- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2003

As you were,’ Gen. Clark

In lieu of Wesley Clark’s braggadocio, “Get ready, We’re moving out,” I say “Stop general, as you were” (“Clark touts his military flair for White House,” Nation, Thursday).

When the other Democratic presidential hopefuls start to unpack Mr. Clark’s knapsack, voters will learn that the deposed NATO supreme allied commander is no Dwight D. Eisenhower, and that Mr. Clark has liabilities outweighing any assets to become president of the United States. Mr. Clark, known for his abrasive manner and political grandstanding, provoked the wrath of military cohorts in the Pentagon and Europe, as well as Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who forced him into an early retirement.

While condemning President Bush for going after Saddam Hussein, calling it “purely an elective war” that was waged without proper justification, Mr. Clark, known as the “Hammer of the Serbs,” fought in Bosnia without any U.N. sanction, and where there was no imminent threat to U.S. security.

Probably the most damaging liability to Mr. Clark’s legacy is the report that, when British Gen. Mike Jackson, commander of an international peacekeeping force, refused Mr. Clark’s order to send assault troops to prevent Russian troops from taking over the Kosovo airport, he admonished Mr. Clark that “I’m not going to start the third world war for you.”



Talk about “not considering the consequences,” general.

W.H. SMITH

Palm Desert, Calif.

Patriot, scientist and friend

With the death of Edward Teller, the United States lost an outstanding scientist and a great patriot (“Nobles and Knaves,” Editorial, Sept. 13). I lost a mentor and good friend. Among his many contributions to American security, the two most important were his development of the hydrogen bomb and his advocacy of ballistic missile defense.

I came to know Teller through my work for President Reagan. When Mr. Reagan appointed me as his chief strategic arms negotiator in 1981, he asked me to explain our policy of mutual assured destruction. I said we had a pistol at the Soviet Union’s head and they had one at our’s. “That’s mad.” he quipped. “Why don’t we put on a helmet for protection?” “Because,” I said, “our technology is not there yet.” “Go see Dr. Teller,” Mr. Reagan ordered. “He told me it is possible.”

Teller convinced me that the American scientific community was up to the challenge. That first meeting with him sparked a deep friendship. He impressed me with the breadth and depth of his knowledge and his infectious optimism. He was a firm believer that the U.S. policy of “peace through strength” would bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union and that the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) should be part of that policy. Two years later Mr. Reagan delivered his famous “Star Wars” speech which put the Soviets on notice that the United States would pursue strategic defenses. As Teller predicted, SDI was a critical component of America’s Cold War victory.

At our last meeting, in his home in California shortly before his death, he was jubilant that ballistic-missile defenses were finally being deployed. He will be greatly missed.

EDWARD L. ROWNY

Former ambassador and Lt. Gen. USA (Ret.)

Washington

Rule by judicial reversals

Donald Lambro is exactly right in stating that the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on punch card voting machines in California “is nothing more than a transparent maneuver to give Gray Davis more time to save his doomed governorship” (“Benched election,” Commentary, Thursday). These are the same machines that were good enough to elect Mr. Davis in the first place less than a year ago. Now, with his recall almost certain, their use will suddenly deny some voters equal protection under the law, so the election, contrary to state law, could be postponed to March 2. The date is conveniently the same date as the Democratic primary.

Why didn’t the 9th Circuit invalidate Mr. Davis’ election last November on the grounds that the same “unconstitutional” punch-card ballots were used? Would they have done so had a Republican been elected? As it is, the 9th Circuit seeks to give a politically doomed governor whose policies the citizens of California have clearly rejected another five months to implement those policies.

Can we do anything in this country without a judge telling us it is OK? Legislating from the bench, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, with an annual reversal rate of 75 percent — the most reversed appeals court in the nation — has effectively disenfranchised the 2 million voters who followed state law and signed petitions to recall Mr. Davis, denying them their constitutional right to a speedy election under the California constitution, which says that a recall election must be held no later than 80 days after the petitions are certified. Period.

As in Florida, judges have decided the will of the people, as expressed either through lawful petitions, the laws passed by their elected representatives or state constitutions, is meaningless in the face of judicial fiat. We are rapidly approaching a government of the judges, by the judges, and for the judges, which is why who appoints them and who confirms them are so important. This is something for voters to remember in November 2004; unless some judge decides to cancel that election, too.

DANIEL JOHN SOBIESKI

Chicago

Peacemakers are not partisans

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Lisa De Pasquale appears to forget Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount in her ill-informed diatribe against peace studies programs at U.S. colleges and universities (“‘Blame America first’ programs on campus,” Forum, Sept. 7).

Peace studies is an interdisciplinary field of study focused on the causes of war and on the conditions for pursuing peace. It arose in the aftermath of World War II, as people around the world recognized that we needed better ways to resolve conflicts, whether between nations, members of differing ethnic or religious groups or neighbor against neighbor. War and violence can no longer be the first alternatives.

Earlham College’s program in peace and global studies was begun in 1972. Today its graduates work in international relief efforts and in local conflict resolution and mediation centers. Some are journalists with a strong understanding of other cultures. Earlham is a Quaker college, which since 1847 has sought to nurture in all of its students the harmonal values of understanding, compassion, tolerance and service to others. Together with Goshen College (Mennonite) and Manchester College (Church of the Brethren), we have initiated the Plowshares Collaboration, an effort to strengthen peace studies as a worthy field of study across the United States and around the world.

Never has the world had greater need for peacemakers. The search for peace is not a partisan project, but rather a deep need for the world’s people. We should all welcome and support serious opportunities to learn how to pursue peace.

DOUGLAS C. BENNETT

President

Earlham College

Richmond, Ind.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide