Reader Mail

Only Yesterday

Was 1942 so long ago? The war rages. Also: Sister Soujourner. Georgetown Reconsidered. Plus much more.

9.5.06

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NEOCONSPIRACY!
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Ned Lamont Is No Clare Boothe Luce:

In other words, how dare anyone disagree with this phony "war on terror" that demands that we attack and occupy countries that had nothing to do with 9/11? How dare anyone question the infinite blank check handed to the President to make war on any country he chooses for any reason? In 1942, we went to war against a state (Japan) that explicitly attacked us. Victory was realized when that state surrendered. Who do we seek surrender from in the "war on terror"? Everybody and nobody. How do we know when we have won? We won't. Hence, the war goes on indefinitely. A "war on terror" is a war on a tactic (terror) that we and Israel as well as our enemies use at will. If we truly wish to make war on terror, then we should start bombing ourselves and Israel as well as our enemies. Obviously, it is not "terror" that motivates the pro-war crowd.

To make comparisons between WW II and the Iraq war is disingenuous. There is no comparison. The former war was fought in self-defense. The current war is a war of conquest and expropriation. How long must America be bled to satisfy PNAC's (Project For The New American Century) dream of world domination?

With Lamont, those of us who oppose the war in Connecticut now have a real choice this November, not a phony choice between pro-war Lieberman and some Republican nonentity.
-- Mike Stamper
Windsor, Connecticut

Fine piece, Mr. Lord. The "loyal opposition," in 2006, is certainly quite different. The Dems, fanatic worshipers of international communism, simply share a common purpose with the Muslim miscreants, fanatic worshipers of Sharia law, the destruction of the U.S. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so to speak. I wonder what the Dems will do when the caliphate blows up the UN?

Indeed, we are a long way from 1942. I hope 2 months is time enough to get us there again.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

Mr. Lord: You are exactly right -- we are a long way from 1942! It's absolutely terrible how the Dems have politicized this war on terror. Americans are in the fight for our lives, freedoms, & liberty. The Dems don't even see this -- amazing. Someday Americans as a whole will wake up -- but I hope it's not too late. To win this war on terror we must be united. Good article.
-- Kathy
Arizona

I found the most interesting quote in this illuminating article to be the final one, attributed to the New York Times: "(Goebbels') silence is proof of the fact that we have made the unity of our purpose apparent to our enemies."

It's breathtaking to contemplate a time when the Times considered itself to be interested in the unity of American national purpose in keeping fanatical enemies away...even more that the Times actually thought of itself as part of that unity.

Mr. Lord has provided another reason, as though any more were needed, for Americans to regard today's Times to be the pathetic, disoriented journal so many have watched it become.
-- D. A. Wells
Huntington, West Virginia

Your recent article by Jeffrey Lord compares the Republican loyal opposition of 1942 with the Democratic opposition of 2004, but does not examine the most interesting question about the 1942 elections.

Did Roosevelt urge the invasion of North Africa mostly to prevent the loss of 44 House seats in 1944? Most experts will confirm that the 1942 military campaign in Africa was badly conceived, badly executed, and served to prolong the war. The planning was amateurish, and its date had to be moved forward several times -- until it finally occurred after the U.S. elections, where it had no effect on them -- but that does not gainsay the fact FDR sent numerous nasty telegrams to the British urging them to hurry up.

Field Marshall Alan Brooke was Churchill's chief of staff, and the counterpart of Gen. George C. Marshall. Brooke's diaries mention the Roosevelt telegrams, and also give his opinion at the time that the North African adventure prolonged the war. He strongly insinuates it was Roosevelt's fault, owing to the proximity of U.S. elections. And Brooke was in a position to know what he was talking about.

This material was excised by Brooke from the first publication of the his Diaries in the 1950s. One must go to War Diaries 1939-1945, Field Marshal Lord Alan Brooke, edited by Alex Danchev and Daniel Todman, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 2001, to see the unexpurgated version, and it is well worth the trip. He also has some unvarnished things to say about Churchill, Eisenhower, Marshall, Patton and Mark Clark.
-- Larry Hughes
Calhoun County, Michigan

Your portrait of Republicans in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor is a nice fantasy, although I do believe Republican were more honest and ethical then than they are today.
-- Michael Roush

Mr. Lord is right but forgot some things. We were attacked, no Iraqi attacked us. There was no power of Axis document today as there was in 1942. Clearer threat in 1942: the Japanese had aircraft carriers as we did. I have never seen an Arab carrier . The Germans had the biggest battleship the Bismarck. They had bigger tanks, the Tiger over the Sherman .They had paratroopers, which made us get some. What weapon does any Arab country have bigger then our ships? What troops are we building that they have and we don't? Do the Arabs have the arms of Krupp? He is right: it is not 1942 and these are not the Japanese or Germans. Because of that, Republicans then and Democrats now are not the same....
-- Thomas Lindquist
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Back then both parties knew what had to be done to keep America safe, now the Democrats' only thought is the next election cycle. They think if Muslims were in charge it would not make any difference in their lives and they may be correct. After all they can always sell their souls to the devil, they are on the way to doing that now.

If they had a clue and stood 100% behind the President the terrorist would not have the hope that things would get better after the election. Don't they understand they are just prolonging the war. These are the people we want leading our country? NOT!
-- Elaine Kyle

SISTER SOJOURNER
Re: Mark Tooley's America the Brutal:

As a card carrying, non-reconstructed pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic I would like to propose a trade with the Methodists. We'll give you Sr. Chittister and a dog-eared copy of the complete works of Mario Cuomo for Mark Tooley.

Deal?
-- Robert Brennan
Van Nuys, California

Sister Joan IS an idiot! I am sorry to descend into name calling as that is a response I prefer to leave to Mrs. Clinton and her radical leftist friends. But this woman is absolute proof of freedom! Freedom to be an idiot in front of the whole world! America the brutal. If we were , as I think we ought to be, brutal our men and women of the armed forces would be home now. Iranians, Syrians and Iraqis would be putrefying in the desert sun and the sand would be radioactive glass. And nobody would be attacking us again any time soon.

As for "stripping" us of civil liberties by requiring "old ladies and children" to take off our shoes. My dear, sweet, little country mouse! That you can lay at the feet of radical leftist Democrat party which believes because every atrocity against America has been perpetrated by Arab males between the age of 18 and 35 we should search Swedish woman. Profiling is wrong....
-- Jason Brutus Kane
Palm Beach, Florida

Like so many clueless dolts on the left, the good sister fails to understand that because we were brutal with our enemies, so many our countrymen fought and died so she can bitch and moan. Try that in good Catholic Cuba. I was raised a Catholic and got plenty of indoctrination in the '60s in grammar school. I no longer practice the faith. To paraphrase a great American, "I didn't leave the Church, the Church left me..."
-- Tom Borchelt
Danville, California

Thanks, Mr. Tooley. Sis Chittister is quite a piece of work. She leaves one speechless, the eyes roll, and a response is challenging, but I'll give it a try. In honor of LTG Russell Honore, the "git 'er done" guy in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit last summer, and known for the phrase "stuck on stupid"; how can so much stupid stick on so much woman.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

This Nun is ethically, morally and Catholically(?) challenged, if not outright corrupt. Her Savior is Rousseauian in nature (a pun), her morals subject to feelings, not truth. As for ethics, well...

Whatever happened to "Render unto Caesar..," following the biblical moral codes of absolute right and wrong and ethically leading by example instead of carping and bitching about the behavior of other religious people?

Can anyone reading her profile clearly state she isn't a nun in the Church of the Vagina Monologues?
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

These illogical, totally adverse to the Scripture, people would not be getting all of this attention if they weren't speaking to the worldly who merely want someone with the loose "Christian" label to affirm their self referential righteousness and authority. Doesn't the argument that our military (always assumed to be the bad guys and un-Christian) are, by her unproven assertion, killing pregnant women and thus aborting children, slam dunk the fact that she too believes abortion is wrong? Reasoning with these people never yields agreement on common ground truth because it would undercut their whole platform of finger pointing raison d'etre. I just wish they weren't given so much credibility to begin with.
-- Laurey Boyd

EASY RYDER
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Right Man:

Why not choose Bill Clinton for the Ryder Cup golf team? ("The Right Man," The American Spectator Online, Sept 1)? It would give him something to do before the campaign for Hillary gets launched. Los Angeles talk show host John Ziegler made much fun of Clinton's cheating in Clinton's golf game with Tiger Woods this year, an event the mainstream media passed by but which provided Southern California listeners with much merriment at the thought of Clinton transferring his ethical standards from politics to the links.
-- Caroline Miranda
North Hollywood, California

Henry is right. You CANNOT replace toughness in the face of opposition!!!
-- MHW

VAN NAYS
Re: Jeremy Lott When You're Going to San Francisco:

"The Dodge Caravan has so much storage space that we weren't packed in like sardines. It features individual control of air conditioning and heating through vents and front and rear controls, which removed those, uh, heated conflicts of years past."

This is great news, but has the Chrysler Corporation figured out how to build an automatic overdrive transmission yet?
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

WEATHER OR NOT
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Topical Storm:

Jay, I particularly liked the passage you wrote in Friday's Nation's Pulse:

Which led me to Al Gore. What if the world stubbornly bucks his scenario and refuses to incinerate? Years go by and the mercury simply will not rise. Does he sit in his alchemist's lair surrounded by computers spewing complex formulae while he shouts "Up, damned gage, up!"?

For anybody following the climate debate, they may have noticed a not so subtle shifting of the debate from Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) to Climate Change. In a few years, AGW will drop from our pop culture lexicon. Climate Change will be the new ticket to fame and fortune. Every snowstorm, severe freeze, flash flood, and even spring fog over New England will be blamed on humanity (or the blame will fall on Republicans -- well, Republicans who drive Lincoln Navigators). No longer will scientists and reporters have to wait until summer to issue their dire warnings; now they can do it every three months.
-- JP
Indiana

EVANGELICALS AT GEORGETOWN
Re: The "Inquisitionals" letters in Reader Mail's Moral Confusion and Joseph M. Knippenberg's Religious "Diversity" at Georgetown:

Were Georgetown justifying its exclusion of evangelical parachurch organizations because of its fidelity to a traditional or orthodox Roman Catholic mission, I would be the first to applaud it, even though I'm not a Roman Catholic. I think that every religious institution ought to be free, within certain very broad limits, to define and pursue its own mission.

My complaint about Georgetown has more to do with its apparently hypocritical invocation of diversity and pluralism, which seems to stop short when it encounters something that challenges its liberal orthodoxy.

Stated another way, as I put it in the article, Georgetown's mission seems to have little to do with traditional Roman Catholic or even Christian teaching. Of that fact, everyone who holds an orthodox religious view ought to be cognizant.
-- Joseph M. Knippenberg
Oglethorpe University

Writing on the expulsion of the Evangelical ministry from the Georgetown University campus, Andreas Giannopoulos carped:

It is easy enough to see Prof. Knippenberg's snide attack on Georgetown's ministry program, but let's be serious: last time I checked, Georgetown is a ROMAN CATHOLIC institute!

Actually, Georgetown University is a Jesuit institution -- there is a profound difference between the two. And Mr. Giannopoulos would be on firmer grounds if Georgetown had expelled all Protestant ministries, not merely the Evangelical one, to say nothing of its resident Rabbi and its newly hired Muslim chaplain.

He further adds: "Why on earth would a so-called 'evangelical Christian' even want to go there?"

Well, it might be for the (still) pretty good education one can get there, particularly in some of the more specialized subject. Mr. Giannopolous apparently isn't aware that GU is a Congressionally chartered institution that has always offered education to people of all confessions (the six Jewish dentists at the practice I used all graduated from GU's excellent but now defunct School of Dentistry). Some of its schools, like the School of Foreign Service, offer unique training and preparation not available anywhere else. I don't think that Father John Walsh, SJ, when he founded the school, intended for all of America's future diplomats to be Roman Catholic.

Moreover, Mr. Giannopoulos would be on stronger ground is Georgetown had, for the last thirty years, actually taken its Catholic (or at least Jesuit) identity seriously. Instead, over the past three decades, that identity has been progressively eroded in favor of an openly secular agenda that ignores the teachings of the Catholic Church altogether. Interestingly, it is not the Catholic students who have been most vocal in their condemnation of GU's loss of Catholic identity, but rather its Protestant and even Muslim students. When crucifixes were removed from all classrooms some years back (to avoid giving offense to non-Catholic students), it was a group of Muslim students who wrote an open letter to the president of the University calling for their reinstatement. The letter said that they, the Muslim students, knew full well that GU was a Catholic school, and that was one reason they came there. Apparently the only people offended by the crosses on the walls were the Jesuits running the place and the secularist professors teaching there. Georgetown's toleration of homosexual activists groups on campus also makes a mockery of GU's erstwhile Catholic identity.

Mr. Giannopoulos then writes, "You go to a Roman Catholic school, then you need to follow the college's rules."

That would be fine and dandy, if there actually were "rules" that were transparent and applied equally to all parties. In fact, what we have here is a closed political process in which a small coterie of officials (none of whom are actually "Catholics", so Giannopoulos stands condemned out of his own mouth) to impose their own particular vision on a groups that legitimately asks for nothing more than the same rights granted to other groups on campus. When GU shuts down all its Protestant, Muslim and Jewish ministries because they aren't "Catholic", then maybe he'll have a leg on which to stand.

Mr. Giannopolous concludes with what he thinks is a killing blow:

More importantly, we should address why Georgetown would allow heretical, to them, groups on campus to exist in the past. I think the real story is the moral/spiritual decay of this Jesuit college (and I gather most RC colleges).

Well, seems pretty clear that Mr. Giannopoulos needs to study more the history of Georgetown University, as well as the Catholic Church's own teachings on religious freedom. But beyond that, if he really knew the score, he would recognize that it's probably groups like the Evangelical ministry that are upholding Christian orthodoxy against the encroachments of the nominally Catholic Jesuits. There is an iota of truth in his statement, though: the Jesuits probably do consider the Evangelical heretics, but not because they oppose Catholic doctrine (nobody beats the Jebbies for that, nowadays); rather, they are heretics from the doctrine of diversity and moral relativism at whose altar the Jesuits worship today.
-- Stuart Koehl
SFS, 1976

RAILROADING TEDDY
Re: Jim Powell's The Worst Big Government Conservative:

Powell is critical that Teddy Roosevelt "secured passage of a law that restricted the ability of America's largest industry (railroads) to set market-rate prices." That law was sorely needed because the railroads were charging farmers and ranchers exorbitant prices for shipping their grain and livestock to market. That's a monopolistic practice.

Powell further claims "This began the long decline of railroads, by making it harder for them to attract the capital needed for maintenance and improvement." The railroads declined because of the loss of shipping to the trucking industry which became a serious competitor after passable roads became a reality. Mr. Powell needs to redirect his criticism to President Eisenhower, who mandated the interstate highway system.
-- Stan Welli
Aurora, Illinois

A FRIEND WRITES
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Rumsfeld Speaks, Democrats Screech:

I too applaud R. Emmett Tyrrell's article on Donald Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion but not as much as I applaud the man for delivering the speech. Speaking as a British admirer of the U.S. and all that it stands for in this crazy world of ours, I believe one of your readers -- Elaine Kyle -- also hits the nail on the head when she asks whether Americans "want to give control to the U.N. and follow laws that come to (them) from overseas," who would "try and 'understand' the terrorist and say oh poor things they have been mistreated." Take it from me, we here in Britain live under the increasing odious control of the EU and it is not good. It will all end in tears. Applaud Mr. Rumsfeld and support Mr. Bush. They and their ilk stand between a free America (and therefore, the world) and being under the corrupt thumb of the UN and its ilk.
-- Graham Constable
Oxford, England

When you have walked a mile in our boots perhaps you will not view the landscape with such an arrogant eye.
-- P. E. Almand

BLUE-HYPHEN-EYED
Re: Bill Heffernan, Jr.'s letter ("Unhyphened") in Reader Mail's Moral Confusion:

Bill Heffernan, Jr. wrote: "In common with Elaine Kyle, I am also tired of hearing and reading the almost always inaccurate term 'African-American.'"

I just want to observe that I do know a legitimate "African-American," a woman born in Africa who became a naturalized citizen some time back. Unfortunately for those who want to use the term as a synonym for "black," this woman is a blond, blue-eyed Afrikaaner.
-- Stuart Koehl

NO APPEAL
Re: Bill Whalen's Trial Lawyers Find Operating Room and Reader Mail's Jackpot Justice:

Though there are some excellent, ethical, and honorable plaintiffs' lawyers, they are not the ones who advertise, nor are they likely to be the richest. There remain in this country some quiet, competent, caring and decent professionals.

Nevertheless, we have no shortage of lawyers who look for venues with jealous, self-pitying jurors in order to redistribute other peoples' money for a thirty percent commission on each dollar of the verdicts.
-- Nathan Lord

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