- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Giuliani deserves medal, Saudi prince deserves scorn

Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz thought he could fork-tongue his way through an American tragedy conceived by Islamic terrorist groups with a $10 million relief donation ("Saudi prince's aid declined," Oct. 12). Feisty as ever, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani refused to accept the check and for good reasons.
Even as Prince Al-Walid viewed the smoldering devastation at ground zero, his press agents were busily circulating a three-page statement criticizing U.S. policy in the Middle East. The Saudis' message clearly implied that thousands of innocent civilians deserved to die because America's loyal support of the Israeli people "led to such a criminal attack." This has got to be the ne plus ultra of Arab recalcitrance and gall.
Ground Zero should be treated as a sacred site. It would be immoral for our government to use it for any kind of political gimmickry, including coalition-building. The Saudis lacked genuine sorrow. By rejecting their dubious act of kindness, Mr. Giuliani paid tribute to the memory of those blameless thousands who lay under concrete and steel.
The mayor deserves to be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for qualities of impeccable leadership and unwavering veracity.

CLAIRE WINDSOR
Silver Spring

NRA guns second amendment miller emerson

The Oct. 18 AP story "NRA lauds court ruling giving 'individuals' right to bear arms," correctly notes, "The Supreme Court has ruled only once in 1939 directly on the scope of the Second Amendment." Your article failed to note what the U.S. Supreme Court said at that time in its ruling (U.S. vs. Miller), which the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals quoted in its recent ruling in the Emerson case: "That the foregoing [state law] cases conclusively establish that the Second Amendment has relation only to the right of the people to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes and does not conceivably relate to weapons of the type referred to in the National Firearms Act cannot be doubted." Note the phrase "right of the people." The court further stated: "The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."
Notwithstanding, the 5th Circuit concluded that the 1939 Miller ruling did not conclusively establish the answers it was looking for concerning the Second Amendment and continued to investigate. The results and conclusions of that investigation constitute the true significance of the Emerson ruling.

ROBERT CHAFIN
Denton, Texas

The impracticality of profiling

In her Oct. 18 Commentary column, "Survival instincts vs. political correctness," Mona Charen's comments about the hazards of maintaining political correctness in the time of war are faulty on at least two counts:
Though there may be no constitutional right for non-U.S. citizens to visit the United States, students possessing valid visas who are enrolled at legitimate institutions are in a contractual relationship with their schools. Asking these people to leave before they have completed their studies would amount to a breach of contract.
Drivers and other "Middle Eastern-looking" people may be indistinguishable from native-born U.S. citizens of African and Hispanic origin. Much of what is called the Middle East is, in fact, in Africa, and there has been an intermingling of peoples in that area since before adequate historical records were kept. That mingling of peoples continued from North Africa into the Iberian Peninsula and then into the New World with the Spanish colonization of Latin America and the American Southwest. The profiling of so-called "Middle Eastern-looking" people must include Hispanics and black Americans.

DAVID WILMSEN
CairoIn her Commentary column "Survival instincts vs. political correctness," Mona Charen proposes to ask all Arabs on student and travel visas to leave and to scrutinize American citizens with Middle Eastern origins. However, Miss Charen fails to mention that many Arabs and Middle Easterners living in the United States are Christians and Jews. Does Miss Charen's proposal include these people too?

MOHIDDINE AKKAD
Anaheim, Calif.

Cheers for the reopening of Reagan airport

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport reopened for service on Oct. 4, and all of us at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority want to thank the Greater Washington community for your support during our nearly 15 years of operation and for the extraordinary efforts made on our behalf during these most difficult and challenging times.
The list of those who deserve our thanks is long. However, we want particularly to express our appreciation to our congressional delegation from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia as well as state, county and local elected leaders, the entire business community and travel and tourism sector and everyone who has spoken up to support the reopening of Reagan airport.
We particularly also want to thank President Bush, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Jane Garvey, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, for deciding that Reagan airport must continue in its role as an important transportation hub and the gateway to our nation's capital.
The Washington Times and its reporters also have contributed greatly to the public dialogue around this issue, and we thank you for your coverage of the importance of Reagan airport to the community and nation.
Aviation touches every facet of our society. It allows each of us to travel for business and leisure, to get to educational opportunities and to be with family and friends.
Airports also are major catalysts for economic development as well as business and revenue generators. Reagan airport, however, is not just an important part of our regional economy. The people who work at Reagan and Washington Dulles International airports also are your neighbors and fellow citizens.
We want you to know that we will continue to do everything we can to provide you with the best air service possible, and we want to thank all of you who use our airports and support the businesses that operate there.

CAROLYN BOONE LEWIS
Chairman
JAMES A. WILDING
President and chief executive officer
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Washington

Second Amendment ruling revises earlier Supreme Court ruling

The Oct. 18 AP story "NRA lauds court ruling giving 'individuals' right to bear arms," correctly notes, "The Supreme Court has ruled only once in 1939 directly on the scope of the Second Amendment." Your article failed to note what the U.S. Supreme Court said at that time in its ruling (U.S. vs. Miller), which the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals quoted in its recent ruling in the Emerson case: "That the foregoing [state law] cases conclusively establish that the Second Amendment has relation only to the right of the people to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes and does not conceivably relate to weapons of the type referred to in the National Firearms Act cannot be doubted." Note the phrase "right of the people." The court further stated: "The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."
Notwithstanding, the 5th Circuit concluded that the 1939 Miller ruling did not conclusively establish the answers it was looking for concerning the Second Amendment and continued to investigate. The results and conclusions of that investigation constitute the true significance of the Emerson ruling.

ROBERT CHAFIN
Denton, Texas

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