- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2006

Islamist dogma

Diane West’s article (“Retool U.S. war,” Op-Ed, Friday) is to be commended, and it will help to focus people’s minds on the article’s central premise if the actual doctrines of Islam are made known to the American public.

The Constitution specifically guarantees the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and declares that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights. Aware as I am that the main doctrine of Islam calls for either the subjugation, forced conversion or deaths of all non-believers, I am at a loss to understand how these rights can be secured to the American people by its government if this dogma continues to be disseminated.

KATHERINE BARLOW

Vienna, Austria

Wishful thinking?

The world, especially here in Boulder, is clearly not short on theories about John Mark Karr and his confession to the JonBenet Ramsey murder (“Flight of fancy for JonBenet suspect,” Page 1, yesterday), but for the record, here’s mine:

Karr seems to act like, feel like, and enjoy the company of children. His fascination with the Ramsey case reminds me more of someone prone to intense and bizarre daydreams than anything else. Karr is a pedophilic Walter Mitty.

So, my guess is that Karr had nothing to do with JonBenet’s death, but he wishes he did. He is looking for egotistical reinforcement by making the world think he did something he is incapable of doing, to his own great disappointment.

At the end of the day, Karr is not likely to be convicted of anything worse than making a false confession and soaking the taxpayer for an expensive flight home, for which he will be sentenced to a brief time in a perfectly pleasant mental institution where he will daydream about how he missed out on life as a little girl.

ROSS KAMINSKY

Boulder, Colo.

Not-so charming

The article “Charm City charmer” (Op-Ed, Friday) was as though it came right from my very own mind. I live in Baltimore and everything mentioned in the piece is absolutely the truth.

It was only on this past Thursday that I was talking to a man in a laundromat about Mayor Martin O’Malley. I said some of the very same things that were written about. The man that I was speaking with even made the same comment about Mr. O’Malley’s good looks only taking him so far. There are a lot of other people who see the same things in Mr. O’Malley.

In the past, I did not support Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. However, I will this time.

I am truly offended that Mr. O’Malley would have the nerve to run for governor when he has not done anything good at all for Baltimore. Even former Mayor William Donald Schaefer — a lifelong Democrat — has spoken out against Mr. O’Malley and his lack of sincerity in caring about the city of Baltimore.

That was a great piece — completely accurate, fair and honest.

VARGUX SAMUEL DELEE

Baltimore

Martin O’Malley is a pretty boy who wants political office to be somebody, not to do anything. ‘Nuff said.

I had to chuckle when Deborah Simmons referred to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski as the “grand dame” of Maryland’s congressional delegation. In my mind’s eye, I see a grand dame as a quite elegantly dressed lady in her late 50s to early 60s with wisps of gray hair, a slim frame, standing at least 5 feet 8 inches tall with a graceful gait, not a Danny DeVito in drag wearing Target-brand couture with the gait of a longshoreman.

I’m sure you were referring to her as grand dame because she is the only woman in the Maryland congressional delegation. But thanks for the chuckle.

Josh Rales talks about the quality of the teachers and the school system as the prime reasons for the inequality of education. However, no Democrat would ever place blame where much of it belongs — on the quality of the parents.

Any black, white or brown female and male, without regard to their maturity, quality of their parenting skills or their dedication to properly raising a child, can produce a baby. It’s the 21 years and 9 months after conception that will determine the quality of the baby’s education and life. If the amount of money spent on education in the United States determined the quality ofthat education, all U.S. students would be rocket scientists.

It doesn’t help that the children of illegal aliens, many of whom are semiliterate or illiterate, are flooding our schools with children they brought across the border illegally or have “anchor” babies.

Even Montgomery County schools, a self-described “sanctuary” county for illegal aliens and one of the wealthiest counties in America, are getting a failing grade.

JOE FARRELL

Alexandria

Hit the snooze button

The article “Many U.S. couples can’t just sleep on this problem” (Nation, Thursday) misrepresented findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll. The article stated that the poll found “men tend to need less sleep than women but snooze better.”

The NSF Sleep in America poll does not address sleep need. Rather, the poll is an annual survey of Americans’ sleep patterns, habits and attitudes. The poll findings do show that Americans are not getting adequate sleep and that sleep loss can negatively impact health, productivity, safety, and personal relationships.

RICHARD GELULA

CEO

National Sleep Foundation

Washington

Barbarians at the gate

I read with considerable amusement the letter from Chuck Woolery (“American battlefield barbarism,” Friday), in which he condemns the killing of innocent civilians through American and Israeli military operations. Through clever wording, he manages to exclude Hezbollah and al Qaeda from such accusations by omitting facts.

The attack in which Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers was not a crime as he maintains. Mr. Woolery conveniently omits the killing of eight Israeli soldiers in that unprovoked attack on Israeli soil. Since Hezbollah is the de facto political authority in southern Lebanon, with members in offices of the Lebanese government, its raid and subsequent missile barrages on Israeli population centers were acts of war. Under these circumstances, Israel has the right to defend itself, and it exercised that right.

Mr. Woolery claims that “according to the laws of war” the attack on the World Trade Center was not a terrorist attack, but an attack on “legitimate targets.” Presumably, Mr. Woolery considers the civilian aircraft al Qaeda commandeered and turned into manned missiles “legitimate targets,” too. If we accept his argument, then the targeting of civilian infrastructure which can be used to protect or transport Hezbollah and al Qaeda and their logistics — airports, ports, railroads, highways, vehicles — are no less legitimate.

While Mr. Woolery certainly has the right to criticize U.S. and Israeli operations, his blanket excuses for Hezbollah and al Qaeda belie his duplicity on the issue of innocent civilian casualties. In fact, it isn’t reaching too far to see an actual sympathy for these groups, recognized internationally as terrorist organizations. The irony in all this is that Mr. Woolery is free to openly oppose U.S. policy without fear of retribution, whereas were he to reside under the thumb of Hezbollah and al Qaeda and disagree with them, they’d cut off his head.

BILL ELDARD

Burke, Va.

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