- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2001

In wake of attacks, canceling missile defense would be stupid

Letter writer Stephen Conn of the Alaska Public Interest Research Group thinks canceling the development of national missile defense would be the "decent" thing to do in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks ("Canceling missile defense is 'decent' thing to do," Oct. 4). I believe it would be the stupid thing to do and exactly the course terrorists would like us to take.

Now that the unthinkable has happened, we must start to think about how Osama bin Laden and his fellow terrorists might act next. He knows we will tighten security on our airlines, so the horses already have left that barn. Aiming a missile at a major U.S. city might be one of the options he and others would consider.

Tell me, is it "decent" to expose millions of Americans to this type of threat? Or maybe Mr. Conn simply thinks he is safe in Alaska.


JOHN MARSTON

Chino Hills, Calif.

Adults needed for war strategy

Your Oct. 4 front-page headline reads, "Bombing plan spares civilian structures."

Granted, this is a flash of the blindingly obvious, but would anyone care to take a guess as to where the Taliban will now be hiding?

Reports such as this make me believe more and more that the strategy for this war is originating from the editorial offices of Mother Jones magazine. Please, someone notify me if and when any adults ever turn up in the executive branch. We might actually have a need for them right now.


PATRICK F. GOULD

Madison, Wis.

Photo-radar cameras disappoint District officials

So the District's photo-radar cameras have generated only $420,584 and issued a total of 31,220 speeding citations instead of the projected 80,000 citations and $1 million in revenue a month ("Photo-radar income short of expectations," Metropolitan, Oct. 3)?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't traffic tickets about safety? How many lives did those cameras save in a month? How many accidents did they prevent? It appears that city officials dropped the pretense that the tickets are meant to save lives and are now openly complaining about lost revenue.

Of course, the District could increase the income from the cameras. After all, why should camera operators allow taxpayers to drive 11 mph above the posted speed limit before they are ticketed? Let's do away with this threshold altogether.

While we're at it, why don't we lower the speed limits even more? That should increase the revenue flow. Why not miscalibrate the cameras so that everybody gets a ticket? Come to think of it, why bother with cameras at all? Just send every D.C. resident a $30 to $200 "reminder" once a month. That should do the trick.



IVAN SEVER

Needham, Mass.

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