- The Washington Times - Friday, March 23, 2007

The District’s status

Perhaps my memory is not as good as it use to be, but somewhere an old civics lesson comes to the back of my mind that said, when the federal enclave for the District of Columbia was created in 1801, the agreement between the federal government and the several states was that the federal enclave would have no representation in Congress (“Non-state, non-issue,” Editorial, Monday).

This as I remember was to prevent a vote in Congress which might be impelled by a constituency beholding to Congress for its existence and its livelihood.

Further, it was promised to the states of Virginia and Maryland that, should the Federal District revert to anything other than a federal enclave, the lands ceded by those states would be ceded back to them.

By that reasoning, most of what is now the District of Columbia should be part of Maryland. I believe most of what was Virginia, except for Reagan National Airport and Arlington Cemetery/Fort Myer has already been returned to Virginia.

KEN WILLIS

Ashburn

By words and actions

I was quoted in Tulin Daloglu’s March 13 column “Dealing with Islam” (Op-Ed). After I read W. L. Moore’s letter to the editor (“Actions speak louder than words,” Wednesday) touching upon my points, I thought I owe a clarification to your distinguished readers.

True, I don’t like the term “Islamist” to describe any Muslim person or movement in the world. But when I said, “They are all making a mistake, because the term declines religion of Islam into an ideology,” I haven’t solely meant Westerners. My earlier sentence to Miss Daloglu which didn’t have a chance to appear in her article probably due to space considerations was as follows: “There may be Muslims who might describe themselves as ‘Islamist’ and there are non-Muslims who use this term.” I basically argue adopting terms like “Islamist” actually help self-declared “Islamists” who decline Islamic religion into an ideology.

Obviously, not the words alone, but also some actions on the part of both Muslims and non-Muslim Westerners alike do politicize Islam. And if the Westerners try listening more carefully, I’m sure they will hear many moderate Muslim voices who object to such actions.

ALI H. ASLAN

Senior Washington correspondent and columnist

Zaman

Centreville

The Rosenbaums

The secondary victimization caused by homicide has a profound impact on surviving family members. The grief endures, and no family knows that better than the family of journalist David Rosenbaum, who was beaten and robbed while walking in his neighborhood and who died as a result of his injuries (“Rosenbaum kin trade lawsuit for EMS reform,” Metro, March 9).

If that is not horrible enough, what followed was even more egregious. The system — including the police department, fire department and the hospital — failed Mr. Rosenbaum and his family in all respects. They failed to properly assess the nature of the incident and his injuries and failed to provide appropriate care under the circumstances. All these factors served to enhance the traumatic impact experienced by this family.

The coping process is difficult enough, but the added conditions that accompanied the victimization of Mr. Rosenbaum enhance the overwhelming and emotional complexity the family has had to face in coming to grips with their loss.

The family of Mr. Rosenbaum has been heroic in all respects. In the public eye, they have handled themselves with the highest degree of class.

Undoubtedly, amidst their tremendous loss and consummate grief, they likely have felt some underlying anger concerning the fact that the systemic response could have and should have been differently applied. However, their personal response has been to refrain from publicly dwelling on their understandable misery. They have instead strived to make a difference for future potential victims.

The family’s act of filing a civil lawsuit was not motivated by a desire for money but was fueled by an ardent desire to see reform in the system. Their intention was selflessly applied and their interest in seeking change has been endorsed by Mayor Adrian Fenty, who has been supportive of the family and seems determined to make genuine changes with the anticipation of concrete results. Consequently, the family’s willingness to settle the lawsuit with terms and conditions that have been negotiated to effect change is commendable for both the family and the city.

The Rosenbaum family serves as a model of inspiration and hope for other families who have been impacted by the tragedy of crime. This family has demonstrated that enduring love for David Rosenbaum continues.

KAREN L. BUNE

Professor of victimology

George Mason University

Fairfax

Cold shoulders

I would like to respond to Richard Holbrooke’s “warning” to Russia against vetoing the West’s wholly illegal effort to grant Kosovo independence (“Holbrooke’s warning,” Embassy Row, Tuesday).

For over 60 years, the Serbs have been enduring persecution from Albanians in Kosovo due to the Albanian extremist “long pent-up desire” to steal Kosovo from Serbia as they have been ethnically cleansed and murdered, and had their cultural monuments destroyed in the effort to create a “Greater Albania.” Western efforts to appease Albanian Muslim extremism at the expense of the Serbs and international law lie at the heart of the current conflict. Russia had absolutely nothing to do with this.

Russia is a valuable ally in our efforts to counter Islamic extremist terrorism throughout the world. Yet, tragically, some of our leaders still harbor the “Cold War Era” mentality and appear to be driving us toward a new Cold War with Russia. Opening new unnecessary and costly conflicts/fronts is something we can ill afford.

I must respond to Mr. Holbrooke’s warning with a similar warning not to provoke and alienate Russia at this critical time in our history.

MICHAEL PRAVICA

Henderson, Nev.

Richard Holbrooke advises independence for Kosovo in order to forestall renewed Albanian violence. There is a parallel between the plan of Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari for removing Kosovo from Serbia and Munich’s dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Just as the Ahtisaari plan has the backing of much of the European Union and the United States, so Munich had the backing of Britain and France. Both now and then, dismemberment was the product of appeasement.

A blank check was unwisely bequeathed to the Kosovo Liberation Army well before the Rambouillet Agreement by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Mr. Holbrooke. No wonder the KLA’s goal is nothing less than an ethnically pure Kosovo. To claw back the check is to acknowledge the unthinkable, namely that NATO became the air arm of ethnic cleansing nationalists. Hence the appeasement.

YUGO KOVACH

Twickenham, Middlesex

United Kingdom

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