- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Time to end embargo against Cuba

Paul Greenberg's Feb. 20 Commentary column "Trading with the enemy," which criticized Sen. Blanche Lincoln for supporting opening trade relations between the United States and Cuba, might leave the impression that she stands alone in the Arkansas congressional delegation in advocating a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba. In fact, all of Arkansas' congressional delegation, Republican and Democrat, support ending the trade embargo.

We are joined in our support by our governor, Mike Huckabee, a Republican. In a letter to President Bush, Mr. Huckabee wrote, "U.S. policy on Cuba has not accomplished its stated goal of toppling the Castro regime and instead has provided Castro with a convenient excuse for his own failed system of government."

The time to end our failed embargo against Cuba is now.


U.S. Representative


U.S.-Mexican 'border war' imminent or inane?

Your Feb. 25 story "Activist warns of border war" reported on the "American Renaissance" conference in Virginia, in which anti-immigration activist Glenn Spencer compared illegal immigration to a "second Mexican-American War."

Sending a reporter to this conference was like sending a reporter to a Ku Klux Klan rally. Mexican immigrants come to this land of opportunity to get away from the hardships they suffered in Mexico. These people are hard working, and some even engage in tasks that most Americans wouldn't dream of doing, all in the name of supporting themselves and their families.

The fact that Mr. Spencer thinks the goal of Mexican immigrants is to reclaim Southern California and the Gadsden Purchase, among other lands, is quite comical.

Perhaps we should look to the North for invaders, like those of the classic film "Canadian Bacon." Or maybe we should launch a pre-emptive attack on the British to prevent them from reclaiming their colonies.

Mexican-Americans form the backbone of the economy in the Southwest. Mr. Spencer's claims are clearly extremist, radical and racist.



I'm sitting here looking at Mr. McCain's article reporting the possibility of a border war between U.S. and Mexican citizens, and I'd have to say its a safe bet.

Being a Southern California resident, I can tell you that there are places caucasians, blacks and asians do not venture into if they want to stay in one piece. There are also several ctiies where its hard to find a sign in english.

Mr. Spencer's remarks about a "reconquista" were new to me, probably because the local media simply do not report such things, but I have no trouble believing it. I have experienced the hostility first hand.

Nor does the lack of concern on the part of the Bush administratin surprise me. NAFTA and its relatives reveal an agenda involving unification of the North American continent into one EU-like superstate. Losing a little territory to Mexico now probably isn't relevant to this agenda.


Yucaipa, Calif.

Playing the Social Security fear card once again

In his Feb. 25 Commentary column "Waiting to wave the Social Security shirt," Donald Lambro writes, "Democrats have been playing the Social Security fear card for years, notably in the 1982 and 1986 elections, and in the 2000 presidential race."

In fact, this tactic has a considerable pedigree. In the 1964 presidential campaign, according to Barry Goldwater biographer Lee Edwards, a Democratic Party TV spot "showed a pair of large masculine hands going through a stack of photos, IDs, and cards until it reached a Social Security card. The hands (implicitly Goldwater's) ripped the Social Security card in two, dropped the pieces on the table, and disappeared."

"To drive home the point," Mr. Edwards writes, "another Democrat commercial stated that 'on at least seven different occasions, Barry Goldwater has said he would drastically change the Social Security system.'"

In fact, Mr. Goldwater never said that he would "drastically" change Social Security. According to Mr. Edwards, Mr. Goldwater suggested that the program "might be made voluntary, but only over time in order not to disrupt the program or hurt those who depended on it."

A radio commercial, the work of Lyndon Johnson aide Bill Moyers, was even more dishonest.


Brooklyn, N.Y.

Pearl killers receiving 'unofficial succor' from Pakistan

Your Feb. 23 story "Pakistan vows hunt for killers of Pearl" seems only to hint that there may be a more insidious bond between officials of that country's military government and the Islamic fundamentalists whom they claim to be combating.

To be sure, the Pearl case has given President Pervez Musharraf's government a black eye at a time when the regime has been making huge efforts to clean up its image. While the United States was effusive in its praise for Gen. Musharraf's intention to fight terrorism at home during his visit here this month, future U.S. assistance was predicated on Pakistan staying the course and producing verifiable results. This has yet to happen.

In the case involving Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, the Musharraf regime has worked hard to stay ahead of the truth. First, it picked up the chief suspect in the kidnapping, Ahmed Omar Saeed, and questioned him incommunicado for a week. Then, it shifted the blame on an elaborate, and ultimately specious, plot by the Indian government to embarrass their Pakistani counterparts. Gen. Musharraf's obfuscation and prevarication would indicate that there is something to hide.

Ultimately, if Pakistan ever expects to receive the military and financial assistance to which it believes it is entitled, it must first accept responsibility for the heinous acts that continue to take place on its soil, rather than portray itself as the victim of forces beyond its control.

Mariane Pearl, the victim's wife, must find it incomprehensible that after more than a month of much-publicized purges, during which time the government touted its arrest of nearly 2,000 hardened militants, some of the country's most high-profile and wanted terrorists still elude arrest.

Wanted in the United States and India on kidnapping charges, both countries should insist on Saeed's extradition, with the hope that a foreign trial will allow the embarrassing truth to come out: that Pakistani extremists continue to receive unofficial succor from a willing government.



Timothy L. Towell was deputy chief of protocol under President Reagan and ambassador to Paraguay under his successor, President Bush.

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