- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Anti-terrorism lessons from the Philippines

The article "Initiative sees medicine as way to beat terrorism in the Philippines" (Nation, Oct. 23) demonstrates the need for integration of humanitarian and civil affairs action in the international war against terrorism. I would like to call readers' attention to three key lessons learned in the U.S. operations in the Philippines, which can be applied elsewhere:
First, there is the need for partnership between the U.S. military and U.S. Agency for International Development with private organizations and the business community. The campaign to defeat al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations is being waged over much of the globe from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the "eastern front" of Indonesia and the Philippines and involves the hearts and minds of millions of impoverished persons. Our government does not have the resources to sustain both military operations and human needs in these communities. Private organizations cannot operate safely where violence and chaos reign. A U.S. military-AID partnership with private aid groups is essential for success.
Second, there must be interagency cooperation. The Philippines program could not succeed without the skillful coordination of a military-AID-private-sector partnership by U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone. In each front-line country, U.S. interagency cooperation is a key ingredient for success.
Finally, the American people's gratitude should be focused on the extraordinary courage and dedication of our men and women in uniform, especially the Special Forces teams and AID staffers who selflessly risk and sometimes like Special Forces Sgt. Mark Wayne Jackson give their lives for our security.

Senior vice president and director
Asia-Pacific Initiative
American Foreign Policy Council

Crying over spilt milk

The recent study by researchers at King's College and St. Thomas' Hospital in London showing that beer can help build strong bones ("Beer is found to be good for bones," World, Oct. 20) proves what People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been saying all along: Cow's milk isn't some magical elixir, and drinking it may do more harm than good.
Another recently released study suggests that moderate consumption of beer can help protect against heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and dementia.
Cow's milk, on the other hand, is loaded with fat and cholesterol and has been linked to prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even osteoporosis the very disease milk is supposed to help prevent. A Harvard University study found that women who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods actually broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk.
Unlike drinking beer, eating dairy foods also hurts animals. Today's cows have been turned into milk machines, constantly kept pregnant so they'll keep pumping out more and more milk. The male calves born on dairy farms are taken away from their mothers just days after birth and chained inside cramped, dark crates to be killed for veal.
PETA urges everyone, beer-drinkers included, to drink responsibly. Where milk is concerned, there's no such thing. For more information, please visit PETA's Web site DumpDairy.com.

Staff writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Rich Lowry's column criticizing anti-milk activists is right on target ("Milking an Issue," Commentary, Sunday), but the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is even worse than he suspects.
Far from being a "committee" of physicians, the group can only claim that 5 percent of its members are doctors. PCRM's leader is not a nutrition expert, but a psychiatrist and a non-practicing one at that. The American Medical Association saw through this charade years ago, calling the group's recommendations "irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans."
Calling PCRM and PETA "close allies" is an understatement. PETA has funded PCRM to the tune of $600,000 in the past three years alone. Even the animal rights movement's own watchdogs understand where PCRM is coming from. Last year, Animal People News declared that PETA and PCRM should be considered "a single fundraising unit."

Director of research
Center for Consumer Freedom

Teamsters are equal-opportunity donors

Making his case that the Teamsters have shown insufficient gratitude for purported White House "concessions to unions on important policy matters" ("Bush fails to garner union backing despite his wooing," National, Oct. 23) the reporter relies on the testimony of Stefan Gleason of the National Right to Work Committee, whose primary objective is the destruction of trade unions generally and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters specifically.
As The Washington Times should know, General President James Hoffa has argued forcefully to de-link the labor movement from any one political party, favoring instead a bipartisan approach to political activism. Under Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party became the free-trade party, with the consequent loss of manufacturing jobs. In addition, our membership is the most diverse of any union in America, encompassing a broad array of industries, regions and political persuasions.
We have reliably supported President Bush and Republican members of Congress when our interests coincide the same litmus test we apply to Democrats. We also put our money where our mouth is. Mr. Gleason's allegations to the contrary, we have endorsed Republican candidates in several gubernatorial and Senate races, including some that are, or were at the time of endorsement, highly competitive. This election cycle, we anticipate a doubling of PAC contributions to GOP contenders.
Rather than providing an audience for single-issue extremists such as Mr. Gleason, your reporter would have done better had he talked with ordinary working Americans. He could start with our members.

Director of government affairs
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Don't play the blame game

What is it about terrible times that brings out both the best and the worst in Americans? On the one hand, September 11 has resulted in acts of great heroism, a resurgence of patriotism, renewed interest in national service, and a sense of national unity. On the other, it has occasioned mindless acts of cannibalism by American citizens against each other as they look for people to blame, exemplified by the article "State employee whose office let hijackers in U.S. gets a bonus" (Page 1, Oct. 23).
Foreign Service officers are not scoundrels who aid and abet terrorism. Neither are intelligence officers, FBI officials, Immigration and Naturalization Service personnel, airport security people, foreign student advisers or any of the other patriotic Americans who have been victims of the post-September 11 blame game. They didn't do this to us; the terrorists did.
I'm old enough to remember the McCarthy era. We don't need to live through that again.

Associate executive director for public policy
NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Lights out for the day or forever?

The version of the bugle call taps in "'Digital' bugle to try taps at military funerals" (Nation, yesterday) is not what I remember. As a retired serviceman, I recall that the version quoted in the article "Day is done. Gone the sun from the lake, from the hill, from the sky. All is well, safely rest. God is nigh." was for "lights out" and was played at day's end. For the final salute at a funeral, however, the proper words used to be: "Soldier, rest. Gently pressed, to the calm Mother Earth's waiting breast. Duty done, like the sun, going West."
Much more apropos, don't you think?

Cedaredge, Colo.

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