Hypocrite Pataki

To the Editor:

Your Dec. 18 editorial “Will Pataki Poison Spitzer’s Well?” illustrates the hypocrisy of outgoing Republican Governor George Pataki. After the 1994 elections, as the Governor-elect, Mr. Pataki was critical of the man he defeated, Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo. Arguing that the voters had given him a mandate to serve as chief executive for the next four years—which included appointing people to management positions in the state government to assist him in implementing his programs and philosophy—Mr. Pataki objected that Mr. Cuomo, in the 11th hour, was appointing several hundred of his friends to positions that Mr. Pataki felt should have been his to fill. How ironic that, 12 years later, Mr. Pataki, in the twilight weeks of his final term, continues to practice what he criticized in his predecessor. Some of these appointments make sense, in order to maintain a political balance between Democrats and Republicans on nonpartisan and sensitive agency or board commissions. But in too many instances, these actions by Mr. Pataki & Co. are the moral equivalent of stuffing ballot boxes. Traditionally in politics, on a bipartisan basis at all levels of government, there has always been the notion that to the victor goes the “spoils” after any election. In this case, we have the losers—Mr. Pataki and colleagues—pigging out before Mr. Spitzer and friends can come into town. It would be interesting to cross-reference a list of all of these last-minute Pataki appointments with those who “voluntarily” contributed to any of Mr. Pataki’s direct or so-called independent political-action committees supporting his 2008 Presidential campaign. Remember, these appointments must also be confirmed by Mr. Pataki’s fellow G.O.P. member, State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. How many of these appointees will also be making “voluntary” financial contributions to the G.O.P. 2008 State Senate campaign committee? Will any of them run in the 2008 G.O.P. Presidential primary as delegates pledged to Mr. Pataki? Is there any political quid pro quo at work here between the appointees and either Mr. Pataki or Mr. Bruno? Any independent observer of state government would have to give Mr. Pataki a well-deserved A+ for sheer arrogance on this issue.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Demonizing Iran Does No Good

To the Editor:

Reading Ron Rosenbaum’s musings on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s latest attempts to win the hearts and minds of Arabs everywhere, I see that Mr. Rosenbaum is, alas, sadly clueless about what makes the world go round [“The Iranian ‘Scholars’: Times Bends Backwards for Holocaust Deniers,” The Edgy Enthusiast, Dec. 18].

Mr. Ahmadinejad is the natural product of almost 15 years of demonization of Iran by Zionists in America. The demonization started in the early 90’s and manifested itself in many ways: from portraying Iranians as wife abusers and child abductors (Not Without My Daughter was even shot in Israel), to lobbying for the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (the Bronfman family saw to that, by means of Al D’Amato); their efforts included successful lobbying against the mending of ties between Iran and America (AIPAC saw to that), the inclusion of Iran in the “axis of evil” by Presidential speechwriter David Frum, and the current brazen attempts to auction off 2,500-year-old Persian artifacts on loan to the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. These folks dismissed the attempts by Mohammad Khatami (Mr. Ahmadinejad’s reformist predecessor, who made a point of visiting synagogues in Tehran) to create a dialogue among civilizations, and even protested his visits to the U.S. The natural question all along was: Why Iran, with its small but thriving Jewish population, and not, for instance, Pakistan, with both its nuclear weapons and its byzantine ties to Al Qaeda? The answer is that Iran, with a population fascinated with everything American, can be a natural strategic ally to the U.S. in the region, even replacing Israel. This is not something that Israel’s so-called friends in America can permit to happen. So please, Mr. Rosenbaum, stop gazing at your beautiful navel and connect the dots.

Mr. Ahmadinejad may be a monster; but then we reap what we sow.

Neil Fazel


Ron Rosenbaum’s response:

Brilliant blame-the-victim analysis! Does the writer believe Hitler was the fault of the Jews as well? Letters