- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 1, 2001

The terrorist support network at Harvard University

Columnist Craig Shirley's trenchant Oct. 29 Op-Ed column, "Harvard's own bin Laden," reveals the extent to which the hallowed precincts of Harvard University have been corrupted by political correctness and old-fashioned greed.
Like the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard was assailed by the new barbarians of the counterculture in the 1960s. Back then, one Harvard student wrote to his father that America was "energetically supporting fascist, totalitarian regimes in the name of fighting totalitarianism, including Greece, South Vietnam, a good deal of Latin America."
That student was Al Gore. Another student reacted differently to the '60s: "I don't remember any kind of heaviness ruining my time at Yale." His name was George W. Bush.
America and those who love freedom can be grateful that Mr. Bush is in the White House at this crucial time.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER
Chevy Chase




Kudos to Craig Shirley. Clearly, the terrorists know where to stash their cash. Their payoff, thanks to postmodernism, has been the moral support of American college professors and their pacifist students.
"Postmodernism," Stanley Fish wrote recently in the New York Times, "maintains only that there can be no independent standard for determining" truth. Is that all? Here it is in practice. John Fletcher, chief executive of Reuters News Agency, claims, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." (I suppose, too, that one man's rapist is another man's feminist.) Secretary of State Colin L. Powell seeks a coalition with Iran. (According to the State Department, however, Iran is a "leading terrorist nation" in the region.) President Bush orders food drops to Afghans (which the Taliban eats or poisons) and calls for a "free and independent" Palestinian state (an oxymoron, given Yasser Arafat's brutal oppression of his own people).
Postmodernism has provided quite a nice return on the terrorists' investment. Withhold your endowments. Fight for reason. Wipe out the terrorists' ideological profits. Then lean hard on Mr. Bush to do the same to their terrorist states.

STEVEN BROCKERMAN
Tallahassee, Fla.

Don't bomb during Ramadan

It is hard to imagine that the September 11 attacks could have been more heinous. But what if they had been the "Dec. 25 attacks?" An attack during the holy season of Christmas would have enraged us even more. One of the reasons we remember the raid on Pearl Harbor as being so dastardly is that it occurred on a Sunday morning. The reason I bring this up is that we still have the opportunity to declare a moratorium on bombing during Ramadan. This Muslim observance begins on Nov. 17 and is supposed to be a time of peace. Although Islamic countries have fought no fewer than six wars during Ramadan since the 1973 Yom Kippur/Ramadan War, we should be aware that the United States is held to higher standards.
We already have destroyed all of the high-value targets in Afghanistan. In fact, they probably all were eliminated during the first week of the air war. Our continuing bombardment (and the collateral damage it inflicts) is only serving to turn Arab public opinion against us, as evidenced by scores of our Pakistani allies sneaking across the border to fight for the Taliban. Stopping our air war for Ramadan will allow us to regain the moral high ground, patch up relations with our Muslim allies and consider our next move. As the crescent moon rises to signal the start of Ramadan, may our bombs stop falling.

GRAHAM LANZ
Alexandria

Memories of Pearl Harbor

With all due respect to the experts cited in the Oct. 31 article "Pearl Harbor didn't dominate airwaves," I must say their portrayal of radio reporting of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 does not jibe with my recollections of that day. I was a 7-year-old boy, and my small family in western New York looked forward to Sunday evenings, when we would tune in our Majestic radio to listen to such programs as "The Shadow" (5 p.m.), "The Jack Benny Program" (7:30 p.m.) and Edgar Bergen's "The Charlie McCarthy Show" (8 p.m.).
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, all of those programs were pre-empted by reports of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The networks and the stations in our area, including WJTN in Jamestown and WEBR, WBEN and WGR in Buffalo, broadcast nothing but descriptions of the event in Hawaii and its impact. Disappointed because my favorite programs were not on the radio, I desperately searched newspaper listings for some kind of radio program that would provide relief from the incessant accounts of war and destruction. The political program "Washington Merry Go Round," which to me suggested a story concerning a circus in the nation's capital, proved to be a great disappointment.

DAN MCGRATH
Falls Church

Secretary Norton was wrong on drilling in Alaska

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton won't let the facts get in the way of her crusade to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development ("Oil fuels U.S. economy," Oct. 31). Here are the facts:
A recent analysis estimated that drilling in the Arctic refuge would generate fewer than 50,000 jobs. That is fewer than the number of jobs our economy generated in an average week from 1997 through 2000. Mrs. Norton's prediction of 735,000 jobs comes from a 10-year-old American Petroleum Institute study that has been thoroughly discredited by at least five independent analyses, including a recent one by the Congressional Research Service.
Americans consume 25 percent of the world's produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. The amount of economically recoverable oil in the Arctic refuge, according to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, would increase world reserves by only 0.3 percent not nearly enough to make a significant dent in our imports and too little to influence petroleum prices. Over the Arctic refuge field's 50-year life, it likely would produce just 3.2 billion barrels less than what our country consumes in six months and less than 1 percent of the oil we are projected to consume over those 50 years.
Mrs. Norton's claim that development would take up only 2,000 acres is an oil-industry fiction. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, oil in the refuge is not concentrated in one large reservoir within a 2,000-acre area but is spread across its 1.5-million-acre coastal plain in more than 30 relatively small deposits. To produce oil from this vast area, a network of roads, pipelines and other infrastructure would have to stretch across the coastal plain.
Drilling is not an environmentally benign activity. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the state-of-the-art oil-rig technology currently used in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska which would be used in the Arctic refuge is "leak-prone and vulnerable to explosions." Each year, more than 400 spills occur in the Prudhoe Bay fields involving tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and other hazardous materials.
Fortunately, there's a faster, cleaner and cheaper way to ensure energy security without despoiling one of our last pristine wilderness areas. We have the technology to increase fuel efficiency for new vehicles to an average of 40 miles per gallon over the next decade, which would save more than 50 billion barrels of oil over the next 50 years more than 15 times the likely yield from the Arctic refuge.

ELLIOT NEGIN
Washington Communications Director
Natural Resources Defense Council
Washington


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