- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tsk, tsk, tsk

Does Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ever wonder why so many people from South America and all around the world want to enter a country that is administered by “the devil” (“Chavez calls Bush ‘devil’ at U.N.,” Page 1, yesterday)?

I have not heard of anyone risking his life to live in Venezuela. Why do many Venezuelan parents send their children to be educated in the United States? How many of them want their children to go to schools in Venezuela?

Mr. Chavez implied that the United Nations doesn’t work in its current system, is anti-democratic and needs reform.

In fact, he is right to a certain extent. Some time ago, Libya held the presidency of the U.N. Human Rights Committee. Who would like to apply Libya’s human-rights standards to his or her society? Let’s take a look at the formation of the United Nations. How many U.N. members are still controlled by those wicked oligarchies whose hands are stained with blood and soiled with corruption and continue to keep their grip upon docile, unhappy people?

Although it isn’t found in the article, Mr. Chavez also mentioned in his speech that the United States is “like a sword hanging over our head.” Some Canadians heavily criticize the United States with regard to the war in Iraq, and it seems to me that criticizing either President Bush or the United States doesn’t put them in any immediate danger. However, does Mr. Chavez remember that Kuwait was overrun by its “big brother” within a matter of hours in the 1990s, even though Kuwait did not dare to criticize Saddam Hussein?


Vancouver, British Columbia

Illegals and U.S. jobs

Though the Senate may approve millions of dollars to build an additional 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, we will continue to have a flood of illegal immigrants in this country (“Senate set to consider fence bill,” Page 1, Tuesday). As long as jobs are available, people will keep coming. Two steps are needed.

First, start a guest-worker program that requires people to apply for a work permit at the U.S. embassy in the worker’s country of origin. That would enable a background check to be completed before a worker enters the United States and would ensure that people are permitted into the country who have needed skills. Anyone who previously has been deported or who has a criminal record should not be able to get a work permit.

Those with a permit should have the same opportunity as anyone else to seek U.S. citizenship. Because this program would reward people who abide by our laws, it could not be considered amnesty.

Second, develop stricter penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants and for organizations that assist this activity. Put some of the responsibility where it should rest, with those who are breaking our laws.

This proposal would remove the incentive for people to cross the border illegally while providing a steady pool of workers for those industries that say they need such workers. It also would enable the border patrol to use its resources to stop criminals and potential terrorists.


Leesburg, Va.

Good luck, Coach Gibbs

A recent article attributed the dashed hopes of Redskins’ fans to coach Joe Gibbs’ nice-guy attitude toward his quarterbacks (“Gibbs will stick with lackluster Brunell at helm,” Page 1, Tuesday). Other, more astute, writers thought there was enough guilt on the entire team to convict them all. With few exceptions, I tend toward the latter perspective.

Having been a Redskins fan for many years, a football fan for more years than I like to remember as my children and grandchildren played the game, I have reached the conclusion that football is more a game of intensity than of talent. Certainly the Redskins do not lack talent, but their intensity seems to have evaporated with the signing of their contracts.

The lack of intensity is demonstrated by the following: Immediately upon taking the snap from his center, the quarterback is thrown into a panic as he has to run for his life. On the other hand, the opposing quarterback has time to make a sandwich as he looks over his opponents’ defenses.

The Redskins players also appear to have missed the practices when the art of tackling was demonstrated. Instead of leg tackling, the Redskins seem to believe that shoulder tackling is the better way — i.e. grab the ball carrier around the shoulders and await the arrival of four other players to assist.

Meanwhile, all five players are dragged along for another five yards. Of course, if the other four players don’t show up, the next sure tackle is accomplished by grabbing the face mask.

In most cases, this will work, but it also gives the opponents’ team an extra 15 yards and a first down. Some of the Redskins players are so adept at this that they can perform it several times a game.

In addition to intensity, it helps to have a brain. With both of these attributes, even a mediocre team has been known to do great things. Good luck, coach.


Lansdowne, Va.

Iranian chutzpah

In his speech on Tuesday before the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had the gall to proclaim that his nuclear development program is “transparent, peaceful” (“Bush warns Iranians of ‘liberty’ denied,” Page 1, Wednesday). There is, of course, nothing peaceful or transparent about this leader or any of his actions.

This “great man of peace” is known to be instigating the slaughter of coalition forces and innocent civilians in Iraq in order to destabilize it and scuttle this mission. He is also supplying terrorist Hezbollah with arms to facilitate its goal of annihilating Israel. He has pledged to wipe Israel “off the map.” He should be pressed to answer how it is that a man who claims to have only peaceful intentions, vis-a-vis nuclear procurement, can be engaged in such prominent efforts to spread violence throughout the Middle East. Do even Mr. Ahmadinejad’s friends believe he would pass up the opportunity to reign supreme by threatening the detonation of a nuclear weapon, placing him on a path to blackmail the world?

The United States rejected Mr. Ahmadinejad’s diatribe, declining to have a representative present for it. At the same time, Iraq, our new ally, embarrasses us. It sports a government that we virtually installed and for whom our president has such high hopes, but that has embraced Mr. Ahmadinejad literally and figuratively, asking for his assistance in stabilizing the country, and it has endorsed Hezbollah.

How appropriate it would have been for the members of the General Assembly to have broken out in raucous laughter upon hearing Mr. Ahmadinejad’s unbelievable statement of peaceful intentions. The more time passes without effective action taken against Mr. Ahmadinejad by the civilized nations of the world, the more appeasing our allies are, the greater the chance that the United States will again undertake military action in the Middle East, this time against Iran, so as to degrade or eliminate its nuclear capability.

Though it would be laudable to act to protect ourselves and our allies, such an operation would carry a heavy price for the world.


Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

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