- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 18, 2007

Anti-war, not anti-American

The right to protest is one of our most cherished freedoms as Americans, and it was very much on display at the rally against the Iraq war in Washington on Saturday (“Anti-war protesters echo Vietnam,” Page 1, yesterday). This gathering, though, was far more than its billing would indicate. It included many virulent, vile haters and extremists with lengthy agendas. It served to tarnish all of us who are opposed to the conflict in Iraq.

This rally was sponsored by the protest group Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), whose radicalized socialist aims are exposed in examining what it says and how it communicates its views. Protesters carried signs that said, “9/11 Was an Inside Job,” “[Expletive] the War” and many toted photographs of Marxist guerrilla and hero of the anti-American anti-capitalist crowd, Che Guevara. The protesters called for the impeachment, indictment and arrest of President Bush — not a practical or reasoned means to address the war, nor something that is feasible, given that this administration has but another 22 months in power.

The Iraq conflict is clearly not the sole issue on ANSWER’s plate. It expands its mission to include the castigation of Israel, taking the cockeyed view that our democratic ally is responsible for all of the turmoil between it and her Arab neighbors and turning a blind eye to the terrorism that has slaughtered and maimed so many innocent Israeli men, women, children and infants.

I join honorable, reasonable, dignified patriots who want our troops out of Iraq at the earliest possible opportunity. Like so many Americans, I believe that this conflict was one of the most colossal blunders in the history of U.S. foreign policy. I believe in expressing this view fervently, but with dignity and pragmatism. I shall never identify with the rabid extremist element which was present at the ANSWER rally.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Did Allen learn his lesson?

So, former Sen. George Allen is running again, but only if Sen. John W. Warner retires (“Allen angles,” Nation, Inside the Beltway, Thursday). Mr. Allen might be able to beat whoever runs if he organizes a better campaign and takes care not to call people names.

I personally helped Mr. Allen by volunteering repeatedly at the Fairfax Republican headquarters, knocking on doors and distributing more than 100 Allen signs in residential areas. I will support him again — if he has learned from his mistakes.

All I can say is: “He who says to his neighbor ‘macaca,’ shall lose in the elections.”

TIMOTHY MCCULLOUGH

Springfield

Imam lawfare

At the urging and encouragement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the six imams — whether through ignorance or intentionally — are doing the work of al Qaeda and every terrorist group aligned against the United States, through legal manipulations (“Radicals on the Hill,” Editorial, Thursday). By pressing a lawsuit against the airline and the passengers who were justifiably alarmed at the strange behavior of these men, the plaintiffs have proved that our security can be endangered by individuals and organizations who pretend they are defending the rights of citizens of all persuasions.

Anyone after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who viewed the suspicious actions of these imams — the question is open whether they purposely attempted to make a federal case out of their detention — would have reacted the same as the passengers on this flight. More egregious is the support of these same imams by CAIR, an organization that has refused to condemn both Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.

Certainly these imams and CAIR are helping lay a path for more terror attacks. It is about time that our courts not only throw out these unwarranted suits, but force the plaintiffs to pay court costs and legal fees for the defendants’ lawyers, as well as damages for defamation of our citizens, who are just trying to prevent another terrorist catastrophe.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring

Vaccine double standards

Your Feb. 28 editorial on the human papillomavirus vaccine (“Inoculating”) argues that “HPV is only transmitted through sexual contact, unlike other diseases for which schoolchildren are required to get vaccines, such as polio and tetanus.” Why, as health-care providers, policy-makers and politicians, are we not discussing the fact that at least 47 states mandate hepatitis B vaccines for children? It also is sexually transmitted.

No one questions hepatitis B vaccines, with good reason. HPV is transmitted in the same fashion. Why the double standard? And why the large controversy over the fact that it is sexually transmitted?

BETH MORGAN

Gainesville, Ga.

The Plame game, inverted

I was relieved to see that Valerie Plame Wilson was actually under oath before Congress on Friday (“Plame puts the blame on Rove,” Page 1, Saturday). This way, any demonstrably false answers can be used to prosecute her — just as I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr.’s statements before a grand jury were.

It is reported that she denied any role in sending her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, on his now famous Africa fact-finding trip that kicked off this entire affair. Yet there is a memo authored by her to the CIA chief of operations, a copy of which the Senate panel had in its possession, which clearly suggests that her husband be considered for the trip. I’m no lawyer, but that sounds like a contradiction. Strike one.

Then, when asked specifically if she had been abroad within the last five years as a CIA “covert” operative — which would mean she was covered by laws prohibiting the exposure of her identity — she answered that she had. Well, if that’s true, it contradicts all the reporting I’ve seen since her name was first floated repeatedly saying she had not been. And the fact that no one has been criminally charged under those statutes shows that the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, apparently didn’t think she met the qualifications, either. Strike two.

Next, she made it clear she was accusing the White House — specifically Karl Rove — with revealing her name in print and ruining her career. Yet it is public knowledge that Richard Armitage was the first to mention her job to Robert Novak, the columnist who first revealed her name in 2003 and started the ball rolling. Not only did Mrs. Plame know this, but again the prosecutor did, too — a long time ago. So, it wasn’t the White House who “orchestrated” anything. She must know that. Strike three.

Now, of course, Mrs. Plame’s career as a CIA employee, of whatever kind, is over. But is her life ruined? Well, let’s see. Before she was a household name, she was earning a good salary. Now she’s in line to receive millions of dollars for a book and movie deal.

The only issue is whether she will be held to account for what she said under oath. Libby was. Why not her?

JACK WEBB

Springfield


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