- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 25, 2005

The record on Georgia

Readers of The Washington Times should be aware of two significant facts about Tsotne Bakuria, the author of the Tuesday Commentary column “Georgia on the mind … .” First, though it is true he was briefly a member of Parliament, he obtained his seat in the rigged Nov. 2, 2003, elections that triggered the national protests that culminated in the Rose Revolution. Second, Mr. Bakuria neglected to mention the great success of ending the rule of the feudal warlord Aslan Abashidze in the Georgian region of Adjara in May of 2004 — most likely because Mr. Bakuria was a loyal cohort of the dictatorial Mr. Abashidze until his long-overdue political demise.

LEVAN MIKELADZE

Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Canada and Mexico

Washington

Armenian deaths, American expediency

I agree completely with writer Zaven Zakarian, who wrote that the House International Relations Committee’s affirmative vote on the Armenian genocide resolution “will send a message to the Turkish government that historic realities must be dealt with and that political relationships based on anything but the truth almost always come with an expiration date” (“The Armenian genocide,” Letters, Thursday).

In voting for the resolution, committee member Tom Lantos, California Democrat, gave eloquent expression to the validity of Mr. Zakarian’s assertion. Mr. Lantos, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who should know something about genocide, had been a staunch supporter of the Turkish position in the past. This time, he voted for the resolution because he said the Turks refused to let U.S. forces access Iraq early in the war.

Either he always believed in the genocide theory of Armenian deaths in World War I but voted against the resolution in the past for political reasons, or he never believed in it but is voting for it for a political reason. In either case, his vote is not rooted in the truth, but in a political calculation of the moment. In either case, Mr. Lantos has put a political label on the Armenian genocide resolution.

ALI SEVIN

Fort Washington

Steroids in baseball

With regard to the article about home runs declining and falling to the lowest level in eight years (“Homers clearly on the decline,” Sports, Tuesday), I congratulate The Washington Times for bringing more light to the steroid issue.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said: “It’s very hard to determine what variables are at work here. I don’t think anyone really knows, and it’s hard to draw a conclusion.” There are no “variables,” Mr. Selig, and the conclusion is not to suspend first offenders for 10 days but to impose a more severe penalty — a ban for life from baseball on a second offense.

Athletes do not get bigger or stronger as they get older, as in the case of Barry Bonds.

Concerning Roger Clemens, on the other hand, Chicago Cubs Manager Dusty Baker said, “He’s a physical, mental and medical marvel… The unbelievable part is that you don’t see any decline. If anything, you see an incline.” It’s quite difficult to comprehend that an athlete at the age of 43, Clemens, still brings the heat.

Yes, baseball has changed dramatically. Ballparks are smaller. Gloves are bigger. And, oh, yes, there is the wild card and there are 30 teams — at one time there were a total of 16 teams. The added 14 teams (25 players on a team) bring a total of 350 ballplayers who would not have been playing major-league baseball otherwise.

HUGO ADIMARI

Alexandria

Minutemen help along the border

The article “Minuteman border patrol raises opposition in Texas,” (Nation, Friday) leads me to question: Why do pro-immigrant activists oppose a group that plans to uphold immigration laws by simply reporting those who cross our border illegally?

While the people opposing the Minutemen on the border claim it will hinder tourism and cross-border trade, there is no evidence that either are dependant on entering the country illegally.

The Minutemen have proven that their presence along the border has been a positive approach to the reduction of illegal immigration by the attention they have generated in the press to this problem and the fact that their movement has created a response by elected officials to stem the flow of illegal aliens into the country.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

A Katrina commission?

To those who advocate a September 11-style, independent, bipartisan commission to investigate relief responses to Hurricane Katrina (“Investigating the response to Katrina,” Op-Ed, Thursday), I offer two words — Able Danger, the military intelligence unit believed to have identified several of the future hijackers a year before September 11.

In confronting the Able Danger revelation, the supposedly model September 11 commission continues to duck and cover, sandbag, self-contradict, muzzle, spin like mad and stonewall — in short, do everything but carry out its original mandate to get to the bottom of our September 11 intelligence failures. Instead of doing their real job, co-chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are now grandstanding on Hurricane Katrina just as they did in criticizing the war in Iraq, neither of which have anything to do with pre-September 11 intelligence failures. The only thing these issues have in common is that they provide opportunities to whitewash those actually responsible and bash the president, which I suggest have been the real aims all along of the self-interested Beltway bureaucrats, bungling Clintonistas, partisan Democrats and country-club Republicans who comprise the September 11 commission.

If another such independent, bipartisan self-serving political cabal is set up to investigate and critique our responses to hurricanes and floods, we’d all better lay in a good supply of water wings.

TOM MANGIERI

Long Valley, N.J.

It’s all about winning for Democrats

The Democratic Party has shown the country that it has no regard for the law, since the end justifies the means (“Nobles and knaves,” Editorial, Saturday).

When the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s research director, Katie Barge, illegally used Lt. Gov. Michael Steele’s Social Security number to dig up dirt, the Democrats show us all that it’s all about winning. So let’s recap the lessons we’ve learned from this episode: If you work for the DSCC and break the law, you won’t be fired — but if you resign, they might still pay you. If you have a strong background in political research and are the director of the research department, the Democratic Party will not tell the public the truth and will only call you a young person making a silly mistake. And, most importantly, if you work for the DSCC, you have to win at all costs, because, well, it’s only the law that’s broken.

AL EISNER

Wheaton


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