- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bush-Cheney war plans

Standing in front of warplanes on the deck of an American aircraft carrier not far from the coast of Iran, Vice President Dick Cheney recently issued a thinly-veiled military threat to that nation (” ‘We’ll keep sea lanes open,’ ” World, Saturday). The citizens of the United States should be every bit as worried about Mr. Cheney’s sabre-rattling and bluster as they are about leadership of Iran.

Having observed it closely over the last six-plus years, I predict that before the Bush administration bids us adieu, it would seriously consider going out with a bang through launching another ill-advised, ill-planned military action in the Middle East. I believe the administration would wrongly consider an Iranian invasion to be a means to improve its dismal approval ratings and to bring back “the fear card,” telling the American people that only Republicans can save us from Armageddon, thereby hoping to make it more likely that a Republican will be elected president next year.

While Iran is a danger and a menace to the civilized world whose power would be more potent if it obtained nuclear weapons, attacking it — particularly without exhausting all other options — would be a monumental disaster. We know that this administration does not act prudently in foreign affairs and has no skill in the successful conduct of warfare, leading one to conclude that going into Iran would be disastrous.

When this administration makes threats, the world should listen with great concern. It should do all within its power to restrain us lest we make a misstep that threatens the stability and future of the civilized world.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Resist the cheap oil temptation

In “High octane price vapors” (Commentary, Saturday), Dan Gainor mocks those who have been predicting $4 a gallon gasoline. Anyone predicting gasoline prices stands a good chance of being wrong since so many random factors affect the price.

The price of gasoline this summer will relate to the strength of the global economy, the availability of refinery capacity, the presence or absence of strife in Venezuela, violence in Nigeria, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and how many new oil wells come online this year versus how much existing oil production falls off due to depletion. In the long run, the above-ground factors average out and become background noise, while the race between discovery and depletion becomes the big story.

We know how this story ends: Oil is finite. In America, discoveries peaked in the 1930s and production peaked in 1970, a 40-year lag. Global oil discoveries peaked in the 1960s. We have had our 40-year lag and will soon see declining oil production. We have been burning more oil than we discover since 1980 and now burn around four barrels for each new barrel discovered.

Gasoline provides a value to the economy that exceeds $4 a gallon. Gas costs $7 a gallon in Turkey. With our greater purchasing power, we can clearly support a higher price (though not without real economic pain). Is this the summer for $4 gasoline? Gasoline inventories are at historic lows as we enter the summer. Demand remains high. Production from Mexico’s largest oil field is now falling by around 14 percent per year.

To paraphrase the classic line from Casablanca, global oil production will enter decline — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life. What is the point of Mr. Gainor’s reassurance about gasoline prices? If he is urging you to buy a big SUV and a McMansion far from your job, then resist the temptation.

CARL HENN

Rockville

The law and religious tests

If Teri Grimwood (“Not a religious test,” Letters, Thursday) and Edd Doerr (“Church, state and JFK,” Letters, May 5) are not suggesting a religious test for public office, what are they doing when they state that since the five justices voted in a manner which agrees with the doctrines of the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church also decrees that it is a sin to steal or murder. Would their reasoning then be that no law prohibiting those acts can be upheld by the justices? Apparently the only rulings that would be acceptable to Mr. Doerr and Mrs. Grimwood would be those which are antithetical to the Catholic religion.

As for overturning precedent, I believe that is what abolishing slavery and reversing segregation did.

Since most civil law has its foundation in the moral law, do they mean that only those laws without a moral component are within the purview of the justices? What would those laws be?For example, not assassination (“Thou shalt not kill”) or perjury (“Thou shalt not bear false witness”). Not the business of any court.

MARY H. MANNO

Bethesda

The amnesty game

In the article “Senate working on immigration reform plan,” (Web site, Saturday) many details were omitted. It should have been titled “Congress attempting to speed amnesty bill past American citizens in last-ditch effort.”

Congress is attempting to pass a “Hail Mary” amnesty bill as fast as it can be thrown over the heads of the American people, dodging scrutiny, and into the end zone where the greedy open hands of pro-illegal activists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce await its delivery.

What is in the amnesty “bomb” they are about to drop this week that is so offensive it must be rushed through Congress before the American people have the opportunity to analyze, understand and provide feedback to their congressmen?

Congress and the president are sidestepping the fact that enforcement of existing law has never been tried. Secured borders, fines levied against employers, asset seizure and the disallowing of taxpayer-subsidized benefits would encourage self-deportation. Instead, Congress wants to pass new laws to circumvent existing law. No congressional hearings have been held to determine why abuse of our borders and of taxpaying American citizens has been permitted by the executive branch. Indeed, we have seen the results of the president’s failure to protect American citizens in the thwarted Fort Dix terror plot.

The amnesty game is being played against the interests of American people by Congress and the president and for the sole benefit of business and the compensation of lawbreakers with legalization. Congressional amnesty proposals allow people who have illegally entered our country through porous borders and their enablers in the business community to escape consequences for breaking U.S. law. Amnesty rewards illegal aliens with the ability to remain in the United States and find employment and eventual citizenship — which they broke our laws to attain. Americans will pick up the multitrillion-dollar tab and suffer the environmental consequences of overpopulation.

The “Hail Mary” amnesty bill makes one wonder if 2008 might be a good year to purge Congress of those we dare not trust to represent the American citizen any longer.

CAROLYN COOKE

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide