- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Military today, leaders tomorrow

Though I’m certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I learned a long time ago — from my father, a former active-duty Marine — that civilian oversight of our military is one of the things that makes America great (“Not-so-smart college boys,” Op-Ed, Monday).

While in the military — and introduced to the work of Carl von Clausewitz — I learned that war is, among other things, an extension of policy. What’s frightening is that so few civilian policy-makers responsible for overseeing our military have had the honor of gaining an insider’s view of our armed forces.

Many of the bright young sailors with whom I have the privilege of serving — here by choice — when deciding to leave active duty after an enlistment or two are almost apologetic for not serving longer. I am grateful that they served, wish them the best in their prospective endeavors and pray that their desire to serve will impel them to be the great policy-makers and overseers of the future.

LCDR. SHAUN S. BROWN

Navy

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

‘Life, it is forever’

Monday’s Page One article “Disabled newborns face verdict” relates how the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecology (RCOG) is recommending that “active euthanasia” be considered for “seriously disabled newborns … to spare parents the emotional and financial burdens of bringing up such children.”

George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It was just about a century ago that another eugenics movement began in a number of countries, including the United States. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, said eugenics was the “most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems”(“The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” Birth Control Review, Oct. 1921, Page 5). Eugenics was implemented on a large scale by the German medical profession, especially psychiatrists, and adopted, adapted and “perfected” by Hitler and the Nazis to get rid of the people Hitler deemed as “unter menschen” (subhuman); i.e., 11 million Jews and Christians.

Fredrick Wertham laid out the progression from abortion to euthanasia of the infirm, the mentally and terminally ill and then on to the horrors of the Nazi killings in his book “A Sign for Cain.” The RCOG is on the same path.

Simon Wiesenthal wrote in his book “The Murderers Amongst Us” that even the Schutzstaffel, or SS, of Nazi Germany looked up to psychiatrists as the most experienced professional killers — an ideal to follow. That psychiatrists already had murdered Germans considered inferior because of physical defects provided the SS with a rationale for slaughtering Jews, whom they held to have no value. Thus, psychiatric ideology and techniques as used in the euthanasia program formed the basis for the Holocaust.

The late Pope John Paul II said during his October 1979 visit to the District: “I do not hesitate to proclaim… all human life is sacred, because human life is created in the image and likeness of God … and when God gives life, it is forever.”

Life must be respected and cared for, no matter its condition; else we will descend into another Holocaust abyss.

DR. WILLIAM J. HOGAN

Rockville

As if killing unborn children with disabilities weren’t bad enough, now England’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecology is proposing that doctors should be able to offer “life-shortening” options to parents of newborns with serious disabilities (“Disabled newborns face verdict,” Page 1, Monday). The college’s formal submission outlines “deliberate interventions to kill infants,” referring to the deadly methods as “ways of widening the management of options available to the sickest of newborns.” For anyone who missed the article, non-resuscitation and active euthanasia are but two of the barbaric “options” that would become available for these babies.

Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition, defines disability as an “inability to pursue an occupation due to physical or mental impairment.” Based on this definition, and the College’s recent recommendations, I believe the entire body of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecology has proved, beyond a shadow of doubt, that it is mentally impaired. It is seriously mentally impaired — to the point of no longer possessing the ability to pursue occupations as healing practitioners.

Congratulations, doctors. You have entered the world of the seriously disabled. So, who wants to go first? Come on, docs, don’t be shy. Step right up.

MAUREEN A. MCCAULEY

Pittsburgh

The Ortega victory

Daniel Ortega won the Nicaraguan elections, considered fair across the board, with nearly 75 percent voter participation. This is far higher than the 50 percent typically seen in U.S. elections, and it lends him correspondingly more mandate to govern (“Ortega avoids runoff vote to win Nicaragua presidency,” World, yesterday).

The Bush administration has threatened punitive measures, such as the blocking of loans, aid and/or remittances should the Nicaraguans vote as they have. Needless to say, blackmail is hardly compatible with democracy, especially given the historical record as well as the disparity in power between the United States and Nicaragua.

Those of us who take democracy seriously will oppose not only actual force, threats or interference against Nicaragua, but also the notion, implicit in most articles on the election in the U.S. press, that we have the right to even consider such measures, regardless of who the Nicaraguans elect to govern.

ERIK MAR

Culver City, Calif.

After three failed re-election bids, former Nicaraguan President, and leader of the Sandinista’s, Daniel Ortega,has resumed power, thanks in part to the financial support ofHugo Chavez, the Venezuelan egoist with intimate relations with the ailing FidelCastro(“The Nicaraguanelection” Editorial, Tuesday).

The Ortega victory may well be a blow to U.S. policy in central America.A mostinteresting question, however,will be the reaction bySen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, to this event. While then-President Reagan was trying to stem the tide of communism in that region, Mr. Dodd was in full support ofMr. Ortega. As for Mr. Chavez, it will also be recalled that Mr. Dodd, as the senior Democrat on the Subcommittee for Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs, at a hearing in June 2004, praised the referendum that raised Mr. Chavez into the presidency as “a triumph for the democratic process in Venezuela.” This is the same Hugo Chavez who was an embarrassment to the United Nations when theVenezuelan president took his verbal battle with the United States to the floor of the U.N. General Assemblyin September, calling President Bush “the devil.”

It istime that Mr. Dodd announce whether or not he hasre-evaluated his rosy opinion ofHugo Chavez and that he willmake aneffortto convince his friend Daniel Ortegathatit is payback time, insisting thatMr. Ortega stand by his avowing thatthis Sandinista is no longer a doctrinaire Communist.

WILLIAM H. SMITH

Palm Desert, Calif.

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