- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Qualifying 'anti-Americanism'

I believe Dennis Prager's mention of "millions of Europeans demonstrating against America" ("Nature of the rift," Commentary, Saturday) deliberately misconstrues the nature of those demonstrations. Why does Mr. Prager refuse to recognize that protesting against our government's foreign policy is not the same as protesting against individual Americans?
Having fought in the Vietnam War a war our government ultimately had no intention of winning, despite sacrificing many Americans has caused me to cast a very jaundiced eye at the foreign policy dictated by the government, especially within the State Department. Subsequent duty teaching the Somali army to use weapons we sold to them in the early 1980s which may have been used against us in the 1990s caused me to further question the soundness of our government's foreign policy. I came to the conclusion that the policy-makers simply were not living in the real world, let alone taking a long view of their policies' possible effects.
Having spent more than 10 years in Europe on military duty, I believe few Western Europeans harbor animus toward individual Americans. They do, however, believe our foreign policy is as bad or worse than their own. I happen to agree with them.

FRANK NOVOTNY
Fayetteville, N.C.

A Burkean argument against Saddam

I wonder if the peace activists featured in "Protesters try to halt ships" (Nation, Sunday) know about Edmund Burke, the British statesman, who wrote: "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." Those who are protesting against the liberation of Iraq should heed Burke's words.
If evil prevails in Iraq, it will mean that Saddam Hussein will acquire medium-range missiles capable of striking Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states. If nothing is done to stop him, Saddam Hussein will seize the oil fields of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and he will use the vast wealth of the Middle East to fulfill his dream of acquiring nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
Those who support "peace in our time" should be held responsible when, in the very near future, Saddam Hussein uses the weapons at his disposal to annihilate the people of Israel, gain absolute power over much of the world's oil supply, take control of the Suez Canal and, having made himself ruler of his own region, turn his sights on Europe and America.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938 resulted in the deaths of 50 million people during World War II. Saddam Hussein worships Hitler, and he would not hesitate to murder just as many as Hitler did in the Holocaust.
Those who say that nothing should be done to stop him will be answerable for the evil to come.

JEFFREY FOLKS
Kyoto, Japan

Friends for sale

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said something that is now as timely as ever: "See what is the price at which you will sell your will and your honor. If you do nothing else, do not sell them cheap."
I was reminded of this maxim upon reading that, despite great popular opposition, the Turkish leadership finally has agreed to the American request to use military bases in Turkey to launch attacks within Iraq ("Turkish Cabinet backs U.S. request for troop deployment," Nation, yesterday). A mere $15 billion in U.S. aid helped them make up their minds. Such good friends and allies are the Turks.
But wait, perhaps I've mischaracterized them.
The dictionary defines "friend" as someone who has the same interests and opinions as yourself and will help support you. An "ally," moreover, is defined as a country that has agreed to support another country, especially in case of war.
In these definitions, there is no mention of hard bargaining over cold cash in exchange for specific services to be rendered. For such a definition, one has to look up either "mercenary" or "prostitute."

NATHAN AUSTIN
Director
Chrisimos Consulting
Bangkok

Countering PETA's perspective

I am writing to counter the animals-uber-alles viewpoint of Heather Moore, correspondent for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ("Chicken talk," Letters, Monday). In its place, I wish to offer a biblical perspective on man's relationship to animals.
The Old Testament says that man and animals were created by God but that only man was created to have a relationship with God. God breathed into man the breath of life something He did not do with any animal. Nor was any animal created in the image of God. God clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins after their fall and declared later to Noah that "all flesh shall be food for you." For centuries, in full compliance with God's directive, animals have been raised for food and clothing.
In the New Testament, Jesus declared all foods clean. In the book of Acts, Peter had a vision where a sheet contained all kinds of living things, and God told him to arise, kill and eat. I will not argue with God, although some might want to.
I wish these PETA folks would please consider the following:
Animals do not have an immortal soul.
Animals cannot speak human language.
Animals are incapable of painting pictures, planning and constructing things such as big buildings, cars, etc.
Of course, there are other incredible differences between people and animals.
However, this is not to say that animals should not be treated kindly and their living conditions improved. The Bible says, "The good man hath regard for the life of his beast." We have two dogs, treat them well, and they have it pretty good, but they are not on par with fellow human beings.
If someone wants to believe animals are on par with people, that is their prerogative. The view of man from Scripture is entirely different from this. Mankind is to have dominion over all living things. Jesus Christ died for mankind, not animals.
It's too bad all PETA's energy isn't spent on humans, born and unborn, who are infinitely more important than animals.

DEAN GILKEY
Woodbridge, Va.

Foreign aid's 'yes men'

In the article "Israel urges U.S. help to bolster economy" (Nation, Monday), American University professor Duncan L. Clarke stated: "The combination of Congress being a yes man for Israel and a president who is the same way, I'd say that bodes well for Israel and poorly for the American taxpayer."
Given that the United States is pouring billions of dollars into Pakistan and has just approved a $15 billion package for Turkey, I would ask Mr. Clarke if Congress and the president are "yes men" for those countries. (By the way, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries receive tremendous U.S. assistance, and they did not even support our efforts to get the Palestine Liberation Organization to accept a peace deal in 2000.)
Unless Mr. Clarke is opposed to any country receiving assistance, he should support Israel's request. After all, Israel unlike Pakistan was not supporting the Taliban on Sept. 10, 2001. Rather, Israel has proved to be a good friend of our country and a willing partner in our war against terrorism.

ETIENNE GENTIN
Atlanta


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