- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2008


Policy disinformation

Harlan Ullman’s column “Eviscerating the armed forces” (Op-Ed, Wednesday) is another example of assertions buttressed by little more than conventional wisdom leavened by an animus against the current administration and its supporters. We are first asked to sympathize about those caught in the mortgage crunch, as if some financial alligator crawled up out of the banking swamps and started eating homeowners. Fully 70 percent of problem subprime loans were based on fraudulent applications and less-than-responsible assessments of such applications.

Mr. Ullman then turns his journalistic wrath on the promotion of democracy by the United States, claiming against all evidence that it leads inevitably to future Vietnams. When Paul Wolfowitz courageously perceived in the early 1980s the need for the United States to push for the liberation of the now Asian “tigers” from crony capitalism and despotic governments, he was roundly ridiculed, just as Mr. Ullman ridicules our president.

The shift in the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and throughout the Pacific, and subsequently in Latin and Central America, involved significantly more than simply majority-vote elections. It involved transparency, due process and the creation of freer markets.

The real eviscerating of our military occurred primarily in the 1990s. According to John Hamre, a senior Clinton administration defense official, the defense budgets presented to Congress deliberately underfunded acquisition accounts of needed weapons systems by fully 40 percent. That created a subsequent requirement that we maintain legacy systems while at the same time investing in future capabilities.

New tape recordings and documents from Iraq clearly show that Saddam Hussein was hiding deadly weapons, particularly those transferred to Syria, while training tens of thousands of terrorists specializing in suicide bombings, assassinations and the use of “poisons” against U.S. targets. Our military coalition has essentially won the war in Iraq. Instead of honoring this achievement, Mr. Ullman continues his one-note song: Blame President Bush, gloom and doom forever.



GeoStrategic Analysis


Dan Snyder’s folly

The B-movie actors in this modern-day version of “Planet of the Apes” include Dan Snyder flying around the country interviewing just about anyone with a pulse to fill the vacant Washington Redskins head coaching position (“Fassel re-emerges at forefront,” Sports, Friday).

To the surprise of only Mr. Snyder and his valet, Vinny Cerrato, the job is still open. It’s looking more and more likely to be filled by a second-tier coach if one is dumb enough to take the job.

Who would want it? Considering Mr. Snyder already has hired an offensive and a defensive coordinator, what head coach in his right mind would want to walk into the lunacy?

Most head coaches historically have had the luxury of hiring their own staff to implement their game designs, but not with The Dan.

Does anyone doubt who will be calling the shots with this team? Except for the most unemployable prospects, who would want to sully his reputation as a head coach should he fail while implementing schemes drawn in crayon on napkins by Mr. Cerrato, the executive vice president?

Mr. Snyder’s escapades undoubtedly have caused many a qualified candidate to pass when offered the opportunity to coach in the best market in the country.

Fans have the option of boycotting the team to send a message. The only problem is that the players and the people making a living around the team will suffer. The Dan has his and doesn’t really care about anyone else. Should Jim Fassel take the job, he will be the poor guy who reaps the fallout from this.


Leesburg, Va.

John McCain and conservatives

It is stunning to me that ultraconservatives threaten to sit home, vote for a third party or vote for Democrats if Sen. John McCain is the Republican nominee (“McCain unable to sway some conservatives,” Nation, Friday). We are at war. Critics, as well as supporters, concede that Mr. McCain is better-equipped to be commander in chief from day one than all the remaining candidates in either major party. The country does not have the luxury of a mass temper tantrum of ideological purity, which would put a liberal Democrat in the White House.

Either Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama would prematurely bring troops home from Iraq, even if our troops are starting to turn things around. Also, a President McCain would appoint judges who would be strict constructionists and would not hamstring a president’s power to wage war. Mrs. Clinton’s or Mr. Obama’s appointees would make up the law as they go along and be in the pocket of the American Civil Liberties Union. If these arguments still do not move conservative dead-enders to vote for the Republican nominee, they should consider their own future standing in the party.

If Mr. McCain wins in spite of their temper tantrum, they will have shut themselves out of the process. Even if Mr. McCain loses because the dead-enders sit out the election, they likely will not automatically be welcomed back with open arms. Those who insist on “my way or the highway” often get a face full of asphalt.


Mechanicsville, Va.

I can’t understand some “conservatives.” I have been a conservative since I first voted for President Reagan. I helped get Pat Buchanan on the ballot in New York in the most Republican county, Suffolk, and I also support Sen. John McCain. I just cannot understand why so-called conservatives are attacking him.

These same so-called conservatives attacked him in 2000, before he voted against the Bush tax cuts and before he supported immigration reform, and they gave us President Bush. He has done more to cripple the Republican Party than even his father. Mr. McCain is now, and always has been, pro-life, against gun control and homosexual rights and has been a deficit hawk.

If he had been elected president in 2000, we would not have the out-of-control spending that is Mr. Bush’s legacy. Because it is obvious to all that they were wrong then, it is obvious to me that they are wrong now. I ask listeners of conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh to inundate Mr. Limbaugh’s show with evidence of Mr. McCain’s conservative credentials.

Mitt Romney had a “conversion” about his pro-abortion, pro-homosexual and anti-gun stances as governor of Massachusetts, and these same people gave him a free pass. Mr. McCain, on the other hand, amended his position on immigration to “secure the border” first before doing anything about illegal immigrants. As for the amnesty question, that approach may bring many illegal immigrants who are part of the underground economy to the surface and even might help identify the business owners who hire illegals. One cannot punish those one cannot find. I am not a “country club Republican”; I work for a living, and I don’t work on K Street.

Republicans should stop bashing conservatives like Mr. McCain and start fighting the real opponents, Mrs. Clinton and/or Mr. Obama, who are two sides of the same coin.


Elrama, Pa.

In reference to Stephen Dinan’s article “McCain needs to woo the right” (Page 1, Thursday) I have to conclude that Sen. John McCain is totally out of touch with much of the conservative base of his party. Isn’t he informed that today there is the deepest claim for a review of the current war on terror? He seems to assume that all conservatives are elated with President Bush and his 20-year-war prospect.

It’s no accident that many conservatives are going to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is clear that in the Democratic Party, she is the one who more effectively can take us out of this administration’s Iraq imbroglio.



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