- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 5, 2006

Democrats on the Iraq war

After listening to Sen. Hillary Clinton go after Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (“Generals warn of civil war in Iraq,” Page 1, Friday), I begin wondering what kind of president she would make.

Initially, when the polls indicated the American people were behind it, she supported the Iraq war. Now the antiwar segment of her party threatens her political career — as indicated by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman’s drop in popularity. Time to change paradigms; there is a way out. The new plan is to state a boundary of political closure on Iraq (something the Democrats have been trying for years), provide information within that context that supports failure and then declare failure and incompetence, while distancing oneself from the initial support.

This is similar to Sen. John Kerry and his Winter Soldier association and war-hero status. This type of political power brokering is really scary when real instances of incompetence and failure as well as corruption within the United Nations and its processes are being ignored.

Mrs. Clinton’s leadership model seems to be one that is tightly managed and internally focused. It allocates national security issues to consensus-driven-onlyinternational processes.


Peyton, Colo.

Legalize dope

DeForest Rathbone rightly laments the thousands of deaths caused each year by drug abuse but wrongly asserts that legalizing drugs “would drive that horrific statistic much higher” (“Don’t legalize dope,” Letters, Monday). On the contrary, it’s the current system of prohibition that keeps this statistic inhumanely high. If drugs were legalized, addicts would more readily seek treatment. Also, suppliers would be under competitive and legal pressures not only to ensure the quality of their products, but to standardize information about dosages.

Furthermore, sellers would lose incentives to push drugs to schoolchildren. Anyone who doubts this claim should ask himself when he last saw Anheuser-Busch or Seagram’s peddling their intoxicating wares on schoolyards.



Department of Economics

George Mason University


Funding federal health centers

The recent article on higher hospitalization rates for blacks and Hispanics (“Diabetic blacks, Hispanics face more hospitalizations,” Nation, Thursday) with diabetes highlights a major problem: racial and ethnic health disparities. But the fact that federally supported Community Health Centers are countering this trend also deserves mention.

Community health centers provide care to the nation’s underserved, a large proportion of whom are minorities. As a result, health centers have a proven record of reducing or even eliminating health disparities among their patients. George Washington University has conducted research that shows that as health centers serve more of states’ low-income residents, the difference in states’ black/white disparities in overall mortality decline significantly.

Right now Congress is preparing to vote on a bipartisan bill that increases funding for the federal health centers program by $206 million. If passed, over 1.5 million more people have the chance to receive affordable and accessible health care. Imagine the possibilities: diminished racial and ethnic health disparities, resulting in fewer costly hospitalizations, and fewer amputations.

Health care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to deliver results. Let’s hope Congress does the right thing and passes this critical funding.


Vice President for Federal, State and Public Affairs

National Association of Community Health Centers


Misinformation on global warming

In response to Sterling Burnett’s “When warming’s ‘hockey stick’ breaks” (Commentary, Friday): Unfortunately, nearly all politicians and the majority of journalists have long since realized that two data points determine a trend. If they do not have the second data point, then it can be very convenient just to make it up, especially if someone have staked their reputation on a specific position.

Of course there is more than one data point involved with making inferences about global warming. However, no matter what you look at there is only one history, not multiple ones. Investors regularly go up in smoke, when making inferences from past data in the capital markets. They never seem to realize that their conclusions might not be the same if the history they were looking was repeated a thousand times. In other words, they are being fooled by randomness. Good scientists certainly realize this, but apparently in the case of global warming they have been pushed aside and ignored.



Danger in Kosovo

Bravo to someone who has their head on straight: Stella Jatras in her commentary “Exception to right of self-defense” (Forum, July 30).

Anyone who has paid any attention to events in former Yugoslavia during the past decade or so knows that Mrs. Jatras is correct when she states: “Apparently, the right to defend one’s sovereignty applies to everyone except the Serbs.” Divide and conquer is the name of the game and is still being played out by the West in that tiny part of Europe. Now Serbia’s province of Kosovo is in the crosshairs and the United States and allies are set on taking away 15 percent of Serbia’s territory, thus changing Serbia’s internationally recognized borders against its will. In doing this, they ignore all recognized global constitutional norms.

As Mrs. Jatras states, the West would do well to heed the warning of Canada’s retired Maj. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie regarding independence for Kosovo’s Albanian Muslim majority: “When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars, combined with those of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.”


Edmonton, Canada

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