-------------------------------Toby Harshaw, Letters Editor THE NEW YORK TIMES New York, NY
Mr. Thomas Friedman's outrage is understandable when he writes that, "we are in the age of midgets." And when he quotes a distinguished American statesman, George Kennan, now age 94, as saying that, "I think it (the Senate vote) is the beginning of a new cold war... I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves."
But I am afraid that there is a perfectly good reason for the Apr. 30 Senate vote ratifying the NATO Expansion Treaty which neither Mr. Friedman nor Mr. Kennan mentioned. It is the $33 million dollars or so which the U.S. death merchants have pumped into our legislators' campaigns since 1990 in the hope this may help "sharpen their (the Senators) thinking" when the time to vote comes, according to Col. David Hackworth, America's most decorated living soldier and a syndicated columnist.
It did. The final score was: Death Merchants - 81; Taxpayers - 19.
In other words, it was a blow-out, to borrow a sports term. Which is why we, the U.S. taxpayers-losers, need to show our ire by holding the 81 Senators' feet to the fire when they next ask for our votes. "Remember your NATO hot potato?" we should respond. "Well, it burned right through your right hand, Senator, the one with which you swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution and vote your constituents' interests in Congress. Good luck in your job hunt!"
Also check out... "Let the Bombing Begin? Not!" , "What's Good for the Goose..." and "Journal's Rotten Apples" (Wall Street Journal); and "Stock buybacks: Wall St.'s duping of Main St.", Business Week).