March 2: Out of context

While Mr. Troy is entitled to his own viewpoints, I ask that he cease using my words improperly and out of context for his own ends.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Out of context Sir, - In his piece about Democrats "allowing their hatred of Bush to blind them to the Islamist threat," Gil Troy took my previous statements totally out of context to imply, wrongly, that Democrats aren't serious about the threats facing America ("Walk in the footsteps of JFK," February 27). Indeed, I have previously called President Bush a "villain," but not for the reasons Mr. Troy's piece asserts. Rather, I made this statement as a reaction to the Bush administration's utter failure to tell the truth about post-9/11 air quality and to provide proper medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins at Ground Zero after the attacks in New York. The Islamic terrorists were responsible for the deaths of thousands of my constituents. But, tragically, thousands more could have been kept safe if the administration had not lied about the air quality, had enforced occupational safety laws, or had properly cleaned toxins from buildings surrounding the site. Because of its willful malfeasance thousands of people are needlessly sick and dying today. I have been at the forefront in calling on Congress and the administration to aggressively address Islamic fundamentalism. Even before 9/11, I was one of the few members of Congress who called for a foreign policy that focuses on fighting the very real threats of religious fundamentalist terrorism facing both the US and Israel. While Mr. Troy is entitled to his own viewpoints, I ask that he cease using my words improperly and out of context for his own ends. JERROLD NADLER New York No favorites Sir, - I expect I was not the only one to note from your photo that the student in shock carried away on a stretcher after the rocket hit Sapir Academic College last week was an Arab woman ("Father of 4 killed as 50 Kassams strike Negev," February 28). MIRIAM AMGAD Jerusalem Thrilled about Obama Sir, - I'm thrilled with the idea that the next US president could be someone with a Muslim father and Hussein as his middle name, who is a Christian and not white. For all these things mean he will have to prove constantly that he's fair with Israel and the Jews. I'd prefer that to someone like George Bush, or even Joe Lieberman, who must show all the time that he's being fair to the Palestinians ("Israel's security is sacrosanct, Obama declares at Democrat debate," February 28). M. HAGENAUER Jerusalem Anti-Kosovar spirit Sir, - Caroline B. Glick's "Kosovo's stark warning" (February 22) did not come as a surprise to me, as she is notorious for her anti-Kosovar spirit and one-sided in her analysis of the Kosovo-Serbia crisis. She considers Kosovo "a precedent," although many democratic and enlightened nations have accepted that it is a sui generis case. She has the right to present her viewpoint, but what is unacceptable is the misuse of facts about Kosovo and her hysteria against Kosovar Albanians and all the Muslims in the world (I myself am a Catholic). She says it is "hard to see how Kosovo constitutes a viable state." If there is unemployment and "the absence of proper economic and governing structures," this is because of the status quo before independence. It was not in the hands of the Kosovo Liberation Army to "build functioning governing apparatuses" because the country was under a UN protectorate since 1999. That is why there is the need to change the status quo and determining it became a necessity. The international community understood that, and decided to recognize Kosovo's declaration of independence. Its euro-Atlantic integration will answer all of Ms. Glick's "concerns" about the viability of the state of Kosovo. What she says about the Kosovo Liberation Army is more than untrue, it is vile. Her mention of its "links" to al-Qaida is a far-fetched conspiracy theory that she wants to use as the basis for her argument against Kosovo independence. Her other theory is that Kosovar Albanians "ethnically cleansed" Kosovo in recent years, and that it is not the Kosovars who are victims of genocide, but the Serbian Christians. This is so anti-humane on her part, considering the thousands of killings of Albanian children and women by Serbian forces in 1999. She provides distorted demographic data, mixing up demography with "ethnic cleansing" in order to "victimize" Serbs. "Symmetry of crime" does not work in this case, Ms. Glick. TONIN GJURAJ Ambassador of Albania Tel Aviv Caroline Glick responds: Kosovo Albanians' ethnic cleansing of Serb Christians and the Kosovo Liberation Army's terrorist ties and commission of terrorist acts are matters of public record, and resulted in the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia indicting former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Osama bin Laden visited the Balkans three times between 1994 and 1996. In the aftermath of his visits, al-Qaida training camps were established in Zenica in Bosnia, and Malisevo and Mitrovica in Kosovo. In addition, Bin Laden provided $700 million to establish the Kosovo Liberation Army. This too is a matter of public record. Kosovo's current lack of a sustainable independent economy is admitted even by Ambassador Gjuraj. Given the historical experience of mandatory-era Jewish Palestine and Hong Kong, among others, I am skeptical about Mr. Gjuraj's claim that lack of independence prevents economic growth, and see no reason to believe that secession will suddenly make Kosovo economically viable. These are uncomfortable facts for Kosovo Albanian partisans, to be sure, and it is regrettable that instead of confronting the unpalatable truth, Mr. Gjuraj falsely accuses me of ethnic and religious bias. Calling me names and denying the truth will not change the facts. At last Sir, - I am so glad I finally (at 78) got the Internet. I am able to read your most interesting paper. It includes information about Israel which we don't get from our media here. Many thanks. DAISY O'BYRNE Vancouver