- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2000

A solution to non-deportation of criminal aliens


Your story about the 35,000 criminal aliens the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has refused to deport in the past five years was revealing about Justice Department priorities ("INS queried on release of criminals," March 9). The article referred to the false but commonly used INS alibi that many of these aliens are "non-deportable" because their native countries refuse to take them back.
It strains credulity to believe that the world's only surviving superpower can't protect its citizens by deporting criminal aliens.
Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the State Department to suspend the issuance of immigrant or non-immigrant visas to any country immediately upon notification by the attorney general that the country refuses to accept the return of its own nationals. This is a powerful instrument. The political and economic elites of even rogue nations are unlikely to tolerate a ban on travel to the United States for the sake of blocking the return of their criminal countrymen.
Congress should investigate why the Justice Department prefers to risk danger to American citizens from repeat criminal offenders rather than use Section 243(d) and every means the government has to pressure foreign countries into accepting the return of their own citizens.
K.C. MCALPIN
Deputy director
Federation for American Immigration Reform
Washington

Columnist a cheerleader for unsound military adventures


Georgie Anne Geyer's Feb. 21 Commentary column, "Bitter fruits of unsound strategy," makes clear she hasn't learned anything since the start of the Kosovo war. From the outset, she was a cheerleader for President Clinton's Balkan war, which was designed to divert American public attention from a Chinese espionage scandal as well as a scandal involving Chinese funding of Democratic campaigns. Now Miss Geyer is outraged that the NATO occupation force isn't operating in a more heavy-handed manner against the Serbs. Indeed, she clearly regrets that NATO has not occupied all of Yugoslavia and placed it under iron control.
Miss Geyer ignores the fact that the existing Kosovo operation has cost the American people untold billions of dollars with no end in sight. Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the NATO supreme commander, who wanted to wage an even bloodier assault and had to be restrained by NATO civilian leaders, recently told Congress that American troops would have to continue on occupation duty indefinitely.
Miss Geyer doesn't present any rationale for the U.S. military presence in the Balkans, a region devoid of strategic importance to the United States. The Yugoslavs certainly don't threaten the United States. The fact that we may find the regime unpleasant is not justification for war. The world is full of unpleasant regimes. Mr. Clinton, however, is bent on frittering away the military resources of the United States. Now he wants money for intervention in Congo.
One of the first actions of a new Republican administration should be to end these unsound military adventures, starting with the withdrawal of American troops from Kosovo occupation duty. It is unfortunate, however, that the journalistic fellow travelers of the Clinton administration, such as Miss Geyer, aren't willing to re-examine their ill-advised cheerleading and admit that they supported an enormously costly, misguided adventure.
ANTHONY HARRIGAN
Washington

National Defense University gives a lesson on new China center


Several factual errors and groundless personal accusations in your recent reporting on the issue of establishing a Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the National Defense University (NDU) warrant correction ("China plan nixed," Inside the Ring, Feb. 25, and "China wars (continued)," Inside the Ring, March 3).
On March 2, in compliance with a congressional mandate, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre issued a directive authorizing the establishment of a Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs within the NDU's Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS).
Congress directed that the China center be located at INSS because of the institute's reputation for independent, objective and authoritative analysis. The legislation says that "the Center should study the national goals and strategic posture of the People's Republic of China and the ability of the PRC to develop, field and deploy an effective military in support of its national strategic objectives" and keep the executive branch and Congress informed of the results of those studies. Congress did not provide NDU any additional resources to undertake this effort.
Last fall, before the funding situation was known, NDU presented the administration and Congress with a plan for the center that envisioned ultimate recruitment of a sizable resident staff. However, NDU and the Pentagon agreed earlier this year that the center could begin operations and undertake some very useful work with a much smaller resident staff supported by existing INSS program funds and that this approach was consistent with the lack of additional appropriated resources.
In February, NDU submitted, and the Pentagon approved, a plan designed to enable the center to meet the requirements of the congressional mandate. INSS has been conducting considerable research on China, and the center's new programs are designed to build on and expand this work, consistent with available resources and any future resources. At no time did the Pentagon reject an NDU plan for the center. The center's small resident staff will use periodic conferences, the Internet and other outreach activities to pull together the best minds in and out of government to refine our national understanding of Chinese military affairs.
Several personal charges concerning Ronald Montaperto, an INSS senior fellow who has been named interim director of the new center, also need to be corrected.
Mr. Montaperto is a distinguished China scholar who reads and speaks Chinese. He has studied China for nearly 30 years, including more than a decade of service as the Defense Intelligence Agency's leading China hand. His expertise on the Chinese military is highly regarded by his peers, including those with widely differing assessments of China's intentions. His analysis on China is sought regularly by the administration, the military services, the media and members of Congress across the political spectrum. He is no "apologist" for Beijing, as is alleged in Inside the Ring.
There is nothing either in the record of considerable INSS work on China in general or in the previous analysis of Mr. Montaperto, to support assertions that either the center or Mr. Montaperto would produce work downplaying the significance of Chinese military capabilities. NDU has consistently published works by analysts with diverse views of China. Indeed, in January, NDU Press published a book by Michael Pillsbury that offers an assessment of a very assertive Chinese military.
Contrary to assertions in Inside the Ring, at no time has the Pentagon objected to or rejected Mr. Montaperto's involvement with or leadership of the center.
Mr. Montaperto did not agree with Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotien's assertion in a 1996 speech at NDU that "no one died during the 1989 Tiananmen massacre." In fact, in a nationally televised interview a few days after the visit, Mr. Montaperto said he found Gen. Chi's statement to be false, deliberately so. Mr. Montaperto has often denounced publicly the Chinese People's Liberation Army's brutal suppression of the demonstrators at Tiananmen.
INSS is committed to developing its objective research and inclusive outreach activities on China. We will keep executive branch officials, the Congress, the media and the interested public informed of the results of our expanded efforts under the new center.
STEPHEN J. FLANAGAN
Director
Institute for National Strategic Studies
National Defense University
Washington

Lent rules are specific


The statement in the March 14 article "Bishop: Let them eat beef" said that on Fridays during Lent "Catholics normally are encouraged to abstain from eating meat." This is incorrect. Abstinence from meat and meat products on Fridays during Lent is mandatory, not optional, to Roman Catholics 14 and older. On Fridays outside of Lent, Catholics are encouraged to abstain from meat, but this is not mandatory.
SUE SHEEHAN
Vienna

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