- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2004

Conversion misses reality

Monday must have been a slow news day, even for The Washington Times. I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in the troubles and life story of Bob Beckel (“Relief through religion,” Culture, Tuesday).

While it is admirable that Cal Thomas may have assisted Mr. Beckel in avoiding self-destruction by pointing him in the direction of religion, that’s as far as the praise for the article or his “conversion” can go. You described him as a “former” Democratic operative. But in his appearances as a talking head on Fox News Channel, he typifies the mean-spirited, ill-mannered and illogical bomb-throwing leftist attitude that is intent on only one thing — destroying the Bush administration at any cost. Mr. Beckel’s conversion to reality is not yet complete.



Peaceful Tomorrows

We would like to correct numerous factual inaccuracies in Jerry Seper’s article “Survivor groups hit for use of 9/11” (Page 1, Tuesday).

No family members gave testimony to the September 11 commission last week. The Tides Foundation does not provide September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows with administrative and financial services. The Jersey Girls are members of the Family Steering Committee for the Independent 9/11 Commission, which is a separate entity unrelated to Peaceful Tomorrows.

The headline of Mr. Seper’s article states that September 11 families were “hit” for their “use” of September 11. The article, however, reveals that the entity really “hitting” September 11 families is The Washington Times, which insinuates, indirectly, false claims of a financial connection between Peaceful Tomorrows and Teresa Heinz Kerry, Sen. John Kerry’s wife.

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was started in February 2002 and has been publicly critical of the administration’s policies regarding the war on terrorism. We’re against current policies, not because they’re implemented by President Bush, but because we believe they increase global instability and increase the likelihood of terrorism in the future. To the extent that Mr. Kerry adopts the same policies, we will continue to criticize them.

We have corresponded with the White House and have been thanked in writing by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice for expressing our views. The Times would better serve its readers by sharing Miss Rice’s willingness to entertain opposing views on substantive policy issues than by insinuating partisan political motivations that already have been dismissed.




September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

New York

Bush and Lincoln

Regarding “Reassuring Americans about Iraq” (Editorial, Wednesday): Leaving aside partisanship as much as possible, I can describe your editorial only as surreal. To call President Bush’s umpteenth reiteration of old rhetoric a “strategy” struck me as an abuse of the English language.

However, after reading Tony Blankley’s comparisons of Mr. Bush’s speech and the circumstances surrounding it to President Lincoln’s address at Gettysburg (“The president’s speech,” Op-Ed, Wednesday), I had to admit that the editorial’s tone seems quite measured. I suppose Mr. Blankley will next compare the terrorist attacks of September 11 with the shelling of Fort Sumter.

As an increasing number of Americans are beginning to understand, the invasion of Iraq was never justified by any of the various shifting arguments offered by this administration, and making comparisons to the Civil War is simply absurd.


Richardson, Texas

Tony Blankley must have heard a different speech from what others heard if he thinks President Bush’s address was in any way comparable with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It failed in three areas even to be a good speech.

First, it contained little new information, as most of it clearly was warmed over — and it was still too cool to be good. Second, it was so vague that even Mr. Bush’s friends were complaining that they needed more details. Third, it was too political to be a good speech, even for Mr. Bush, who lacks dash as a speaker.

Mr. Blankley also must have forgotten that perhaps the single most appealing quality of the Gettysburg Address is that it was so brief. It contained many new and fresh ideas in few words. Mr. Bush’s attempt contained many words but not a single new idea. Maybe Mr. Bush should write his own speeches.


Ormond Beach, Fla.

(“Citizen-soldiers against terror,” Editorial, yesterday).

If this is the case, why are our borders still open? Doesn’t it make sense that the first defense against terrorist infiltration would be to control entry of foreign nationals into our country? How difficult do you suppose it would be for any of the al Qaeda suspects pictured in yesterday’s news reports to come into our country with the hundreds (maybe thousands) of illegal aliens who flood across our borders every day?

If President Bush, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Mueller, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Congress are truly concerned about our security, and I believe they are, why have they not made a serious effort to protect what should be the first line of defense? This is not the time for political correctness; we might have to offend someone to protect the nation.



If only Gore could resign

Al Gore finally finds someone willing to let him speak into a microphone, and all he does is spout foolishness about President Bush and his staff mishandling the war on terror (“Gore demands six resignations,” Nation, Thursday). I think Mr. Gore has forgotten the terrible job he and Bill Clinton did that got us into this mess.

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1,000, Messrs. Clinton and Gore promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel, Messrs. Clinton and Gore promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel, Messrs. Clinton and Gore promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000, Messrs. Clinton and Gore promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors, Messrs. Clinton and Gore promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

All that, and Mr. Gore dares to call for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and CIA Director George J. Tenet? Maybe if Messrs. Clinton and Gore had kept just one of those promises, an estimated 3,000 people who died on September 11 would be alive.


Palm Bay, Fla.

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