- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Donkeys in the District

I am a daily home subscriber to The Washington Times and always read it in its entirety. I love the editorial page and have been a frequent contributor to the Letters to the Editor. I particularly enjoyed Deborah Simmons’ Monday Op-Ed column, “Donkeys and the Fat Lady.” My favorite sentence, and one that just made me howl, was, “… as the Fat Lady had the script down pat, enter the city’s longest-serving jackass, Marion Barry.”

I could not agree more; the choice of words and the way it was written were tremendous. Thanks for the chuckle and for giving me some moments of pleasure in reading it.

KAREN L. BUNE

Arlington

The Ottoman Empire

The following letter is in response to Sunday’s Forum article “Islamic tolerance.” Far from being tolerant, the Ottoman Empire was immensely oppressive and brutal, and its monstrous reign left behind a notorious legacy in its captive nations that has lasted up to the present day. Historical recollections of the Seljuk and Ottoman Turkish incursions into Anatolia do not make for pleasant reading.

The fall of Constantinople was accompanied by three days of bloody slaughter in which Greeks were either murdered or systematically rounded up and sent off to slavery in Adrianople. The institution of the janizaries wiped out generations of Greek and other Christian boys who were forcibly taken from their families, converted to Islam and turned into ruthless killing machines.

As for Mustafa Kemal (aka Kemal Ataturk), history will remember him as another dead dictator of the 20th century. Kemal’s legacy is sealed, as can be seen by the collapse of his revolution in Turkey, which is being overtaken by the rise of fundamentalists. In addition, Kemal was a bloody murderer who presided over the genocide of the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian Christian populations.

His conquest of Smyrna was accompanied by the indiscriminate slaughter of Christian civilians. It is only in the make-believe world of Turkish apologists where history can be twisted and manipulated so easily. Entire peoples who were decimated as a result of genocide can disappear in the falsified and more pleasant versions of history that Ankara has been putting forward since the establishment of the Kemalist entity.

The Turkish Republic openly sponsors terrorism, as can be seen by the violent protests that routinely occur outside the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Ankara has promoted terrorism in the occupied territories of Cyprus, and Greek protesters have been murdered. Kemal ordered the expulsion of 1 million people from their ancestral lands in 1922. In addition, he ethnically cleansed an additional 400,000 Greeks from Constantinople during the mid-1920s in order to bring about the full Turkification of lands that he had seized from the Christians. His successors have done a remarkable job of emulating his racist policies, as can be seen by the ethnic cleansing of Greeks from within Turkey and Turkish-occupied Cyprus over the past 50 years.

THEODORE G. KARAKOSTAS

Boston

Can you hear them now?

Tuesday’s primary elections were both good news and bad news for Republicans. The good news is that Republican incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee won (“Chafee wins in pivotal R.I. race,” Nation, yesterday). The bad news is that he is an anti-war and anti-Bush senator.

Last month, Sen. Joe Lieberman, a pro-war Democrat who was photographed kissing President Bush, lost his primary election to an unknown novice antiwar candidate, Ned Lamont. I think the voters are sending a message that both Democrats and Republicans need to hear. That message is that we are tired of Mr. Bush, we are tired of failure, we are tired of the lies, we aren’t going to stay the course, and we want America to recover and be a strong nation again.

Voters are turning back to reality.

MARC PERKEL

San Bruno, Calif.

Republicans and immigration

Promises by House Majority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois don’t impress me (“Immigration reform now,” Editorial, Tuesday). Those promises are nothing more than election-year posturing, just like President Bush’s purported National Guard presence on the border.

After learning that the National Republican Congressional Committee went back on its commitment to remain neutral in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District race and then sent a $234,000 donation to Steve Huffman (the “open borders” clone of retiring Rep. “Gentleman Jim” Kolbe), I understand that the commitments of House leaders clearly are on-again-off-again as they review their political chances in November.

Of course, that NRCC contribution wasn’t expected to become public knowledge — it was supposed to be a “dark of the night” backroom deal. However, the nearly quarter-million-dollar donation wouldn’t have happened without the solid approval of Mr. Hastert, Mr. Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri. Whether the donation reflects White House pressure or just “fence straddling” by House leadership is irrelevant.

At the end of the day, House leaders have demonstrated they’re concerned only for their own political fortunes. They care nothing for substance, only for appearance. They have had five years since September 11 to achieve immigration reform and enforcement, and they bowed to Mr. Bush and his open-borders agenda until it threatened their political careers.

The House leadership’s promised immigration reform bill should be scrutinized closely. Does it contain any hidden giveaways like the huge increase in H-1B visas demanded by Bill Gates and the rest of the high-tech industry in the SKIL (Securing Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership) Bill? Or another guest-worker amnesty, allowing 20-million-plus illegal aliens to remain in the United States?

SANDRA MILLER

Phoenix

From Somalilanders

Somaliland Forum commends Geoff Hill and The Washington Times for Sunday’s fair and accurate column on the Republic of Somaliland (“Somaliland’s plight,” Commentary). Somaliland has liberated itself from a ruthless dictator and has established democratic institutions that have enabled her to enjoy the stability and progress she has today.

As was said in the column, Somaliland was a separate nation from Somalia; therefore, their union was the union of two independent nations. This is a fact many choose to overlook. Somaliland has not received the help of the international community, but that is in no way an indication that Somalilanders lack the will to advocate for their recognition. Rather, it is the result of the disinterest of the so-called democratic nations and media.

Just this past weekend, Somalilanders held a major conference in Washington to advocate for the recognition of Somaliland and highlight its accomplishments. Somalilanders are constantly advocating for their country. In fact, our organization and many others were founded in that regard.

We hope others in the media give Somaliland the fair analysis The Washington Times and Mr. Hill did.

We thank you enormously.

MOHAMMED A. ALI

BARANBARO

Chairman

Somaliland Forum.org

Boston

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