- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Muslims should challenge Islamofascists

Your Saturday editorial “It’s fascism” makes the point that “Islamofascism” exists and is properly characterized as such. You also advise that it does not encompass the beliefs of “mainstream” Muslims.

Perhaps so, but by tolerating the fascists’ terrorist acts and doing nothing about them, the mainstream Muslims are at least complicit in such acts and are derelict in their duties to their espoused religion. It is mainstream Muslims who should be taking a lead role in snuffing out the fascists. Where are they? Their silence is deafening.

E. ALAN UEBLER

Newark, Del.

Anti-Serb bias

In his Op-Ed column yesterday, “The Balkan Mirror,” Michael Djordjevich quotes former Secretary of State James A. Baker III as saying “we have no dog in this fight.”

To pursue the matter further, it should be noted that in his book “The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace, 1989-1992,” Mr. Baker wrote, “After the meeting [with Bosnian co-Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic], I had [former Secretary of State] Larry Eagleburger take Silajdzic to see the EC troika political directors (who happened to be visiting the Department) and asked [Undersecretary] Margaret Tutwiler to talk to the foreign minister about the importance of using Western mass media to build support in Europe and North America for the Bosnian cause. I also had her talk to her contacts at the four television networks, The Washington Post, and The New York Times to try to get more attention focused on the story.”

In other words, Mr. Baker never intended to be impartial in the Bosnian civil war and was willing, if necessary, to present a distorted, anti-Serbian bias to the American people and a favorable image of the Bosnian Muslims regardless of their shadowy part in the war. This was to be our foreign policy.

As someone who has followed and written about the events in the Balkans for more than a decade, I commend Mr. Djordjevich for his honest and informative account of U.S. foreign policy failures in the Balkans under both Republican and Democratic administrations and look forward to reading the remaining two parts of the series.

STELLA L. JATRAS

Camp Hill, Pa.

Turkey and Cyprus

Tulin Daloglu’s August 9 op-ed “Turkish peacekeepers in Lebanon?” also refers to the presence of U.N. peacekeepers in Cyprus and is an anathema to history and to an objective presentation of facts.

Miss Daloglu only has to go through books of history — not to mention U.N. Security Council resolutions — to refresh her mind on the reason why U.N. peacekeepers are still stationed in Cyprus. It is true they were first sent there in 1964, but the reason why they are still in Cyprus is because of Turkey’s July 1974 invasion and continued occupation of one-third of the Mediterranean island’s territory.

It is truly sad, indeed, to read outrageous claims such as the one that “even today, the peace on the island is preserved less by the U.N. peacekeepers, but more by the Turkish military.” Since when did an invading force preserve peace?

The question Miss Daloglu needs to ponder is why the United Nations, the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights and other international forums handling issues of justice and law have repeatedly called upon Turkey to withdraw its thousands of occupying troops from Cyprus and reinstate violated human rights.

ANNIE CHARALAMBOUS

Press Counselor

Embassy of Cyprus

Washington

Workplace enforcement essential

Sunday’s Page One article “Standing guard” proves that the demand for a military presence along the southern border has been legitimate, though it took a year-long campaign by the Minuteman Project to prove the viability of the support of the Border Patrol.

It also demonstrates that prospective border jumpers react immediately to the additional presence of the military along the border.

The logical next step is to enforce our immigration laws at the workplace by cracking down on companies that hire illegal aliens. A few well-placed examples would send an important message to prospective illegal aliens that we finally are serious about enforcing our laws.

BYRON SLATER

Border Solution Task Force

San Diego

‘World Trade Center’ disappoints

I just saw the movie “World Trade Center,” and I am disappointed beyond belief. Sure it was entertaining, but when it comes to an event of such historic magnitude as September 11, who asked for entertainment? I assumed that a definitive film about this event would convey the very real fear that, to this day, each American carries for his or her own life. What can be more serious than that? This story can never be reduced to a vehicle for entertainment. Those who cross this line cause harm to the surviving families. September 11 was, sadly, a drama in and of itself. For a movie, nothing else is needed. Apparently, though, the complex unfolding of September 11 was not enough for Hollywood (“Our defining moment,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was larger than life. It was one of the most devious undertakings in world history. Second, even though some of the thousands who were murdered never knew what hit them, the majority experienced things none of us would ever want to see, hear or feel.

We all knew that eventually someone in Hollywood would accept the serious undertaking of placing this story on the silver screen. We had hoped such a film might help the world understand how tragic, monstrous and devastating this blow was to the American people. To my disappointment, this solemn task was placed strategically on the shoulders of Oliver Stone. This director was given the opportunity of a lifetime. He had the power to create a gift for the history books; a movie that would be shown in schools so children could understand something about evil in our world. It could have been a document worthy of preservation in our National Archives. Instead, Mr. Stone chose to give us more of the same old dramatic Hollywood dazzle.

The actual World Trade Center story served only as a backdrop to a movie about love, courage and family. Yes, many touching scenes in the film moved me emotionally, but only through scenarios I have watched hundreds of times before. The main story of September 11 was about the thousands of people killed and the many more thousands who got out alive. It’s about a country caught off-guard and a president doing what he could to contain an unknown and immediate threat.

Like many Americans, I have imagined what it must have been like to be in those towers on that horrible day, just as many wondered about the horrors of the Holocaust. “Schindler’s List” took us into that nightmare. Those who could stomach the reality learned from the movie.

Hollywood has the power to take us into the September 11 nightmare. Imagine seeing an aircraft burst through an expansive office suite at 500 miles an hour. Imagine following a woman as she falls hundreds of floors, her prayers barely audible over the rush of wind. I personally don’t think America is ready to experience this drama. I feel uneasy even creating the description. It’s beyond me why this half-hearted attempt was made. Bring in a crew like the one that produced “United 93” and give us an appropriate movie about the World Trade Center disaster. Do this, though, when we are all good and ready to handle the truth. We proud Americans and those heroes who died deserve at least this much respect.

BRYAN JAY KOEFF

Granbury, Texas

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