- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 30, 2006

Democrats on military tribunals

Watching Sen. Patrick Leahy,Vermont Democrat, pontificate against the military tribunal detainee bill during the debate on the floor of the United States Senate Thursday, one could only be reminded of other sap that emanates from Vermont — except that the sap from maple trees leaves a sweet rather than a bitter taste (“Senate OKs detainee tribunal bill,” Page 1, Friday). Mr. Leahy’s concern that his party might not take over the Senate, leaving him still but the ranking member of the judiciary committee after the November elections, seemed quite evident during his performance.

Can Mr. Leahy, and the other 32 members of his party, along with renegade Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, really be all that concerned that terrorism suspects (including the self-proclaimed mastermind of September 11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed) being held at Guantanamo Bay are now facing trials by military commissions and are not granted the same civil rights as Americans in U.S. courts? Certainly the families of the September 11 victims are not.


Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Tysons tug of war

I do not know how the new Tysons Corner will turn out, but every time I read about the politicians in Richmond lining up to raise taxes, I can feel the blood boiling in my veins (“The future of Tysons,” Editorial, Friday).

It does not take much effort to look at the Virginia General Account Investment Portfolio online. If you have five minutes to peruse the data, which can be found at https://www.finance.virginia.gov/KeyDocuments, you will find a growth in primary liquidity from $2.6 billion in 2000 to $5.7 billion projected for 2007.

Given the climate of the financial markets in the past six years, how would you like it if your 401(k) or IRA, which you have been diligently building over that period of time, had a return similar to that of Virginia’s Treasury?

Well, think about it. Every time you take savings to pay taxes to Virginia to run what amounts to a mutual fund the politicians can fight over to jockey for political advantage in the vote-buying arena, less money ends up in your private savings to provide for your future.

Some liquidity is necessary, but the magnitude of the Virginia revenue surplus has long since exceeded what would be considered reasonable, and the current tussle over transportation funding is about as phony as it gets.



Beware a U.N. tax

I found Frank Gaffney Jr.’s Tuesday Commentary column, “Soak the Americans,” to be scary to an extreme level, and let me explain why. Mr. Gaffney skirts around the issue and prefers to focus on the not-inconsiderable problems associated with the economic aspect of a “globotax.” But the ability of the United Nations thus to raise and sustain a large armed force to enforce its dictums would be, at best, worrisome, and at worst a tyrannical infringement upon us all.

That an unelected body of representatives from member states (many of whom hate the United States and all things Western) has the ability under the U.N. charter to nominate a secretary-general means we would be in danger of losing our wealth and our liberty.

Could an armed United Nations find reason to send troops into our cities and towns in order to enforce U.N. orders and force compliance with all the policies it would deem necessary “for the greater good”? Would the Kyoto Protocols be forced down our throats? Would universal gun control be the order of the day so we could all be good little sheep? I fear so.

World domination also could be a very real danger with the amounts of money that could be generated by such a body’s ability to tax, and for this it must be stopped at all costs. An individual who could convince a plurality of member representatives to support him through various promises of enrichment could lead to the most corrupt unelected governing body in the history of the world.

No to the idea of the United Nations being able to generate any tax revenue. Let’s get that corrupt, anti-American body out of the United States and get the United States out of the United Nations. The United Nations has outlived any usefulness it may have ever had, and it should be disbanded before it comes up with any more harebrained schemes.



Big Mama’s advice

As a Southern male raised by an Archie Bunker-type father (especially in the area of race), thank you for Deborah Simmons’ outstanding op-ed “He said, he said” (Friday). I had written to The Washington Post last week after the WUSA-TV reporter asked Sen. George Allen about his religious background. “Who cares?” was my response.

We have so many other important issues that need addressing and it seems we can never get past personal prejudices. There is too much political hate in this country. I like Big Mama’s advice and I only wish many readers of The Washington Times spread her wonderful insight.



Liberal vets with a plan for Iraq

I don’t know if the editorial “A new line from liberal vets” (Thursday) intended to impugn the integrity of all liberal veterans, of whom I am one, but it did.

It is true that the Democrats do not have a plan for Iraq; neither do the Republicans. I have a plan. First, secure the border of Iraq. Second, isolate Baghdad and do section-by-section clear-and-hold operations until the entire city is secure. Third, establish a minimal number of secure entry-exit points. Fourth, working out from Baghdad and in from the border, repeat the Baghdad operations.

This plan has flaws. First, we have not secured our own border, 13 years after the first attack on the World Trade Center. However, neither have we made a sincere attempt. Second, it will require more personnel and equipment than we have in Iraq or in reserve. Third, it will require large sums of money. Most important, it will require a willingness to accept casualties that may, in the first year, be double or triple those suffered in the past four years.

If we pull out, with the country unsecured, we will have, in the eyes of a billion-plus Muslims, admitted defeat, made our presence in Afghanistan untenable and made certain an overwhelming attack on Israel and more terrorist attacks at home.

I hope someone comes up with a better plan. But, as I see it, both Democrats and Republicans are more interested their elections than in our security.



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