- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 12, 2006

Conservatives backed Webb

The lesson of the 2006 election in Virginia is clear: It takes a Republican to beat a Republican in the U.S. Senate (“A verdict on Republicans,” Editorial, Thursday).

Virginia’s electorate voted 1,327,269 to 997,877 in favor a constitutional amendment — a fairly drastic action — banning homosexual “marriage” in Virginia. However, they also voted 1,174,816 to 1,165,881 for former Reagan administration Navy Secretary James H. Webb Jr. over far more likeable George Allen.

Constitutional Amendment 1 that passed on Tuesday clearly tells us that 57 percent of Virginia voters are conservative and only 43 percent are liberal, moderate or libertarian — combined.

How is it that 1,327,269 Virginians voted to ban homosexual “marriage” yet only 1,165,881 voted for George Allen? Put another way, 161,388 Virginia voters cast their ballots against homosexual “marriage,” yet also to elect Mr. Webb instead of Mr. Allen. How could 161,388 voters — 6.8 percent of the total vote — be both against homosexual “marriage” and in favor of Mr. Webb?

Moderates, by definition, would not take such a strong stand as to oppose homosexual “marriage.” By definition, libertarians and moderates alike would want to “live and let live” and would not tell homosexuals what kind personal relationships they can have. Few if any of these 1,327,269 voters opposing homosexual “marriage” would qualify as what we are told moderates all stand for. These are also not libertarians and certainly not liberals.

Obviously, Mr. Webb was — correctly — perceived as a conservative Republican. The former Reagan official abandoned the Republican Party to become a Democrat only a few months before he filed as a candidate in this year’s election. As a former Navy secretary under Ronald Reagan, Mr. Webb naturally appealed to the strong military vote around Norfolk and Virginia Beach and around the Pentagon. Mr. Webb intentionally ran as a Republican, which included using photographs of him with Mr. Reagan in campaign advertising.

Obviously, after the betrayal of conservative policies by the Bush White House and the Senate, Mr. Allen was — incorrectly — held responsible for the repeated surrender of the Republican Party to liberal Democratic policies, such as vast overspending, the failure to protect the Southern and Northern borders, etc. (Note that Mexico fiercely defends its own southern border against immigrants from South America. The United States should adopt Mexico’s own border policies on its southern border.)

Disgusted with the failure of the Republican Party to stand up for conservative beliefs and to articulate its policies in the arena of ideas, 161,388 voters chose Mr. Webb while simultaneously voting against homosexual “marriage.” Presumably, other conservatives stayed home.

It is very telling that there were 2,369,209 total votes cast for the Senate but only 2,325,149 votes cast for Constitutional Amendment 1. Thus, it cannot be said that conservatives showed up to support the amendment while abstaining from the Senate race. It is clear that conservatives voted for Mr. Webb.

JONATHON MOSELEY

Ashburn, Va.

Whitewashing jihadist atrocities

Yet again, the U.N. Security Council attempted to condemn Israel, this time for an errant missile strike aimed at Hamas terrorists that instead went off course and accidentally hit the home of a family that the Palestinian terrorists were effectively using as a human shield. But for the United States’ laudable decision to veto the resolution, Israel would have been condemned (“U.S. vetoes U.N. resolution condemning Israeli attack,” Page 1, yesterday).

Of course, no one at the United Nations even proposed condemning the Palestinian terrorists who were deliberately bombarding Israeli civilians with missiles while knowingly endangering their fellow Palestinians by firing from their midst.

If there was any real interest in the world in pursuing justice, the United Nations would instead condemn Hamas’ leadership for its crimes against humanity, which include targeting and killing Israeli civilians with missile barrages and holding kidnapped 20-year-old Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit as a hostage in violation of international law.

Indeed, where were the condemnations of Hamas for the terrorist group’s deliberate atrocities targeting innocent Israeli civilians, such as the Aug. 9, 2001, bombing of a Sbarro’s pizzeria in Jerusalem, which killed 15 persons? Where were the condemnations when Hamas terrorists blew up the cafeteria of Hebrew University in Jerusalem on July 31, 2002, killing nine persons including American graduate student Marla Bennett?

Where were the condemnations of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat when documents seized from his Ramallah compound in 2002 proved that he personally authorized many of the bloodiest terrorist attacks of the intifada, including the Hamas bombing of the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv, murdering 21 Israeli innocents, mostly teenagers. Consider that following that attack, which killed children as young as 14-year-old Maria Taglichev, Arafat sent the bomber’s father a reward of $2,000 and a letter praising the massacre of innocent Israeli children.

And where are the condemnations today for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who this summer launched nearly 4,000 Syrian- and Iranian-supplied missiles at Israeli cities, killing dozens of Israeli civilians, and who continues to hold hostage two kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev?

Finally, and perhaps most conspicuously, where are the condemnations of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has explicitly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and appears to be determined to develop nuclear weapons to carry out his genocidal threats?

Unfortunately, the world looks for any excuse it can find to condemn Israel while ignoring the barbaric and inhuman behavior of the terrorists who daily attack Israel and openly boast of their plans for the Jewish state’s eventual annihilation.

Sadly, as long as extremist regimes in the Middle East act like bullies, and as long as most of the world (except for the United States) condones and indulges this behavior, there is little chance there will be peace for anyone in the region anytime soon.

STEPHEN A. SILVER

Walnut Creek, Calif.

Media misinformation

Although I am a conservative, I believe Steve Chapman’s article, “Welcoming the divide” (Commentary, Saturday) has some merit. Divided government truly does cause restraint among the politicos. And Mr. Chapman’s call for smaller government, including a return to states’ rights, is right on.

However, how can a reasonable analysis of divided government include an illogical statement that neglects the facts? The article says: “[… the Republicans who controlled] Congress facilitated Mr. Bush’s rush to war and because Democrats lacked the votes (or the nerve) to block the way. The same one-party consensus gave the president a blank check to do whatever he wanted in the war on terror — whether it was trying to deny the courts any say over Guantanamo, allowing torture of foreign detainees, or wiretapping Americans’ phone calls without a warrant.”

Taking action after 17 United Nations resolutions and years of Iraq defying them is not a rush to war. Besides, not only did Congress initially support the war, but so did most of Europe and other Western democracies.

I can overlook the opinion about the supposed rush to war, but not the liberal philosophy about the courts, torture and wiretapping. Enemy combatants, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, are not entitled to our federal courts, no matter how many times liberals demand it be so. No evidence has surfaced to date that any enemy detainee has been tortured, no matter how many times the liberal media has proclaimed it.

And wiretapping American phone calls from or to overseas locations without a warrant is not illegal and hasn’t been adjudicated yet. These kinds of “write down what you don’t like and perhaps the readers will buy into it” are what conservative talk-show hosts describe as the “drive-by media.”

Mr. Chapman just proved them right. He threw his liberal opinion against the wall simply because he disagrees with certain actions, not because they have been proven to be illegal.

RAY WIKSTROM

Jacksonville, Fla.

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