- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 24, 2007

A nuclear-weapons-free Middle East

“Ballistic-missile defense and WMD” by Louis Rene Beres and Isaac Ben Israel (Commentary, Monday) is yet another article that provides legitimacy for Israel’s clandestine nuclear arsenal via the baseless fear of an Iranian nuclear threat.

The authors conveniently adopt as fact the groundless accusations against Iran, uncorroborated by the extensive inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and also fail to mention that unlike Israel, Iran has fully supported the idea of a Middle East nuclear-weapons-free zone.

The doctrine of “pre-emption” endorsed by the authors is both illegal, from the prism of international law and the United Nations Charter, as well as dangerous, by giving a rogue regime that has refused to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty license to initiate war on other member states of the international community.

Compared to Israel, which has repeatedly invaded its neighbors, Iran has not invaded any of its neighbors during the past 250 years, nor has Iran threatened any other member of the United Nations. Iran’s moral support for the repressed rights of Palestinian people should not be conveniently misconstrued — by pro-Israel pundits — to advocate further aggression and unlawful resort to force.


Press consular

Mission of I.R. of Iran to the

United Nations

New York

The Caps’ downhill slide

I want to express my appreciation for Dave Fay and his “Wrong Direction: Capitals keep getting worse, not better” (Sports, Tuesday). I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment ofthe Caps. I only regret that he did not hammer the team management as they certainly deserve; the treatment he gave them was far too kind. In recent years the Caps have made it to the Stanley Cup only once and that was with majority of players left over from the previous management: David Poile and Abe Pollin.

Mr. Poile proved he is no flash in the pan. He built the Nashville Predators into a contender in very short time and on a limited budget. He proved again that you can put together a good team without having to spend a fortune, but you must be able to identify and sign talented players. The ability to spot talent is sorely missing in the Cap organization. I am a long-time Caps fan, but lately I find it difficult to watch them play. I feel sorry for the players; it must be extremely hard to give their best effort when they know that it’s a loosing cause. Every year George McPhee promises improvement, while the team gets worse.

Originally, Ted Leonsis came in thinking he could buy a championship. When that approach failed he started “building” the team on the cheap. The analogy about a little child and a hot stove comes to mind. Unless the teams gets serious and finds help for the two Alexs, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, they soon will demand to be traded to a different team — and who can blame them? Darius Zubrus did a lot to help Alex Ovechkin with his transition to a new country and the National Hockey League, and his reward was to be traded, which in the end may be to his benefit. Mr. McPhee must go. He has been a disaster for this organization, and Mr. Leonsis better start listening to those well-meaning outsiders because the insiders don’t know what they are doing.

I also have another suggestion: If the organization wants to improve attendance they should look for a young black player, management should be cognizant that Washington is a majority-black city. Let’s give these young people a good role model. The Caps had one in their organization — Mike Grier — but decided to trade him — another glaring error.


Silver Spring

Failed leadership

Thanks to Cal Thomas for his excellent Commentary Friday (“A fading voice”) regarding our current leadership vacuum.

The internal strength of our nation is in our system, but our collective strength is in how we feel about ourselves. As a conservative, I don’t feel very good about where we are. The Republican Congress totally failed us and now we see little to be happy about coming from the presidency. The people want a leader who will stand up to his adversaries with strength and confidence, which will in turn give the people confidence. We want a leader that will fight for what he feels is right with strength and conviction. He will not be bullied and will strongly face down his adversaries. He will use the bully pulpit to push his agenda and will not be afraid to use his veto power to guide legislation. President Bush can still do this and bring an uplifting to this country.

A perfect example of this is President Reagan after he took over the presidency from President Carter. The deplorable condition in which President Carter left our country left us doubting ourselves. He was bullied by Iran and showed weakness in so many areas of his presidency. President Reagan came in and immediately made us proud to be Americans again.

I lament the way our president is treated by the press and by his political adversaries in their never-ending assault on him. By not standing up and vigorously fighting, he shows weakness, which is an open invitation to the bullies on the Democratic side. It it gets messy, it gets messy. Give no quarter as you are receiving none.

For instance, he should stand up and take a hard stand on the pork which is bloating the military funding bill now going through congress. Veto it and if necessary, go to the people and demand a clean bill without all the earmarks. Admit that you were discouraged when the Republicans sent up pork laden bills and you are now going to stop the practice by the utilization of the veto power. It’s discouraging for us to watch the shenanigans that go on in congress and know there is nothing we can do about it. Where is our representative that has the guts to stand up for us?

Stand strong on the non-issue surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the U.S. Attorney firings. Go to the people and make your case that they serve at your pleasure. Pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby and end that political injustice. Pardon the border guards sent to prison for taking a strong stand and protecting our borders.

For a lack of vision, the people perish. For lack of strength a leader fails.



Keep Walter Reed open

The bill introduced in Congress to keep Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington open and stop the merger with the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center in the year 2011 is a good one (“House vote may keep Walter Reed open longer,” Metropolitan, Thursday).

The decision by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2006 was flawed from the start and should never have been approved.

Walter Reed is one of the most renowned and famous medical institutions in the armed forces and has been in existence in its location since 1909. Keeping Walter Reed open will do much to stabilize personnel working there and to provide the top-notch medical care and treatment for our veterans, who deserve the best.

Having served four tours of duty there from 1964 to 1979, I can attest that the best solutions is to have Walter Reed remain in place and not be relocated to the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda.

As a lifelong Republican and military retiree from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I fully support Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and her proposed bill on this current issue.



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