- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The (almighty) dollar

Lawrence Kudlow, in his column “Restoration of ‘King Dollar,’ ” (Commentary, Oct. 23) has departed from his free market stance when he suggests that Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson should talk up the dollar and make “a few well-timed rounds of dollar buying.” Mr. Kudlow thinks that doing this could turn the U.S. currency decline around. There are major economic issues facing our country. A few speeches or meddling with the currency will not solve the problems.

There is a major economic issue facing the lower and middle classes which has not been addressed by any of the presidential candidates other than Ron Paul. That problem is the severe drop of the U.S. dollar against other currencies.

In 2002, you could get one euro for 85 cents. Now it takes $1.43 to get one euro. This has hurt many middle-class Americans who want to travel to other countries. Now, it is 80 percent more expensive to travel to Europe than it was in 2002. The weak dollar has also really hurt the poor because all imported goods and oil have become more expensive. Most consumer goods are manufactured in other countries — for example, imported items sold at Wal-Mart or Target.

The dollar’s drop is caused by the Federal Reserve’s establishment of artificially low interest rates combined with excess spending by Congress and the Bush administration. Due to low interest rates, many seniors on fixed incomes have been earning less on their savings. That, in combination with paying higher prices for energy and staple goods, has really hurt.

Mr. Paul has been arguing that the dollar’s decline has been because of two policies, excess spending and currency devaluation. The Bush administration is squandering billions on the Iraq war, other military adventuring all over the world and on the administration’s pet projects.

Of course, Congress contributes to excess spending by funding pork barrel projects. The other policy is the purposeful devaluation of our currency by the Federal Reserve. Mr. Paul states if we don’t change these policies, “we will go broke.” He thinks that we should do at least two major things: overhaul the Federal Reserve system and drastically reduce government spending.



The 6th Amendment and detainees

I am writing in response to Jacob Sullum’s column “The gap in Mukasey’s testimony” (Commentary, Saturday) in which he insinuates that President Bush is violating the Constitution through the monitoring and/or detention of foreign citizens. He includes several quotes to back up his claim that, somehow, terrorists’ rights are being violated by the president.

I suggest that Mr. Sullum refer to Amendment VI, which states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

The Constitution clearly states that the rights of American citizens apply within the territorial boundaries of all states and districts (“which district shall have been previously ascertained by law”). I would like to know which state or district the “detainees” were initially monitored, captured and detained unconstitutionally. I believe the writer would be hard-pressed to provide such information.

I would also like Mr. Sullum to refer to Amendment XI, which states: “The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.”

The Constitution clearly states that the rights and protections afforded to the citizens of the United States do not extend to anyone outside the territorial boundaries of any U.S. state or district (“foreign state”).

Mr. Sullum’s assertion that Mr. Bush has violated the Constitution through the process of monitoring, capturing and detaining foreign detainees is incorrect since the detainees in question were not monitored, captured or detained within the territorial boundaries of any state or district of the United States of America and since the rights and protections as stated within the Constitution do not extend outside the territorial boundaries of any state or district of the United States.



English-Arabic Koran

John L. Percer says he understands that Islam forbids the Koran being translated from the original Arabic into other languages, but if this were done, it would hinder Saudi attempts to control aspects of Islam beyond their borders (“Oklahoma Korans harmless,” Letters, Saturday).

When my daughter was reading for a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies at an English university, she was sent a Koran that was in both English and Arabic. The sender? The Saudi Embassy in London.


Harrow Middlesex


Preserving the Temple Mount

Claude Salhani is correct that, as the Annapolis summit approaches, President Bush may be about to repeat President Clinton’s great mistake at Camp David (“Tricky Mideast summit,” Commentary, Wednesday). But that mistake was pressing Israel for extreme concessions on Jerusalem.

Shockingly, reports suggest that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may be amenable to relinquishing places at the very heart of Jewish history the Temple Mount, archaeological City of David and most of the Old City to Arab sovereignty. This would precipitate a disaster.

First, if Israel surrendered security control over the Temple Mount, it would leave the safety of visitors at the adjoining Western Wall to the mercy of Palestinians who, in the past, have bombarded Jewish worshippers below with rocks and boulders at the slightest pretext.

Second, it would undermine efforts toward reconciliation. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world for Jews, and Jewish history there predates any Muslim presence by more than 1,600 years. But the Palestinians insist Israel must forfeit all claims to the Temple Mount, period.

Israel’s naive leaders apparently fail to grasp the symbolism of this extreme demand. It’s not about controlling the mosques there the Palestinians already enjoy full autonomy over the Temple Mount. Rather, it’s about severing Israel from its historical foundations.

National symbols have real meaning. Would Saudi Arabia trade the Kaaba in Mecca to Israel for peace? Would Greece relinquish the Acropolis, or America give up the Statue of Liberty?

Yaacov Lozowick of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial has warned that surrendering the Temple Mount could break Judaism’s spirit forever and “future generations may damn us for throwing away their heritage for the bauble of momentary peace.”

Finally, it would invite an irreparable archaeological crime and an assault on history itself. It is dogma among Palestinians that the Jewish temples never existed. If the Temple Mount, City of David and Old City fall under Arab sovereignty, their ancient heritage may suffer the same fate as the Jericho synagogue and Tomb of Joseph, which were destroyed by Palestinian mobs in October 2000, and the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan, which were demolished by the Taliban in 2001.

Sadly, it seems neither Israel’s leaders, nor ours, comprehend this.


San Francisco

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