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Correcting the Record

Leahy can't be proud of his, but Nat Hentoff sure can. Also: Kashmir showdown and more.

5.30.02

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LEAHY MUELLER
Re: The Prowler's J. Edgar Mueller:

I think I know why FBI director Robert Mueller didn't want the Senate Judiciary Committee to have a written transcript of his or FBI agents' testimony.

Many may have forgotten -- but not if they've been listening to Rush Limbaugh in recent months -- that Sen. Patrick Leahy, now Judiciary's chairman, was kicked off the Intelligence Committee years ago after leaking classified information.

If I were Mueller and had to put up with Leahy's self-righteousness, I, too, just might want to offer the chairman a bit of a reminder of that humiliation...
-- Kevin M. McGehee
Coweta County, GA

THE HENTOFF EXCEPTION
Re: Sean Higgins' When Liberals Could Oppose Abortion:

I enjoyed Sean Higgins's article on Dennis Kucinich, as excerpted in today's Washington Times. I noticed, however, that Mr. Higgins names Nat Hentoff as among the small and dwindling group of pro-life liberals on the scene today, and asserts that Hentoff and the others "aren't very vocal about" their pro-life position. As applied to Mr. Hentoff, I believe that statement is not correct. I think if Mr. Higgins looked further into this, he'd find that Hentoff, in his Washington Times op-ed columns, has written many thoughtful pro-life pieces. So, I'd encourage Mr. Higgins to reassess the "aren't very vocal" assertion as applied to Mr. Hentoff. (No argument about the statement's applicability to Kucinich, David Bonior, or Mark Shields.) Again, the article was otherwise very insightful and interesting, as is your website generally.
-- Roger Pincus

Sean Higgins replies: The point I was trying to make was that pro-life liberals in general do not speak out on the subject of abortion. I didn't mean to suggest that Mr. Hentoff -- a journalist I have long admired -- is afraid to speak out on this matter. My article probably should have made this clearer. My apologies to Mr. Hentoff.

In my defense, I did note that Mr. Hentoff had written about the subject in a recent column.

KASHMIR EXCHANGE
Jed Babbin says in his article Order of Battle in Kashmir on 5/28/02 the following:

"However, because the people of J & K are mostly Muslim and India is predominantly Hindu, Mountbatten provided for a plebiscite to be held to determine whether the Kashmiris wanted to be part of India or of Pakistan. India has refused to allow the vote, and it and Pakistan have already gone to war twice over who owns Kashmir."

This is historically and factually wrong. The Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had a Hindu King who sign the articles of Accession with India and Lord Mountbatten officially in his capacity as the last Viceroy of India accepted this. This was how all the previously independent states ruled by various Kings and Princes agreed to the accession with the new Indian nation. It was only when the Pakistani army attacked the state of Jammu and Kashmir and occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir that the United Nations passed a resolution which called for the plebiscite after the Pakistani army withdrew from the occupied J&K .

I expect more accuracy from Jed Babbin whom I listen to when he comes on Lee Rodgers' show on KSFO and enjoy his analysis.
-- Harish Chinai

Jed Babbin replies: My thanks to Mr. Chinai for his kind words, but I don't believe he's correct. Indeed there was a Hindu maharajah who ruled mostly Muslim Kashmir. The minority population was -- and still is -- Hindu or Buddhist. The "accession" to India was never completed. Not even the U.N. accepts it. In fact, Lord Mountbatten made accession to India contingent on the plebiscite. At that point, the Kashmiri maharajah asked for Indian troops in the same way the puppet Afghan regime asked for Soviet troops in 1979, and with much the same result. Indian troops came in, and then so did Pakistani troops. The first Kashmir war ended like the other two: in a bloody stalemate. Which is where this one is likely to go, unless someone does something extraordinarily stupid, and a bloody stalemate turns into history's first nuclear exchange.

MILITARY RETREAT
Re: Bill Harrison's Decoration Day:

I am a 20-year retired military man and veteran of Korea and Vietnam. I am also a Memorial Day drop-out. I retired from the military 30 years ago and have since grown tired of seeing the endless parade of old men doddering about in their ancient uniforms every Memorial Day, as if their military experience was the sum total of their lives. The day I retired, I threw my combat boots to the top of the admin building where I received my discharge, and drove home in my GI socks. The uniforms later went to Goodwill and the dumpster, and I started a new life.

I pay respect to the colors when they pass by and my heart swells with pride at having once been a part of a truly great military. But being in the military doesn't define me and it wasn't the most important thing in my life.

Politicians and the media are fond of using the term, "those who gave their lives" especially when holding forth on Memorial Day. That term sickens me. Those lives weren't "given", they were taken forcibly. Ripped away loudly and profanely and certainly not considered a "gift" by the takers.
-- Sid Cowan
Santa Rosa, CA

LIVE FOR NEW YORK
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Bye, Baby, Goodbye:

Jackie Mason is in my top ten comedians of the century. Thy finger doth not offend me. I have never heard of Raoul Felder. If I see his name at the head of a column, I guarantee I will read it.
-- unsigned

ISN'T IT PEDANTIC
Re: Enemy Central's Imperial Bush:

Sure, it's pedantic, but:

Heidegger never taught at Heidelberg, but rather in Freiburg im Breisgau.

But it would have been vastly better if Gore the Bore had indeed studied Hegel in Heidelberg whilst hearing Hesse!

:-)
-- John

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