- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2001

'Spanish Lenin' or democrat?

In his review of the book "Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union and the Spanish Civil War," Arnold Beichman writes, "Largo Caballero, leader of the Republican forces and a true democrat who refused to follow Kremlin orders, was to Stalin a far greater enemy than Franco" ("Deceit in Spanish Civil War," July 17). If Francisco Largo Caballero was the democrat that Mr. Beichman claims he was, why did he earn the title "Spanish Lenin"? I agree with Mr. Beichman that there is much deceit, and especially half-truth, when it comes to the telling of the Spanish Civil War. However, Mr. Beichman does not alleviate the problem.


St. Coletta students have heart

Amnesty International USA would like to thank the students from St. Coletta School of Greater Washington, whose achievements were highlighted in the July 14 story "'Special' in heart at St. Coletta." Students from St. Coletta have been coming to our offices for more than eight years to assist with vital projects such as assembling information for activists and mass mailings for our members. They have promoted human rights globally through their work, and brought enthusiasm and joy to our offices. Because of the love and care they receive at St. Coletta's school, the students are able to progress toward their personal goals and assist in protecting the human rights of others.

Washington Office Manager
Amnesty International USA

Stem-cells and spinal cords

In her outrageous and inflammatory column about stem-cell research, Mona Charen dismisses medical facts and the potential of the research ("Chorus of stem cell simplicities," Commentary, July 11). It is this sort of attitude that cavalierly dooms millions of people, like me, who suffer from diseases for which the benefits of stem-cell research are our best hope.
Miss Charen portrays supporters of embryonic stem-cell research as people who are dismissive of life. I think she has it backward it is the supporters of embryonic stem-cell research who most value life. I hope that every embryo that can be adopted is adopted and becomes a beautiful child. But those embryos that will be discarded should be used to change the lives of the millions suffering from crippling diseases.
The couples who create embryos are the ones who make the choice about their fate whether to donate them to another couple, donate them to research or discard them. Last year, at the New York University School of Medicine, 40 percent of the couples who planned to discontinue storage designated that their embryos be used for research rather than be discarded.
Stem-cell research holds great promise for the treatment of horrible diseases like my spinal cord injury. It is our responsibility as a society to pursue this research for its potential to make a tremendous impact on the quality of life for future generations. Choosing, as 70 percent of Americans do, to support embryonic stem-cell research is choosing to value life.

Columbia, Md.

Susan Pendleton is a member of the Maryland Spinal Cord Injury Research Board.

Recall the recall of McCain

While columnist Daniel J. Rabil notes the effort by disgruntled Arizona conservatives to "recall" John McCain, he does not mention the futility of this effort ("McCain does it again," Op-Ed, July 19). The 17th Amendment specifies a six-year term for U.S. senators, and Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution identifies the only method for removing a senator during his term of office: expulsion by a two-thirds votes of his fellow senators.
Organizers of the effort play fast and loose with the law on their Web site (www.recallmccain.org), saying that the Constitution does not explicitly "prohibit" recalls of elected federal officials allowed under a state's constitution or laws, and citing irrelevant provisions of the Constitution (such as the First, Ninth, and 10th Amendments) in support of their effort. But the Constitution's silence is a prohibition in this case, under the venerable legal principle "expressio unius est exclusio alterius" the mention of the one is the exclusion of the other. By providing a fixed six-year term and one explicit method of removal during that term, the framers of the Constitution ruled out of order any other efforts at removal that might be fashioned by a particular state.
Strengthening this interpretation is that under the Articles of Confederation, delegates to Congress were recallable (during an otherwise fixed one-year term) by the state legislatures that chose them, and no other removal method existed. By omitting this method when designing the Congress in the new Constitution, and substituting expulsion in its stead for both houses (including a Senate originally filled by state legislatures), the framers made a choice that we are bound to honor until and unless the U.S. Constitution is amended. The 17th Amendment changed nothing about this fact when it shifted the choice of senators to statewide popular vote.
Lamentably for conservatives upset with Mr. McCain, Arizonans are stuck with him for the duration of his current term.

Professor and Chairman
Department of Political Science
Radford University
Radford, Va.

Acknowledging the Armenian genocide

It was with great interest that I read your perceptive editorial on the newly-formed Turkish-Armenian reconciliation commission ("Turkish-Armenian reconciliation?" July 17). I applaud you for acknowledging the Armenian genocide and for highlighting the Clinton administration's unprincipled record on the matter.
I wanted to add, however, that the opening of sealed Turkish archives from the Ottoman period would likely not shed any new light on the Armenian genocide. Indeed, the documentation that is already accessible to the layman is overwhelming, including thousands of American consular reports and missionary statements housed in both the National Archives and other private holdings in the United States. Likewise, I think that your editorial overemphasized the degree to which Armenians were advocating separation from the Ottoman Empire prior to and during the World War I. While there were some firebrand revolutionaries who did not hesitate to use violence against both Russian and Turkish governmental officials, the vast majority of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire prior to the genocide were decidedly apolitical and not advocates of an independent Armenian state.

New York

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