- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2003

Message to ‘chumpstick’

“With liberators like these, who needs conquerors?” asks Tom Gorman in the Dec. 10 edition of California-based political newsletter Counterpunch (counterpunch.org).

“The 3,000 Afghan citizens killed by American bombs are the best known recipient of American liberation,” Mr. Gorman writes in a story that condemns U.S. military strategy in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

But the account was read by an Army soldier awaiting his next mission in Baghdad. The soldier has offered his own reaction in an “e-letter” sent to friends, buddies and family.

“I don’t remember fighting for this guy,” the soldier wrote yesterday.

“The thing that bugs me most about him is his audacity to complain about how we Americans are conquerors and enslavers,” the battlefield author continues. “He never realizes in his California dream that the only reason he can say these things — no lie, sir — is that we have freedom [in the United States] that anywhere else in the world would get you murdered in public.”

The soldier adds: “I got your human rights abuses here, chumpstick.”

Ladies, take a number

Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich continues to court romance, feeding the media buzz that has followed him since he shared fantasies about his ideal “first lady” during a New Hampshire campaign debate.

“I have been hearing from a lot of people,” the congressman from Ohio told ABC yesterday. “I’m amazed by it all. It’s like — it’s one of those things that just — you know, what can I say?”

On Nov. 5, the bachelor lawmaker said his White House mate would be “a dynamic, outspoken woman who was fearless in her desire for peace in the world, for universal single-payer health care and for a full-employment economy.”

Eighty would-be brides responded, particularly after a New Hampshire political Web site created a Kucinich dating contest. But his reply perhaps should be, “Sorry, honey.”

According to numerous press reports, Mr. Kucinich already has a longtime girlfriend — Croatian-born employment lawyer Yelena Boxer, who inspired him to become a vegan eight years ago.

“She is known locally as his girlfriend,” the weekly Forward noted earlier this year, adding that the couple shared holidays, including Passover.

Are they still an item? That depends on what the definition of “friend” is. Most recently, Mr. Kucinich called Miss Boxer “a close friend” in an interview with the Des Moines register Aug. 23.

Cash for CAIR

The Council on American-Islamic Relations topped its goal of raising $1 million at a Saturday night banquet in Washington attended by more than 1,000 people — including Democratic Reps. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio and Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia.

Both Mr. Kucinich and Mr. Rahall “encouraged American Muslims to participate in the political process,” according to CAIR, America’s largest Islamic advocacy group.

“We would like to thank all those who helped us reach our fund-raising goal,” CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad said yesterday. “These added resources will enable us to continue and expand our work defending civil rights and promoting a positive image of Islam.”

Janklow in court

Rep. Bill Janklow, a former four-term South Dakota governor and the state’s only U.S. House member, goes to court today to face charges of speeding, running a stop sign, reckless driving and manslaughter in an Aug. 16 accident that killed a motorcyclist at a rural intersection.

If convicted of manslaughter, the Republican faces up to 10 years in prison and a House ethics committee investigation that could bar him from voting until his record is cleared or he is re-elected.

Democrats could gain from the trial, University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato told the Associated Press.

“My guess is that wiser heads will encourage him to move aside,” he said.

Democrat Stephanie Herseth, who lost her bid for Congress to Mr. Janklow last year, already has said she will run again for the seat.

Pile-on

President Bush has become a “marked man,” Rolling Stone magazine reported this month.

“Bruce Springsteen told a crowd of 50,000 New Yorkers on Oct. 4 to ‘shout a little louder if you want the president impeached.’ Two weeks later, John Mellencamp posted an open letter to America on his Web site, declaring, ‘We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action.’ Meanwhile, Moby, Eddie Vedder and Michael Stipe are organizing a TV ad campaign that will run anti-Bush commercials during the week of the State of the Union address in January,” the magazine reports.

“Dave Matthews is railing against the war in Iraq. … Thirty major artists interviewed for this story cited many concerns: U.S. policy on Iraq, the Patriot Act, the Bush administration’s assault on the environment,the economy and the media.”

Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s 2000 campaign manager, told the magazine, “Musicians have reach that politicians need in order to motivate people to take an active interest in their future.”

The trend has spurred the eight Democratic presidential candidates to seek hip campaign spots meant to woo young voters. “In his spot, Wesley Clark even name-drops OutKast,” Rolling Stone dryly observes.

A little update

“Fresh from victories in three of four gubernatorial races, Republicans enter the presidential election year in command of 28 governorships and hoping to build on that momentum,” reports Stateline, a Washington-based research group that tracks state political issues.

“Although the country remains narrowly split between the two major parties, GOP chief executives preside in states with 59 percent of the population and the biggest Electoral College prizes,” the group said in a statement yesterday.

War against ‘fanatics’

Iraq is the proving ground that will determine whether “fanatical Islam” goes to war against other religions, including moderate Islam, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said yesterday.

“There is no substitute for victory here,” the Democratic presidential candidate said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“This is a battle to stop al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and every other enemy of freedom and modernity from turning the beginning of the 21st century into what is truly unbelievable, which would be a global religious war,” he said.

Mr. Lieberman said such a war would involve “fanatical Islam against Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, every other ‘ism,’ every other religion, including every part of Islam that doesn’t agree with these fanatics.”

He said, “Iraq is the testing ground, and that’s why we’ve got to make sure that victory is assured.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at [email protected] or 202/636-3085.


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