- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

In service to America

The subject of recruiting foreign nationals for the U.S. armed forces is now being considered because of increasing pressure on existing U.S. military manpower (“The Lafayette brigades,” Editorial, yesterday).

What seems to get lost in the discussion is the historical fact that the United States has often recruited foreigners to make up for shortfalls in citizen recruiting.

During the American Civil War, tens of thousands of Irish and English were recruited on British soil, put on American flag ships and then sworn into U.S. services when at sea.

In 1951, Congress passed the Lodge Act which specifically authorized the recruitment of non-U.S. persons from Eastern Europe for the purpose of manning U.S. Special Forces.

At any given time there are 35,000 to 50,000 foreigners in the armed forces who were recruited within the United States.

All of these soldiers were and are promised U.S. citizenship in return for faithful service.

Hardly anyone in the United States favors a return to the draft. Foreign recruiting is a partial answer to our present problems in recruiting as it was in the past.

W. PATRICK LANG

Alexandria

Befitting Ike

Oct. 14 — President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s birthday — was especially fitting for the dedication of the Air Force memorial (“Wings of valor,” Op-Ed, Wednesday). Known to the world as a World War II commander, Ike, both as a general and as president, supported and promoted the creation of the United States Air Force.

Earlier than many senior commanders, Gen. Eisenhower understood the unique, but interdependent, contributions of the Army, the Navy, and the United States Army Air Forces in World War II. Following the war, he supported the creation of an independent Air Force and the subordination of the Army, Navy, and Air Force under a civilian secretary of defense. He also ensured that Army leaders treated the soon-to-be separated Air Force as an equal to the Army and Navy more than a year before the change actually became law.

Possessing a special organizational genius, Gen. Eisenhower carried his profound strategic knowledge and experience into his new presidential role as commander in chief.

Little did he know that the Air Force he helped create as general would then become a powerful element in his long-range strategy to win the Cold War.

On Sept. 21, a special site was approved for Ike’s memorialization. This icon will be appropriately across the street from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Air and Space Museum (NASA was Ike’s creation).

Gen. Eisenhower’s support of the Air Force continued through his presidency and on April 1, 1954 he signed legislation establishing the Air Force Academy.

BRIG. GEN. CARL W. REDDEL

Air Force (Retired)

Executive director

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Memorial Commission

Washington

Go to the polls

A friend of mine had a wry comeback for those who would accuse him of inconsistency when he changed course from some previous stand. He would say, “Well, I used to soil my diapers, too.”

I was reminded of this by Ross Kaminsky in “Stay-at-home voters” (Letters, Sunday) who apparently believes that what’s better is the enemy of what’s best. Explaining why he will not vote in November, Mr. Kaminsky said, “Although the Democrats will be even worse on spending, immigration and regulation … the Republicans have not given us a good enough reason not to stay home.”

This argument from the right for not voting is just as childish as the utopian fantasies of the left that once kept me away from the polls. I didn’t register to vote until age 50, in the aftermath of September 11, I now know that there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans. Terrorism has made that difference abundantly clear to me.

What will it take to make other stay-at-home voters shed their diapers?

GREGORY L. LEWIS

Baltimore

Virginia is for smart voters

The editorial staff of The Washington Times hit the nail on the head in “James Webb: Retract this error-strewn ad” (Editorial, Wednesday) except for one thing: Mr. Webb and his staff aren’t guilty of errors.

Mr. Webb’s most recent ad simply intensifies his team’s campaign of distortion, innuendo and outright falsehoods aimed at slurring Sen. George Allen — and distracting attention from the real issues in the campaign.

But you can be certain of the hope expressed in the editorial: Virginians are more than smart enough to see through these lies. And they are sick of the way Democrats are trying to hide the fact that they have put up a candidate with no experience, no ideas and no charisma by covering the whole campaign with a thick layer of mud.

SUZANNE VOLPE

Sterling, Va.

Rebutting Hezbollah PR

In “Israel after the Hezbollah War” (Op-Ed, Friday) Norman J. Kurz writes that “two months after fighting ended, no reliable account exists of Hezbollah soldiers killed in battle.”

However, a detailed account of reported casualties in last summer’s war between Hezbollah and Israel in Lebanon does exist. It rebuts Hezbollah public relations efforts — to which Mr. Kurz alludes — to hide its losses; the report’s sources include The Washington Times.

In “Questioning the Number of Civilian Casualties in Lebanon” (Sept. 7, www.camera.org), researcher Steven Stotsky notes: “On August 25, the Lebanese Higher Relief Council, an official government agency, estimated 1,187 Lebanese deaths in total resulting from the conflict. If, as Associated Press reported, only 68 Hezbollah and 34 soldiers were killed, then it would be true that ‘an overwhelming majority,’ ‘nearly all,’ or ‘most’ of the Lebanese casualties were civilians. But the number of Hezbollah fighters among the total dead is clearly much higher.

“Even before the end of hostilities, Israel released a list of 196 Hezbollah fighters, individually identified by name, who were killed in fighting through Aug. 6, and at the same time estimated an additional 200 fighters were killed beyond those listed. (Israel has since updated its list of fighters to include 532 names.)

“The Daily Telegraph [U.K.] has been candid about Hezbollah’s efforts to hide its casualties. An Aug. 4 piece by Con Coughlin noted that “although Hezbollah has refused to make public the extent of the casualties it has suffered, Lebanese officials estimate that up to 500 fighters have been killed in the past three weeks of hostilities with Israel, and another 1,500 injured.”

The study also notes that U.N. officials, the Kuwaiti Times and Israeli Maj. Gen. Ya’akov Amidror reportedly put the number of Hezbollah terrorists killed in the fighting at 500 to 700. Finally, “Abraham Rabinovich reported in The Washington Times (Sept. 27) that Israel now had identified the names of 532 dead Hezbollah fighters and estimated at least 200 others had been killed.”

ERIC ROZENMAN

Washington director

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Washington


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