- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

Trapped in the Cold War

Your July 10 editorial suggests that Russia is desperately clinging to its nuclear arsenal based on an outdated notion of superpower status ("Anyone for Missiles?"). However, it is the United States, not Russia, that traps itself in the Cold War by pursuing a missile defense system while neglecting real security concerns. The United States' unilateral reduction of nuclear arms does not erase the dangerous consequences of Russian abandonment of START II. Advocates of national missile defense (NMD) agree that the Russian nuclear arsenal is unstable and the more weapons left on hair-trigger alert, the greater the risk of accidental or unauthorized launch.

The United States' pursuit of NMD at the cost of arms control would accelerate proliferation and increase the risk of the same missile threat such a system was intended to avert. Replacing a proven successful arms control framework with a technologically unproven missile defense system would demonstrate that President Bush's press notices are way off the mark.


TINA VALKANOFF

Washington

British colonialism mischaracterized

The July 12 editorial "Zimbabwe's moment" contains characterizations that are totally bogus.

For instance, you refer to "British colonialists who raped their land." This sounds like the Communist Manifesto on land reform. British colonialists did not rape the land, nor did the government that was provided destabilize or destroy the country. The civil service model developed under British rule worked to develop the country and establish basic services (e.g., clean water, electricity, resource development). It also provided jobs, health care, education and a working economy.

Look at what remains today: A country in shambles because of the corruption of another power-crazed despot intent on self-promotion, personal enrichment and iron-fisted control. There will never again be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

As for those you describe as "veterans" of wars for independence, they are thugs and murderous criminals.


RODNEY H. FICKER

Potomac

Funding stem-cell research would open Pandora's box

Thank you for your July 11 editorial "No funds for stem cell research," which urged President Bush to uphold the current law barring federal funding for destructive stem cell research on human embryos. You rightly described this practice as a "ghastly harvest." Your support on this vital moral and ethical issue is greatly appreciated.

As president of Family Research Council, I have urged Mr. Bush to take a principled stand for the sanctity of life. Family Research Council supports research involving adult stem cells that does not involve the destruction of human embryos. Such research already is being used to treat a wide spectrum of diseases and genetic disorders.

Creating or using embryonic human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation is a Pandora's box we dare not open. Already we have seen reports of a Virginia research lab paying women for embryos to be experimented upon, and of a Massachusetts company that is preparing to clone human beings for the same purpose. Once the principled defense of human life is compromised in the first instant, it quickly becomes impossible to restrain research at any subsequent point. Allowing experimentation on human beings at any stage of development is the first step toward as yet unknown and unimaginable horrors.

During last year's presidential campaign, Mr. Bush made it unambiguously clear that he opposes stem cell research that entails the destruction of embryonic human beings. We were pleased to support him in that position. Again, thank you for adding The Washington Times' editorial voice to those who are urging the president to stand by his campaign promise.


KENNETH L. CONNOR

President

Family Research Council

Washington

'Information warfare' changes Taiwan equation

China's rising military spending and determined missile buildup undoubtedly complicate U.S. military planning and diplomacy ("Military buildup is worrying U.S." July 11). However, your article did not mention another disturbing trend, as revealed in the recent Chinese war games in the Taiwan Strait. The exercises began with "information warfare" (IW) aimed at electronically paralyzing enemy communications and command systems. For the first time, a new electronic warfare unit was deployed over the strait.

Most analysts have hitherto dismissed the threat of Chinese invasion of Taiwan because of a number of obstacles (logistical difficulties, Taiwanese resistance and international intervention). However, many Chinese strategists believe IW has reduced the number of obstacles to a successful military campaign against Taiwan. It holds promise, they believe, for "winning the battle without fighting" (ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Zi's idea) and "overcoming the superior with the inferior" (Mao Tse-tung's guerrilla strategy). In short, IW may help China bring Taiwan to its knees while preventing American intervention. This disturbing development deserves our scrutiny.


VINCENT WEI-CHENG WANG

Associate professor of political science

University of Richmond

Richmond

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