- The Washington Times - Monday, January 24, 2005

Founding Fathers of faith

With President Bush’s statement that he doesn’t “see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord” (“President outlines role of his faith, ” Page 1, Jan. 12) came many criticisms. One letter writer to this paper even went so far as to say that the Founding Fathers were not men of personal faith but were rather deists and agnostics.

This is revisionist history at its worst because it seeks to deny the very foundation without which our form of government cannot long endure. The facts of history and the statements of the men themselves clearly show that this nation was founded upon the truths of the Bible and the Christian religion. Inherent in Christian truth is every man’s need for a personal relationship with his creator and judge.

Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too often or too strongly that our nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” In 1813, the American Bible Society published Volume 1 of compilations of their evangelistic tracts.

Many of these were written by Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers were brought up in an educational system that had used, since 1690, the New England Primer as its primary textbook.

They learned the alphabet from the primer, with a Bible verse for each letter: “A — A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” B — Better is a little with the fear of LORD, than great treasure and trouble therewith. C — Come unto Me (Jesus Christ), all ye who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. D — Do not the abominable thing, which I hate, saith the Lord.”

John Jay, who was one of the three men most responsible for our Constitution and the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, spoke to the vital importance of not forgetting our foundation and of continuing to build thereon: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for our rulers.”

These are just a few examples among thousands available to anyone who is willing to make the effort to seek out the truth. Say that you do not believe in the Lord, but do not say that our Founding Fathers did not. Let them speak for themselves.

DEBORAH TREFZGER

Sterling, Va.

Clarity on UK-China links

In “Bulldog Blair No Poodle” (Commentary, Friday) Arnaud de Borchgrave unwisely asserts the British government recently joined aconsensus to lift the European Union’s arms embargo on China in retaliation for congressional unwillingness to legislate license-free shipments of weapons to British companies. That assertion is not merely wrong; it is absurd. WhileMr. de Borchgrave is manifestly unfamiliar with the facts, your readers deserve to know what they are.

There was never any quid pro quo between enactment of a new U.S. law to exempt private persons in the United States from government licenses when shipping weapons to Britian and the European Union’s arms embargo on China (or with any other British policy for that matter, including its licensing of exports to the United States, which is considerable).

Britain has not had a longstanding position against scrapping the European Union’s arms embargo against China (as Mr. de Borchgrave maintains). In fact, Britain’s arms sales to China have been increasing steadily in recent years. Britain supported a review of the European Union embargo from the time it was first proposed by French President Chirac and German Chancellor Schroeder in December 2003 because, in the British government’s view, the human rights situation in China had eased and the embargohad run its course.

The Security Assistance Act of 2000 was not my response to the Clinton administration’s proposal to eliminate U.S. export licenses for most weapons technology shipmentsto Europe. That law was formulated and enacted by Congress in its 106th session before I took over chairmanship of the International Relations Committee. But, I am in full agreement with its provisions, whichestablish specific legal criteria to be met before an exemption could be granted to any of the more than two dozen European countries falling under the Clinton administration’s original proposal.

While the ensuing negotiations by the State Department departed from most of the legal criteria set forth in the 2000 act, the single matter where I asked British authorities to meet our government halfway concerned the longstanding principle that U.S. government consent be obtained before American weapons or technology could be transferred to another country or person. More specifically, my request was that the British government grant to the United States the same rights it had accorded to France, Germany and other European Union countries in a recently concluded defense cooperation treaty.

Britain, however, very stronglyresisted granting this right, while explaining to Parliament that the United States had restrictions on military sales to other countries that did not always coincide with British policy. Therefore, it was possible that British businessmen might become subject to U.S. law extraterritorially if they were to transfer American weapons technology to countries the United States restricted, but the Britain did not.

Indeed, this continuing U.S. government right and interest in the use and disposition of American weapons technology exported abroad is an essential element of the U.S. arms export control system. The principle exists for good reason which, despite his apparent ignorance of it,Mr. de Borchgrave illustrates subliminally in describing European plans to expand arms sales to China.

In an era in which the European defense industry is increasingly transnational, rather than national, and in which European governments (including close allies like British government) may not fully share our security concerns or our analysis of threats in every part of the world, it is not only important, but indispensable that the rules governing sharing and re-transfer of U.S. military technology by foreign governments and foreign companies be well-established and not in dispute.

While we cannot expect our allies to conform their security interests to ours in all areas, we do have the right to ask that our interests be respected. In particular, the cooperation of American companiesin international defense cooperaton should not be premised on the need for our government to forfeit its rights and interests in safeguarding the security and integrity ofmilitary technology the American people have spent billions of dollars to develop in order to ensure the superiority of our armed forces. Mr. de Borchgrave writes sarcastically that adherence to such principles is “geopolitically astigmatic.” He is wrong. They reflect a clear-eyed, pragmatic view of the need for structuring cooperation with our European allies on the basis ofmutual respect for each other’s fundamental interests, not onsuperficial analysis that flagrantly ignores the facts.

I remain hopeful our European allies will not be seduced by the commercial lure of Chinese arms procurement and confident the president’s senior advisors will use all appropriate means to help our friends understand that their arms and technology sales to China will help it pursue advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region and complicate American security interests throughout the region, as well as those of ourallies (e.g., Japan, Korea, Australia and Taiwan). Such a development would be inherently incompatible with deepening patterns of trans-Atlantic defense industrial cooperation and European access to increasingly sophisticated levels of U.S. military technology.

But, regardless of how Europe decides to fashion its future policy, there are no circumstances in which it would be acceptable for any foreign government or company to utilize American weapons technology for arming China with modern weapons. There must be no confusion about that.

REP. HENRY J. HYDE

Chairman

House International Relations

Committee

Washington

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide