- The Washington Times - Friday, August 6, 2004

Profile in ‘courage’

The cartoon by Bill Garner published Monday (Editorial) is a picture worth a thousand words.

The cartoon shows a caricature of Sen. John Kerry displaying heroic metals on his jacket lapel, with the caption reading that they were earned by voting for cuts in defense and intelligence, opposition to across-the-board tax cuts and opposition to funding for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This cartoon shows the real Mr. Kerry and his Senate record, rather than the charade he put on at the Democratic National Convention by acting as a conservative, middle-class American who cares deeply about defense, God, bearing of arms and other things that liberals like him typically loathe.

Kudos to Mr. Garner for this hard-hitting, truthful cartoon.

JOHN A. MALAGRIN

Baltimore

Denigrating a veteran

Shame on the Republican groups for denigrating John Kerry’s bravery in combat (“Bush urges immediate end to ‘soft money’ ads,” Page 1, yesterday). Republicans think they have a monopoly on patriotism and the flag, but they don’t.

The best way we can support our troops is to give them a leader they deserve, who was once one of them. Sen. John Kerry is a decorated war hero who volunteered to go to war and whose bravery earned him many medals of valor.

Our brave men and women in the military offer to give their lives for our country, and all they ask in return is that we not send them into harm’s way unless absolutely necessary. President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq has cost the lives of more than 900 of them. Thousands more suffer daily with horrible injuries. This war was not necessary and, in fact, has made America much less safe.

ALAN L. LIGHT

Iowa City, Iowa

Missouri defends family

Concerning the article, “Missouri vote sparks action by gay activists” by Cheryl Wetzstein (Thursday):

I commend the Missouri voters’ courage and foresight not to traverse the same slippery slope to banal decadence set in motion by the Massachusetts high court last November. Their overwhelming decision to bar same-sex “marriage” with a constitutional amendment is a reflection of the true heart and soul of a nation in touch with its democratic roots and moral foundation.

The family is the fundamental cell of society. The family — and through it, all human society — have their source and origin in marriage. Marriage is ordered to the procreation and education of offspring. As the basic expression of man’s social nature, marriage can only be understood as the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Hopefully other states will act with equal vigilance to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage. In doing so, one does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity authentically understood.

PAUL KOKOSKI

Hamilton, Ontario

Answers from Pakistan

Kaushik Kapisthalam’s letter, “Questions for Pakistan” (Thursday), is like an out-of-body fantasy in a smear campaign against Pakistan, particularly in his claims that Pakistan appeared to have tipped off Osama bin Laden about the cruise-missile attack on his training camp in Afghanistan in 1998 and that Pakistan might have also been privy to the terrorist attack on September 11.

Mr. Kapisthalam will not be allowed to distort the facts.

The 1998 cruise-missile strike on bin Laden’s camp came as a complete surprise to Pakistan and was announced by President Clinton. Gen. Anthony Zinni, the former head of Central Command, told President Pervez Musharraf at a dinner that several cruise missiles were already hitting bin Laden’s camp in Afghanistan. That was the first time anybody in Pakistan heard of the attack, which was announced several minutes later by Mr. Clinton.

All Mr. Kapisthalam had to do to verify this is to call the now-retired Gen. Zinni directly or call Central Command.

As for his outlandish claim that Washington should also be looking at Pakistan’s “role” in September 11, we think his belief is clouded by his rabid antagonism toward Pakistan.

Mr. Kapisthalam refuses to even note news reports in the past few days that Pakistan’s sharp escalation of an operational crackdown against al Qaeda and terrorist elements is the linchpin of the heightened security alerts in the Washington, New York and Newark, N.J., areas. It is helping protect his family and innocent Americans from terror.

Mr. Kapisthalam should learn to use the phrase “Thank you, Pakistan” more frequently, instead of penning vacuous and specious canards.

TALEET WASEEM

Press counselor

Embassy of Pakistan

Washington

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