- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2000

Column's 'new thinking' about missiles is on target

James Hackett scored a direct hit, pun intended, with his Jan. 24 column ("New thinking on missile defense," Commentary). While America dithers over costs and effectiveness and the relevance of treaties, Russia wastes no time in taking steps to protect itself and attempting to intimidate its neighbors.

And added to Russia's "Cold War thinking" and missile deployments is its instability, perhaps the most frightening aspect of the Russian nuclear arsenal.

The Russian government cannot guarantee the control of the 6,000 or so nuclear weapons it has now another reason for America to take missile defense seriously. Should those warheads end up in the hands of a rogue state or a terrorist organization well within the realm of possibility in the cash-strapped Russian economy the United States becomes susceptible to attack by a regime or group unencumbered by treaties or morals.

That kind of "new thinking" is more than a necessity; it's already a reality in today's world.

PHILLIP THOMPSON

Senior fellow

Lexington Institute

Arlington

Worker delivers a defense of the Postal Service

I wish to offer a brief response to Stephen Moore's attack on the American postal worker ("Cancel snail mail?" Commentary, Jan. 18). Mr. Moore's words were as vicious as they were thoughtless. This does not reflect well upon one who presumes to be a thinking person from the respected Cato Institute.

Twenty-four years of my life have been dedicated to serving the U.S. public as a postal worker. I have maintained a positive and productive work ethic throughout my career. This has not been an easy task in a work environment oblivious to my caring deeply about giving quality mail service. I am not alone, Mr. Moore.

The Postal Service has problems that need to be addressed quickly and substantively. Everyone in the Postal Service knows this. It is, however, plainly unjust and unthinking to publicly attack hundreds of thousands of people who have invested their very lifeblood into their work.

Mr. Moore, address the many ills of a vast system in obvious need of repair. Do not belittle those of us who work hard to move America's mail.

JOHN M. MITCHELL

Herndon

A vote for continuing the primary process

Excuse me, Tony Blankley, but there seems to be something that you have missed stating, or maybe more accurately, misstated in your column "Bush vs. Gore" (Op-Ed, Jan. 26).

The presidential primaries are not over. Last time I checked, registered voters get to make these decisions, not political pundits or columnists who get paid to write a column.

How dare you insinuate that millions of registered voters should not even bother to cast a vote because it doesn't matter. According to you, the primaries are over. This sounds like the reason so many of our grandparents fled their native countries to come to America; they had no say in choosing the leaders of their former countries, either.

Maybe we should stop the primary process right now if, as you say, the winners are Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore.

Why bother to go on with the rest of the states' primaries? I'll tell you why: All votes matter, and I urge every American to get involved in the process and stop paying attention to people such as Mr. Blankley so that the rest of us will be heard and counted. And we shall.

MICHELE N. STYER

Downingtown, Pa.

Creating a democratic new world order that Americans would joinWilliam Rusher's analysis of the move toward world government highlights several points that are rarely mentioned in such debates ("The new world order," Commentary, Jan. 27).The United States is indeed the most affected by the development of global governance, especially in its authority to unilaterally determine world affairs. The track record of the United States in ratifying human rights and disarmament treaties has demonstrated that it will most likely be among the last to accede to a future world constitution and bill of rights, too.The United States in the United Nations today is remarkably similar to that of New York during the ratification debates on the U.S. Constitution in 1788. At that time, New York was one of the largest states with a high "gross state product." Despite the requisite number of states already acceding to the Constitution, New York's geographic and economic position could easily have rendered it inoperable if the state convention failed to ratify. Fortunately, the Federalist Papers garnered enough support to win over the convention by a very slim number.Many of the problems faced by our Founding Fathers following the American Revolution border skirmishes, trade disputes, linguistic and religious discrimination are found at the world level today.Also, worldwide trade and travel have increased the spread of infectious diseases, international organized crime and terrorism as threats to the interests and security of Americans. The call for resolving many of the disputes under the Articles of Confederation resulted in a stronger and more organized federal system.Did New York and the other states lose sovereignty or did they gain "a more perfect Union" as a result of the Constitution? Are we better off than we were in 1786?Mr. Rusher seems to have stumbled upon an applicable historical precedent without noticing it. In pointing out that "no mechanism for democratic political representation yet exists," he highlights the critical element missing from the international decision-making system the consent of the governed.The Seattle protesters dispelled the myth that Americans are unconcerned about global affairs and demonstrated a rather "revolutionary" spirit in calling for incorporation of the popular will in global decision-making.Alexander Hamilton would be proud: "[W]e must resolve to incorporate into our plan those ingredients which may be considered as forming the characteristic difference between a league and a government; we must extend the authority of the Union to the persons of the citizens the only proper objects of government." (Federalist Papers No. 15)Our forebears clearly understood the need for a "Novus Ordo Seclorum" ("A New Order of the Ages," as the reverse of the $1 bill reads).Perhaps by building democracy into the United Nations now, the development of a world government might result in a new world order that Americans would be rather proud to join.TONY FLEMINGDirector of media relationsWorld Federalist AssociationWashington

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