- The Washington Times - Monday, December 23, 2002

Dietary column lean on truth

Michael Fumento's column "Over-larded Atkins analysis" (Commentary, Thursday) incorrectly stated that "there was a stunning 60 percent dropout rate" among Atkins dieters. Indeed, a study published online by the Duke University Medical Center found that the Atkins diet retained 80 percent of its participants. Dr. Eric Westman, who conducted the study, called this level of retention "remarkable for most diet programs."
Mr. Fumento also errs in calling the Atkins diet a "high fat" diet. As anyone who is familiar with the diet knows, it is a high protein diet. Dr. Atkins recommends replacing carbohydrates primarily with protein, not fat. By simple arithmetic, as the percentage of carbohydrates in a diet is reduced, the percentages of the other major calorie sources must increase, even if there is no increase in consumption of these sources. However, Dr. Atkins does seem to believe that fat is not as harmful as carbohydrates for people seeking to lose weight. That point of view would seem to be vindicated by the results of Dr. Westman's study.
Mr. Fumento also seems to believe that it doesn't matter that the Atkins dieters had more improvement in their cholesterol and triglyceride levels simply because they also lost more weight than those on the American Heart Association diet plan. That is an interesting reversal of normal logic. By his calculation, the AHA dieters were apparently better off losing less weight and having less improvement in these blood health measurements as well as having a higher dropout rate.
I have actually read Dr. Atkins' books on the subject, which I suspect Mr. Fumento has not done, and have lost 30 pounds based on his diet recommendations. I have tried a number of other diets and have found the Atkins diet to be the easiest and most effective.
I would suggest that before Mr. Fumento criticizes the Atkins diet, he should get his basic facts straight. It might help if he actually reads one of Dr. Atkins books.

Sydney, Australia

Pakistan denies the charges

Former Ambassador George Bruno has unfortunately missed some crucial facts in his vituperative attack on Pakistan and its leadership ("U.S. should be picky about Pakistan," Letters, Friday).
The newly elected government of Pakistan under Premier Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and the earlier one under General Pervez Musharraf have gone to great lengths to take on the forces of terrorism and intolerance in a head-on confrontation. Pakistan has lost nearly 150 civilians, and 20 security and armed forces personnel the highest number of casualties for any coalition partner since September 11, 2001 in the campaign against international terrorism.
The release of three individuals from prison came not because of any compromise or plea bargaining, but from the due deliberations ofa high court that ascertained that the prosecution did not have any tangible proof against the defendants. Mr. Bruno must appreciate that Pakistan, despite being a developing country, has developed systems of adjudication and jurisprudence that follow a model of due process of law where the burden of proofis upon the state. The three individuals recently released were held under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance or MPO (a preventive detention provision), which allows for 90 days of continued detention without a charge. After that, a judicial forum has to be convinced that continued detention is in the public interest and that there is incontrovertible proof that the accused are guilty. These individuals were held for nearly a year under the MPO. In their case, the court held that the state did not provide the requisite proof to justify continued detention and therefore ordered their release. Surely, Mr. Bruno does not support extra judicial vigilante-style dispensation of justice where accusations without proof warrant a quick end to those whom we might think of as undesirable.
Pakistan is a reliable partner in the war on terrorism, and we have rendered more than 400al Qaeda personnel to justice. This is a different kind of war, in which the enemy is everywhere and invarying manifestations. It is going to be a long haul, but we have bitten the bullet and are going to see it to the end. The CIA, FBI and U.S. military Central Command (Centcom) are the ones who can accurately judge whether Pakistan is a reliable and willing ally. By all counts, the message we have heard is a comforting one, irrespective of what armchair expertsthink about the situation.

Press attache
Embassy of Pakistan

The ignorance of Mrs. Murray

I have lived and worked in more than 50 countries with various foreign affairs agencies over the course of my career. So I was especially appalled by the comments of Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, regarding Osama bin Laden ("Murray hit for bin Laden remark," Nation, Saturday). Her statements were a slap in the face to countless Peace Corps volunteers,U.S.embassy employees and specialists within the U.S. Agency for International Development who have dedicated their lives to a cause President Kennedycalled "the long twilight struggle for freedom."
For her to say bin Laden has "been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities. … We haven't done that," is pure tripe.Bin Laden has done nothing compared to what the United States has in providing famine relief, eradicating disease and pestilence, building schools and providing clean drinking water to millions of people around the world. In so doing, industries within cities such Seattle and Vancouver, which are in Mrs. Murray's home state, have benefited directly from the resulting foreign-aid project contracts. As a result, many of her constituents have earned a good living whilemy colleagues and I labored unseen and unacknowledged far from home.
In her rush to blame America first, Mrs. Murray has forgotten the high price Americans have paid during this long twilight struggle.As I write this, I am fighting back tears recallingthe friends and colleagues I've lost over the years to senseless actsof terrorism while they tried helping others. How could she be so ungrateful and insensitive? How could she be so ignorant? I would urge her and the high school studentssheaddressed to visit the State Department building in Washington. Within the diplomatic entrance, they will find a granite wall inscribed with the names of those who died in the service of their country and of humanity itself. May Mrs. Murray never disregard their sacrifice again.

Fredericksburg, Va.

Bush on the defense … missile defense, that is

President Bush's decision to proceed with a missile-defense system ("Bush vows to build missile defenses," Page One, Wednesday) will provide the United States with protection that was prohibited under the old ABM treaty: namely, the ability to defend ourselves from incoming nuclear missiles. The president's action will also mitigate any psychological edge that a country such as North Korea may seek as it develops missiles capable of hitting the western United States. The Clinton administration's 1994 agreement with North Korea to discourage nuclear weapons production had the opposite effect of what the administration said would occur.
The Bush administration should be commended for redressing this wrong and moving forward with President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, which was derided by the same critics who supported a nuclear freeze. These opponents' goals were exceeded by Mr. Reagan and the first President Bush because they actually eliminated weapons of mass destruction. The latest missile-defense initiative will make us more secure. He deserves his countrymen's fullest support.


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