- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2006

‘Why they hate us’

In the article “Unanswered questions of September 11” (Page 1, Sept. 10), we read of Lee Hamilton, vice chairman of the national September 11 commission asking, “Why do they hate us?”

I can answer Mr. Hamilton’s question, and it’s not rocket science. The main reason militant Muslims and their supporters hate us is because we are a nation of infidels. The Koran commands Muslims to fight unbelievers: “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly” (Koran 47:4).

The Koran also promises those who fight in the name of Allah a paradise with “fair women with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes” (Koran 44:54). September 11 hijacker Muhammad Atta even packed a “paradise wedding suit” into his luggage that fateful day.

It’s unbelievable that five years after the September 11 attacks, some people just don’t want to remove their political-correctness blinders and face the ugly truth. Would another attack by Muslim terrorists finally open our eyes? I highly doubt it.

PAUL REXON

Silver Spring

A message for Republicans

My letter is in response to “Marriage vote seen as lifeline for Allen,” (Page 1, Sunday). Brag Bowling, a commander in Virginia’s Sons of Confederate Veterans — and, until recently, a loyal supporter of Sen. George Allen — pointed to the growing frustration among Republicans that “maybe it’s time for the Republicans to lose some power.”

Let’s face it: In 1994, we Republicans had the House and the Senate; in 2001 we had it all, and we blew it.

I, as well as many other Republicans like Mr. Bowling, was sorely tempted to teach those Republicans a lesson by staying away from the polls. “We’ll show you, we won’t vote for you.” However, instead of teaching Republicans a lesson, we would be cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Consider the consequences of putting in Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House, not to mention the power that would be in the hands of the likes of Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Harry Reid. That thought alone should have Republicans breaking down the doors to the polling places.

I fully believe that if the Democrats regain power — and there is a good possibility that it will happen if Republicans do not go to the polls — Republicans will go another 40 years before being able to reach majority again.

Someone once said, “We have a two-party system. The evil party and the stupid party. And we’re the stupid party.” However, we don’t have to keep proving it by repeatedly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

STELLA L. JATRAS

Camp Hill, Pa.

For the record

Nat Hentoff’s column “Seeking Justice,” about the administration’s relationship with military lawyers — members of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGs) — is replete with inaccuracies (Op-Ed, September 11).

For example, in the development of interrogation policies in 2002 and 2003, civilian political decision-makers did not “ignore the Uniformed Code of Military Justice” (UCMJ).

Instead, JAGs led the analysis of the UCMJ part of that work because of their expertise with that body of law. Most important, far from being “kept out” of the work on interrogations, JAGs participated actively in the 2003 working group discussions on interrogation policy, and as Rear Adm. James McPherson testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July 2005, “we did have an impact.”

More recently, concerning draft legislation for trials of captured terrorists, the top military lawyers for each service, their staffs, and civilian Department of Defense leadership worked together closely for many hours over several weeks developing and reviewing successive proposals leading to the one President Bush submitted to Congress last week.

It is therefore a misrepresentation to claim that the administration’s consultation consisted of only one meeting between Department of Justice lawyers and a working group of military lawyers. To the extent that the administration’s proposed legislation differs from the recommendations of individual JAGs, that difference is not occasioned by lack of JAG involvement — rather, it results from considered administration determinations, after careful attention to all points of view.

The truth is that the Department of Defense and the administration have relied extensively on the expertise of JAGs in the field and JAGs at the Pentagon in addressing the very difficult issues that have arisen in the ongoing war against global terrorism, and it is wrong to portray the military lawyers as a distinct group who all adhere to a single viewpoint, distinct and opposed to the civilian lawyers and the administration.

BRYAN G. WHITMAN

Deputy assistant secretary

Public affairs

Office of the Assistant Secretary

Defense Department

Washington

Moran’s insincerity

The article “House passes border fence” (Page 1, Friday)noted that Rep. Jim Moran, Virginia Democrat, had changed positions and voted in favor of building a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

On April 12, I received a mass e-mail that Mr. Moran sent to his constituents on this subject. At the time Mr. Moran claimed, “In my view, it would be impossible and immoral to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building fences.” If Mr. Moran really believed a mere five months ago that the fence was immoral, how can he vote for it now?

If Mr. Moran did not believe it was immoral but claimed it was, he was a liar.

JONATHAN MARK

Alexandria

Disdain from the left

The Democrats responded to President Bush’s September 11 speech, calling it “political.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid led the chorus. In a sense, all speeches made by politicians are political. However, some are great speeches, and some are not. Tony Blankley’s Wednesday Op-Ed column, “Just another political speech,” highlights the difference.

Winston Churchill’s “Their Finest Hour” speech was made to unite the British in a noble cause, urging them to “brace” themselves to their duties and “bear” themselves accordingly in their battle against Nazi Germany.

Mr. Blankley’s speech by the fictional Lord Harold Reid was anything but inspirational. It was bitter, defeatist and clearly disdainful of Churchill. Lord Reid’s fictional grandson, a future “leader of the fictional Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate,” most assuredly was taking notes. It would appear that Sen. Reid read them.

This is an election year, and we all expect to hear opposing positions as Republicans and Democrats square off against one another. Yet the country is fighting a war, and one would expect loyal opposition rather than the brass-knuckle, gutter-fighting brawl that is taking place. Mr. Bush’s speech was inspiring. Not so Mr. Reid’s.

The leftist disdain of Mr. Bush is palpable. It has been so since the election of 2000. To them it is not a matter of supporting the office of the president in a time of war. It is a matter of hatred of the man in that office, hatred that is so intense it supercedes the fate of the country.

Over the past few days, we have relived September 11 — we have engaged in a recollection of tragedy, heroism and resolve, memorializing another “date which will live in infamy.” Overcoming this hatred and participating in this resolve would be a lasting tribute to the victims of September 11 and a large step toward the defeat of our enemies.

ROBERT HARGEST

Alexandria

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