- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 19, 2003

GOP should speak with one tongue

Congratulations to the Center for Immigration Studies for producing research that demonstrates what U.S.English has said for years: There is no such thing as a Hispanic voting bloc ("Study shows GOP errors in outreach to Hispanics," Nation, Friday).
Rather than focusing on the real problem our country faces due to the explosion of immigrants, especially by Hispanics, our political leaders have been acting like the Keystone Kops, knocking themselves out with token actions to placate the Hispanic community by increasing bilingual government services, speaking in Spanish on the campaign trail and offering amnesty proposals.
Have they even noticed that 21.3 million of the foreign born living here today can't speak English, our common language, very well? Of these, nearly 14 million are Hispanics, the group they have so desperately courted. The language problem has become so widespread that the Census Bureau has categorized these immigrants as "linguistically isolated."
When will the lunacy end and the literacy begin?
Until we get serious about providing English classes to newcomers, immigrants will continue to be marginalized, held captive on the sidelines of society, never reaching their full potential. Current government policies and proposals are nothing more than shortsighted attempts to solve a long-term problem.
Unnecessary catering to immigrants who do not understand English is more segregative than it is tolerant, and builds walls between those who speak English and those who do not. An official English law would encourage immigrants to learn the language and empower them to go as far as their skills, talent and dreams take them.
It's time our leaders stop pandering to select ethnic groups and start empowering all newcomers by developing sound policies that provide adequate resources for teaching English and encourage immigrants to become functional in our common language.


Affirmative action worked for the 'untouchables'

I am writing in regard to Thomas Sowell's column "Quotas on trial" (Commentary, Jan. 10). Mr. Sowell's conclusions on affirmative action in India simply are wrong, namely: "Seldom has it helped the poor, and more often it has benefited those who were already more fortunate."
Actually, this policy has been one of the great successes of Indian democracy, and Indian society has benefited a great deal from it. The worst forms of caste-based discrimination are eroding, and there is social and political mobility for India's dalits (former "untouchables").
So, contrary to Mr. Sowell's assertion, there has been minimal polarization in Indian society as a result of affirmative-action policies, whose successes make Indians and Indian-Americans especially proud. The United States should take heart from India's success.

Albany, N.Y.

Misty rumors of war

For months, the American people have been reading news articles and following pundits and wannabe pundits speculating about Iraq. All these sources use the same vapid jargon (often quoting other unnamed sources "close to the President" or whomever) to describe Iraq: "Probably Iraq will ," "experts think ," "confidential sources say ," "people close to the investigation say," etc. Then a few vague and totally predictable statements by some White House drumbeater are tossed in to lead us down the primrose path to war.
Yet, the truth is that when the United States has wanted to make a credible case to either its citizenry or its allies about a foreign threat, it never before has hesitated to reveal sensitive data, including satellite imagery and U-2/SR-71 photos. The latest evidence of "selective intelligence release" is the imagery this week from North Korea and its detention compounds (released presumably to marshal world opinion against North Korea, as the "hard intel" has existed for years).
So where are the pictures of Iraqi missiles, guns and tank convoys rolling dutifully to Tikrit to hide munitions at the onset of the "crisis," as reported Friday ("Iraq said to be stashing arms underground, in residences," Page 1)? Where are the radiological source maps to pinpoint nuclear activity? Where are the carefully timed leaks from supporting allied intelligence agencies (Specialized Information Services (SIS), Mossad, Surete)? There is none. "Some" U.S. officials just happen to "believe" that Saddam Hussein "may be" stashing arms in Takrit. (To be fair, one of the unnamed military sources quoted in the article said the Bush administration has nothing to corroborate this claim. "There are many rumors coming out of Iraq," he admitted.)
Bottom line? Neither the United States nor any of its allies has hard intelligence on Iraq, and all are scrambling to appear credible in the court of world opinion. President Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld compromised their credibility so completely by stating early on that we had the evidence and were going to war regardless that any quote about Iraq attributable to Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney or Mr. Rumsfeld is about as reliable as something citing National Enquirer as its source.
The only thing you can take to the bank is that, barring Saddam Hussein's abdication, we are going to war because the Bush administration says we're going to war. Iraq is an easy target, and Mr. Bush wants to relive Desert Storm and ride the wave into a second term. It's as simple as that. We have experience in successfully fighting Iraq, we have the logistics and, most important, we have military superiority. Contrast this scenario with the one involving North Korea and how quickly the Bush administration exchanged its martial rhetoric for an olive branch and aid.
So please, Washington Times, take off the blinders and print only hard facts, not rumors and other unprovable assertions. Before running an article or commentary, ask the old commercial line, "Where's the beef?"

White Pine, Mich.

Mama, let your sons grow up to be cowboys

I'm writing in response to Austrian letter writer Thomas Mohr ("This is the world, not the Wild West," Friday). Mr. Mohr scolds the Bush administration for acting in defense of American interests. Furthermore, he reminds Americans that we are not living in the Wild West, but in a world run according to international rules. Wonderful. However, a civilized world only functions well when nations are willing to follow the rules which brings us to the Wild West.
Mr. Mohr, like most Europeans, does not understand that the Wild West symbolizes what was good and great about our nation and that by calling an American a cowboy another supposed insult hurled by Euro-whiners he actually is issuing a complement rather than an insult. The Wild West was raw, untamed and full of promise. The Wild West offered opportunity and fortune to those who were willing to work hard, take risks and sacrifice. The cowboy did just that. The cowboy faced many challenges, and through his dedication, courage and honest character, brought justice, safety and prosperity to a lawless land.
That we are not living in the Wild West is the problem with the world today. If Americans viewed the world like the Wild West, American cowboys would quickly tame the Black Barts of the world, making the streets safe for Aunt Mae.

Stafford, Va.

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