- The Washington Times - Friday, May 28, 2004

Syrian accountability

I strongly agree with you on your editorial “Assad’s terror network” (Wednesday). Syria was and still is a threat to U.S. policy in the region. It also is a threat to any future viable peace plan.

The sanctions imposed by Washington against Syria have a political meaning rather than an economic one. So, accordingly, Syria is not really suffering because of these sanctions. Syria is supporting the terrorism in Iraq and Lebanon through Hezbollah. On the other hand, Syria cannot afford to be isolated.

What is the answer to this complex situation? A notable change in U.S. foreign policy, stronger sanctions on Syria and closer relations with Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The leaders of these countries are highly respected in the region, enough to influence the Syrian president. The United States also should further advance the implementation of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act; since Syria occupied Lebanon, the Syrian regime publicly names even the president of Lebanon.

Get Syria out of Lebanon, and it will no longer be in the position of supporting terrorism.

MANUELA PARAIPAN

Arad, Romania

A reaffirmation of innocence

It would have been better if The Washington Times could have found a less prejudiced reviewer for R. Bruce Craig’s book “Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case.” Joseph C. Goulden’s piece (“Soviet collaborator, intelligence in Pacific,” Books, May 9) is not so much a review as a diatribe.

Mr. Goulden does not soberly question the author’s interpretation of evidence, counter his arguments or disagree with his conclusions. Still in the grip, it seems, of the anti-Communist rage of Cold War days, Mr. Goulden can only display his contempt for the man whose book he is reviewing. He says Mr. Craig “haggles over details,” lectures him on the historical significance of the Comintern(Communist International), and dismisses his work as a “ploy by the academic left.” In closing, he attacks Mr. Craig for his “dishonesty,” “moral squalor,” etc.

The truth is that Mr. Craig’s book should be criticized, not because it tries to justify Harry Dexter White’s supposed espionage, but because it accepts commission of espionage as a proven fact.

Harry White is safely dead and unable to confront those who libel him. But as his daughters, we wish to express our outrage at this renewed insult to his memory, to reaffirm his innocence and to declare our pride in his service to his country.

JOAN PINKHAM

Amherst, Mass.

RUTH LEVITAN

Stamford, Conn.

Just desert

Regarding “For Democrats, it’s good vs. evil” (Nation, Wednesday):IfJennifer Harper would take the time to research what the Bush administration has actually been doing to warrant such attacks from the left, she would understand that practically every one of the sources she cited gave a valid criticism of a dysfunctional and detrimental government.

I would say, however, that Hunter S. Thompson went too far when he said the Iraqi prison scandal was more shocking than “the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler.” It’s not. Also, E.L. Doctorow might have chosen a better venue for his “politics.”

I think Miss Harper had better get used to the opposition’s slings and arrows, because as long as Attorney General John Ashcroft keeps prosecuting the wrong people, Vice President Dick Cheney keeps profiting off his war for oil and President Bush keeps being the simpleton he truly is, it’s just going to get worse.

DAVID STEELE

Signal Hill, Calif.

All the conveniences of home

Regarding “Working at home has not been big,” (Business, Thursday), there is a significant obstacle to telecommuting that Congress must act now to remove: A tax rule, which has been applied by New York (among other states), called the “convenience of the employer” rule.

The rule requires nonresidents who elect to telecommute some or most of the time to their New York employers to pay New York taxes on the income they earn while working at home outside New York. Because a telecommuter’s home state may also tax the income he or she earned at home without offering credit for the New York tax, the interstate teleworker may be taxed twice.

On April 26, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear constitutional challenges to this rule in a case called Zelinsky v. Tax Appeals Tribunal of New York. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case effectively authorized states everywhere to tax interstate telework, threatening the growth of telecommuting nationwide.

By making telework too expensive for many Americans, states applying a convenience rule may interfere with federal objectives. They may, for example: (1) Encourage cost-conscious employers to export American jobs; (2) reduce telework’s effectiveness as an emergency management strategy, both for public and private employers; (3) further marginalize some disabled workers who require telework as a reasonable accommodation in order to work at all (contravening the president’s “New Freedom Initiative” to promote full integration of the disabled into mainstream American life); and (4) fuel our country’s demand for high-priced gasoline and oil imports. To redress the problems the convenience rule creates, draft federal legislation has been prepared and is circulating in Washington. This legislation would prohibit states from subjecting nonresident telecommuters to double taxation on income earned when they work from home. Congress must prevent individual states from compromising the national goals telework can help achieve.

NICOLE BELSON GOLUBOFF

Scarsdale, N.Y.

Honoring a generation

The dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington this Memorial Day weekend is long overdue. A monument will finally be given to those who fought for freedom for mankind in that period of our history. Many of us tend to ignore the sacrifices made by those individuals. I salute our comrades in arms.

However, we also should honor the other Americans who worked to build the infrastructure of freedom: The generation of people who withstood tyranny and oppression because they stood as united Americans and put aside personal agendas until our way of life was secured. I revere their unprecedented commitment to our country’s survival through their sacrifices and patriotism. Theirs is the last American generation to stand unified against a common enemy, which ultimately guaranteed the freedom we have enjoyed for nearly 60 years since World War II.

A huge thank you to each and every one of you for what you brought to our table. Yours is indeed the “greatest generation.”

RICHARD WESTLAKE

Sycamore, Ill.

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