- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 28, 2004

Retired cops against terrorism

What kind of political animalisRep.F.James Sensenbrenner Jr.?

This so-called Republican seems to speak out of both sides of his mouth (“Intelligence reform and political spin,” Editorial, Wednesday). He is now correctly engaged in a fight to prevent the issuance of driver’s licenses to criminal aliens. That’s a good thing. And yet he opposed the Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2004 legislation that promises to help the fight against terrorism by allowing police officers to carry firearms in every state in the union.

Heparticularlyfought against the inclusion of retired officers in this legislation, which passed both the House and Senate in January. Retired police officers are an untapped resource in the fight against terrorism, for several reasons. The first is that a terrorist would have no way of knowing where, when or how he might encounter one of these armed “officers.” That would serve to disrupt their planning. Retired officers are ready and willing to take action to prevent a terrorist attack. Using retired officers reduces costs, as every retired officer has already been professionally trained in the use of deadly force.

Before this legislation, retired police and even some active police could not carry a firearm, sometimes in their own state, and also in many others. An officer from Maryland with a valid permit could not carry that firearm in Virginia without first obtaining another permit and so on throughout the nation.

The legislation Mr. Sensenbrenner opposed provides for “credentialed” officers, active and retired, to carry their weapons without special permits, in every state in the nation (but not on airlines). It also provides for retired officers to be “recertified” annually with their weapons. Anyone can see the immediate value of this. Terrorists will never know who they might encounter — a potential deterrent Mr. Sensenbrenner didn’t appreciate.

ROBERT L. DI STEFANO

Major (ret.)

Baltimore City Police Department

Abingdon

Social Security hole-digging

As a senior citizen, I agree with Rosemarie Jackowski’s wish that Social Security not be endangered by whatever necessary changes are made to the system (“An ‘anti-family’ plan,” Letters, Nov. 19). But she is dead wrong in her statement that “the Social Security system is one of the few government programs that is not yet broken.” Today, the unfunded obligation of this country is about $45 trillion. That’s $150,000 per every man, woman, and child. Of that, only about $7.4 trillion is the national debt. The rest consists of promises to future Social Security and Medicare recipients. Since the total assets of this country are about $42 trillion, these two necessary programs have already bankrupted the country. A fix is urgently needed.

Very few Americans are aware of these critical numbers. The press needs to educate the public on an ongoing basis so that we can support our Congress to make the painful adjustments necessary if our economy is to survive. For the majority who do not understand the deep hole we have dug ourselves into, here is a news flash: Santa Claus will not rescue us. He doesn’t have this kind of money. The hole will become our collective grave unless we dig ourselves out. This will be difficult and painful, more so every day we delay.

JAN POLISSAR

Bethesda

Clinton’s Kosovo failures

In response to your article “Kosovo a model for U.S. in Iraq” (Page 1, Nov. 15), here are some facts that suggest a different picture, one that considers the results of President Clinton’s flawed policies in both Bosnia and Kosovo.

I have no doubt that American soldiers are doing whatever they can, or are allowed to do, to help make life better for the people of Kosovo. However, the rosy picture the writer paints does not reflect the fact that although Serbs once were the majority in Kosovo, Serbian culture, society, language and religion are being eradicated. Of the latest disturbance in March of this year, which the writer briefly mentions, the National Review Online of March 19 writes, “A pogrom started in Europe on Wednesday. A U.N. official is quoted as saying that Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo. Serbs are being murdered and their 800 year old churches are aflame. Much of the Christian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija is on fire and could be lost forever.” In fact, more churches have been destroyed since NATO’s Kosovo Force entered Kosovo than under 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Turks.

Is this what the author calls a success in Kosovo, a model for Iraq? Deutsche Welle wrote on Nov. 15: “In Kosovo, human trafficking paid for much of the fighting. For the first time this year … the world wide profits from human trafficking will exceed those of the drug trade.” The Washington Times’ own Jerry Seper reported as early as 1999, “Some members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which has financed its war efforts through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden.”

In November 2001, a Wall Street Journal Europe article said that in the past 10 years, al Qaeda’s most senior leaders visited the Balkans. Osama bin Laden himself did three times between 1994 and 1996. While the Clinton administration underwrote the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic, his embassy in Vienna gave bin Laden a passport in 1992.

Why did we go to war against the Serbian people? As Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media wrote on Feb. 19, “Clinton went to war on behalf of the Muslims, in Bosnia and then Kosovo. He wanted to appease the powerful Arab/Muslim bloc of nations and the Europeans who wanted to call the shots on U.S. foreign policy.”

The first commander of U.N. troops in Bosnia, Canadian Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, wrote on April 6 in the Canadian National Post, “We bombed the wrong side.” He continued: “The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early ‘90s, and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.”

Our soldiers are to be commended for trying to bring comfort to those suffering today because of the policies of the Clinton administration. But make no mistake: Because of Mr. Clinton’s policies in the Balkans, Bosnia has become al Qaeda’s corridor into Europe, and we have handed Kosovo over to the KLA terrorists.

Yet Mr. Clinton, in his book “My Life,” has the audacity to call Kosovo a success.

STELLA L. JATRAS

Camp Hill, Pa.

Mr. Kim: Get rid of your nukes

At last, President Bush forcefully tells Kim Jong-il to “get rid of your nuclear-weapons program” (“Bush touts allied unity on nukes,” Page 1, Nov. 21). But will Mr. Bush back up his tough rhetoric with a credible threat of force if Mr. Kim continues to stall and remains defiant? Several years ago, Mr. Bush stated that he would not tolerate a nuclear North Korea. Meanwhile, Pyongyang continues building nukes and becomes more dangerous after each fruitless round of multiparty negotiations.

This axis-of-evil nuclear threat needs to be confronted quickly. More delay only makes matters worse. We can be sure continual White House dithering on resolving this nuclear crisis places the entire free world in jeopardy.

MICHAEL MARK

Warwick, Pa.

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