- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 26, 2002

'Let's leave the lying to the Democrats'

Usually I agree with nearly everything Op-ed columnist Tony Blankley writes or says. However, I think he was dead wrong to write that Marc Racicot will have to learn to "duck a politically loaded question" to survive in his new job ("A town without pity," Jan. 23). I'm a conservative, and I appreciated Mr. Racicot's candor and honesty. After all, if postponing a tax reduction is a tax increase when a Democrat does it, it is the same when done by a Republican. Let's leave the lying to the Democrats. They're so much better at it.


UN and big business form 'learning network for action'

The headline of the Jan. 10 story, "Self-policing U.N. group attracts big-name businesses," is indeed true. The newly formed Global Compact Advisory Council has attracted the leaders of major companies from the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, and current or retired corporate heads from Brazil, Ghana, Zambia and India. But also joining the advisory council are the heads of human rights and environmental groups and the president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Global Compact is much more than a membership organization. Its companies pledge to support human rights, labor rights and environmental protection and more than 300 have done so worldwide. But much more importantly, it is a learning network for action. No company is recognized as a participant until it has demonstrated through action that it is capable of making a difference in promoting the principles.
Participating companies report progress made in advancing one or more of the principles on the Global Compact Web site, and these reports are made available for public comment.
Whether in projects to ensure gender equality of opportunity in the workplace, assist workers afflicted with HIV/AIDS or curb pollution, their actions are speaking much louder than words.

Assistant secretary-general
United Nations
New York

Disappointing March for Life coverage

Your Jan. 23 Metropolitan article "Marches mark Roe v. Wade ruling" failed to report the overwhelming turnout at the March for Life block upon block of pro-lifers marching along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court.
In reading the article, one could easily be led to assume that the two demonstrations (pro- and anti-life) were of equal volume. In the 28-year history of the March for Life, attendance normally approaches or exceeds 100,000. This year was no exception.
Don't try so hard to be "balanced" that you distort the actual event.

WashingtonI was very disappointed in your coverage of the 29th annual March for Life. We subscribe to The Washington Times to avoid your competition's view of the world, but I think this time we got it anyway.
First, you put the story in the Metropolitan section when it clearly belonged on the front page. In addition, all of the people you quoted were from out of town. Half of your first page and a third of the continuation page were devoted to the pro-abortion supporters. Did you not notice that Constitution Avenue was full from 17th Street to the top of Capitol Hill, and that there were only two pro-abortion supporters at the Supreme Court? Yet you devoted a significant portion of your article and one of the two pictures accompanying your article to the pro-abortion side.
The story that you missed was that probably 75 percent of those attending were under 20. For example, 70 youths from St. Louis spent 17 hours on buses to attend the rally.
While you did mention the president's comments, you failed to even note the mass of clergy, members of the House and senators present.
I'm afraid you get an "F" on this one.

Rockville I am a longtime reader and fan of The Washington Times. I was disappointed, however, to find that you only sparsely covered the March for Life this week. I would expect that from your competition, but The Times should do better. Surely, you know that the debate between the pro-choice and pro-life movements is perhaps the greatest cultural battle of our times.
The liberal media elites give the pro-choice side a disproportionate amount of coverage, and often their tacit endorsement. It is too bad that we could not count on The Times to give equal time to the pro-life side.

ChantillyI was greatly disappointed with your coverage of the March for Life this year. The annual march is always peaceful and prayerful, yet your lead photo made it look entirely different. My family and I were discouraged and surprised at the amount of space you gave to the pro-abortion side. There are plenty of occasions for the pro-abortion groups to speak about their position. Yet you allowed them to dominate a story supposedly devoted to a pro-life march.
This article suggests that a pro-abortion bias is creeping into your news reporting. The Washington Times can, and must, do better.


Flattering Musharraf

Commentary columnist Martin Gross' portrayal of Pakistan's self-declared president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as a brave hero and the newest American ally in the war on terrorism belies both fact and precedent in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ("Pakistan's leader sees light in West," Jan 24).
The present marriage of convenience between Pakistan and the United States will only graduate to alliance status when Pakistan proves that it no longer harbors, supports or condones terrorist activity operating from its soil.
Even then, until a larger convergence of issues and ideas exists between our countries, there is little reason to expect that Gen. Musharraf will become the darling of the West. A true alliance is only as strong as the shared convictions of its members.
Pakistan's history of strongman rule and its more recent cooperation with China in developing an offensive nuclear capability show that on key issues, our countries remain far apart. If Gen. Musharraf is as committed to reform as Mr. Gross claims, then he will move expeditiously to lift the current ban on political parties in time to ensure a free and fair campaign season leading up to the scheduled October elections.


Mervyn Dymally, a former U.S. representative, served on the South Asia subcommittee from 1982 to 1994.


Martin Gross is only partly correct in equating Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to Mikhail Gorbachev. Pakistan today faces the same economic collapse and social dislocation that precipitated the demise of the Soviet Union. But to contend that Gen. Musharraf's appreciation of "Western concepts … made his choice for our side inevitable" implies that the general had a choice at all. He did not. Lacking the force or authority to either govern by fiat, as previous Pakistani military rulers have, or to institute meaningful political and religious reforms, Gen. Musharraf had little option but to allow the United States to intervene in South Asia to stave off an impending Pakistani implosion.
Now, with India massing nearly 1 million troops on the de facto border and Western leaders, along with China, pressing the general to reign in the terrorist elements tearing the country apart and pushing it to war, Gen. Musharraf finally saw the writing on the wall. Should this garner him "hero" status? Probably not.


Timothy Towell served as the U.S. ambassador to Paraguay from 1990 to 1994; before that, he served as President Reagan's deputy chief of protocol.

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