- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2001

Police deserve support in dealing with protesters

As Washington braces for the arrival of some 40,000 protesters of meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), police prepare to confront them with stout hearts and iron resolve. Anarchists will always adopt a cause, however temporary, in order to foment chaos. This pattern was evident in Seattle, Philadelphia, and, most recently, Genoa, Italy.
One should not shut down a city in the name of an ideology however ardent its adherents. Law enforcement officials in Washington need and deserve all possible help and support in dealing with the protesters.

JOE HAMMELL
Waynesboro, Pa.

Global criminal court needs rethinking

Chuck Woolery of the World Federalist Association is correct when he writes that "a viable replacement for the use of force" through "the global rule of law" is needed ("Germ warfare spells the end of deterrence," Letters, Aug. 5). He is wrong, however, in thinking this can be achieved through the United Nations or the international court as currently conceived.
A just international court would have to agree on what justice involves and what due process means. Political and cultural differences among nations make this an impossibility unless the equivalent of the U.S. Bill of Rights is the standard. That is not the case at this time.
In addition, too many representatives from totalitarian countries inhabit the United Nations to expect policies of freedom and justice to reign in an international court. Nations that enslave and unfairly exploit men, women and children hide behind U.N. agencies such as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Representatives from even the poorest countries are well-paid, occupy posh quarters and eat in the most expensive New York City restaurants while their countrymen starve.
If we want to achieve the global rule of law, something better is necessary.

GERALD SCHNEIDER
Kensington

Bush backs out of promise to oppose all stem-cell funding

Your front-page story "Pro-life defection doesn't develop: Most groups OK with Bush on cells" reads like a press release from the White House. You ignore the Aug. 10 press conference in which a dozen pro-life and religious groups opposed President Bush's decision to put federal taxpayer dollars into embryonic-stem-cell research. These groups included the Family Research Council, Eagle Forum, Traditional Values Coalition, American Cause and the Christian Medical Association, which said that the Bush decision "violates federal law banning funding for experiments involving the destruction of human embryos." The American Life League also opposed Mr. Bush's decision, comparing it to his father's violation of his no-new-taxes pledge.
You dismiss these groups without covering their press conference by asserting that they are "smaller" than the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), which supported Mr. Bush's decision. You call NRLC's support for Mr. Bush "surprising." It's not surprising when you consider that the NRLC receives funding from the Republican Party.
You also failed to obtain the reaction of the Culture of Life Foundation, to which Mr. Bush had stated his opposition to federal funding of such research. The Culture of Life Foundation criticized the Bush decision, saying it will encourage the destruction of more human life. Robert Best, president of the foundation, noted that Mr. Bush "gave his word" to the group to oppose federal funding of such research. Clearly, Mr. Bush violated that promise.
Fortunately, your editorial page reported some news that did not appear in your front-page article. While fudging the issue and refusing to take a position, the editorial nevertheless noted that Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the Bush decision means that the federal government will for the first time "support research that relies on the destruction of some defenseless human beings for possible benefit to others."
Religion aside, forcing taxpayers to pay for such research is constitutionally objectionable. Mr. Bush could have satisfied moral and constitutional objections to federal funding of such research by living up to his promise.

CLIFF KINCAID
Owings, Md.

Both sides to blame for Mideast violence

Your Aug. 14 editorial "Campaign of terror" assumes that PLO leader Yasser Arafat can control suicide bombings by controlling Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others you refer to as Mr. Arafat's "paramilitary friends." This reveals ignorance about Palestinian politics and is the dangerously erroneous attitude upon which this Bush administration is basing its Mideast policy.
Most of the Hamas leadership hates Mr. Arafat. The leaders have no use for him whatsoever. Hamas enjoys widespread political support, in part because of its successful delivery of health and education services and in part because of the politics of its leadership. This makes Hamas a major competitive political threat to Mr. Arafat.
Mr. Arafat and the moderate PLO, which, unlike Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have recognized Israel's right to exist, can no more stop suicide bombers than the FBI could prevent Timothy McVeigh from blowing up the building in Oklahoma City. The PLO would have to arrest hundreds perhaps even thousands and throw them in prison permanently to insure an end to the bombings. The imposition of martial law by the PLO against its own population easily could provoke a civil war. Would this end the bombing?
Both Israeli and PLO leadership are guilty of letting the extremists on both sides control the agenda. If Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mr. Arafat truly want peace, as do a majority of both populations, they will proceed together while ignoring the uncompromising politics of both bomber supporters and settlers.

WALTER BURR
Los Angeles Your Aug. 14 editorial on the conflict in the Middle East appears to be philosophically inconsistent with your usual editorial stance. You argue that it would be a mistake for Israel to dismantle its settlements in Gaza. Yet for years, The Washington Times has defended property rights, even where the seizure of property at issue is the result of minor bureaucratic regulations. Israel's settlements built as they are on confiscated Palestinian land are an example of the ultimate violation of property rights. Why, then, do conservatives betray their usual principles to defend such actions?

TAIT GRAVES
San FranciscoIn your Aug. 14 editorial "Campaign of terror," you put mysterious quote marks around the words "the occupation" in reference to Israel's occupation of Palestinian areas. Why? This is not an opinion expressed by Palestinians; it is a fact. Israel has been in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 for more than 34 years.
The killing of civilians is wrong and immoral. Both sides have committed atrocities in this conflict. Although Palestinians understandably are enraged by the excesses of the Israeli army and the Israeli settlers, two wrongs don't make a right. To end this conflict, one has to understand its cause, and that is "the occupation."

RIAD HAMADE
Frankfurt, Germany

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