Tags: Letter | Mubarak | Anti-profiling | National | Primaries | More

Letter to Mubarak, Anti-profiling, National Primaries, More

Tuesday, 21 December 2004 12:00 AM

Recently, I wrote to Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak urging that he take a very dramatic action which would positively impact on the Middle East. My letter reads as follows.

Dear Mr. President:

As you may recall, we first met in Alexandria at President Sadat’s villa on the Mediterranean when he introduced me – I was then a member of Congress visiting Egypt, Syria and Israel with two colleagues from Congress – to you. At the time, you were in your Air Force General’s uniform welcoming us as Vice President of Egypt. Much has happened since then, and you have been extraordinary in your leadership of Egypt through difficult times and always a friend of the United States.

This morning I remembered our meeting as I read in The New York Times that great progress is being made towards peace between Egypt and Israel. If this report is accurate, a truly historic moment in world history may be at hand.

It is extraordinary to think that Egyptians and Israelis, who were involved with one another in the earliest days of civilization, continue to be involved with one another in modern times.

The relationship between Egypt and Israel since the treaty signed by President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin has had its ups and downs. But despite times of tension, you have demonstrated great statesmanship. Your recent support for the resumption of the peace process between the Palestinian people and the people of Israel conveyed a personal willingness to take chances. By volunteering to assist in the future relationship between these two peoples, you demonstrated courageous leadership, since, as we know, those who took the life of President Sadat because he sought peace with Israel are still with us.

As a result of what President Sadat accomplished, he is now perceived internationally as a powerful force for peace.

During the years since the signing of the Camp David peace treaty, the peace between Egypt and Israel has been maintained during many difficult moments. Nevertheless it has been a cold peace. Egyptians have never visited Israel as tourists albeit Israelis visited Egypt until it became too dangerous for them to do so.

I believe there are now two dramatic measures that you and Prime Minister Sharon could take immediately to improve the chances of peace throughout the Middle East. Those measures are to emulate President Sadat’s going to Jerusalem and Prime Minister Sharon’s going to Cairo, he to address the Egyptian Parliament with you addressing the Knesset.

The time is right for such a move. The fact that the current Palestinian chairman and putative President of the new Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas, has taken measures to reduce or eliminate the anti-Israeli material in Gaza’s and the West Bank’s media, and his urging non-violence, shows his strength and good will.

Think how dramatic it would be if President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were to be in each country holding press conferences, dinners and events as has become the custom of President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. What a positive and far-reaching impact these events would have on Egypt and Israel and on the citizens of the world.

I will let you know if I receive a response from President Mubarak.

The Department of Transportation apparently is reluctant to engage in profiling which, according to Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute, includes “ethnic heritage, national origin or religion of a passenger as a basis for additional scrutiny,” according to an article in the December 27 issue of National Review. That's not only bad policy ... it's absolutely nutty!

After Muslim Chechen terrorists killed hundreds of children at a Russian school, a prominent Saudi Arabian, Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya news channel, said sadly, “It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.” That is recognized as a fact of life. It is also a fact that Muslim terrorists believe they become martyrs and go directly to heaven for killing an infidel.

If nearly every terrorist were Jewish, blond, black or whatever, I would want every member of that ethnic group, mine included, to be scrutinized more closely when boarding an airplane. Those who are not terrorists want to arrive at their destinations safely, regardless of our ethnic identity.

Common sense, not political correctness, should determine security procedures. There are no terrorists who kill as wantonly as Islamic terrorists. In Iraq they are murdering their own people – this past weekend alone saw 64 dead and hundreds injured. Let’s recognize real life by creating real security standards. Political correctness will only increase the danger we face.

President George W. Bush simply, but brilliantly, stated how we can deal with the enormous annual trade deficit. He said, “Buy American.” His response is, in a way, similar to Nancy Reagan’s response on dealing with drug addiction. Remember “Just say no,” which worked for the youngest children? A concerted effort should be made by a high-powered citizens’ committee selected by the President to get that message across.

We have a mountain to climb when Chinese workers average 60 cents an hour and American workers average over $20 an hour. Nevertheless, our strength is our labor force, which, year after year, is ranked the most productive in the world. Getting American consumers to look for the “Made in America” label, and defining by federal law exactly what that means, are key to success. Laura Bush should lead the drive.

Even though the next presidential election is four years away, we should begin to examine the issue of national primary elections. Is it really in the best interest of any political party to have their candidate chosen, in effect, by the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire? I don't think so. And yet, by the time New York, California, Michigan and Florida hold their primaries, presidential candidates have already been picked.

Iowa and New Hampshire have turned their primaries into cottage industries that attract millions of dollars in campaign spending. New Hampshire even passed a state law requiring that its primary be the first in the nation. Enough, already. It's time to make reforms that ensure voters in New York, California and other key states have an effective voice in selecting presidential candidates. Important political decisions should involve all the states.

President George W. Bush should never have awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to two of the three recipients last week. Paul Bremer, former Coalition Provisional Authority chief in Iraq, disbanded the entire Iraqi army rather than removing officers and personnel who had engaged in war crimes, and allowing the reconstituted Iraqi army to prevent looting and provide security to the Iraqi people from the insurgency.

“Slam dunk” George Tenet, former head of the CIA, surely deserved no medal for his leadership of the CIA, which grossly overestimated the military and economic strength of the USSR during the Clinton years. Worse still, he appears to have been totally wrong in assessing Iraq’s WMD capabilities. Instead of being rewarded and allowed to resign, he should have been fired.

General Tommy Franks deserved his medal. He won the war against the Iraqi army in an amazingly short period, from March 13 to May 1, 2003, with the lowest possible casualties – 139 dead; 116 wounded and returned to duty within 72 hours; 426 wounded and not returned to duty within 72 hours. The failures and casualties occurring after the Iraqi army surrendered are not his but are those for which the Pentagon, Paul Bremer and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld are responsible.

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Recently, I wrote to Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak urging that he take a very dramatic action which would positively impact on the Middle East.My letter reads as follows. Dear Mr. President: As you may recall, we first met in Alexandria at President Sadat's villa on...
Letter,Mubarak,,Anti-profiling,,National,Primaries,,More
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Tuesday, 21 December 2004 12:00 AM
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