- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2004

‘Endemic bias’

I could not agree more with your analysis of the Columbia Journalism Review’s liberal, Democratic views (“CJR’s liberal slant,” Editorial, Sunday).

“Slant” is much too mild a word, however. “Endemic bias” is more appropriate. This reflects the control of the media in many quarters (print, broadcast, cable, academia, etc.) by blatantly partisan liberal factions.

The Washington Times was right to editorialize about this issue. However, you should not just criticize the liberal media for its views, but also call for non-liberal individuals, groups, corporations and think tanks to mobilize forces for the formulation and acquisition of media outlets and install editorial policies that are basically conservative and pragmatic.

Those who control the media are strongest politically. We can not afford to allow the power of the people in this country, who are predominantly conservative, to continue to erode.

THOMAS J. RYAN

Bethany Beach, Del.

Mugabe’s latest assault

Just when we think the situation in Zimbabwe can get no worse, the Mugabe thugs who run the country drop another bomb. This time, the innocent animals of Africa’s celebrated wildlife sanctuary are the target (“Wildlife sanctuary turns hunters’ haven,” Page 1, Saturday).

In his ruthless effort to consolidate his grip over his once prosperous country, President Robert Mugabe has hobbled the free press, used goon squads to rig elections, attacked church leaders who wouldn’t support him and confiscated prosperous farms from their white owners to give to his family and political cronies.

Yet that was not enough to satisfy his lust for power.

To further reward his supporters, Mr. Mugabe has turned his attention to one of the world’s first national parks and the magnificent animals it sustains. His information minister, Jonathan Moyo, has taken control of Sikumi Tree Lodge and 45,000 acres of adjoining land bordering the Hwange National Park.

The country’s major natural preserve was established by the British statesman and philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, who renamed the country Southern Rhodesia and founded, incidentally, the Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford University.

A realist, entrepreneur and visionary, Rhodes had a commitment to preserving nature and wildlife that anticipated President Theodore Roosevelt’s interest in creating national parks in our country.

From his establishment of the large wildlife sanctuary in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Rhodes insisted that the entire area be made available to all races. The animals were to be protected from poachers. Mr. Mugabe apparently believes the sanctuary should be available only “to black supporters of his government,” poachers of a different ilk.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER

Chevy Chase

The last refuge

Thomas Sowell’s Saturday Commentary column, “Pitting power vs. knowledge,” states that “liberalism is about the government telling people what to do in their lives and work” and that “power trumps knowledge.” He suggests that the courts are among many institutions in which the process of power becoming or remaining a monopoly of the left is endemic. We should all heed these words.

The outcome of cases before our courts, whether trial or appellate, often depends upon a question of law that finds no clear answer in the Constitution or law of the venue. The judge steps into this void and decides the case.

The Constitution does not give the Senate the right to hold up in committee, or filibuster and prevent the full Senate from voting up or down, such a nominee. The effect of such partisan actions since 2000 has been to prevent the placing of fully qualified persons upon the federal bench. The basis for these actions is leftist ideology.

The result is to deny the president his right to select judges who are most likely to find the answer to legal questions in the Constitution or law of the venue and least likely to make law. Until the Senate performs its constitutional duty or enough of the recalcitrant senators are replaced, our republic will continue to suffer the judicial liberal dominance to which Mr. Sowell refers.

ROBERT HARGEST

Alexandria

Cause and effect in Cyprus

What a disappointment to see the normally levelheaded and well-informed columnist Philip Terzian use intemperate words and display ignorance of recent history in his column “Where the twain meet” (Commentary, Friday).

According to Mr. Terzian, Laura Kennedy of the State Department is “a bumptious bureaucrat” who “lectured the Greek Cypriots about their rejection this spring of Kofi Annan’s reunification plan, which would have effectively delivered their free-market, democratic republic into the hands of the generals in Ankara.”

A Greek restaurant owner had been “ethnically cleansed” by the Turks. The Annan plan would have forced Cypriots to pay for repairing the damage done by “the Turkish invasion, and decades of plunder and neglect by a foreign invader.” Americans look at Turkey as a model for the Muslim world, yet Cyprus “is everything American policy-makers claim for Turkey - but without the military junta, human-rights abuses and record of genocide.”

Mr. Terzian is confusing “generals in Ankara” with colonels in Athens of 1974. They were the real junta that invaded Cyprus. They expelled President Makarios and installed the notorious Nikos Sampson, who began ethnically cleansing the island of Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish intervention stopped human rights abuses and genocide; it did not cause those abuses. The Turkish military on the island is not “a foreign invader.” It is there at the invitation of Turkish Cypriots for self-protection.

The free-market democratic republic of Turkey, as opposed to the “generals in Ankara” of Mr. Terzian’s imagination, would be happy to save the cost of maintaining troops on the island and bring them home if the Turkish Cypriots asked them to go.

ALI F. SEVIN

Fort Washington

Kerry’s Yucca flip-flop

Sen. John Kerry has been quoted as saying that he would use the best science to find a place to dispose of nuclear waste but that it will not be Yucca Mountain in Nevada (“Deja vote in the desert,” Editorial, Thursday).

That kind of statement makes it very clear that in his view, presidential politics and five electoral votes trump good science.

Mr. Kerry’s recent statements to Nevadans contradict positions he has taken consistently in several Senate votes on nuclear waste disposal in the past 17 years.

His dismissal of more than 20 years of very good science and the billions of dollars that have gone into investigating the safety of the Yucca Mountain site as a nuclear waste repository is irresponsible in several dimensions: personal, political, societal, radiological and environmental.

If the proposed Yucca Mountain site survives a comprehensive safety review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and receives a license, the waste would be stored in tunnels 1,000 feet below the surface of the mountain and, importantly, 1,000 feet above the local water table.

Mr. Kerry has not described a better plan and apparently advocates storing the nuclear waste for the next several decades where it rests now, at more than 70 sites around the country. That position is not good environmental stewardship, is not good risk management, and is not even good politics.

FRED T. STETSON

Consultant

Yucca Mountain Nuclear Licensing

Bethesda


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