- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 9, 2007

Suing OPEC

The U.S. government became a de facto member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by occupying Iraq in March 2003 (“House votes to OK suing of OPEC,” Business, May 23). The U.S.-Iraqi delegate to OPEC always has voted for the price-raising oil production cutbacks. The U.S. government has cut back oil production in Iraq from the pre-invasion level of 3 million barrels per day to about 2 million today. Even more important, the United States apparently is enforcing the oil quotas on OPEC and its allies.

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, allows the U.S. government to sue OPEC over oil production quotas. That means the U.S. government could sue itself. Why not have the State Department and the Defense Department, which are both enforcing the OPEC quotas, just stop helping OPEC? This could be done with the stroke of President Bush’s pen.



State Department Watch

Woodland Hills, Calif.

Foolish and impractical temperature mandates

In “Climate, Bush and the G-8” (Commentary, Wednesday) Bryan Mignone tells us that “Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders have advocated for some time a 2-degree ceiling on the global temperature.” It would be a good idea for Mrs. Merkel to ask one of Germany’s many climate scientists to brief her on the long-term temperature records for her country. Such records are easily accessible to interested readers on the Goddard Space Science Web site at https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/.

The chancellor will discover that stations with long-term (1880-2007) temperature data show annual mean temperatures fluctuating from year to year over a range of more than 3 degrees celsius, throughout the period of record. Also, it is not unusual for the temperature to rise or fall by 2 degrees celsius or more in consecutive years. Furthermore, most of the records show a prolonged warming trend in the first part of the 1900s that cannot be explained by rising carbon dioxide levels.

Something should be done to help Mrs. Merkel and other world leaders to understand the realities of global and regional temperature changes before they impose mandates that would destroy the world’s economy. Fortunately, the 2-degree mandate would be impossible to monitor and implement.



40 years after the Six-Day War

Thank you for Ariel Cohen’s excellent Commentary “Lessons of the Six-Day War” (June 5). However, even he fails to fully capture the perilous circumstances Israel faced during the month preceding the war. Nor does he note Israel’s far-reaching efforts immediately after the war to reach peace with its Arab neighbors.

Notably, the person who set the region on the course to war in 1967 was Fatah terrorist leader Yasser Arafat, whose militiaslaunched hundreds of attacks on civilians in Israel from 1965-1967. (Arab terrorist raids into Israel killed at least 675 Israelis from 1949-1967.) His avowed aim was to trigger a war in which Israel would be destroyed. His attacks were sponsored and encouraged by the Soviet-backed Syrian regime, which on April 8, 1967, ominously declared: “Our known objective is the freeing of Palestine and the liquidation of the Zionist existence there.”

Ultimate responsibility for the conflagration, however, rests with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Emboldened by Mr. Arafat’s attacks and spurred to action by Syria’s rhetoric, the taunts of Jordan’s and Saudi Arabia’s leaders,and a campaign of Soviet disinformation aimed at destabilizing the region, Egypt seized the initiative and marched the Arab world inexorably toward war. In May 1967, Egypt expelled U.N. peacekeepers from its border with Israel, replaced them with 900 tanks and 130,000 Egyptian troops, andblockaded Israel’s vital port of Eilat — an act of war under international law. At the president’s urging, another 100,000 troops from a dozen more Arab countries massed along Israel’s borders with Jordan and Syria to complete the siege. (Israel was then only eight miles wide at its midsection.)

Fearing an impending onslaught and possible annihilation, Israel’s government ordered a general mobilization in response to the siege. But this situation could not be maintained for long without causing Israel’s entire economy to collapse — a fact Mr. Nasser knew well. Israel sought help from France, its longtime closest ally, but French Premier Charles De Gaulle abandoned Israel in its moment of need and threw his support to the Arabs. Of France’s 1957 pledge to guarantee Israel’s security, Charles De Gaulle told Israel’s Abba Eban: “That was 1957. This is 1967.” Israel then turned to Britain and America, butPrime Minister Harold Wilson and President Lyndon Johnson offered only token expressions of sympathy. Arthur Goldberg, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, confided to Israel’s Gideon Rafael that”you stand alone.” So great was the threat to the Jewish state that Israel’s chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin, suffered a nervous breakdown. On June 5, 1967, besieged Israel finally struck back against Egypt.

Israel hoped to limit the conflict to a single front and pleaded with Jordan to stay out of the war. But Jordan’s King Hussein, believing Egypt’s early boasts of imminent victory, rejected these pleas and attacked Israel so he could share in the spoils of victory. Jordan fired 6,000 shells into western Jerusalem and beyond, bombing Israel’s Knesset (parliament) building, Hadassah Hospital and bedroom communities as far as the suburbs of Tel Aviv. At least 20 Israelis were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. Only after being attacked did Israel respond by sending its army into the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Only then did Israel recapture the Western Wall and Temple Mount, along with the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, which Jordan had seized and ethnically cleansed of all Jews in 1948 and had kept judenrein ever since.

Israel’s victory on all fronts was swift and stunning, but the Jewish state’s first instinct after the war was to extend its hand in peace to its would-be destroyers. On June 19, just nine days after the completion of its stunning victory, Israel’s cabinet formally offered to exchange captured territories for peace. But the Arab states rejected Israel’s offer on Sept. 1 with the infamous Khartoum, Sudan, “Three Noes” resolution: “No negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no peace for Israel.”Pogroms quickly followed: at least a dozen Jews across the Arab world were murdered, more than 1,000 were herded en masse into prisons, and thousands more were expelled with little more than the clothes on their backs. The Arabs thereby rejected Israel’s efforts to achieve peace — not for the first time, and not for the last. For both the war and the failure of numerous subsequent peace efforts, the Arabs have no one to blame but themselves.

The most enduring lesson of the Six-Day Waris that nations should not threatena fellow state with annihilation. This is a lesson Egypt failed to heed in 1967, and which Iran in particular should take to heart today.


Walnut Creek, Calif.

Family reunions for lawful immigrants

The Clinton-Hagel-Menendez amendment does not deal with “chain immigration.” It fixes our past and current unfair treatment of lawful permanent residents (LPRs), who have been in this country legally and have followed the laws of the country (“Political debacle looming,” Editorial, Monday). Today, LPRs have to wait more than five years to be united with their spouses and minor children. The amendment grants “immediate relatives” status to spouses and minor children of LPRs, which they are. So, the amendment applies only to an LPR’s nuclear family.

As a country that prides itself on being a beacon of family values, the least we can do is ensure a speedy family reunion for a lawful immigrant.


Cambridge, Mass.

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