- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Racial storm

Last year, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, took one look at the list of names for the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season and shouted racial discrimination.

The outspoken congresswoman charged that Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fabian, Grace, Henri, Isabel, Juan, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda (this columnist’s mother’s name) were all too white and “all racial groups should be represented” when these swirling monsters plow ashore.

Particularly “African-American names,” the congresswoman said.

You can be the judge of whether Uncle Sam, tasked with giving hurricanes their handles, bowed to the congresswoman’s wishes. Already making their impact felt this horrific 2004 hurricane season were Alex, Bonnie, Charley, Danielle, Earl, Frances, Gaston and Hermine, while a most powerful Ivan (sounds Russian-American) and Jeanne are precariously poised to wreak havoc on our lives, limbs and property.

Still awaiting formation are Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie and Walter.

Lead role

A Vietnam War veteran who managed to drive a stake right through the middle of the 2004 presidential campaign, perhaps ultimately spoiling whatever chances Sen. John Kerry had at becoming president, will be saluted during an invitation-only book party at Morton’s in Washington next Tuesday.

John E. O’Neill, who took over command of Swift Boat PCF 94 from then-Lt. Kerry, along with Jerome R. Corsi, a frequent writer about the Vietnam War protest movement, have created a political hurricane with their New York Times best seller “Unfit for Command,” which charges that the Massachusetts senator methodically invented his “war hero” persona.

Based on interviews with scores of Mr. Kerry’s war comrades, the book claims that the Democratic presidential nominee, while serving in Vietnam, kept extensive private journals and staged home movies — playing the lead role — so as to advance his future political ambitions.

“Fellow ‘Swiftees’ report that Kerry would revisit ambush locations for re-enacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero,” the authors write. “Kerry would take movies of himself in combat gear, sometimes dressed as an infantryman walking resolutely through the terrain. He even filmed mock interviews of himself narrating his exploits.”

The pair recalls that the “joke circulated among Swiftees was that Kerry left Vietnam early not because he received three Purple Hearts, but because he had recorded enough film of himself to take home for his planned political campaigns.”

Testifying later on Capitol Hill, Mr. Kerry, among other accusations, compared his superior officers to Lt. William Calley of My Lai massacre infamy.

Emergency support

Suffice it to say, Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, is among the 92 percent of police commanders who charge that the news industry is not playing fair and impartial in the 2004 presidential election.

Consider the nation’s largest police union, the 300,000-member strong Fraternal Order of Police, which announced recently its “enthusiastic” endorsement of President Bush for re-election.

“Yet the news media intentionally or unintentionally ignored this important endorsement,” notes Mr. Kouri of the president’s ability “to wage a war on terrorism and his resolve to protect the homeland.”

At the same time, he points out, when the international firefighters union endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry — “largely because he believes buying more fire engines will protect us from terrorists” — the news media could hardly hold back their excitement.

“Of course, they never mentioned that the New York City firefighters endorsed Bush — and let’s be honest, they are the guys who charged into the burning twin towers on September 11, 2001.”

Seeds of scandals

Our humorous (or so intended) item this week about “seeding” hurricanes so as to disrupt the political campaign season caught the eye of Christopher C. Horner, a top counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Don’t laugh, advises Mr. Horner, who has actually dealt with the issue of cloud seeding on the worldwide front: “[U]nder international law, a state engaged in weather modification activities is responsible for any significant injuries if causation can be proved,” he reads from legal scripture.

“True story,” Mr. Horner insists. “This could actually turn the campaign around.”

He recalls Soviet howling over purported dirty tricks like cloud seeding “to disrupt their wheat crop (as if collectivism didn’t do enough) during the Cold War.”

“The alleged cloud seeding,” adds Mr. Horner, “is a prima facie violation of not only a U.N. directive, but a U.S.-Canadian treaty, not to mention 601 of the Restatement (3d) of the Law of Foreign Relations.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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