- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2003

The world is listening

I was very disappointed to read Wednesday’s lead article (“Bush defends U.S. on Saddam ouster”) and editorial (“Bush’s powerful case”) addressing President Bush’s speech at the United Nations.

Essentially ignored in both articles is any adequate discussion of the magnitude of the world reaction to the speech. As The Washington Times surely must realize, the reaction from the very nations we are imploring to assist us ranged from indifference to rejection of the president’s defensive and self-serving speech.

Frankly, The Times did a dismal job of providing its readers with a sense of how the speech was received by the world leaders who will decide whether the American taxpayer continues to fund the lion’s share of the bill for Iraq and absorb the vast majority of the daily casualties inflicted by our adversaries. After all, at least on the surface, the president’s appeal was supposed to animate the rest of the world to come to our aid. The speech did nothing of the sort, and The Times dropped the ball in its coverage of the event.



ALEXIS DURHAM

Safety Harbor, Fla.

Tell the truth

According to the Editor in Chief of The Washington Times, Gen. Wesley K. Clark seems to like to make up stories about himself for political gain, which turn out not to be true when somebody does their homework to check their veracity (“A rubdown can’t cure everything,” Nation, Tuesday).

Haven’t Democrats gone down this road before? I seem to remember a candidate in 2000 who claimed to have invented the Internet, whose Mom rocked him to sleep by singing union songs when he was 27 years old.

After the experience of 1993-2000, American voters have had enough with presidential liars. Hopefully, this time, the best way to get elected (or re-elected) president is to tell them the truth.

Judges who interpret law

I simply have to respond to the assertion made by Glen Hooks (“Behind the Estrada filibuster,” Letters, Sept. 19). Mr. Hooks does what most Democrats and their supporters do. He attempts to make a point citing a reference, but leaves out a particular but salient point contained in the reference because the point would smash his argument.

Mr. Hooks says, “Mr. Estrada was rejected because he refused to answer questions and share his judicial philosophies during his confirmation hearings … Nominees who refuse to share their legal viewpoints and philosophies are rightly setting themselves up for failure.”

Mr. Hooks does not seem to realize certain facts, or he purposefully omits them from his letter.

For example, Mr. Estrada rightfully declined, as all previous solicitor generals have, to submit his work product writings. The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee were told by former solicitor generals that such submissions would not only be inappropriate, but would be potentially harmful to future employees who had served in Mr. Estrada’s capacity. Also, no candidate for the bench ever should have to tell how he would rule on a potential future case. Should I be on the other side of such a potential ruling and my case were to come before a Judge Estrada, what hope could I have for a fair hearing?

As we have seen with the debacle in that clown factory known as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, judges are more and more putting their personal preferences on paper and calling them decisions and not following the law. How can a three-judge panel find unanimously for one party in a case (the California recall) while an 11-judge panel, reviewing the three-judge panel’s decision in the same circuit, finds unanimously for the other side?

Putting Mr. Estrada on the bench was a clearly political decision (one I admittedly support) on President Bush’s part. Though Mr. Estrada’s qualifications are exemplary, Mr. Bush clearly wants to put a Hispanic on the high court if possible. The Democrats clearly don’t want any type of Hispanic on the high court, other than someone like “Paez the Clintonite.” Richard Paez was on the three-judge panel that wants California to have a Democratic governor, no matter what.

Judge Paez, unlike Mr. Estrada, is an example of liberal, activist judges who use pretzel logic in order to re-create themselves as “philosopher kings” who would steal our democracy from us and supplant it with rule from the unelected bench.

We have a clear contrast between the type of Hispanic nominee a Democrat will appoint and vote to approve and the type a Republican will appoint. Democrats want philosopher kings who owe allegiance to them. Republicans want judges who interpret law.

Shame on the Democrats for what they did to Mr. Estrada, but more shame on the Republicans for allowing it to happen.

JOSEPH KNIGHT

Columbia, Md.

Supporting the troops

For Congress in general and the Democrats in particular, handing the Bush administration its emergency $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan to “show support for the troops” would be a monumental cop-out (“Democrats likely to OK Iraq spending,” Nation, Wednesday).

To begin with, the fact that it is an “emergency” request speaks volumes about the lack of forethought behind the administration’s Iraq adventure. But more to the point, our troops are not in Iraq out of the goodness of their hearts, but as instruments of policy. Therefore, the best way to support them is to ensure that the policy that put them there is as sound as possible. If Congress allows the Bush administration to remain totally in control of Iraq policy by not attaching conditions to the $87 billion, it might well be complicit in putting our troops even deeper into harm’s way.

HERMAN M. HEYN

Baltimore

Fighting terrorism

Numerous articles identifying possible security threats at the local level illustrate, sadly, that terrorism is having an effect in terms of manpower and costs for homeland defense. We’re probably fooling ourselves if we think that our nation can even remotely be defended against terrorism through whatever efforts. In a free society, terrorist targets are too numerous to be protected. Hopefully, we won’t pursue a homeland defense strategy in each town and county to a point that it will bankrupt our nation.

Thankfully, President Bush understands that the only strategy that will protect our nation from terrorism is to attack, infiltrate and destroy terrorist organizations. In that vein, money and manpower spent on homeland defense would best be used to destroy the threat as opposed to defend against it.

I feel sure that Mr. Bush’s aggressive strategy has protected our homefront to date, but there is no guarantee of freedom from attack tomorrow. As bad as it may sound, it just may be smart to accept occasional major homeland disasters (yes, including another September 11) in the short term, in order to expend all major resources necessary to annihilate the source as soon as possible.

Hopefully, our nation will soon begin to understand this point before misspent resources allow an onslaught of terrorism to wreak havoc on our nation on the scale being experienced by Israel.

ARMOND SIMMONS

Pell City, Ala.

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