- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 5, 2003

Army Reserve committed to troops' welfare

I am concerned that the article "Army reservist has tough time getting pay" (Metro, Thursday) which was pulled from the AP wire paints an inaccurate picture of the Army Reserve's commitment to the welfare of its members.
We sincerely regret the inconvenience to Pvt. Christina Scypion and her family caused by the delay of these payments. We strive to ensure that these situations never occur, but, if they do, we try to correct them immediately. I think your readers will recognize this is the case in this instance
When the reporter brought up this problem on Monday with Joseph Hanley, the Army Reserve public affairs officer, Mr. Hanley immediately contacted Pvt. Scypion's unit to learn the details of the situation. After confirming the facts in the case, he contacted the appropriate finance center and directed the soldier's unit to resubmit the documents needed to ensure the bonus payment. Those actions were completed on Tuesday.
The issue of pay for Pvt. Scypion's October and November training assemblies was further complicated by the fact that the soldier had closed the bank account she had originally designated to receive her pay before her instructions to change the receiving financial institution had been processed into the computer payroll system. As a result, her pay was returned by the original institution. It is now being rerouted to the new bank of her choice.
The Army Reserve's philosophy is perhaps best summed up by the final quote from Mr. Hanley cited in the article: "Any soldier who reports for duty and performs with her unit deserves to be paid."
We will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure this happens within regulated timelines and that all entitlements, including bonus pay, are processed in a timely fashion.

Chief financial management officer
Office of the Chief, Army Reserve

Clarifying diet claims

I won't get in a tit for tat with Atkins diet acolyte Nicholas Johnson over his Dec. 23 letter, "Dietary column lean on truth." But two false statements about my Dec. 19 Commentary column, "Over-larded Atkins analysis," must be corrected.
First, there was indeed a "stunning 60 percent dropout rate" during a six-month period among Atkins dieters analyzed for weight loss in the study that I wrote about, not the earlier one to which Mr. Johnson refers. The latter study was an update of the published one, hence the latter data should take precedent.
Second, I did not err "in calling the Atkins diet a 'high fat' diet." An analysis published in the journal Circulation in 2000 available online in full text at https://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/104/15/1869#R28-096152 shows the Atkins diet is 68 percent fat and only 27 percent protein.

Senior fellow
Hudson Institute

Burden rests on Greeks to solve 'Cyprus problem'

On Dec. 19, The Washington Times printed an Op-Ed column by Rep. Rush Holt, New Jersey Democrat, titled "History can still be made: Europe should usher Turkey into the Union." In it, he asserts that the "Cyprus problem" must be solved. (Since 1974, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has governed the northern third of the island, while the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) has governed the southern two-thirds of the island.) He then cites the European Union's recent failure to give Turkey a firm date to begin EU accession negotiations and asserts that Turkey needs to "push Turkish Cypriot leader [Rauf] Denktash to broker a compromise solution on Cyprus" if it ever hopes to join the European Union.
While I appreciate Mr. Holt's effort to bring Greek and Turkish Cypriots together, as someone who has worked on the Cyprus issue for 20 years, I would be remiss if I did not point out a few important things about Cyprus that he didn't mention.
Unfortunately, few members of Congress seem to have a thorough understanding of the history of Cyprus, specifically the period from 1960 to 1974. Without this understanding, it is impossible to fully appreciate and adequately address the modern-day security concerns of Turkish Cypriots.
Let's review the facts.
It was Archbishop Makarios III, a Greek Cypriot and the first president of Cyprus, who devised a plan for "enosis" (union with Greece) immediately after assuming office in 1960.
It was Greek Cypriots who next ousted all Turkish Cypriot leaders from their elected positions in the Cypriot government, and by so doing, destroyed the bicommunal character of the government.
It was Greek Cypriots, joined by the Greek army, who, in 1963, initiated an 11-year reign of terror against Turkish Cypriots, killing one out of every 120 Turkish Cypriots and destroying more than 100 Turkish Cypriot villages despite the presence of U.N. peacekeeping troops.
In short, this is the tragic history of Cyprus, and it was in response to this terror that the Turkish military intervened on Cyprus in 1974. If the ROC, Greece and the international community ever hope to erase these painful memories and truly want to achieve a lasting reunification on Cyprus, then they must come to realize that no settlement will ever be possible until the security of the Turkish Cypriots is guaranteed and the Greek Cypriots accept the Turkish Cypriots as equal partners in any future government. Until these conditions are met, there's no point to further reunification negotiations.
Furthermore, penalizing Turkey will not help the cause of reunification. It was very disconcerting that Mr. Holt chose to place the burden on Turkey to achieve a Cyprus settlement and chose to use Turkey's admission to the European Union as a bargaining chip to achieve this goal.
Might I remind Mr. Holt that when one community attempts to annihilate another community for 11 years, the burden rests with the aggressor, not the victim, to create a new political framework under which the victim can once again feel secure. The ROC and Greece should be bending over backwards to craft a settlement that is acceptable to the Turkish Cypriots, not the other way around.

House Committee on International Relations

The humane aspect of bear baiting

The article about Rep. James P. Moran's efforts to ban hunting bears by setting bait for them is quite typical of his approach toward hunting in general ("Bear baiting under renewed fire," Nation, Thursday). The Virginia Democrat's ignorance shines like a car's headlights in a deer's eyes on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. As usual, he only listens to animal-rights crackpots and ignores hunters.
The states regulate hunting on federal lands for a good reason: Different locales have different problems. Those who hunt bears in some areas will tell you that baiting allows the hunter to exercise a great deal more discretion in which bear to shoot.
For example, no responsible hunter wants to shoot a mother bear with cubs. Baiting allows the hunter to observe the animal for a much longer period of time than do other methods. Bears that have been previously identified as being dangerous to humans may be taken more readily.
Bear hunting has been further complicated since bears have become comfortable in suburban settings where food is plentiful and natural enemies are few. If people in Mr. Moran's district should ever find bears in their back yards, there will be an outcry.
Mr. Moran has tried to ban hunting in his own district via legislation before and was rebuffed by more sensible legislators. If he is concerned about wildlife, then he should be paying attention to effective means of controlling the deer population and rampant rabies outbreaks among wildlife in his own district rather than worrying about how people hunt bears in, say, Alaska.
In the hunting world, the rules are best made by those who play the game, and Mr. Moran is not among those who do. When I read stories like this, it makes me glad that I am no longer one of his constituents.


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