- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 8, 2006

Bush’s weak foreign policy

I agree with David Limbaugh about the Democrats’ lack of a credible Iraq war plan, but it is Bush cheerleaders like Mr. Limbaugh (and his brother Rush) who have given these lefties the political ammunition to possibly win both houses of Congress (“Who makes terrorists hate us?” Commentary, Sept. 30).

Instead of conservative commentators criticizing President Bush’s “timid” prosecution of the Iraq war for the last four years they have defended it. These pundits are strangely silent as Iran sends in foreign fighters to kill American soldiers with impunity. They present two bad choices: either the Democrat’s cut-and-run plan or the administration’s stay-the-course strategy — where the real conservative option is to fight all-out to win quickly and decisively.

These conservative talking heads have constantly portrayed Mr. Bush as a tough commander in chief, even though he pursues endless diplomacy while North Korea and Iran defiantly pursue nuclear weapons with impunity. Now, because of this dovish and liberal approach to these rogue states, Iran is approaching a nuclear state and an even more dangerous North Korea may soon test a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, as Mr. Bush talks tough on the war on terror, amazingly our borders are still wide open. In addition, this administration encourages sellout corporations to outsource our manufacturing to communist China, which helps it finance and build a superpower military, including nuclear-armed submarines and long-range missiles.

These are just some of the reasons why conservatives are fed up with Mr. Bush and the Republican Party, and unfortunately some will stay home this election. After these elections conservatives will need to regroup and prepare for the even more important 2008 elections.

Mr. Limbaugh and other media conservatives would better help the conservative cause they so dearly espouse by criticizing Mr. Bush and the Republicans from the right.

LEWIS SPECTOR

Doylestown, Pa.

Encouraging organ donors

Thousands of the 93,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year (“Organ transplants reclaim lives,” Commentary, yesterday).

There is a simple way to reduce the organ shortage — give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren’t willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Persons who want to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 888/ORGAN88. LifeSharers has 6,189 members, including more than 500 minor children enrolled by their parents.

DAVID J. UNDIS

Executive Director

LifeSharers

Nashville, Tenn.

Dealing with Islamist terror

Michael F. Scheuer’s occupation-based formula for provoking Sunni Arabs to “break the back” of anti-insurgent counterterrorism is unconvincing. It unnecessarily buys into the Islamist heroic self-image and obscures the impulsive uncontrollability of Islamist violence (“Tenet’s coming memoirs,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

First of all, Mr. Scheuer should know that Americans are not infidels. Period. Therefore, he might begin to acknowledge that Islamist Salafism demonizes the perceived “unbeliever” whether or not, as the column asserts, the “infidel” attacks (and to the Islamist the attacks are always “unprovoked”) and occupies this or that corner of the world the Islamists claim as their sole right of hegemony (including Jerusalem, Baghdad, Spain, or, apparently, the precincts of the Vatican).

Al Qaeda-affiliated groups pledged to assassinate the pope based not on occupation, not on the infidel going hither and yon, but on a brief citation and a millennium of bitter and unearned grudges. Until the CIA’s analytical ranks begin to honestly confront the theological and death-cult core of al Qaeda, their analytic product will continue to offer little guidance even if politicians try to distill useful policy from their flawed, accommodationist sociologese.

Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing where we would be in that alternate universe if Saddam Hussein, having, after all, publicly proclaimed al Qaeda members as Islamic martyrs and congratulated their victory of September 11, were still sitting in his seat of power.

PAUL FREEDMAN

Falls Church

The ‘Big Lie’ about obesity

Anti-tobacco lawyer John F. Banzhaf III must have been smoking something when he wrote his letter to the editor (“Lawyers and lawsuits,” Tuesday). Mr. Banzhaf subscribes to the “Big Lie” theory — the mentality that holds that if you repeat something often enough, it becomes true.

What’s not true in Mr. Banzhaf’s letter? Well, it’s not true that obesity costs the American economy more than $115 billion a year. That figure was calculated from a dubious 1998 study that double- and triple-counted costs. It’s also disingenuous to claim that any of his numerous obesity lawsuits have won on anything other than technicalities unrelated to obesity. One of his self-proclaimed “victories” resulted in customers being offered two free desserts for every one they had purchased.

The reason his fat lawsuits haven’t worked is that personal responsibility is one of the core tenets of our legal system.

RICHARD BERMAN

Executive Director

Center for Consumer Freedom

Washington

Wars are tricky things

According to Arnaud de Borchgrave, Sam Gardiner is a “strategic thinker who called all the correct diplomatic and military plays preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom,” (“If and when Bush ‘Iraqs’ Iran,” Commentary, Tuesday). Did Mr. Gardiner also predict the impasse that currently confronts the U.S. military in Iraq, at a cost to the U.S. taxpayer of $5 billion a month? Is this the definition of ‘Iraqing’ another country?

Wars are tricky things. Unless they are quick and decisive, the outcome can surprise you. Not many people ever thought that the Iraqi and Lebanese resistance forces would be able to successfully stand up to military invasions from the United States and Israel.

Alone, a U.S. air strike against Iran offers only an “opening shot” to a conflict that could consume the entire region in armed turmoil. Any temporary U.S. gains made against the Iranian nuclear power program would quickly become meaningless in the face of an unpredictable, multidimensional war fought on many fronts.

A U.S. military strike against Iran reminds me a little of the situation in Eastern Europe during the late summer of 1939. Adolf Hitler gambled wildly on a conquest of Poland, in order to liberate the German city of Danzig and force a physical reunification with East Prussia. But once the guns opened up, there was no end. Fifty million people were killed in the long, terrible series of conflagrations we call World War II.

MARK MERAT

San Francisco


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