- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 16, 2006

Nailing ‘Hammer’

In the story “Blog from ‘Hammer’ nails hits from left and right” (Nation, Tuesday), former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay shows himself to be a hypocrite.

His blog is quoted as saying, “It is a regrettable fact of the current American political age that too many Republicans have failed to continue an aggressive fight for the principles which bring us together as Republicans and conservatives.” Wasn’t Mr. DeLay in the House pushing the Tom Daschle farm bill, the Ted Kennedy education bill, and the prescription drug bill, the biggest social welfare program since the Johnson administration?

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. DeLay held the vote open for the drug bill an additional four hours or so to twist the arms of real conservatives who opposed the bill based on the conservative principle of smaller government.

Mr. DeLay wants to portray himself as Mr. Conservative when, in fact, he was a leader in the spend, spend Republican House. Like President Bush, he never saw an appropriation bill he didn’t like. He had to keep the K Street lobbyists happy to ensure a plentiful supply of steak dinners, private jet excursions and golfing weekends. Some think lobbyists paid for all that, but, in fact, the American taxpayer picked up the tab through the appropriations process.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

Dangerous denial

As one whose paternal grandparents were murdered by the Nazis at Birkenau concentration camp in 1944 in the prime of their lives, I find it particularly disgusting to learn of the Holocaust-deniers conference that was spearheaded by one of the most prominent and virulent anti-Semites, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (“Holocaust denial outrages Europe,” World, Wednesday).

It is easy to write off Mr. Ahmadinejad as a crackpot, but I believe it would be inaccurate and dangerous to dismiss him so casually. This is a highly intelligent, educated and shrewd man. Everything he does is calculated to bring about his goal of domination of the Middle East, a position of prominence for Iran that would enable it to oppress those in the region who do not kowtow to him and share his bizarre view of the world. He has made clear that his goal is to purge the Middle East of Israel and Jews by violent means.

In seeking to raise doubts about the Holocaust, the best-documented atrocity in the history of the world, and in bringing together such “scholars” as prominent Ku Klux Klan member David Duke to discuss the matter and spew hatred, lies and distortion in the guise of “free speech,” Mr. Ahmadinejad seeks a wider audience throughout the world, the hope being that he will convince the gullible and the ignorant that “those troublesome Jews” are at it again, seeking sympathy over an event they fabricated. When one notes the number of individuals of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s ilk who believe the path to heaven is to slaughter and maim innocent men, women, children and infants, it is easy to conclude that he will have some success in his propaganda campaign.

The best defense against scapegoating and the spread of vitriol and hatred is an informed, educated populace. Much of the world shields itself from such enlightenment. When an Iranian dictator can conduct a sham conference and not be denounced by the entire world, we come to realize we are living in a very dark time in history.

Even before Mr. Ahmadinejad came to power, President Bush had it right in referring to Iran as a key cog in an “axis of evil.”

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Iraq solutions

Departing Iraq and letting the Sunnis and Shi’ites in Iraq have an unfettered “go”“at each other is a pretty but Utopian notion of Diana West’s in Friday’s paper, “Let the Muslims fight it out” (Op-Ed). It would mean “losing” Iraq, and would not just be a loss for the U.S., but for “the way forward” as it really is. The losers: our standing as a superpower; world access to Middle Eastern oil and concomitant negative affect on oil-producers; Israel’s existence; women’s rights. The winners: al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas; sympathetic parts of the Muslim world, and a hastening of the “clash of civilizations.”

We simply cannot lose this one. Regional “dominoes” comprising the entire Middle East, the rest of the Islamic world, and in fact the remaining world would, on different levels, be in “play.” And just because we appear not to be winning does not mean that we are losing, nor does it mean that we should not/cannot win. Our sending a “surge” of ten’s of thousands more troops, as this paper as well as the president suggest, while retooling our mission with increased training of Iraqi forces by coalition “advisers,” job creation and political stabilization in Iraq is worth trying.

We also should consider bringing in as peacekeepers to consolidate pacified areas U.N. affiliates such as the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

If we cut and limp away, we take tattered and uncertain Western civilization with us. Leaving and letting the differing factions in the Middle East and hard-line Islamofascists and sympathizers in the wider world fight it out would lose more than the Iraq war.

It would split the world beyond deterrence, which relies on a shared recognition of the sacredness of life itself and which cannot be just a Western notion, but which — maybe secretly at times — abides in everyone’s heart of hearts.

ONA M. BUNCE

Bethesda

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Apparently the Iraq Study Group did not want to devalue the power of the newly evolved democracy (“Panel seeks final pullout in ‘08,” Page 1, Dec. 7). What it failed to realize is that the real power of democracy is the will of the people to adhere to certain principles of equality without respect to religion, culture or ethnic separations.

Chaos is created by untraceable deviations from the same initial conditions, which essentially spins off “strange attractors.” Within Iraq these are the sectarian groups that are spawning the violence. Each must be stabilized separately first before they can be integrated. Herein is where devolution can be applied, but it must be joined with a U.N. functional multilateralism (not Kofi Annan’s model, but consensus and compliance) in order to prevent the exploitation of the chaos by Iran and Syria. It should be an evolved model of the division of Germany post World War II, but with competent and strict global oversight to prevent the abuses that occurred in the East German zone.

Oversight should follow fundamental, tight and agreed on principles that protect Iraq as a nation state. Oversight should reside outside the U.N. management. Baghdad should be a neutral zone for governance — no weapons allowed — and any violence dealt with swiftly and forcibly.

Once stability is achieved in each of the three zones, then begin looking toward integration. In order to balance the smaller groups, oil profits need to be shared equally, and any damage will be shared equally. Jihad will be a violation of the law and will be prosecuted by the international community. Additionally, genocide and terrorism must be defined and enforced as a violation of global law. Because of its complexity, norms cannot be used; principles that are dynamic and scalable are the only solutions.

LARRY STONE

Peyton, Colo.

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