- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 17, 2007

Environmentalist foolishness and questions

The common-sense reader probably experienced the same incredulity I did when reading Eric Pfeiffer’s piece on politics in Oregon (“Global-warming skeptics cite being ‘treated like a pariah,’ ” Nation, Monday). The quotes from the governor who wishes to strip George Taylor of his title as the state’s climatologist sound remarkably like a communist manifesto.

It seems to me that Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski crossed a line to a place that does not equate with democracy. Would it not be better to ask the state climatologist to present both sides of the debate? (One might ask, however, why the taxpayers are paying for a position like that.) The state’s position and activity should be geared toward reducing human wastes that are harmful to human life here and now, not in the distant and debatable future. I would applaud the University of Oregon for supporting this kind of thoughtful speech based on what essentially is evolving science.

We humans have done a remarkable job in some areas. Consider how much cleaner our air and water have become in just a few decades. Science in the media has raised our consciousness about how we dispose of our burgeoning waste. I recently sailed on a Royal Caribbean ocean liner that is fueled by vegetable oil, and, according to the chief engineer, emits virtually no harmful pollutants into the air. Likewise, the ship shredded glass refuse for recycling, compacted metals into squares for treatment, incinerated its garbage in a clean process and discharged waste water that was essentially pure. Royal Caribbean even is working to improve the latter achievement with newer treatment plants that will treat black water to make it pure. If one profit-making company can accomplish this, why are we wrangling instead of doing?

Why isn’t Oregon working toward a positive effort for ecology while admitting that there is a debate about causation of climatologic change but no debate about pollution? What is Oregon doing for a positive result along this line beyond trying to get science to adhere to the party line? If the engines that power a huge vessel can operate cleanly, why have we not been able to redevelop auto engines to do the same? Of course, then we probably would find ourselves dependent on the producers of sunflowers, olive oil (too expensive for the ship) and corn. Segway anyone?



Needed: international Muslim police force

In a press conference on Thursday, President Bush said he was sure all Americans can agree that we need to “fight” terrorists “over there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” I’m hopeful most Americans see through this misunderstanding of the threat we face.

The fact is, the more we militarily intervene in affairs in the Middle East, the more likely terrorists will try to hurt us here. And, they don’t have to kill us here to severely cripple our nation. They can create hell for us by destroying the global infrastructure that serves our oil-dependent economy. The Washington Times reported just such al Qaeda plans on the same day of Mr. Bush’s speech (“Al Qaeda threatens U.S. oil suppliers,” World, Thursday).

The only way we can defeat them over there and reduce their recruiting incentive of U.S. military intervention in their lands is to find and fund others to stop them.

An international Muslim police force made up of volunteers from Muslim majority or minority nations not on Iraqi borders should be rapidly mobilized and funded to replace U.S. forces in Iraq. U.S. military assets can be lent to this international police force to help stop sectarian violence in Iraq but no level of direct U.S. military intervention can do so. Our being “over there” will only make our security here worse.

We must make friends with moderate Muslims who will arrest would be terrorists in their own nations. Our “shock and awe pre-emptive doctrine” doesn’t make us friends with anyone. Not even our traditional non-Muslim allies. Our innate respect for the protection of inalienable human rights, no matter whom or where they are, is our most powerful weapon against the terrorists here and the spread of terrorism globally.

Our questionably necessary invasion of Iraq and our incompetent occupation has so far resulted in the death of somewhere between 100,000 and 600,000 innocent Iraqis, and displaced well over a million more. We did this not out of our largess but to find weapons of mass destruction there that might hurt us here. That emboldened our enemy and helped al Qaeda recruiting efforts. A 20,000-force surge of U.S. troop strength in Baghdad will only worsen the situation.

If Mr. Bush said “we make friends who will arrest them there so we won’t have to arrest them here,” then he would have had my support and likely the support of a super majority of Americans and most of the world.



The P.C. NFL

The National Football League’s rejection of a recruiting ad for the U.S. Border Patrol shows the extent to which political correctness has run amok in the nation (“NFL rejects Border Patrol ad,” Nation, Wednesday).

According to comments made by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the rejection came because the organization did not wish to become part of the “immigration debate.” The NFL then offered an opportunity to the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, to run a generic commercial that wouldn’t “highlight the borders.” This is akin to rejecting recruiting ads for Drug Enforcement Administration agents for fear of offending those favoring the legalization of marijuana, thus staying out of the “drug debate.” Or declining ads for officers for the Federal Bureau of Prisons for fear of alienating ex-cons and thrusting the NFL into the “incarceration debate.”

National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner attributed the NFL’s actions to a desire to cultivate an emerging football market in Latin America. Although the words “border protection” are anathema to the unlimited-immigration crowd, it is, to borrow an expression from Al Gore, “an inconvenient truth” that part of the Border Patrol’s mission is to protect the nation from smugglers of aliens as well as drugs and terrorists. It also is time for organizations such as the NFL to take their heads out the sand and realize this fact.


Montgomery Village

The illegal drug trade in Afghanistan

It was refreshing to see an assessment of Afghanistan as an “expanding narco-state” in Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s commentary on Thursday (“Losing Afghanistan to opium?”). As Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen correctly asserts, “the Taliban and its allies cannot be defeated without also targeting their principal source of financing — the illegal drug trade.” As long as the opium trade continues to flourish, security and democracy will languish.

Eliminating the supply and demand sides of the opium trade require much more than an increased military presence, something Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen says the Bush administration has failed to grasp.

A strictly military campaign will not provide the rural farmers incentive to seek alternative livelihoods. Nor will it induce the corrupt judiciary to stop taking bribes, or provide the Afghan government with the capacity to provide basic goods and services to its people.

Integrating strategies used by anti-narcotics personnel in Colombia, facilitating economic growth and trade-building capacity, and unifying U.S. agency resources towards eradication of drugs and terror are all steps that would go a long way in providing safety and democracy.

The National Defense Council Foundation has been stressing the necessity for an effective, comprehensive anti-narcotic strategy to bring about stability in Afghanistan through its publications for years.

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen’s statement that “our enemies draw their strength not merely from their weapons and their fanaticism, but from the opium fields as well” represents an important step towards an effective policy change in Afghanistan.


Research assistant

National Defense Council Foundation


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