(I have a saying; "If you're gonna read Pravda, you should first learn Russian." Consequently, I rarely read the New York Times. In one of those rare moments I was sufficiently pissed about a Maureen Dowd column that I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor. Unfortunately, the New York times found all my news unfit to print. The following is the aforementioned, unpublished, Letter to the Editor.)
It appears that John Kerry has found a staunch and highly literate ally in Maureen Dowd to do his whining for him. Her Thursday (Sept.9, 2004) treatise, (Cheney Spits Toads) is a well written conglomeration of misinformation and misleading political rhetoric. If John Kerry and his Democratic supporters can't stand a little heat from Dick Cheney and Zell Miller, they should find a candidate with a little more guts.
Over the years the Republican presidential candidates have had to endure false charges that they were going to take away Social Security, take away Medicare and force senior citizens and poverty level children to eat dog food and go without medicine. And when the underage drinking of the Bush twins became front page fodder for comics and news shows there were no editorial opinions for being over the line or hitting below the belt.
Ms. Dowd's assertion of the Bush administration's "pumped up" WMD claims totally belies the fact that in 1998 Sen. Kerry voted to oust Saddam Hussein, unilaterally if necessary, over those very WMDs. She also conveniently forgets that Bush's National Security team was formulating a comprehensive plan to go after Al Qaeda and bin Laden when Sept. 11th became our 21st century Day of Infamy. If the best that Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger could do was to tell W. that bin Laden was a priority, even after subsequent Al Qaeda attacks got more sophisticated and more deadly over the 7 years after WTC bombing #1, then Ms. Dowd's presidential terrorist angst is clearly misplaced. And so is her insinuation that Saddam Hussein was not an imposing threat worthy of immediate extinction. What does Ms. Dowd think that all of those meetings between Al Qaeda operatives and the Iraqi heirarchy were; Koran bible study sessions!
The US march into Baghdad and the subsequent capture of Saddam Hussein unearthed millions of dollars in hard US currency; not euros, yen or rubles. Add to that, bin Laden was said to be broke after his ouster from Sudan, and that much of the financing that sustained the Sept. 11th hijackers has yet to be traced, one could justly make a credible circumstancial case of collaboration. Apparently Ms. Dowd and the anti-Bush, anti-war contingent feel that we should have waited until we found a series of checks with Saddam Hussein's logo made out to Al Qaeda and WTC hijackers.
As for her snide little assault on the military service of the president 35 years ago, I would say that President Bush was better off missing a few Guard meetings and Dick Cheney was better off getting five deferments if all they had to look forward to was being spit on and having John Kerry and his ilk calling them rapists and baby killers.
C. Hill (Brooklyn)
BELATED FOOTNOTE: I neglected to add that Saddam Hussein spent all 8 years of the Clinton administration trying to shoot down US and allied aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone. Would you consider someone an imposing threat if they were in your neighborhood shooting at vehicles for eight years - even if they hit none?