Standing up to threats | AspenTimes.com

Standing up to threats

Dear Editor:What a thrill to hear Rep. Charles Rangel, the very liberal African-American Democrat who has represented Upper Manhattan in the U.S. Congress for 35 years and is a vocal opponent of President Bush’s policies, say of the Hugo Chavez invective at the U.N., “You don’t come into my country and insult my president.”This is the kind of unity our country needs as we begin to acknowledge the dimensions of the threat that is menacing us. How long will the world let itself be intimidated by Islamist militants using religion to perpetrate terrorism? How long before more American Muslims find the courage to stand up and say, “This isn’t who we are.”Last week the Pope delivered a complex theological commentary to which Muslims took exception. In the past there have been papal utterances that Jews found offensive; our response was to initiate interfaith dialogues with the Vatican, not to burn down churches and kill nuns.No one should mistake opposition to Islamo-terrorism as bigotry against Arabs in particular and Muslims in general any more than opposition to Nazism meant a hatred of all Germans. Retired generals on TV are repeatedly stating their highly informed conviction that the world is facing a greater threat than that posed by Nazi Germany. Charlie Rangel, a highly decorated Korean War veteran, demonstrated a soldier’s loyalty when, as his country is facing the real possibility of another attack, his president is referred to as the Devil by a demagogue at the United Nations, which our taxpayer dollars have bolstered through decades of criminal corruption, blatant partiality, and shameless incompetence.At the Jewish New Year, I customarily try to tie up whatever loose ends I can, so I am asking the Christian lady who called me a few months ago to express her interest in participating in a local initiative against terrorism to please call again because repeated searches have failed to turn up the scrap of paper on which I jotted down your name, number and e-mail address. I invite anyone else so interested to please get in touch with me, and I promise not to be so careless in the future.Judith KingGlenwood Springs