- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 23, 2002

DNC's 'patently anti-Roman Catholic' ties

Bill Murchison is right to note "the servility of Democrats to organizations like the National Organization for Women and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League" ("Pro-choice and no choice," Commentary, Thursday). Even worse, however, is the servility of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to a patently anti-Roman Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice.
Catholics for a Free Choice has twice been condemned by the bishops as a fraud. The group's leader, Frances Kissling, has said it is her goal to "overthrow the Catholic Church." While she won't succeed, her work to discredit the Vatican and Catholic teaching in general is despicable. This is why Catholic Democrats are enraged over the link that the DNC provides on its Web site to Ms. Kissling's well-funded letterhead.
Led by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, thousands of letters have been sent to the DNC protesting its alliance with bigotry. So far, the DNC hasn't budged. Neither has our resolve. While I don't want to give away our ultimate game plan now, anyone who thinks the Catholic League is walking away from this issue is out of his mind.

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
New York

No minorities in Cyprus

I take exception to the depiction of the Turkish Cypriots as a "minority" in the article "Island's Greeks approve U.N. plan" (World, Tuesday). The Turkish Cypriots have never been a minority on the island, where there is no "Cypriot nation," as such, in which "national minorities" can exist.
The secretary-general of the United Nations, both in his past and present plans aimed at a settlement, described Cyprus as "the common home" of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, whose relationship "is not one of majority and minority but of political equality."
The issue, therefore, is not a mere question of arithmetic or detail but one of principle, which has vital implications for the Turkish Cypriot people.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Jeffords, pro and con

I am writing in response to Wednesday's editorial, "Sorry, Jim." For those who may still believe what they read in The Washington Times, I would like to just set the record straight. I have absolutely no interest in caucusing with the Republican Party, and I have absolutely no desire to rejoin the party. Neither I, nor any staff member, has made overtures of the type the editorial claims. I am very comfortable where I am, thank you.
I can only guess why the editorial's unidentified "senior Senate leadership source" may have been tempted to fabricate and float such a story (if there was, in fact, any such source). But I learned a long time ago that it is dangerous to ascribe motives, especially here in Washington. I would have been glad to set the editorial straight had I only been called for comment. But you probably knew that following the most basic rule of good journalism would surely take all the fun out of the game.

Vermont independent

If The Times is going to disparage Vermont Sen. James M. Jeffords, a man viewed by many of us as a profile in courage, that is your right. If you are going to publish editorials that offer only vague quotes from one "senior Senate leadership source" without even giving Mr. Jeffords an opportunity to respond, that too is your right. But at the very least, one would think, you could check your facts.
Mr. Jeffords was not even a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee before his switch, let alone its chairman. He was chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee before his courageous decision.
One wonders if President Bush's pledge to "change the tone in Washington" will include treating Mr. Jeffords with more courtesy and respect now that he is in the minority than he did when Mr. Jeffords served in his Republican "majority" in 2001. Certainly, such a change in tone is not evident so far in the pages of The Times.


Hearing that Sen. James M. Jeffords has sent out "feelers" to see if he can once again align himself with the Republican Party if he gets to retain his committee chairmanship makes me want to call him a prostitute. But that would be insulting to the world's oldest profession.
No, Mr. Jeffords, we won't respect you in the morning. You made your bed, now sleep in it.

Boise, Idaho

Anti-Semitism in Israel

"Rise in anti-Semitism prompts call to tighten immigration from Russia" (Page 1, Tuesday) states that part-Jewish emigres from the former Soviet Union have been tied to "at least 500" anti-Semitic incidents in Israel in the past year. This speaks much about the true level of anti-Semitism in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
The governments of most of these countries, especially the ones in Russia and Belarus, have an abysmal record of recording hate crimes against Jews and other minority groups. Either the crimes are not reported at all or they are classified under euphemistic terms, such as "hooliganism." Cooking the books in this way allows these governments to present a deceptively pretty picture to the West of interethnic harmony.
The Israeli statistics, therefore, offer a valuable model of a government that takes such incidents seriously by monitoring attitudes toward Jews within a large group of people from a historically anti-Semitic part of the world.
In addition, the intensity of anti-Semitic hatred that it must require to be openly anti-Semitic in a heavily armed Jewish population is truly astounding.
How, I wonder, did these people treat Jews back home in Moscow or Minsk, where Jews don't run the government or staff the police and courts? How many people just like them are still living in those countries, tormenting their Jewish neighbors with impunity?
Sadly, totally unreliable government statistics, combined with the reluctance of many ordinary Jews and their leaders in areas of the former Soviet Union to publicize anti-Semitic incidents, make these questions impossible to answer. That is why the Israeli statistics, and The Times' coverage of them, are so valuable.

Research and advocacy director
Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union

There is no rightful president in Zimbabwe

We would like to appeal to you to refrain from the frequent referral to Robert Mugabe and his regime as the president and government of Zimbabwe, respectively. The latest such examples can be found in "U.S. weighs reprisal for beating of embassy employee" (World, Thursday).
The people of Zimbabwe did not elect Mr. Mugabe in a democratic process. He imposed himself on the Zimbabwean people through the use of violence, intimidation and blatant election-rigging. The results of this year's presidential elections were farcical, and no respectable election monitoring institution found the elections to resemble anything close to free and fair. The results were not accepted by the international community or by many within Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, the unfree and unfair nature of the elections was compounded by the military, police and secret intelligence agency declaring that they would not accept any victory other than that of Mr. Mugabe.
We believe, therefore, that an esteemed newspaper such as The Times would agree that Mr. Mugabe is not the legitimate president of Zimbabwe. Consequently, any Cabinet he appoints is not the legitimate government of Zimbabwe, and hence should be referred to as the Mugabe regime.

Freedom for Zimbabwe Campaign

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