- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Foreign policy faux pas

Georgie Anne Geyer’s Commentary “Master of foreign policy” (Thursday) should be required reading for schoolchildren interested in fairy tales. The idea that American foreign policy from the end of World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union was a seamless “steady course” is preposterous.

For example, the period from the collapse of South Vietnam to the beginning of the Reagan administration was a time of gathering danger for America. A dozen countries fell to communism; Iran became the center of terrorism; and the correlation of forces tilted dangerously in favor of the Soviets.

The sole architect of this disaster was the administration of President Carter, for whose chief national security adviser Miss Geyer now has nothing but gushing praise.

While the failings of the Clinton era have made a positive impression on Miss Geyer, she claims such mistakes were perpetuated by a Bush administration presiding over “a total collapse of foreign policy design.” The facts are otherwise.

Since 2001, the United States has led its allies in the deployment of what will be more than 1,400 missile interceptors under a new Triad architecture of deterrence and defense. Nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia will shortly be reduced to levels not seen since the 1950s.

Terror-sponsoring states — Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq — are out of that business. In the latter two countries, 50 million people have been freed of criminal regimes, one of which was intent upon re-creating a Stone-Age society bereft of civilization, while the other was a police state ruled by a culture of death.

In addition, the Nukes ‘R Us cartel run by A.Q. Khan in Pakistan has been stopped, highlighted by the high seas interception of thousands of centrifuges destined for Libya, which has been translated into the Proliferation Security Initiative that now embraces more than 70 countries.

Worldwide port and maritime security initiatives have also made us safer, including joint efforts with Europe, Japan and Russia. A new international counterterrorism regime has also been established as numerous terror plots have been dismantled.

All this in contrast with the real architect of the failures of the late 1970s — Mr. Carter — who is now busy embracing the terrorists of Hamas, financed and armed by the mullahs in Iran — whose leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was welcomed onto the world stage by the Carter administration and who in 1979 was described by our U.N. ambassador as “a saint.”

PETER HUESSY

President

GeoStrategic Analysis

Potomac

Albania and the Holocaust

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Warren L. Miller’s column “Albania marks the Holocaust” (Commentary, Friday) regarding that nation’s non-participation in the Holocaust.

Mr. Miller recounts the story of a genuine hero, Sulo Mecaj, who sheltered Jews from the Nazis. However, the author fails to inform the reader the nationality of “the Nazis.” Were they German? Croatian? Bosnian? Italian? Maybe even Albanian?

It would make sense that in a rural area where this farmer lived (Kruja), there had to be Nazi collaborators with knowledge of the language and terrain.

The historic fact is that Albania was a satellite of Mussolini’s Italy, and thousands of Albanians served in uniform supporting the Third Reich, including with the notorious SS Hanjar Division.

In short, a half truth is not the truth, Mr. Miller.

RAYMOND GUTHY

Pristina, Kosovo

Posing a real debate

Deborah Simmons’ opinions are usually on target, but let’s be clear about the ABC news Democratic debate: ABC wanted to have some entertainment “value” (obviously) to attract viewers after way too many debates already (“When Hillary met kid gloves,” Op-Ed, Friday). So, the moderators decided to focus on moderately important, albeit ancillary issues that everyone’s talking about.

Many of us who pay attention and are objective know that ABC and other mainstream media outlets are frothing at the mouth to get a Democrat in the White House. This is why the most important questions are not asked of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, questions such as: 1) What are your ideas for action regarding the economy, and how would you help create private-sector jobs and a more vibrant economy? 2) What are your ideas for defeating the jihadists around the world, in particular in the Middle East? 3) What are your ideas for making our country more energy-independent and perhaps decreasing the cost of energy?

Then a real debate would enable each candidate to respond to and rebut the other’s ideas. This type of format would show quickly and clearly how fatuous these two candidates are and how utterly negligent they are on those three vital issues. The press intentionally avoids asking these questions to make it easier to get a Democrat in the White House and to keep so many Americans in the dark as to these two candidates’ pathetically weak, in fact damaging, policy positions.

STEVE BOURG

Ellicott City, Md.

Military readiness and requirements

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, obviously believes homosexuals are unworthy of the right to defend a nation that is theirs as much as it is hers (“ ’Don’t ask, don’t tell’ and a new president,” Letters, Thursday).

During my 20 years of military service I knew several homosexuals; all were extremely efficient and dedicated. All were well-liked and respected by those with whom they served. I neither saw nor heard of any animosity or disrespect directed at any of them. My experience was not unique; I know of similar experiences described by fellow veterans. Homosexuals have served, and they have died in defense of our nation.

Civilians such as Mrs. Donnelly who oppose the service of homosexuals have that right. Those in the military who oppose it also have that right, but they took an oath to obey the orders of the president and those appointed above themselves. Violation of that oath is grounds for court-martial. No serviceman or woman is required to like those with whom he or she serves; it is not a popularity contest or a democracy. Military people are required to perform their jobs and refrain from interfering in the performance of others. Those who can’t fulfill this requirement are a detriment and should be removed.

Having been directly involved in preparing readiness reports, I can tell you that there is no reporting of the number of gays and straights; blacks and whites; Catholics and Protestants; or Swedes and Italians. The readiness of any unit is dependent on the number of authorized, properly trained and used personnel assigned and the amount of authorized, serviceable equipment in the unit’s possession. What does sexual orientation have to do with that?

When swords and spears were the military weapons and support services were nonexistent, left-handers, like myself, had no place in the military and often in society. Should I have been excluded because I had some difficulty with military equipment designed for right-handed persons? Should I be excluded from society because a lot of civilian devices are next-to-impossible for me to use?

Come up with facts to support your position, Mrs. Donnelly, or change the name of your center to something more truthful.

DARREL SALISBURY

Lorton

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