- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 18, 2004

Recognition of Macedonia

The article by Andrew Borowiec (“Macedonia spells trouble for Greece,” World, Wednesday fails to mention any of the provocations that have been directed at Greece by the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.

During the early 1990s, as Yugoslavia was falling apart, Macedonianextremists distributed maps that depicted the Greek province of Macedonia as part of their territory.

During the summer of 1992, the Yugoslav Macedonians provoked Greece by placing the ancient Macedonian Star of Vergina on their flag. Other provocative gestures included building statues of Alexander the Great and claiming Hellenism’s Macedonian heritage as its own.

The recognition of the former Yugoslav republic by the United States under the name Macedonia was a diplomatic act of aggression that threatens to sabotage U.N.-sponsored negotiations aimed at bringing about a resolution that neither threatens the territorial integrity of Greece, nor lends credence to the falsification and theft of Macedonia’s Hellenic identity.

The biased stance of the United States and the international media is demonstrated by their failure to appreciate or to take into consideration the substantive concerns of Greece.

THEODOROS GEORGIOU KARAKOSTAS

Byzantine Cultural Project

Boston

***

The Bush administration’s plan to privatize Social Security (“Bush pushes new agenda,” Page 1, Nov. 5) is a direct assault on every family. Giving the money to Wall Street instead of the retirees hurts every one of us.

Social Security is also important to the young, those who are orphaned, the disabled, the injured — all of us. It is our money, and we cannot allow the Bush administration to squander it on Wall Street and endless illegal wars. I realize that the president is indebted to those who supported his election, but he should not impoverish Grandpa in order to pay back those whose support put him back in office.

It is tragic that President Bush has taken this anti-family stand. Every family in the country will be affected by the outcome of this battle.

The Social Security system is one of the few government programs that is not yet broken. As the old-timers say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

When the time comes and steps need to be taken to strengthen the Social Security system, the fix is obvious: Eliminate the cap.

It is time that Bill Gates and Donald Trump start paying the same percentage of their incomes into the system as the rest of us.

ROSEMARIE JACKOWSKI

Bennington, Vt.

Recognition of Macedonia

The article by Andrew Borowiec (“Macedonia spells trouble for Greece,” World, Wednesday fails to mention any of the provocations that have been directed at Greece by the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.

During the early 1990s, as Yugoslavia was falling apart, Macedonianextremists distributed maps that depicted the Greek province of Macedonia as part of their territory.

During the summer of 1992, the Yugoslav Macedonians provoked Greece by placing the ancient Macedonian Star of Vergina on their flag. Other provocative gestures included building statues of Alexander the Great and claiming Hellenism’s Macedonian heritage as its own.

The recognition of the former Yugoslav republic by the United States under the name Macedonia was a diplomatic act of aggression that threatens to sabotage U.N.-sponsored negotiations aimed at bringing about a resolution that neither threatens the territorial integrity of Greece, nor lends credence to the falsification and theft of Macedonia’s Hellenic identity.

The biased stance of the United States and the international media is demonstrated by their failure to appreciate or to take into consideration the substantive concerns of Greece.

THEODOROS GEORGIOU KARAKOSTAS

Byzantine Cultural Project

Boston

Food for thought

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ought to apologize for carping that fish are too smart to become our food (“Feeling fish’s pain, activists rally,” Nation, Wednesday). Doctors and nutritionists are urging us to eat more fish because of omega-3 oils and other health benefits, but PETA is propagandizing in the opposite direction.

An essay on one PETA Web site recklessly claims that eating fish can result in “nervous system damage, and even death.” Writing last week about the piece’s expected impact on ordinary Americans, PETA anti-fish campaigner Bruce Friedrich wrote: “I suspect this will terrify them into not eating them.”

Mr. Friedrich, who plans to picket seafood restaurants next month, is the same PETA leader who said of restaurants in a 2001 speech that “it would be great” if they “exploded tomorrow.” He added that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows [is] a great way to bring about animal liberation.”

PETA’s stated goal is the by-any-means-necessary abolition of beef, chicken, fish, milk andevenThanksgiving turkey. Taking dinner advice from these one-track zealots is as pointless as getting bread and pasta recipes from an Atkins dieter.

DAVID MARTOSKO

Director of research

Center for Consumer Freedom

Washington

Thanks for Mollie Katzen’s delicious vegetarian Thanksgiving feast ideas (“Veggies, not turkey, are star attraction,” Food, Wednesday). As a long-time vegetarian, I know that holiday traditions don’t revolve around turkey. They’re about celebrating life. And there’s no better way to do this than leaving animals off our plates.

Turkeys raised for food are overcrowded inside filthy sheds, deprived of fresh air and access to the outdoors. Such miserable conditions commonly lead to respiratory infections and skin ulcers as well as foot, leg or wing injuries. At slaughter, these gentle birds are callously shackled upside down and their throats are cut, often while they can still feel pain.

This Thanksgiving, give turkeys something to be thankful for — their life.

HELEN SMITH

Fredericksburg

It’s no surprise that faith-based values are guiding a growing number of people toward a healthier and more humane way of eating. Spiritual unification of the mind and body is influenced by our dietary choices (“Diet takes some faith,” Nation, Monday). In fact, in keeping with Jesus’ embodiment of nonviolence and compassion, millions of Christians have already adopted a vegetarian diet.

The misery and suffering directly caused by eating animal flesh is unparalleled. Each year, 10 billion animals — animals who feel pain and fear just like cats and dogs — are crammed inside filthy sheds, mutilated without pain relief and denied almost everything natural to them.

Most will never even set foot outside or breathe fresh air. At slaughter, cows and pigs are often skinned and dismembered while they are still fully conscious and countlesschickensare scalded alive in feather-removal tanks. None of God’s creatures deserve to be treated so mercilessly.

TheRev.Dr.Albert Schweitzer, a vegetarian, once said: “Not until we extend the circle of compassion to include all living things shall we ourselves know peace.”

TABITHA JANE O’REILLY

Takoma Park

Scouting and the military

It seems to me that the Pentagon’s settlementconcerning support of Boy Scout troops represents a failure to support and defend the Constitution (“Pentagon to warn bases on Scouts,” Page 1, Tuesday).

The article quotes American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Adam Schwartz as saying, “If our Constitution’s promise of religious liberty is to be a reality, the government should not be administering religious oaths or discriminating based on religious beliefs.”

Sponsoring a Boy Scout troop does not in any way involve the government in “administering religious oaths or discriminating based on religious beliefs.” However, refusing to sponsor Boy Scout troops on bases where the local communities on those bases want them constitutes a constraint on the free exercise of religion.

Religion is not something exercised exclusively in private. Free exercise of religion requires community environments that support it because there is a strong communal dimension to religion.

Actions that have the effect of stripping religion from the community environment and forcing it into the mold of a strictly individual and private activity is a restraint on the free exercise of religion.

If the ACLU is successful in such a silly issue as sponsoring Boy Scout troops, it is a big step closer to success with a much more significant target — declaring the military’s chaplain corps unconstitutional.

EDGAR DOLEMAN

Laurel

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