- The Washington Times - Friday, May 23, 2003

Drafting an EU constitution

If the past behavior of the Eurocrats in Brussels is any indication, the European Union remains a long way from drafting a constitution even remotely resembling that of the United States. Helle Dale is right in pointing out that former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing is no Jefferson or Madison, and neither are most of the other self-appointed elite leaders attempting to draft a European Constitution (“United States of Europe?” Op-Ed, Wednesday).

As an American citizen, I lived in France from 1984 through 1995, including the time of the 1992 referendum in France on the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. Very few French voters actually read the treaty before voting. The referendum was approved very narrowly (by less than 51 percent of the vote), and all six French political parties were evenly divided on the issue — for good reason.

Though the treaty provides for a democratically elected European Parliament, most legislative powers are vested in the European Commission, whose members are appointed for 10-year terms by the heads of state of each member nation. The European Commission then supervises — in theory, at least — the activities of hundreds of thousands of unelected bureaucrats who make rules that are rubber-stamped by the commission. There are no checks and balances on the powers of the commission — no “states’ rights,” so to speak, for the individual member nations, no need for the equivalent of a Senate confirmation of executive nominees and no right to impeach commission members. Even if the head of state who nominated a commission member is removed from power because of a shift in parliamentary majority back home, that member can continue to act in opposition to the will of his country’s people for the rest of his 10-year term.

It seemed amazing that people living in parliamentary democracies would voluntarily submit themselves to such a self-appointed oligarchy, whose laws supersede those voted by their national parliaments. In France, this scheme was sold to the gullible population by a claim that the European Union was intended to promote peace among European nations and a vote against the European Union was a vote for disharmony. The well-known French aversion to war ensured a “oui” vote on the referendum, regardless of the other unintended consequences.

With many Eastern European countries hoping to join the European Union for its possible economic benefits, these people who have enjoyed freedom just since 1989 must be careful that a new European Constitution does not rob them of their newfound freedoms. It also would be wise for American leaders, especially Republicans who defend our own Constitution, to work closely with those trying to establish a European Constitution so that it can be modeled on the U.S. Constitution as much as possible.

A United States of Europe modeled after the United States of America would become a valuable ally. But a socialist oligarchy governing Europe could degenerate rapidly into the Soviet Union of Europe.

STEVEN ZELL

West Hartford, Conn.

Muslim immigration

Perhaps the term “fifth column” is too politically incorrect even in these dangerous days of elevated terror warnings, but Cal Thomas performs a great service by calling attention to Muslim enemies living in America (“The threat among us,” Commentary, Wednesday).

Some Muslim activists are using increased Muslim immigration and politicking to burrow a virulent strain of Islam into our democratic institutions. They do this by portraying Muslims as a minority to be reckoned with. Like some other minorities, they want politicians to pander to them at the expense of the interests of mainstream Americans.

Americans should look critically at France to see what an exploding Muslim population means. The facts are not pretty.

For example, violent anti-Semitism has become commonplace now that 5 million Muslims swamp France’s 650,000 Jews. Some have called the violence the worst since the Nazi era: Jews are attacked on the streets, and synagogues have been torched with little outcry from the French government. In fact, a recent poll of French Jews found one-quarter of them want to leave, and increasing numbers are moving to Israel despite the obvious danger there.

Furthermore, when Muslims become a substantial minority, it’s not just Jews who suffer: Women also are targeted for Islamic attacks. In Amsterdam, it was reported recently that Dutch women find it “quite difficult” to go swimming in local pools without severe harassment by Muslim men. In French cities with high Muslim populations, the streets are not safe for women because of the threat of gang rape.

Why does America allow continued immigration from a culture that despises everything we treasure? And what strange quality motivates some Americans to welcome enemies in a time of war?

BRENDA WALKER

Publisher

www.LimitsToGrowth.org

Berkeley, Calif.

How revealing that, as reported in Cal Thomas’ column “The threat among us,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations wants to replace all references to the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United States, which is a historical fact, with phrasing that includes Muslims, which is a lie.

Writing in the Detroit News recently, Imam Muhammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom elaborated on the gulf that separates Christians and most Jews from Muslims. “Islam,” he wrote, “does not believe in separating religion from politics.”

The strategy of Muslim minorities living in non-Islamic countries is based on that core belief. They promote religious tolerance and inclusiveness only until such time as Muslims can attain a majority through their higher birthrate, immigration or both. They then have no hesitation about oppressing other faiths at will.

People who study the sacred writings of Islam will discover for themselves that Islam is a religion that preaches intolerance, inequality and war against nonbelievers. To protect our democratic systems and Judeo-Christian values, the United States and other Western countries should immediately ban the immigration of all professing Muslims, regardless of country of origin. The fact is that there are millions of Christians and other religious minorities living in Islamic countries who would be all too happy to take their place.

K.C. MCALPIN

Falls Church

An important fight

Ray Barnhart, former administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, agrees with me that contracting preferences based on race, ethnicity and sex in the federal highway bill are bad (“Highway robbery,” Letters, Wednesday). However, he argues that because they have been there a long time (as I know) and because many members of Congress are too afraid of being politically incorrect to remove them, I should not fault President Bush for proposing that they be reauthorized. Rather, he says, Mr. Bush should save his political capital for “really important” issues.

My response is, first, that fighting the balkanization of America is really important and, second, that if the president forthrightly opposes these contracting preferences, he will reap political dividends, not deplete his capital.

As I pointed out in my column (“Disappointing legislation,” Op-Ed, Monday), such discriminatory practices are overwhelmingly unpopular with the vast majority of Americans.

If those Democrats vying for the opportunity to oppose Mr. Bush in 2004 want to run against him on this issue, he should welcome that opportunity. For he will demolish them.

ROGER CLEGG

General counsel

Center for Equal Opportunity

Sterling, Va.


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