- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2006

Support Benning library project

The Benning Road Library and progress do not have to be mutually exclusive. Like me, many residents in Ward 7 support the idea of mixed-use properties and believe that it is not a bad idea to have such a property developed around the Benning Road Library (“NE housing plan slammed,” Metropolitan, Nov. 5). We should not consider this a conspiracy, rather we should look at this an opportunity. The Benning Road Library is not the only library in the city that is closed for proposed renovations and we have been presented with an opportunity to have the library reopened, create new housing opportunities and bring new businesses to our neighborhood with one project.

I don’t believe that mixed-use development around our library is a safety issue. Quite the contrary, the constant flow of people into an area and business security systems are a deterrent for crime. Also, home owners living above the library have a vested interest in their property and would encourage a safe and clean environment for the library patrons. I welcome the opportunity to see statistics that show an increase in crime around libraries that are a part of a mixed use development.

Moreover, this is an opportunity for different types of business to want to come to our neighborhood. We all want more than another liquor store or nail salon to open in our community. But we have to provide an infrastructure to support other types of businesses. This project moves us in that direction.

I agree that the Benning Road Library should not be substandard. I also agree that the closed library creates a huge void in the community that causes harm, in particular to the children of Ward 7. However, this is Ward 7’s chance to fill that void with a quality new public library and improve our economic infrastructure at the same time. We should help to develop this change and not fight it.

TONY SCURRY

Washington

Fox’s henhouse

Fox’s henhouseIn the article “Fox’s view of U.S. is widely shared” (World, Thursday) the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, is quoted as saying to a Mexican audience, “We are already a step ahead having been born in Mexico. Imagine being born in the United States.”

The total disdain shown by the president of a so-called friendly neighbor is breathtaking. The Mexican government encourages, aids and abets the illegal entry of its citizens into the United States and then spits in the United States’ face.

Mexico has no problem bilking the American people for billions of dollars, with the connivance of President Bush and other Republican politicians, for education, medical care and social welfare support for its citizens.

If a Mexican citizen is “a step ahead? for having been born in Mexico, why are Mexicans sneaking into the United States? Is Mexico the land of milk and honey minus the milk and honey? The merry band of thieves, otherwise known as the Mexican government, uses the treasury as its personal piggy bank, impoverishes its citizens and then tells them how lucky they are to be born Mexicans. That’s called chutzpah.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

Criticizing Bush

In response to the article, “Bush eyes Democrats for help on amnesty,” (Page 1, Thursday) it is obvious that President Bush has completely abandoned the rank-and-file members of his party. First, he waited until after the elections to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when he could have possibly saved a few Republican congressional seats, had he done so before the electionss.

Second, his first announcement after the overwhelming victory by Democrats, who now have control of the House, was to engage them in passing legislation that would open our borders to millions of low-skilled workers from around the world with a broad-based guest-worker program that would allow them to gain eventual citizenship that will inevitably drive our population to Third World numbers, destroying America’s middle class.

Not willing to just destroy the Republican Party, Mr. Bush, in my opinion, is hellbent on destroying America as we know it.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

No victory in defeat

If Democratic leaders can stop congratulating themselves long enough, perhaps they can focus on some harsh realities that they were not willing to discuss during the election campaign (“A verdict on Republicans,” Editorial, Thursday). Among them:

n North Korea and Iran continue to advance their plans to become nuclear powers, even as the toothless United Nations rhetorically expresses outrages, but takes no action.

n Long before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there were extremist Islamic groups that wanted to kill Americans and anyone else not adopting their views of religion and lifestyles. Wishing it weren’t so seems to be the approach of the Democrats.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to operate under the very mistaken impression that China and Russia are our allies, when in reality — and recent and not-so-recent history should tell us — they are just the opposite. China and Russia have been obstructionists in nearly every policy and action the United States has attempted for the past several years. Now, instead of the United States being in a position to stand strong and united before the U.N. and in international matters, the country’s resolve will appear weak, and decisive action unlikely, as Democrats will work to defeat the nomination of U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

Perhaps that is why Iran called the election results a “victory,” al Qaeda boldly proclaimed that it is winning the Iraq war and Mexico came calling on the president “demanding” amnesty for illegal aliens from that country and an even more liberal “guest worker” program essentially removing the border being the United States and Mexico.

Given the international track record of the Democrats the last time they were in power, I am not very hopeful. It was during the stint of a Democratic president that Pakistan and India became armed with nuclear weapons and North Korea and Iran made great strides toward that effort. It was while a Democrat was president that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein’s leadership, told the United States and U.N. to leave Iraq and stop monitoring its weapons program, and the U.S. weakly and naively did just that, creating the intelligence gap that still haunts us.

It was the last Democratic administration that negotiated the Kyoto global warming treaty, rejected by a Republican Congress because it would have exempted Third World countries, and China and India, from taking any action, even though those countries are the fastest growing economies in the world and their rate of pollution growth is accelerating accordingly.

Republicans were rightly punished for the administration’s poor strategy and execution of the Iraq war and were correctly vilified by their own conservative base for failing to protect U.S. borders. The Republican defeat was simply a protest vote to express frustration and not a mandate for the Democrats’ weak international policy, or domestic liberalism. The only moxie I expect the Democrats to display will be in their very public partisan, self-serving investigations of the Republican administration, while ignoring new and growing international threats.

Now it’s time for the giddy and naive Democratic leadership celebrating its takeover of Congress to face the harsh reality of being forced to answer this question: What is your plan?

GARY CLOUSER

Glen Carbon, Ill.


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