- The Washington Times - Friday, June 9, 2006

Farewell to DeLay

In a farewell speech to his soon-to-be-former House colleagues, which was surprisingly well-received, former Majority Leader Tom DeLay directed the members to “stand on principle.” How rich.

What, pray tell, would be the DeLay principle? It would appear that it would foster a sense of entitlement, the ability to amass a vast fortune for oneself and one’s family, unbridled power, and a virtual lifetime appointment to Congress. It also would enable one to be a close and dear friend and associate of those like super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the middleman in the sale of government to the highest bidder.

I hope that members of the House will demonstrate the good sense to take advice from Tom DeLay with a clump of salt. Mr. DeLay has disgraced himself, his congressional district, and his nation, having committed ethical miscues. He should be tossed out of the House on his ear, not lauded by anyone as a statesman or martyr.

OREN M. SPEIGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Bring back the horse-mounted police unit

When Congress hastily dismantled the U. S. Capitol Police Horse-Mounted Unit after its short existence of 14 months, it is obvious they were shortsighted in their judgment concerning the benefit of such a unit (“Police official’s son attacked on Capitol Hill,” Briefly, Metropolitan, Thursday).

The lawmakers’ lack of good judgment has become even more apparent now with the victimization of Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Christopher McGaffin’s son, Bryan McGaffin, who was recently assaulted on Capitol Hill at the Lower Senate Park. When the horse-mounted unit existed, the unit regularly patrolled that particular area. If it were still around, perhaps this crime would not have occurred.

A horse-mounted unit is extremely beneficial because an officer on a horse equals 10 officers on foot. Moreover, a horse-mounted unit has a high degree of visibility and can easily access areas such as parks, steps, stairwells, and locations that police cruisers cannot.A horse-mounted unit has a highly visible presence that can deter crime, and a unit of this type is also a productive mechanism for crow control.

The former horse-mounted unit of the U.S. Capitol Police was an effective law-enforcement tool that was necessary on Capitol Hill. As a result of efforts by certain members of Congress to disband it, the unit’s proven success was short-lived.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Democrat, is now vocalizing her concern about safety and security both at the U.S. Capitol and on the National Mall. This is interesting, considering she has not, in the past, been a proponent of many of the safety and security strategies that were previously implemented on Capitol Hill. If her concern is genuine, perhaps she can make a concerted effort to bring back the U.S. Capitol Police Horse-Mounted Unit.

Return of the horse-mounted unit would likely diminish crime, such as the type that victimized Bryan McGaffin.

KAREN BUNE

Fairfax

The death of Zarqawi

I already believe that the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi (“Terrorists death aids chance for progress,” Page One, yesterday) will help the coalition turn the corner in Iraq.

With such a prominent leader gone from the fight now, in the eyes of many people in the Muslim world today only the rank-and-file exist. That meansthe charismaof the terrorist — one of their strongest weapons in reaching out to new recruits across the world — has been removed and replaced perhaps with thosea lot less cautious, skilledand respected by Muslim minds. Thisis a very good thing indeed and a situation to be exploited.

Buteven if there are stillmore powerful men than Zarqawi in the al Qaeda network (although that may not be the case as he was hardly a puppet and too often people credit the unknown with being the greatest danger), to those he led, an invaluable chain of command has been lost. So,even if bombings were to continueover the next few weeks the possible lack of planning in al Qaeda’s forces in Iraq means that they may only last that long.

And this says nothing of the jubilation of the Iraqi people at his demise. There has also been absolutely no talk of martyrdom, which is yetanother indication of whose side the people of Iraq are really on — again in contradiction to what many press organizations in Europe or the Democratic Party argue.

Of course, the fight still remains against the sleeper cells in the West that operate independently of theterrorists in the Middle East, but that is moreof a problem for our security services. And even though terrorists may feel inclined to strike back at us now rather urgently because of our success this week,even theymust feelless in controlof their “homeland” than they did before.(This is another reason why the fight against terrorism hadto take place in the Middle East, as it drew manyterroristsinto that region to make their stand there rather than attacking the West intermittently over here — which has only tended toincrease our resolve.)

The coalition has neverbeen destabilized by terrorist attacks as much as Iraq was with the bombing of the Shi’ite shrine in Samarra.

In any case, I’d much rather fight the extremistsnow — away from our shores — rather than further down the line when theyare much better armed and infiltrated into Westernsociety on a much greater scale.

NEIL PRICE

Bedford, U.K.

While killing Abu Musab Zarqawi (“Bush touts ‘sever blow to al Qaeda,” Front Page, yesterday) may be a symbolic victory as killing Osama bin Laden would be, it is far too early to tell what impact, if any, his death might have on the Iraqi insurgency. While President Bush is calling this a “great accomplishment,” let’s not forget that Zarqawi came to power after the U.S. invaded Iraq — a war launched after Mr. Bush took his eye off bin Laden and al Qaeda.

Zarqawi’s rise to power was greatly enriched by the anti-U.S. sentiment the Iraq war has caused.

Overall terrorist attacks worldwide have increased exponentially, so it is hard to see how much positive impact this tiny victory will have in the long run.

Greg Horak

Aurora, Colo.

So, Abu Musab Zarqawi, the charismatic and evil al Qaeda-in-Iraq terrorist mastermind, is dead.

Upon the announcement of this important achievement in military intelligence and operational execution in the media, the difference between the center-right and liberal media crystalized. You may recall that prior to the eradication of this vermin, liberal politicians constantly attacked the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and the White House for their inability to track down and destroy the topmost al Qaeda leadership.

Now that Zarqawi is gone, not a few liberal politicians and their “client” media voices have begun to downplay the achievement and to weight their coverage to minimize the positive aspects of his termination in favor of doom-and-gloom prognostications.

Meanwhile, news outlets like The Washington Times and Fox News have approached the coverage differently: lauding the administration and military, while noting that this spectacular end of the campaign to eliminate Zarqawi is not the end of the war on terror.

ED WOLCOFF

Manassas


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