- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2002

Burma defends its drug record

Narcotics are a scourge for all mankind, and to eliminate illicit drug production and trafficking is a responsibility all countries share. It is, therefore, beyond comprehension why Monday's editorial "A blunder on Burma" attempts to belittle Burma's efforts in the fight against narcotics and the successes the country has attained. No one can deny that, relying only on their own resources, the government and people of Burma have achieved much in this area. Neither intimidation nor accusations will deter us from further taking on this national cause. Because fighting narcotics is totally humanitarian, it should not be politicized in any way.

Information officer
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar

Professor ain't whistling Dixie

Thanks for reporting the outrageous comments of a professor from Vanderbilt University ("Vanderbilt professor outrages Confederate progeny," Nation, Tuesday). In stating that all Confederates were "traitors" and "cowards masquerading as civilized men" who deserved to be hung at the end of the war, Jonathan David Farley must be including my Cherokee ancestors from Tennessee. Their sin? Joining the Confederacy and fighting for their independence.
For those on the left who like to spout opinions but have not taken the time to educate themselves, Stand Watie was the last of the Confederate generals to surrender. A full-blooded Cherokee, he sided with the Confederacy as part of his effort to win sovereignty for the Cherokee nation.
Yes, the frequently despised South had offered sovereignty to the country's first citizens, while the much-admired Union had engaged in a systematic pattern of ethnic cleansing. But don't expect to hear that from a dominant media sympathetic to the rants of a leftist professor.

Cold War Veterans Association
Lenexa, Kan.

Strategic withdrawal

Yesterday's Page One article "Hezbollah calls for global attacks" states that Hezbollah "successfully pushed the Israeli army out of southern Lebanon two years ago." This is a highly inaccurate description of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
To understand the withdrawal, it is essential to recall that the Israeli army first entered southern Lebanon in 1978, after a cross-border attack on two buses, originating from terrorist bases in that region, killed 36 Israelis and injured 76. The Israeli government's primary political objective in Lebanon has always been to bring about a situation in which the Lebanese government is willing and able to police its own borders and prevent terrorists from using its territory to attack Israeli citizens. Unfortunately, the Lebanese government has been the victim first of a civil war and then of military occupation by Syria, which has opposed the exercise of Lebanese sovereignty to secure peace with Israel.
Governments adopt various strategies to achieve their objectives. It is an elementary principle of military science that withdrawal can be strategic and does not always signify defeat. Israeli military action was able to stop Lebanon from being used as the center of global terrorism - an honor that then passed to Afghanistan - but the Lebanese government has remained under the dominance of Syria, which continues to use anti-Israeli violence in the south as its own strategic device.
Under these conditions, a negotiated agreement with the Lebanese government was impossible, notwithstanding the desire of the Lebanese people and their leaders for peace. Consequently, Prime Minister Ehud Barak determined that a continued military presence in southern Lebanon served Syrian rather than Israeli strategic purposes. In order to bring about a situation in which Syria would feel international pressure to allow Lebanon to exercise its sovereignty in the south, Mr. Barak decided that unilateral Israeli withdrawal, in accordance with U.N. resolution 425, was a more effective instrument.
In retrospect, some criticize Mr. Barak's decision on the grounds that it allowed Hezbollah to claim victory. The situation certainly was complicated by the death, two weeks after the withdrawal, of Syrian leader Hafez Assad, which prevented the diplomatic breakthrough for which Mr. Barak had hoped. Nevertheless, the decision to withdraw was a strategic one made by the government of Israel to achieve the long-standing objective of peace with Lebanon and security for Israeli citizens.
To describe that decision as compelled by Hezbollah is to accept uncritically the false claim of one of the world's leading terrorist organizations.


PETA is not a 'good citizen'

So People for the Ethical of Treatment of Animals is claiming it's a "good citizen" vis-a-vis domestic terrorism (Letter, "PETA pounces back, Monday). Hardly, unless opening up its wallet to violent predators (including multiple convicted felons) constitutes good citizenship.
Conspicuously missing from PETA's response to my Nov. 24 Forum column, "Financing domestic terrorism," is any denial of its financial ties to individuals whom the FBI considers domestic terrorists. A PETA flier in my filing cabinet declares that the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is "an army of the kind," and PETA members still can buy a book by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk that sings ALF's praises. PETA's ringleaders know they can't defend their organization's record. Why else would they enlist their lawyer to respond for them?
This much is indisputable: PETA has financed dangerous criminals to the tune of at least $100,000. That's more money than the organization has devoted to shelters, spay-neuter clinics or other programs that actually benefit animals.
Rodney Coronado, a multiple felon who has destroyed animal research laboratories and has benefited personally from PETA's largess, told a crowd of more than 400 masked activists last weekend that he was "personally glad" to see ALF arsons continue during the weeks after September 11. "Whatever gets the job done," he said, "is OK with me." He also urged the assembled activists to mount a revolution against the United States, saying: "I don't believe that we can change the government. I think we need to tear [it] down and start over again."
PETA diverged from the mainstream bunny-huggers many years ago. It's time to acknowledge that the group's primary legacy is not its much-vaunted "compassion," but rather the trail of dangerous terrorists in its wake.

Director of research
Center for Consumer Freedom

Virginia's art scene

It would appear that Virginia Gov. Mark Warner has made at least one budget cut that makes sense, after closing many self-supporting Department of Motor Vehicles offices, which didn't. Namely, he cut $90,000 for 18 artist awards from the budget of the Virginia Commission for the Arts (Metro, Briefly, Tuesday). The privately funded Virginia Center for the Creative Arts has stepped in and is providing an alternative award. This is how it should be.
This begs the question, by what authority does the Commonwealth of Virginia fund these awards in the first place? They have been given for more than 20 years, costing taxpayers about $1.8 million.
When faced with a similar question of spending authority, James Madison, father of our Constitution, said, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
Similarly, I can find no language in Virginia's constitution that grants authority for the state to award the money of its constituents to artists.

Falls Church

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