- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Hawks without a left-wing

Although John McCaslin's Feb. 26 "Inside the Beltway" column correctly praised the New Republic magazine for supporting President Bush's impending liberation of Iraq, it mistakenly referred to its editors and writers as "left-wing hawks."

Truth-in-language argues that they are, in fact, classical liberals: old-time liberals of the variety of President Truman, Henry "Scoop" Jackson and Russell Long, and surely not left-wingers.

These people (staunch anti-communists, one and all) were a healthy mixture of center-left and center-right champions of liberty and free enterprise. More than a few of their Cold War colleagues are now former Democrats who call themselves neoconservatives.

Remember some of the sterling journalists and commentators who came out of the New Republic's stable of editors and writers of the 1980s: Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Mort Kondracke and the like? Remember also the remarkable Robert Leiken article in the mid-1980s, which put the magazine on President Reagan's side in the struggle to liberate Nicaragua from the Soviet- and Castro-sponsored "Stalinistas," as Mr. Reagan called them? (Ironically, Saddam Hussein models himself on Josef Stalin, as well.)

Fortunately, there are still such open-minded centrists, led by Editor in Chief Martin Peretz, in charge of the New Republic today. Neither they nor those Washington Post editors who recently placed that powerful left-of-center newspaper in the president's corner can appropriately be called (or insulted) as left wing.

That is the derogatory label that applies, instead, to the Tom Daschle, Edward M. Kennedy, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, John Edwards et al. extremes of the Democratic Party and even more so to the left-wing radicals of Hollywood infamy who are among their most generous contributors.

These are the "blame America firsters" who appease Saddam, who consider Fidel Castro a fellow "progressive," and whose round-the-clock mission is the hate-filled demonization of President Bush. These leftist illiberals should never again be allowed to pose as respectable centrists of any sort.

This is the outrage that has prompted such responsible, slightly left-of-center publications as the New Republic and The Post to speak up in a classical liberal fashion and to distance themselves from the reactionary-left partisanship of the president's most extreme critics.


TrueSpeak Institute


Hypocritical Muslims

I was appalled to read about the murder of a 17-year-old girl because she dared to spurn an 18-year-old boy's advances ("Young women fear rise of radical Islam in France," Saturday, Page 1).

It seems to me that these "Muslim" youths are more than a bit hypocritical. They have no problem committing acts their own faith considers to be criminal (such as dealing in drugs, stealing cars, picking on the old and infirm, luring girls into sex and murdering them if they do not comply), but think they can tell Muslim women what they can and cannot do.

I have never understood this way of thinking. If someone believes women should dress a certain way to please God, would it not follow that women should be given the free choice to do so or not?

As an American whose parents came to this country from North Africa, I take exception to the nonbalanced approach of the article, which was lifted from the Reuters wire. My mother and her four sisters all attended college, were "allowed" to work full-time jobs while married, chose their own husbands and raised two or three children each. Except for my mother, all now live in North Africa again. An effort should be made to show this side of Muslim life, as well.

I have hope that the example of my family will prevail over the criminal behavior of the "Muslim" hypocrites.



No safe harbor at Pearl

Yesterday's Page One article "Terrorists aim at Pearl Harbor" reminded me of the two weeks of active duty I served at the submarine base at Pearl Harbor in 1984. I was appalled at how simple it was to drive my rental car right up to the nuclear subs docked there. I did not see enough security onboard to repel any significant force, even two well-trained and well-armed people.

Upon returning to our home base, we were required to write a critique of how our training went. My critique was highly critical of the security at the naval base, especially surrounding the nuclear subs. This had to be addressed to the unit commanding officer, himself a former submariner and Naval Academy graduate. He seemed irate that I had mentioned the lax security. He told me he actually had seen grenades thrown overboard from the subs to repel what were thought to be divers around them, and he insisted that the subs were secure. Nonetheless, he suggested that I write a security plan and present it to the unit as part of a training class. Yet he gave the impression that he could not have cared less about what I had to say. I got the feeling he did not at all appreciate having undue attention brought upon his unit, fearing that it would reflect poorly on him. At any rate, I never presented a plan, nor did I hear anything else about my critique.

This happened almost 20 years ago, and it just shows the lackadaisical attitude toward national security that contributed to the September 11 attacks and could invite similar ones.


Benton, Ark.

Tip-toeing over Turkey

It is ironic that Frank Gaffney Jr. has chosen to bash France when Turkey has taken such an intransigent stance against the United States ("Turks in the middle," Commentary, yesterday).

Consider that the United States has spent decades appeasing and indulging Turkey. The United States and NATO have overlooked Turkish offenses, which include the ethnic cleansing of Greek Orthodox Christians from Istanbul during the 1950s and 1960s, the Turkish invasions of Cyprus, and the forced expulsions of more than 200,000 Greek Cypriots and the displacement of more than 1 million ethnic Kurds.

Yet, Mr. Gaffney blames Europe for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey. Islamic fundamentalists have done well in the most recent Turkish elections just one year after the September 11 attacks. This is despite all the decades of unquestioned and uncritical support Turkey has received from the United States. Ankara's refusal to cooperate with the United States in a war against Iraq comes in the wake of the Islamic victories in November.

In any other country, similar political trends would be denounced by Mr. Gaffney as "anti-Americanism."



A businessman who cares

The article "USAID contracts go to porn purveyor" (Nation, Monday) told only part of the story of Phil Harvey, founder and board member of Population Services International Inc., an organization helping to stop the global spread of AIDS. What it failed to mention is that Mr. Harvey founded Adam & Eve, a sexual products business, as a way to generate money for international health projects aiding the poorest countries. Mr. Harvey has since donated more than $40 million of his personal income to PSI and other international health nonprofits. As a public health professional, I find it unfortunate that these facts were omitted.

Mr. Harvey's historical commitment to global health is well known within the public health field. After graduating from Harvard in 1961, Mr. Harvey spent six years as deputy director of the international health organization, CARE, in India. As a graduate student at the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health, Mr. Harvey created the first mail-order program to distribute condoms to developing countries. He then founded PSI and DKT International, two organizations at the forefront of global AIDS prevention. Together, PSI and DKT distributed nearly 1 billion condoms last year to countries in need of them.

At a time when AIDS claims the lives of five persons every minute, I wish every businessman were as generous as Mr. Harvey.


Takoma Park

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