- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Milosevic not ready for prime-time

Georgie Anne Geyer's April 8 Commentary column "Milosevic's calculated antics" is surprisingly devoid of any descriptions of former President Slobodan Milosevic's "antics" at his trial in The Hague. Rather, readers are asked to believe that Milosevic's defense is not focused on his acquittal, but on "his personal vendetta against Serbia."
Miss Geyer cites post-trial polls taken in Serbia that show increasing support for Milosevic. However, it's unclear if the data supports a growing support for Milosevic or decreasing support for NATO's explanations of the events that lead to the dismemberment and destruction of Yugoslavia. Future polls in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as elsewhere, will no doubt give a clearer picture of the impact of "live" television coverage of the trial, as well as access to transcripts and the media's daily coverage.
The media in the United States clearly believe that there are no overriding democratic principles being challenged in Milosevic's trial that would warrant daily live coverage. Apparently, though the trial has involved charges of kidnapping a former president of a nation, the issue of national sovereignty, challenges to the legality of The Hague, and allegations that NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia was illegal, it is not as important as, say, the O.J. Simpson trial.

BOB VUNOVICH
Clarksburg, Md.

Israel is not the problem

It's sheer hypocrisy for the United States to demand that Israel halt its anti-terrorist activities ("Bush demands halt to fighting," April 6). Israel is merely acting on the same principle of self-defense that the United States has acted on in Afghanistan. It should be obvious to everyone that Yasser Arafat is behind the vicious suicide bombings, that anti-Israeli terrorism is being sponsored by dictatorial regimes Iran, Syria, Iraq whose goal is to destroy Israel, that the Palestinian people are being used as cannon fodder by such regimes and that the so-called "peace process" was a gimmick to sedate the West and tie Israel's hands.
It was the Jews who took a virtually uninhabited desert in the Middle East and created an oasis of freedom and prosperity to which many Arabs (i.e., "Palestinians") subsequently migrated in search of a better life. Meanwhile, Israel's neighbors established brutal dictatorships and have been using billions in oil revenues (made possible by the nationalization of oil fields discovered and developed by Western oil companies) to finance religious fanaticism, anti-Israel and anti-West hatred and terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction leaving their own citizens enslaved and impoverished. To treat Israel as the problem, as many in the West are doing, is immoral.
The only road to peace in the Middle East is for the United States to join forces with Israel and condemn and end the dictatorial regimes that sponsor terrorism. Not only would it greatly reduce terrorism, it would give their citizens a chance to enjoy the same freedom and prosperity that many in the West take for granted.

GLENN WOICESHYN
Calgary, Alberta

Iranian resistance not so righteous

The April 8 letter to the editor "A righteous resistance movement in Iran" complains about the continued "terrorist" labeling by the U.S. State Department of an Iranian "resistance" group called the People's Mojahedin.
Why has the Mojahedin been so designated?
First, an old hand at urban guerrilla warfare leads the Mojahedin Massoud Rajavi.
Next, Mr. Rajavi is fond of saying that though the Mojahedin want democracy in Iran, they are not perfect. Let's examine some of the group's possible faults:
The Mojahedin's emblem includes a hammer and a sickle, an assault rifle, and a red star not exactly symbols of democracy
Known in Iran as the "Islamic-Marxists," this terrorist group supported the barbaric takeover of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979.
For the past 20 years, the Mojahedin have made a home inside that great bastion of democracy, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, enjoying his largesse and expressing sympathy for his various causes.
In the 1970s, this group ambushed and killed at least five American servicemen and civilian contractors in Iran. Scores of Iranian police, gendarmes, and various other government officials were similarly murdered and such assaults continue. No statement of regret or official apology has ever been issued for any of these actions.
Finally, the group's continued hostility toward Iran's mullahs is not based on philosophical differences. In fact, the Mojahedin agreed with the aims of Iran's anti-American revolution from the start and participated in the orgy of killings that followed the overthrow of the shah. What turned them against the Ayatollah Khomeini was the old man's refusal to share power with them.
It is true that today the People's Mojahedin are fighting Iran's present regime. But Stalin fought Hitler, and that did not make him a democrat. The Mojahedin are now what they have always been: Islamic Marxists and, as the State Department correctly calls them, terrorists.

PARVIZ RASTGARAN
Washington

Abstinence advocates should take note of church scandal

On April 3, you reported that Republicans plan to hold hearings touting the success of abstinence-only programs in persuading young girls to remain abstinent until marriage ("Initiative touts schooling to abstain," Nation).
While many reports have shown that such programs are not successful, the most vivid example of the failure of abstinence-only programs can be found in the seminaries of the Roman Catholic church, a major lobbyist in support of such programs in our country's public schools. What, we ask, makes the church or socially conservative legislators believe they will succeed in persuading schoolgirls to be abstinent when the church is unable to persuade adult priests, who have taken a vow of celibacy, not to abuse children and teens sexually?
Perhaps President Bush's faith-based initiative should give a grant to Elayne Bennett of the Best Friends program to develop an abstinence-only program for the nation's Catholic seminaries.

FRANCES KISSLING
President
Catholics for a Free Choice
Washington

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide