- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2005

Annan plan not right for Cyprus

Osman Ertug presents inaccuracies regarding Cyprus (“Trouble in Cyprus,” Letters, Sept. 4).

Historically, dating back to before the 1900s and until 1964, the two communities on Cyprus coexisted in relative peace. Thousands of peaceful daily crossings by Turkish and Greek Cypriots have occurred since April 2003 at the Green Line openings. This has demonstrated beyond a doubt that they can live and work together peacefully as they did before. It also has destroyed the propaganda of former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who has long claimed that they could not live together and needed to be separated.

Cyprus received its independence from the British in 1960. Mr. Ertug’s claim that “Turkish Cypriots… were thrown out by force of arms by their Greek Cypriot partners in 1963” is simply false. On the contrary, it was the Turkish government’s policy in 1964 — supported by Mr. Denktash — that called for the Turkish Cypriots to be separated from the Greek Cypriots into six “enclaves.” After Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the continuing Turkish policy of separation and Mr. Denktash’s intransigence resulted in the unwillingness to negotiate in good faith a solution to unify the island.

When Mr. Denktash in 1983 created the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which only Turkey recognizes, it furthered the division of the island, which continues until today.

Mr. Ertug likes to equate the Greek Cypriots’ rejection of the Annan plan as a rejection against unifying the island just because the Turkish Cypriots voted in favor.

Seventy-six percent of the Greek Cypriots had no real choice but to vote a resounding no because the plan simply was not democratic, not functional and not economically feasible.

Rather than facilitating peace and stability, the plan would have done just the opposite. It was unfair and very biased against the Greek Cypriots.

The plan created two separate states on Cyprus and provided a veto to the 18 percent Turkish Cypriot minority; rewarded the aggressor, Turkey, and punished the victims, the Greek Cypriots; and incredibly, the Greek Cypriot taxpayer would have to incur most of the costs of implementing the plan.

Also, it provided for a continuing Turkish military presence with broad interpretations as to the military’s intervention rights. This obviously was not acceptable.

The Cyprus government has stated repeatedly that it is committed to the solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, which is in accordance with U.N. resolutions. Its rejection of the Annan plan was not a rejection of unifying the island.

NICK LARIGAKIS

Executive director

American Hellenic Institute

Washington

Islam in Kashmir

The story “Insurgency may not be based on Islamic militancy” (World, Sept. 6) asserts that the insurgency in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir may not be inspired by Islam.

The reason given for that assertion is that a couple of militants with Hindu names were either killed or arrested by the Indian army/police. Would we then be correct to say that the attack on September 11 was not inspired by the Taliban and al-Qaeda because a couple of American young men were found to be involved with the Taliban?

The Islam-inspired terrorism in Kashmir has forced the ethnic cleansing of more than 350,000 Hindus from the Kashmir Valley and led to the deaths of more than 50,000 people over the past 15 years. Islam was the inspiration for the dismembering of India in 1947 into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and a secular India. Kashmir, as the only majority Muslim state in India, is sought to be occupied by those who cannot stomach the fact that Kashmir is part of India. We are therefore dismayed by your cavalier assertion that the insurgency in Kashmir is not predominantly inspired by Islam.

RAMESH RAO

Member, Executive Council

Hindu American Foundation

Farmville, Va.

Not ‘clueless’ about the evacuation

I admire the great scholar and war historian Victor Davis Hanson, but I beg to disagree with him on a couple of points in his Saturday Commentary, “Perfect storms… flawed critics.”

Mr. Hanson describes New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as “clueless.” However, when advised to order a total evacuation, Mr. Nagin had to wonder: No storm has devastated New Orleans within living memory. If I order evacuation and the storm does no damage, people will say I’m a fool, and tens of millions of dollars in trade will have been lost.

Mr. Nagin must have known, too, a huge number of residents would ignore any evacuation order. As Mr. Hanson surely knows, even in the face of invincible armies, bombing and shelling, lots of people will not evacuate cities.

Moreover, Mr. Hanson was wrong to dust off the venerable Rudolph W. Giuliani as the kind of mayor New Orleans needed but lacked. After the towers fell on September 11, Mr. Giuliani still had a functioning city. He had electricity, nobody to evacuate and no flooded streets. Everybody who was going to die had already died.

More important, Mr. Giuliani had been a consistent supporter of illegal immigration and the atmosphere of illegality on which Mohammed Atta and his September 11 crew thrived. According to a June 10, 1994, report in the New York Times, for example, Mr. Giuliani invited illegal aliens to New York: “[I]f you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status,” he said, “you’re one of the people who we want in this city. You’re somebody that we want to protect.”

On June 6, 1996, Mr. Giuliani flew to Washington to deliver a speech denouncing proposed immigration reforms and took particular aim at provisions to control illegal immigration. When the bills nevertheless passed, Mr. Giuliani complained that the crackdown on illegal immigrants did not take into consideration what he saw as the positive effects of immigrants in cities such as New York. He thereupon launched a lawsuit charging the new law was unconstitutional. He pursued that suit until the Supreme Court denied certiorari on Jan. 18, 2000.

Throughout his time as mayor, Mr. Giuliani continued his city’s “passive resistance” to laws requiring cities to report the undocumented. Is he really the model mayor we need for all emergencies?

WILLIAM BUCHANAN

Washington

Celebrities and their commentary

It’s one thing for celebrities to attempt to enlighten the public about politics and world affairs. However, it’s despicable that rapper Kanye West displayed his obvious ignorance on national TV during a time of great suffering and pain (“The race card,” Commentary, Saturday). To claim that President Bush “does not care about black people,” as Mr. West did at an NBC relief concert, is ridiculous. Last time I checked, the commander in chief has no power over the path of a hurricane and where it strikes.

Unfortunately, some people listen to this guy and other celebrities. What Mr. West said might actually leave an impression on some youngsters. I support his First Amendment right to make whatever hairbrained statement he wants, but I hope he takes a deep breath, realizes he made a very reckless statement and makes a formal apology to the country.

By the way, celebrities: I suggest if you want to share your political views with the nation, hold a press conference and let everyone know that is what you are going to discuss. Maybe a ton of people will show up to listen, maybe not. Otherwise, run for office and stop running your mouths. It’s easy to criticize and get your name in the paper; it’s tough to make a difference.

MICHAEL TOMBERLIN

Alexandria


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