape to Paris. I suggest to Mr. Dorgan that the difference in cost has historically reflected the fact that hopping the pond has been easier, cheaper and much more in demand. In fact, the present price difference is probably as small as it's ever been. Overland travel, which has always been arduous, is now at its most affordable and convenient. To complain that this is unfair, blame deregulation, and imply that somebody somewhere owes him a cheaper ride to the sparsely populated northern Plains is to ignore the law of supply and demand. Whether it's energy in California or airline competition, the liberals seem bent on ignoring this economic law. The United States has attempted economic regulation always leading to corruption, inefficiency, stunted growth and loss of freedom.

Mr. Dorgan asks, "Who on Earth comes up with these pricing schemes?" Mr. Dorgan, the only thing deciding your ticket price is the market.

ROBERT L. CUMMINGS

Alexandria

Bus bomb sends NATO message: keep dancing to KLA tune

The havoc wreaked on a busload of Serbs by a sophisticated remote control device buried in a Kosovo road was yet another unfortunate consequence of NATO having foolishly bequeathed a blank check to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) ("Bus bomb victims mourned by Serbs," Feb. 18).

In 1998, NATO held "Partnership in Peace" exercises with the Albanian army in Albania, and yet it willfully ignored the existence of KLA camps in the northern part of the country and the flow from these camps of trained men and weaponry into Kosovo. "Partnership for an impending war" more aptly describes these exercises. NATO went on to make war on Belgrade. This first full-blooded experiment in humanitarian intervention provoked a humanitarian disaster. Then there was the murderous expulsion of the majority of Kosovo's Serbs, Roma and other non-Albanians under the noses of occupying NATO-led Kosovo implementation force (Kfor) troops. Now the KLA has moved more than a thousand heavily armed men from Kosovo into the adjoining demilitarized zone of Serbia proper under the eyes of the Kfor patrols.

The scariest aspect of the bus blast horror and its hi-tech means of delivery was the message it posed to NATO: continue dancing to the tune of the KLA or else.

YUGO KOVACH

Twickenham, U.K.

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