- The Washington Times - Monday, November 14, 2005

A ‘call to journalistic arms’

There is no question that the slanderous “big lie” — that President Bush lied us into war by manipulating prewar intelligence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction — perpetuated by the anti-American, antiwar critics led by Democratic Party leaders — has had a deleterious and perhaps devastating effect not only on the president’s credibility but, more important, on our national security, the war on terror and the morale of our troops (“A belated response to the Big Lie,” Editorial, Saturday).

In perpetuating the lie, politicians and their willing enablers in the media are aiding and abetting the enemy as surely as Jane Fonda and John Kerry aided the communist North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. We must never again allow our political will to be manipulated to our country’s detriment as it was then. We must act now to prevent it.

Although the harm has been done, it is by no means irreparable. So, rather than simply bemoan the belatedness of the president’s response as many have done, it would serve us well to strategize on how we can effectively turn the temporary advantage the hateful American left now has to an advantage for Team America.

Suggestion: This slanderous campaign by political opponents without the slightest concern for how it affects our national security and the military must be exposed to the American public as the cynical political ploy that it is. A “call to journalistic arms” invoking the sincere patriotism of the media of all stripes should spearhead a countercampaign aimed at exposing the hypocrisy of every single politician who participated in the egregious “big lie” as well as every intellectually dishonest journalist who knowingly parroted a slanderous lie.

An immeasurable disservice has been done by these politicians and the media that support them to our country and the morale of our magnificent troops, who are laying their lives on the line to preserve our freedom. It is way past time to stop the scurrilous onslaught and allow the American people to decide: 1) Do we really want to elect politicians who, in time of war, are willing to lie about our commander in chief for political gain? and 2) Do we really want to support newspapers, radio and TV talk shows that perpetuate the lie for economic or other gain and scoff at our goal to bring freedom to oppressed people in the Middle East?

For our country’s sake, let us expose the big liars… and may the cause of freedom win.

CARIN SALA

Washington

Taxes as harvests

Writing that we “undertax” ourselves and, hence, fail to “harvest the benefits of growth,” William Hawkins misunderstands the real problem with Uncle Sam’s deficit spending (“Fiscal weakness undermines security,” Commentary, Sunday). If government spends $1.3 trillion today, it “harvests” $1.3 trillion of the fruits grown in today’s economy even if only a portion of this expenditure is financed by taxes. The problem with deficit financing is that it deludes current taxpayers into thinking the government is “harvesting” fewer economic fruits than it really is.

DONALD J. BOUDREAUX

Chairman, Department of Economics

George Mason University

Fairfax

Political reality and the Alito nomination

A column written by Thomas Sowell (“Irrelevant questions,” Commentary, Thursday) unjustly assails Sen. Arlen Specter for his efforts to negotiate a hearing date on the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. Mr. Sowell is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

Mr. Specter never issued a “public warning” to President Bush not to nominate a candidate who would “stir up controversy in the Senate.” Rather, Mr. Specter merely stated a political reality — that the Democrats may continue to filibuster any nominee they perceived as a threat to Roe v. Wade. The opposition Democrats raised to Harriet Miers is an excellent example of this political reality. Additionally, to date, Mr. Specter has successfully shepherded through the Senate Judiciary Committee 17 of President Bush’s judicial nominees (one Supreme Court, nine Circuit Court and seven District Court), including many of the most controversial.

Mr. Specter worked to establish a date that would allow senators to thoroughly review Judge Alito’s record. Mr. Sowell’s column fails to take into consideration the nearly 3,750 decisions in which Judge Alito has participated and 300-plus opinions he has written. Another important factor is the release of documents from the Reagan presidential library; no timeline has been given as to the release of those documents or their quantities. Lurking just below the surface of this process is the possibility of a filibuster on the Alito nomination. A January hearing date takes away the ability for any senator to state that he or she was forced into a rush to judgment.

Mr. Specter worked with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to set the hearing date for Judge Alito. According to Sen. Bill Frist’s chief of staff, Eric Ueland, “The Majority Leader is pleased with the hearing schedule announced by Chairman Specter. This schedule provides the strongest platform for Judge Alito to articulate his philosophy of judicial restraint before the Senate and the American people.”

Mr. Specter is in no way attempting to “sabotage” the nomination of Judge Alito or any other nomination Mr. Bush puts forward. Perhaps Judge Alito would be best served by Mr. Sowell allowing Mr. Specter and the rest of the Senate to do its job and evaluate his nomination in a fair and dignified manner.

WILLIAM REYNOLDS

Chief of staff

and communications director

Sen. Arlen Specter

Washington

Winning the war of words

Thanks for correctly using the “jihad” label (“Jordan calls for jihad on terrorism,” Page 1, Sunday) to describe a true “holy war” attack against terrorism — as contrasted to the almost universal misuse of the word as a proper name for al Qaeda-style suicide mass murder.

The thing the good King Abdullah II correctly wishes to declare is a true holy war by authentic, Koranic Islam against what is, in fact, al Qaeda’s ruthless waging of a most unholy war — Islam’s ancient word for which is hirabah, pronounced hee-RAH-bah.

When it was coined in the 11th century, its meaning was a strictly forbidden war against society, or what today we would call crimes against humanity — which is exactly what was wantonly inflicted on scores of innocent victims in Amman, Jordan, last Wednesday at the murderous direction of al Qaeda’s very unholy warrior Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

That brings us to another truthful Islamic word worth knowing and using as a correct label for such killers as Zarqawi, who call themselves mujahedin (holy warriors) and martyrs but actually are mufsidoon — Islam’s word for the evildoers and/or mortal sinners they are.

Clearly, according to the Koran, such sinful evildoers are not destined for the virgin-filled Paradise that is so falsely promised by Osama bin Laden and his clones but for the demon-filled Jahannam (eternal hellfire) where all unrepentant sinners go.

It is in these three truthful Islamic words — hirabah (unholy war) by mufsidoon (evildoers) destined for Jahannam (eternal hellfire) — that we might find the workable disincentive to the suicide mass murder that is al Qaeda’s essential weapon of mass destruction.

Is this not a far preferable anti-al Qaeda frame of reference than the self-sanctifying “jihad by mujahedin and martyrs destined for Paradise” mantra by which bin Laden promotes his terrorism — and which we do, too, by our mindless parroting of his deceitful language of “jihadi martyrdom”?

Better by far it will be if we embrace King Abdullah’s language of truly holy jihad (as the Sunday Times headline boldly did) and help it to defeat both our enemy and Islam’s — namely, Osama bin Laden’s pseudo-Islamic scam of so-called jihad, which is actually Satan’s unholy hirabah against all of humanity.

JIM GUIRARD

TrueSpeak Institute

Alexandria

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