- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Friends don't let friends legitimize fiends

Aside from having a "bizarre and surreal quality" as you suggest in your May 24 editorial "Whitewashing Arafat" the State Department's report on international terrorism that exonerates Yasser Arafat and his top aides is utterly irresponsible, unconscionable and reprehensible.
Unfortunately, however, this comes as no surprise, considering that the department's titular head, Colin L. Powell:
convinced President Bush not to break relations with Mr. Arafat when Israel intercepted the Karine A shipment of illegal arms from Iran which directly violated the terms of the Oslo Accord;
was surely responsible for the administration's reluctance to act;
and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the first President Bush during the Gulf War, vetoed the majority opinion of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and his senior military staff to enter Baghdad and take on Saddam Hussein.
Rather than make the same mistake his father made in taking such ill-fated advice from Mr. Powell, Mr. Bush should stand up to the Arabists at the State Department, whom Mr. Powell chooses to appease at all costs. Mr. Bush should resist Mr. Powell's insistence on legitimizing Mr. Arafat and question Mr. Powell's apparent allergy to toppling the totalitarian regime of Saddam Hussein.
Only when he does this will he regain his moral clarity.

CARIN SALA
Palm Beach, Fla.

Delusions are the real homeland danger

Diana West's May 24 Op-Ed column, "Delusional in D.C.," points out some of the government's most perplexing post-September 11 policies. For example, apparently our State Department continues to issue visas to thousands of Middle Easterners. Does anybody believe that thorough background checks are done on these people? Even if terrorists can't get visas, they can just go to Mexico and stroll across the border.
I have resigned myself to the terrible conclusion that there will be another successful attack in this country before our government creates sensible policies.

JENNIFER MOUNTJOY
Hollywood, Md.

Delusions are the real homeland danger

Diana West accurately summarized the state of denial that prevails in the nation's capital in her column "Delusional in D.C." Who would have thought that political correctness would take precedence over protecting U.S. citizens from the terrorists in our midst. Yet that is what the government's inaction indicates.
Obviously, the State Department doesn't want to ruffle the feathers of any ethnic group, issuing more than 50,000 visas to "visitors" from Middle Eastern countries since September 11. Incredible.
During World War II, the government halted tourism from Germany as a wartime precaution. Today, the government acts as if nothing has changed. It seems the open-borders gang won't let a small detail like 3,000 dead Americans stand in the way of money and political influence.
It is mind-boggling that U.S. armed forces are sent chasing terrorists around the world while the immediate danger is right here. Our borders are undefended; hundreds of thousands of aliens ordered deported remain; and thousands of foreigners enter legally from enemy nations.
Real homeland security must be undertaken before it is too late, and that means tougher border enforcement, deportation of illegal aliens and an end to visas for people from terrorist nations.

BRENDA WALKER

Right to consent should not be discarded

I read with interest your story about how the District imposes teen confidentiality standards on the medical profession ("Teen health connection," May 21). The article also noted the conflict this creates with parental rights. However, you did not expand on one particularly important aspect of this problem: parental notification in the case of abortion.
Let's say a pregnant teen-age girl is seeking an abortion but is afraid to tell her parents. A well-intentioned doctor or government social worker arranges for the abortion, without the knowledge or consent of parents or other adult relatives. The procedure goes awry and results in a perforated uterus something Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist, and other medical authorities have documented as not rare. The girl hemorrhages internally, goes into shock, then into cardiac arrest. By the time medical staff can resuscitate her, she has suffered brain damage, and she ends up in a vegetative state for the rest of her life.
Now, who should pay for this girl's care? Her parents? That hardly seems fair. They had no say in their daughter's decision. Don't they deserve some compensation for the dreams and aspirations they had for their daughter, as well as the investment they'd made toward her future? Likewise, if she becomes a ward of the state, should taxpayers be required to bear that cost, which could be enormous if the girl lives for years? That hardly seems right either, especially because public funding for abortion is generally (and properly) prohibited. If the clinic that performed the abortion does not have sufficient insurance or cannot pay a court judgment, what then?
Here is one solution: Before minors can have abortions without parental consent, require a magistrate or other official to be personally responsible and liable. If something goes wrong, they would bear the monetary (and legal) burdens. If no official is willing to sign up, then the state cannot allow the abortion. With such a requirement, we might see fewer public officials willing to discard the rights of parents so cavalierly. Who knows? It might even lead to legal abortions being safe and, for the first time since 1973, rare.

SCOTT A. BYRD

Propaganda is our Achilles' heel

I find it bizarre that Suzanne Fields regularly fills her Op-Ed columns with a strident Zionist pro-Israel viewpoint and that she yet has the audacity to criticize American high school students for not knowing "how to think and thus how to lead, how to learn from our past by first learning of the past, all the better to shape the future" ("'The Achilles' heel of education," May 20).
Or was the column just an elaborate ruse to bash Noam Chomsky? Today, Mrs. Fields' criticism neglects to include the fact that her heart is with Israel, not with our own Constitution, nor does she include the pertinent information that Mr. Chomsky has written many pro-Palestinian pieces.
Our real Achilles' heel is Israel and the plethora of Zionist propaganda that is mis-educating every age group and Mrs. Fields.

ANNE SELDEN ANNAB
Mechanicsburg, Pa.



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