- The Washington Times - Monday, August 7, 2006

Being free to be

Suzanne Fields’ column “Storm in a small town” (Op-Ed, Thursday) was right on the mark. She wisely noted that our country’s founders “bequeathed [to us] a government that separates church and state, protecting each of us in his or her faith.” The narrow sectarians in a small town in Delaware who reacted angrily when a Jewish woman asked for “generic? rather than Christian prayers at school events appear to have much the same mentality as the Islamicists in the Middle East.

Religion has thrived in America precisely because the wise men who wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights had learned from Colonial and European history that separation of church and state is best for religion, best for democratic government and best for religious freedom.



Americans for Religious Liberty

Silver Spring

Military contracting

Thursday’s Op-Ed column “Risky titanium business” was interesting and a little disturbing as well.

First and foremost, anyone in the aerospace industry who is selling products and services to the Department of Defense supports the basic tenet of the provision.

That is sustaining a strong domestic industrial base to serve the Defense Department and the men and women fighting a war. The column would lead the reader to believe otherwise.

What the column ignores is the administrative burdens involved with the tracking of all specialty metals in DOD systems. The small family-owned business I represent manufactures products for the military and the commercial aerospace industry.

The current provisions require the company to track the country of origin for all special metals items regardless of value to assure 100 percent compliance with the provisions.

The commercial segment of the business and the military do not require the same tracking procedures. This introduces a significant opportunity for failure if our internal system does not properly track the job to the military’s standards.

The authors of the Op-Ed column want the reader to believe that the titanium business will go to Russia if the Senate provisions are passed into law. I doubt that would happen.

If the Senate modifications are adopted, they will enable small aerospace companies such as mine to remain competitive in the military marketplace by removing the burden of 100 percent tracking of all specialty metals in DOD products.

Historically, we have purchased the large sheets of specialty metal from domestic sources. We will continue to do so as long as the metal is priced fairly and available when needed. The company’s first preference is for domestic specialty metals on all purchases, commercial or military.

The proposed modifications will allow us to treat rivets, which cost a tenth of a cent apiece, as commercial items. We will no longer have the burden of tracking country of origin on such small items.

What the authors appear to be doing is isolating themselves behind the current provisions so that they don’t have to be competitive in the military marketplace.

I say this because domestic specialty metals have escalated in both price and lead time in the past year to the point that a small company has great difficulty serving its customers and still remaining profitable.

A possible consequence of allowing the current practices to continue is that small aerospace companies will exit the defense sector because they will no longer be able to remain competitive and profitable.



Ferco Group

Franklin, Ohio

Palestinian hatred

The Palestinian-government-controlled press didn’t suddenly start printing personal insults and racial slurs but instead began years ago with the demonizing of Jews and Israel. For decades, the United Nations and European Union have supported Palestinian and Arab press and textbooks that have depicted Jews as the descendants of pigs and monkeys and Nazis that drink the blood of Muslims and Palestinians. That is why Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is depicted as pregnant with a monkey or drinking blood and partly why Hezbollah, Osama bin Laden and Hamas can recruit willing suicide bombers (“Palestinian cartoon racially insults Rice,” Page 1, Thursday).

There is another equally disturbing issue in the responses by our State Department and former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine K. Albright and their aides, including that “criticism comes with public service” and, “It’s unfortunate and not reflective of the Palestinian people. But you have to ignore these things, you can’t respond to them.” The cartoon appeared in Fatah-controlled newspapers regarded as moderate by Mr. Powell, who gave the publication interviews during his tenure.

Criticism may come with public service, but our State Department should not by policy “ignore these things” and give interviews. The State Department and Miss Rice must routinely speak up and forcefully stand against government-sponsored and -controlled mass media that systematically demonizes a group of people.

Let us never forget that during the 15 years before World War II and the Holocaust, the State Department and our political and religious leaders ignored Adolf Hitler’s anti-Jewish writings and Nazi-style cartoons. I only hope that the State Department and Miss Rice know that Hitler’s 1925 “Mein Kampf” is again a best-seller, this time in the Arab Middle East.




Following the publication in a Palestinian newspaper controlled by President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party of a cartoon of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice depicting her pregnant with an armed monkey, a former senior aide to former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright commented, “It’s unfortunate and not reflective of the Palestinian people.” Not reflective?

In fact, there is every indication that this precisely reflects the convictions of most Palestinians, who are vocal in their support for terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Leaders of the former, voted into power by the Palestinians, repeatedly refer to Jews as “apes and pigs.” So too, the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has declared that “We reaffirm the slogan of the struggle against the Great Satan and call … ‘Death to America. To the murderers of the prophets, the grandsons of apes and pigs,’ we say … ‘Death to Israel.’” The cartoon of Miss Rice bearing a monkey in her womb is entirely consistent with the medieval worldview of the Palestinians.

While the Palestinians love receiving America’s money — and have the chutzpah to demand more of it, the hard truth is that they are not America’s friends by any means.

Palestinians rationalize terroristic violence, are unwavering in their support for America’s Islamofascist enemies (many celebrated after hearing about September 11) and indoctrinate their children with a dangerous blend of hatred and victimhood.

Three years ago, Mrs. Albright wrote in Foreign Affairs that “The Palestinians … must reject terror … Terror is a choice … As long as murderers are hailed as martyrs, there can be no real peace, nor any Palestinian state worthy of the name.” Those who believe that this cartoon and other similarly disgusting items in the Palestinian press are “not reflective of the Palestinians” are mistaken.


Oak Hill, Va.

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