- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2003

An incorrect comparison

Wow, Paul Craig Roberts managed to compare President Bush with Hitler, the Nazi conquests and Napoleon and use the buzzword hegemony all in one column (“An aggressive new turn,” Commentary, Sunday). I was disappointed to see that the other catchphrase of the day, “jingoism,” wasn’t used. Too bad, but there is always a future column.

Mr. Roberts has expressed his disenchantment with the existence of Israel before and has said its existence is the cause of all problems in the Middle East. He continues this argument. I can only conclude that Mr. Roberts would rather let Israel become overrun with terrorists and allow the Middle East cancer to continue to grow and spread unchallenged — as the United States has done since 1979 when the Islamists took over our embassy in Iran. Fortunately, Mr. Bush has decided to confront the problem instead.

In his recent speech before the National Endowment for Democracy, the president wisely pointed out that “years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe.” The president said this would no longer be the case and that we would assist those who wish to bring democracy to the rest of the Middle East.

The president has decided to cut out the cancer and address the root of the terrorist problem that we long have avoided — Middle East despotism that led to September 11. It is risky surgery, messy and a challenge, but in the long term far better for our country, Middle Easterners and the world.

LIBBY WRIGHT

Washington

Unlikely allies

In regard to Sunday’s Commentary column “Remembering Red victims”: I agree with Jeffrey T. Kuhner to some extent. However, he simplifies communism by choosing to ignore the influence of Western powers in helping communists establish control in Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

The communist dictators Mao Tse-tung, Josip Broz Tito and Ho Chi Minh were the Western powers’ favored “good” communist despots during the 1940s.

The British helped Mr. Tito come to power in Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was a capitalist country before World War II and did the bidding of the big powers in its domestic and foreign policies.

When Belgrade’s citizens overthrew the Yugoslav government for collaborating with the Nazis in March 1941, the British and American governments cheered them on. When the time came to reward the Serbs for the enormous sacrifices they made for the Allies’ cause, Western powers looked the other way.

In the 1940s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was content to let Winston Churchill take the lead on matters of European security. The British, favoring Mr. Tito so as to appease the Soviets and Stalin, helped him and his communists in Yugoslavia.

BOBA BOROJEVIC

Ottawa, Ontario

Read my lips

As Gov. Mark Warner stumps across Virginia touting his new tax plan (“Warner touts tax revision plan,” Metropolitan, Wednesday), it’s time again to run through a quick tutorial in the vocabulary of liberal politicians seeking to pick our pockets. “Tax reform,” of course, means “tax increase.” The liberals’ claim of “fiscally conservative” is a term of relativity — that is, compared to what they really want to do to us, this proposed increase is “conservative.” “Equitable tax reform” is the governor’s jargon for “soak the rich.”

When Mr. Warner says 65 percent of Virginia taxpayers will pay less in taxes overall, this means that 1 in 3 taxpayers will shoulder a proportionately heavier burden to subsidize their neighbors. This is only “fair” if you believe class warfare is an appropriate solution to the commonwealth’s fiscal problems. This 1-in-3 number presupposes that the economy is static: The income of young employees will never increase, and low-, middle- and high-income folks will remain in those positions forever. Because tax-rate reduction is a liberal heresy, it is far more likely that the 1-in-3 number will quickly become 2 (or more)-in-3. After all, the household income of Fairfax County husband-and-wife schoolteachers in their mid-30s can easily exceed $100,000 — the “wealthy” threshold for Mr. Warner’s proposed tax increases.

Of course, Virginia could address its financial crisis by cutting public spending. You and I know we shouldn’t spend what we don’t have. According to the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, during the 1990s — a period of general economic expansion — Virginia’s population grew 11 percent and personal income growth was 27 percent, but per capita general fund expenditures increased a whopping 91 percent.

Now Virginia is coming off a couple of tough economic years. When our personal household income drops, we understand that expenditures must be cut, but most politicians are congenitally incapable of cutting spending. Instead, they bleat something about how “the schools will suffer.” Listen, folks, if little Edward or Fatima is enrolled in a Virginia public school and isn’t learning, showering the school with more tax dollars isn’t going to help.

Yes, Virginia, fiscal responsibility is achievable, but, as usual, it’s up to the taxpayers to just say no to tax-rate increases.

SAMUEL R. LEWIS

Oak Hill

Checking dates

In Sunday’s editorial “The Pakistan-India cease fire,” you wrote, “Pakistan and India have fought three wars since the two states were created in 1949 following British colonial rule.”

The year is incorrect. Both Pakistan and India were created in 1947.

On a separate note, I appreciate that you gave proper credit to the Pakistani government for its efforts in the recent cease-fire.

DAVID KHAN

Juneau, Alaska

Banging the Bang

I am writing in response to the article, “Big Bang actually a resonant hum” by Jennifer Harper (Nation, Nov. 17). University of Washington physicist John Cramer “believes the theoretical moment in which the universe was created some 13.7 billion years ago was more lyrical than bombastic.”

Most astronomers today favor the Big Bang theory of the origin of our universe. There are some difficulties with it, yet most astronomers favor it. This theory says that at first, there was one great ball of matter. Then it exploded. As the parts flew farther and farther out, some matter joined to form stars, planters and galaxies. Is there good evidence for this theory? If only we had a time machine that would let us look back in time to observe the state of the universe at various points, then we could visually check to see if things went as supposed in this theory.

Big Bang (or resonant hum) theory postulates that there was a giant ball of matter and that it exploded. What brought that ball of matter into existence? It could not just make itself. What made it “explode”? That could not happen without cause. Therefore, the cause that brought it into existence and made it “explode” into a great universe is what we call God.

HUGO ADIMARI

Alexandria, Va.


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