- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pediatric R&D

Pediatricians appreciate Sen. Tom Coburn’s support of two very important pediatric research laws. However, we disagree with him on two points (“Responsible medicine,” Op-Ed, Tuesday).

This week, the Senate will vote on renewing the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA), two laws endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Unlike Mr. Coburn, we want Congress to make PREA permanent. We want the same standard for children that adults get: permanent Food and Drug Administration authority that drugs used in adults be tested for their use. There is no expiration date for determining the safety of medicines in adults. We expect no less for our children.

BPCA generates financial incentives for pharmaceutical companies that conduct pediatric testing. After 10 years, experience and data have shown that for most companies the returns have been modest and fair.

However, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd’s change in the incentive program — three months of patent exclusivity for the largest “blockbuster” drugs and six months of exclusivity for all others — represents a balanced approach to address cost concerns without jeopardizing the program and the critical drug information it generates for children.

We hope to convince Mr. Coburn and any other senators by next week that the best medicine for children is no expiration date for PREA and a BPCA incentive structure that’s still generous, but fair.

DR. JAY E. BERKELHAMER

President

American Academy of Pediatrics

Washington

‘Scorched-earth’ Emanuel

Several weeks ago, it was reported that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Democrat, had prepared a very partisan, blistering attack on the Bush administration and that he planned to deliver it in a nonpartisan forum to disguise its raw political nature. Two days ago, this speech was delivered at the Brookings Institution (“Emanuel raps GOP ‘conspiracy,’ ” Nation, Thursday).

Most ironic was his accusation that the Bush administration used government agencies for political purposes. Just imagine how Mr. Emanuel could make such a statement after serving as a key member of a Democratic White House’s war room in both terms of the Clinton administration. Indeed, his speech was accurate only if it was meant to be a self-portrait.

Mr. Emanuel’s speech was not a random event but a strategic effort to mold public opinion in preparation for the 2008 campaign. In reality, Mr. Emanuel accidentally provided a playbook for what to expect if the Clintons recapture the White House.

Indeed, President Bush came to Washington in 2000 sincerely wanting to work with the Democrats. Sadly, the Democrats are guided by partisan gunslingers like Rahm Emanuel. Mr. Emanuel and his fellow Democrats have their own agenda, and topping the list was a scorched-earth plan to take back the White House.

DR. WILLA GARTENHAUS

Eastport, N.Y.

Rudy Giuliani’s fear card

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani has taken a page right out of the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney playbook of dirty pool in suggesting that Democrats do not understand the threats that are faced by our country and that only a Republican leader can properly protect us from Armageddon (“Pruden on Politics,” Friday).

Perhaps Mr. Giuliani has forgotten that the September 11 atrocity occurred on the watch of a Republican president who had been warned about the danger of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, or that Mr. Giuliani himself, the mayor of New York at the time of the attack, had not acted sufficiently to protect the World Trade Center after the first deadly assault on it in 1993.

What Mr. Giuliani did not say in his bombast was that it was a Republican president who was “uniquely qualified” to plunge our forces headfirst into an elective, ill-planned, ill-advised war in Iraq that was entered into under false pretenses; that has proved calamitous from the start, resulting in the slaughter of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people; and that has run up a massive debt that will be thrust upon future generations just as American entitlement programs will run out of money.

The fear card played by Mr. Giuliani, just as it has been by the Bush administration, was successful at one time, but it has worn thin, as evidenced by the extraordinary extent to which the administration has been weakened at home and abroad, and as reflected by the abysmal approval ratings that have ensued. The American people will not permit themselves to be duped forever.

Any American who swallows the Giuliani argument that the Republicans are the party of reasonable, prudent and successful foreign policy and that national and international security is naive or foolish, and the fact that this candidate would make such assertions, makes it highly likely that the Democrats will control all branches of government on Jan. 20, 2009.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

A ‘third’ view on terrorism

Tony Blankley’s “great divide” between people (like himself) who “believe that the rise of radical Islam poses an existential threat to Western Civilization; and those who believe it is a nuisance, if episodically a very dangerous nuisance,” cleanly reflects the two predominant views on the global threat of terrorism (“Is there writing on the wall?” Op-Ed, Wednesday). His simplistic dichotomy, however, misses a third view that more accurately reflects our reality.

Mr. Blankley’s main thesis is partially correct. Radical Islam is a growing threat, and the unstoppable growing capacity of individuals or radicalized groups to easily acquire enormously powerful technology means that they will inevitably get their hands on nuclear or biological weapons.These technologies enable unprecedented catastrophic destruction. Extinction of our civilization, however, will only occur from a cataclysmic celestial event, unless we make a decision from within to abandon the foundations of our civilization — democracy, justice and the protection of basic inalienable rights — by launching a global jihad of our own.

Maintaining our civilizing methodologies in the face of any terrorizing chaos will require true national strength and civilian courage. Military power won’t help. In fact, by abandoning our highest ideals, our unbeatable military power will become our greatest threat. Morally weak, we will depend on military power and then demand a military state.

Those committed to mass-murdering Americans are no doubt extreme, but they are also extremely few in numbers.Their only chance of wiping out Western civilization is if we increase their numbers by insisting on war as a means of defeating them. These mass murderers thrive on chaos — the chaos of poverty, ignorance and injustice that is perpetually fertilized by war.

The only way to stop terrorists is to make enough friends in the world (and good enough friends) who will help us detect and detain these criminals before they kill. Global warring without clear lines of combat will make us few friends and even fewer good friends in the places we need them most. It’s not “a few thousand terrorists using small explosives,” as Mr. Blankley states, that is “radicalizing the minds of increasing numbers of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims.” It is our warring in their territories and our past and current immoral support for their oil-rich, repressive rulers that does.

Mr. Blankley and others are rightfully alarmist. But it is they who are ignorant to reject our “lawful” approach to human progress and our civilized approach to a truly terrifying global reality. Terrorists’ murderous efforts aren’t “funded by Saudi petro-dollars.” They are funded by American petro-dollars. These dollars we gave to the Saudis because we were too weak to wean ourselves from dependence on their oil.

Mr. Blankley and his believers won’t be “false predictors of doom.” They could, however, be doom’s instigators. We must insist on world law, not world war. That’s what real civilizations do. In the long run, it will be the global application of our ideal of law that will prove to be the most devastating force against the rise of terrorism.Real courage, not competing foresights, is the only missing ingredient.

CHUCK WOOLERY

Rockville

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