- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Who’s out of touch?

In condemning the Republican Party of North Carolina for running ads in that state’s gubernatorial race — ads that highlight Barack Obama’s cozy relationship with the America-bashing, racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright (“N. Carolina party stands by attack,” Page 1, Saturday) — John McCain said, “They’re not listening to me because they’re out of touch with reality and the Republican Party.”

The reality is Sen. Obama’s 20-year relationship with Rev. Wright.

Mr. McCain is laboring under the delusion that he embodies the Republican Party despite the fact that he tried to ram through the Senate amnesty open-borders legislation, cozies up to the global-warming, Kyoto Treaty-loving enviro-flakes and voted against tax cuts. These are but a few areas where rank-and-file Republicans, who make up the Republican Party, differ with him. The last time I checked, political parties aren’t run by dictators.

Linda Daves, chairman of the state Republican Party, was exactly right. She didn’t need Mr. McCain’s approval to run adds for the gubernatorial race. Mr. McCain is simply the presumptive nominee of the party, not the uber-Republican leader. The North Carolina Republican Party is not some petulant staffer. That, too, is reality.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

Sharing the Medicare burden

It’s too bad that Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt (“Leavitt sees generation split on Medicare,” Nation, Friday) did not take the trouble to correct his misinformed son about the financial burden for health care carried by Medicare beneficiaries.

Mr. Leavitt quotes his son as saying old folks “ought to be sharing part of the burden.” In fact, Medicare beneficiaries have always shared part of the burden. That’s required by the Medicare law and I certainly hope that Mr. Leavitt, as the person in charge of the program, knows that.

The share of health expenditures carried by the beneficiaries in the two lowest income quintiles has increased from 1970 to 2002 from 10 percent of income to 19 percent for the lowest quintile and from 9 percent to 13 percent for the second-lowest quintile.

Further, as a 26-year-old, I am happy to contribute to “paying the health care of a 77-year-old Mike Leavitt,” if the secretary is wondering. I would ask Mr. Leavitt’s sons to contribute to paying for the health care of my father as well.

Only by investing in each other can we become a society that protects and cares for those who have come before us.

Mr. Leavitt seems more interested in fomenting intergenerational warfare than in offering opportunities for discussion about how to ensure health care for elders, those with permanent disabilities and the rest of our nation.

MICHAEL RUBIN

Analyst and project coordinator

Center for Medicare Advocacy Inc.

Washington

Why McCain is struggling

I think your editorial “McCain’s failure to cash in” (Sunday) misses the main issue with John McCain. Your points that he has “apparently taken a worrisome vacation from fund-raising.” While “Mr. McCain has been squandering a golden opportunity” to raise campaign funds may be true, the real issue with Mr. McCain is that Republicans (and especially conservatives) really don’t like and don’t support this guy. More importantly, they don’t trust him.

One only has to “re-run the tape” from last week to see two great examples to understand why Mr. McCain is struggling, and will continue to struggle, to raise campaign dough.

Example one: Mr. McCain trashed President Bush for the federal government’s performance in response to Hurricane Katrina. Democrats have been constantly and regularly making the “pilgrimage” to New Orleans to demagogue this theme ever since the day after the hurricane.

Yesterday’s lead letter from Norman Hendrickson of Bowie was right on target. The federal government’s resources were ready to go, staged on Louisiana’s borders, before the hurricane even hit. Unfortunately, by the time New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, both Democrats, made the decision to let the feds in, it was too late for anyone to be proactive.

Example two: Mr. McCain’s holier-than-thou shot at the North Carolina Republican Party’s perfectly legitimate ad against two Democrats running for governor of that state. The ad references Barack Obama’s 20-year relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Meanwhile, Mr. McCain himself apparently didn’t have any qualms about dishonestlydistorting Mitt Romney’s comments about a planned withdrawal of troops from Iraq just days before the Florida primary.

Bottom line: If Republicans and conservatives wanted a nominee who is really not a Republican, someone who really doesn’t believe in lowering taxes, someone who supports amnesty for illegal aliens, someone who supports Al Gore’s moneymaking scheme and fantasy of global warming, someone the senior military leadership really doesn’t like or trust, a nominee who is going to constantly trash their party, then they have a much better choice, someone they can really rely on. They can vote for the real thing in either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

COL. BLAKE J. ROBERTSON

USMC (retired)

Stafford, Va.

History lessons

There is one particular comment made by Warren L. Miller in his April 18 Commentary (“Albania marks the Holocaust”) to which I take exception.

Mr. Miller writes: “In 1943, Nazi occupiers demanded that Albanian authorities produce a list of Jewish residents. While other nations cooperated fully with such demands — some even willingly did more — Albania stoutly refused.”

With this broad statement about “other nations,” Mr. Miller denigrates the sacrifices of Christians all over occupied Europe who often gave up their lives and their families to protect their Jewish neighbors.

One such country was Albania’s neighbor Greece. In “Greek Righteous Gentiles in the Rescue of Greek Jews in the Holocaust,” Yitzchak Kerem of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, describes the efforts of Christian authorities to protect the Jewish communities from deportation to Nazi concentration camps.

The Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches found hiding places for the Jews of Salonika (Thessaloniki). Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Zante,who, when ordered by the Axis occupying forces to submit a list of all Jews on the island, submitted a document bearing just two names: his own and the mayor’s.

Consequently, all 275 Zante Jews were saved. Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens during the German occupation formally protested the deportation of Jews and quietly ordered churches under his jurisdiction to issue fake Christian baptismal certificates to Jews fleeing the Nazis. Thousands of Greek Jews in and around Athens were to claim that they were Christian and were thus saved.

In the glowing description of how Jews were treated in occupied Albania, Mr. Miller omitted the history of Kosovo, which was integrated into Albania during World War II.

During that period, and, significantly, in light of the recent unilateral Kosovo declaration of independence, Albanians in Kosovo cooperated fully with Nazi authorities in the persecution of the Jewish community of which at least 1,500 were sent to concentration camps in Bergen-Belsen (See the Jewish Virtual Library, Bergen-Belsen, and The Virtual Jewish History Tour, Kosovo).

Unfortunately, some historians seem to have the need to rewrite or selectively omit some facts of history.

STELLA L. JATRAS

Camp Hill, Pa.

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