Jewish World Review July 30, 2003 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5763

Edward I. Koch

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As the world churns | On July 17th, Newsday's editorial page editor, James Klurfeld, wrote an op-ed article concerning the State of the Union reference to Iraq's nuclear capability in which he disparaged President George W. Bush's intellect.

Klurfeld said he expected more of Dick Cheney and Tony Blair. He wrote of Bush, "He knows so little."

Liberals like Klurfeld would never dream of questioning the intelligence of those they agree with politically. But such ad homimun attacks are the tactic of choice with regard to their political opponents. President Ronald Reagan, who is now viewed even by former critics as one of America's most effective chief executives, was subject to an endless barrage of insults calling into question his intelligence. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was treated similarly.

President Bush was elected and reelected governor of Texas, then elected President of the United States. He established a doctrine as important as those of President Monroe (keeping foreign powers out of the Western Hemisphere) and President Truman (containing Communism). The Bush doctrine is, "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."

Most Americans don't agree with Klurfeld. Does that make them smarter? They realize our attack on Saddam Hussein was a key part of a global strategy against terror. Klurfeld can only wish to rank as high among editorial writers as Bush currently does with the American public.

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As the conflict in Iraq shifts to guerrilla warfare by Saddam's henchmen, our highest priority should be the protection of our troops while helping Iraq return to self-governance. The attacks against U.S. troops are the work of the same terrorists that President Bush has pledged to eliminate. Their backs are against the wall, and they know it. It may take time, but we will eventually carry out the President's pledge. We will eliminate global terrorism just as we eliminated Qusay and Uday, Saddam's murderous sons.

Our military command should announce all arms must be surrendered forthwith by the Iraqi people. Severe sanctions for those who fail to do so must be authorized, and those carrying illegal arms in public risk being shot.

Our military command should determine what sanctions, e.g., curfews, travel limitations, etc., can lawfully be imposed on those who give support to guerrillas and terrorists. Russia, Indonesia and Israel should be consulted on the best means to protect soldiers against guerilla and terrorist attack, consistent with international law.

Iraqi clergy and all others should be warned that it is now a crime to incite people against the American occupation. Those who violate that directive should be arrested, tried and imprisoned.

Iraqis who publicly state they would help Saddam Hussein were he to reappear, should immediately be arrested. Mobs and mullahs threatening soldiers should be warned that American military personnel are authorized to use their firearms.

Directives should spell out how towns and cities can change their status from occupied to liberated, making clear that future violations will cause restoration of occupation. Ultimately, it is up to the American people to decide whether we leave Iraq forthwith because of the mounting casualties, which have been as high recently as four soldiers killed in one day, and 50 since the end of hostilities, or accept the burden and be willing to enforce the rule of law with lawful, even if draconian, sanctions for the protection of our soldiers. If Americans are not willing to take these measures, let's get out. However, I do not believe it to be in our national security interest to leave now.

Saddam Hussein, in suppressing his own citizens, used torture and murder. We may not. But we may and should use every lawful means to enforce our government's orders to the population. The Iraqi people may still believe we are wimps who will walk away from confrontation. Lives will be saved if they become convinced to the contrary.

Prescription drug companies have spent millions throughout the years to prevent the feds and the states from imposing price limitations on pharmaceuticals. They oppose legislation allowing exported American drugs from being imported into the United States and sold here at lower prices.

Outrageously, the drug companies have been charging premium prices for drugs sold in the U.S. while cutting prices in other countries, particularly in Canada and Mexico. Their defense is that the higher American prices are needed to pay for research and development. Why shouldn't those living outside of the U.S. who are also benefiting from the R&D share that cost?

The R&D claim may not even be true, in that the U.S. government pays for much of the research. Furthermore, the industry pays a lot more for advertising than for research. One way to exercise reasonable price controls is for Congress to enact a law requiring drug companies to charge the same wholesale price everywhere in the U.S., factoring in transportation costs.

The House of Representatives recently passed legislation allowing the importation into the U.S. of American drugs sold more cheaply abroad so as to give American consumers the benefit of those lower prices. The Senate should concur with the House legislation.

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JWR contributor Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio (WBBR 1130 AM) every Saturday from 9-10 am. Comment by clicking here.

07/23/03: America not so different than Russia in pursuing white collar criminals
07/16/03: Dems, media are making an unforgivable mistake
06/18/03: Keep American troops out of Israel
05/22/03: It's lots of fun to remain relevant
05/14/03: Living up to their mascot's image? Dems attacks on prez are backfiring
05/07/03: Wall Street settlement was not justice
04/16/03: The doves were proven wrong. Instead of conceding defeat, they are throwing another political tantrum
04/09/03: As the world churns
04/03/03: Gulf War II: The misleading media does it again
03/18/03: Have the courage to admit it, Pat: You're a classic anti-Semite who gives conservatives a bad name
03/12/03: "There they go again"? Not quite!
03/05/03: Making the case for war on British TV left some panelists stunned
02/20/03: Death penalty=racism? Don't confuse them with the facts
02/12/03: History is now repeating itself --- why don't the American bashers grasp it?
02/05/03: As the world turns
01/30/03: Why are sports exempt from racial diversity and universities encouraged to engage in racial preferences over individual academic achievement?
01/23/03: We absolutely can't back down
11/13/02: President blunted the Ted Kennedys of Democrat party --- good for him!
10/23/02: New Jersey's bigot laureate is no private citizen and his 'defenses' are idiotic
10/01/02: Congress is not doing its job
09/26/02: Confronting pathetic Americans in a post 9-11 world
09/19/02: Don't be fooled by Saddam
09/05/02: Necessary or not, getting congressional approval for war is common-sense
08/28/02: In defense of terrorism
08/22/02: Saddam Hussein is extremely popular in "Arab street," so why attack him?
08/15/02: My potpourri
08/09/02: Traitors: Journalistic and 'patriotic'
07/31/02: Euros should spend their time analyzing their own country's wartime actions
07/25/02: I may know next to nothing about the stock market, but I'm not getting out
07/18/02: Dems should stop trying to 'Whitewater' the President
07/11/02: Real Americans and the Islamic threat

© 2002, Edward I. Koch