- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2002

Don't rush to judge the new minority whip

It is time to speak out against divisive rhetoric asking to be accepted as patriotic observation. Cal Thomas' attack on Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California was as far off the mark as his overall perception of those who disagree with him about anything ("Forecasting the next GOP win," Commentary, Wednesday).

First, it is time to clear up this notion that anyone who is not a conservative Republican is, ipso facto, a socialist Democrat who wants to play Robin Hood with the wealth of the nation. The vast majority of Americans are not card-carrying conservative Republicans. One need only look at the number of votes cast for all the other candidates in the last two elections and add the millions who voted "a pox on both their houses" by refusing even to play a game they see as "fixed."

But more than not being a conservative, neither am I a liberal at least I'm not a liberal as described by Mr. Thomas: "Their religion is big government. The government is their shepherd."

No, I (and most Americans) merely want our representatives to do what they already are being paid (handsomely) to do: administer the actions of this country so that we are not a threat, but a benefit to humankind; ensure equal opportunity to a real job, with real benefits for families and the opportunity to retire; ensure that Americans don't lose their livelihoods to exported jobs, exported profits (to offshore tax-free accounts) and well-dressed thieves for whom the words greedy and rapacious are insufficient.

Mr. Thomas' demonization of those with whom he has a difference of opinion is decidedly un-American. We are, if nothing else, a nation of different ideas. That is how we came into being. (That said, I usually agree, as an independent and a Christian, with Mr. Thomas' spiritual perspective on our social order and its ills.)

I am looking forward to hearing Mrs. Pelosi's ideas for myself as are, I am sure, the vast majority of Americans.


THE REV. MICHAEL MCCARTHY

Virginia Beach, Va.

Same old song

The statement by George Curry, editor in chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service, that black support for the Democratic Party stems from Democrats being more in tune with blacks' interests, is yet another indication of how some in the black community refuse to abandon a mindset no longer based in reality ("Jackson sees rights eroding under GOP," Nation, yesterday).

If Mr. Curry were to take an honest look at the Republican Party, he would notice two things. First, he would see how the party is fighting for important freedoms for every American. Second, he would see that the Republican Party, unlike the Democratic Party, believes strongly in the ability of all Americans regardless of skin color, gender or ethnic origin to go as far as their God-given abilities can take them without excessive government assistance.

Unlike Democrats, Republicans believe American citizens have the right to protect themselves and their families from harm. Hence, they are for allowing individuals the right to exercise their Second Amendment freedom to own a gun. Unlike Democrats, Republicans believe every child has the right to a quality education. Hence, they favor giving parents the freedom to send their children to the school of their choice through voucher programs. Unlike Democrats, Republicans believe Americans can make the best decisions regarding how their hard-earned money is spent. Hence, they are for giving back some of the money to the persons who earned it through across-the-board tax cuts. Also unlike Democrats, Republicans believe blacks and others are capable of making it on their own with hard work and dedication, not patronizing feel-good affirmative-action programs based on race.

Mr. Curry's comments regarding blacks and the Democratic Party, while probably music to the ears of Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, fail to acknowledge GOP efforts to ensure that people of all races can exercise freedoms that Democrats would rather restrict. They also insult the very people he claims to want to help by implying that blacks are unable to succeed without government-mandated racial preferences.


MANUEL J. RIOS JR.

Rockville

D.C.'s very own criminal prosecutor

Former U.S. Attorney for Washington Joseph diGenova ("Crime and punishment," Op-Ed, Tuesday) raises some legitimate concerns regarding the newly passed referendum to provide Washington. with its own criminal prosecutor.

Yet, I find it interesting that he would preach about how "power cannot be wielded devoid of responsibility" and that he is so quick to assume that D.C. residents wouldn't pay for "such a vital governmental function." After all, these are the same D.C. residents who are saddled with the "responsibility" of paying for "such a vital governmental function" as the federal legislature and we all know how much "power" those citizens wield there.


ROB RANDHAVA

Washington

N. Korea, Iraq demand different approaches

Harlan Ullman's column concerning the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq vs. its policy toward North Korea fails to mention the obvious ("Disarming disclosures," Op-Ed, Wednesday).

While North Korea has stayed within its borders, Iraq has shown its willingness to be the aggressor not only toward its neighbors, such as Kuwait, but also against an Iraqi minority. Its attacks have been unprovoked, and in the case of ethnic Kurds, were accomplished with weapons of mass destruction.

I find it very opinionated to draw absolute parallels between Iraq and North Korea. Is it possible that the columnist was involved in the Korean conflict and still feels the matter is unresolved?

Our country must first deal with threats that could turn into mushroom clouds on our own soil tomorrow. One of the first signs of a great leader, such as President Bush, is his ability to assimilate information and prioritize a plan of action, which he has done by facing the issue of Iraq first.


JIM CRUMP

La Grange, Ga.

Protecting Pakistan?

I read with much disgust the article "India hits West on terror tactics" (Page 1, yesterday). U.S. officials seem to be splitting hairs when it comes to defending Pakistan, even though in the past few months, Pakistan has:

• Provided nuclear technology to a charter member of the "axis of evil," North Korea.

• Rigged an election by banning moderates, which resulted in the election to power of allies of Osama bin Laden's and put the war on terrorism in jeopardy.

• Allowed armed terrorists to infiltrate into Indian Kashmir and wreak mayhem and butcher innocents in the name of a freedom struggle.

• Released scores of murderous Islamic radicals from prison.

Does anyone really believe that all these happened without Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's knowledge?

U.S. policy-makers need to ask themselves if turning a blind eye to such acts by Pakistan is a justified price for getting a few midlevel al Qaeda operatives once in a while.


KAUSHIK KAPISTHALAM

Atlanta, Ga.


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