- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2005

ACLU fussing again

A recent testing of a surveillance kite in La Plata, Md., gives the ACLU something else to cry about (“Lawman likes eye in sky as monitor,” Page 1, Saturday).

There is nothing in the Constitution that says the government cannot fly a kite with a camera attached to investigate people outside. This camera is not intruding into people’s homes, and I don’t see why such a big fuss is being made about it.

Time and time again, the American Civil Liberties Union feels it needs to “protect” the civil rights of people. Why doesn’t the ACLU feel that the rights of victims of crime should be protected too? Any reasonable and rational person would sacrifice privacy to protect the lives of others.

DAVID IANCU

Des Moines, Iowa

A Cold War mentality

The report “China role in West worries Pentagon” (Nation, April 7) accuses China of forging an “anti-U.S. coalition” by seeking greater influence in Latin America and seems to suggest that every move by China in the Western Hemisphere is part of its hidden agenda to become a “global military and economic power.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

China has every right to develop friendly relations and cooperation with any country, including Latin American countries. Because China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, its relationship with Latin America, which shares similar historical experience and common tasks of national development with China, is based on equality and mutual respect, characterized by mutually beneficial cooperation. It is the type of normal state-to-state relationship recognized by the U.N. Charter and international law. It is not directed against any third country.

The author gravely distorts China’s development by concluding that it will surely lead to military expansion, put China on a collision course with the United States and threaten U.S. interests. As a national policy, China will always stay on the path of peaceful development, devoting all its resources to social and economic development.

China’s goal is to improve the livelihood of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. The mission of China’s military is to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity, not to seek any sphere of influence. China’s defense budget remains low. In 2004, U.S. defense expenditure was 17.8 times that of China, or 77 times in per capita terms.

People who have an objective reading of this will know how preposterous these accusations are. In addition, even if China gets more developed in the future, it will never seek hegemony.

This is our solemn pledge that will never change. In essence, the philosophy behind this article is the long-discarded Cold War mentality. Though China is not “seeking partners in an anti-U.S. coalition,” the author is calling on Latin American countries to “be alert to” China — doing exactly what it accuses China of doing.

Nothing strange, though. Some people who are physically in the 21st century still live mentally in the Cold War era. From asking “who can feed China” to projecting “China will collapse” to asserting “China is a threat,” they have been hawking their anachronistic ideology for years. The truth is, however, that a stable, open and prosperous China is bound to make a still greater contribution to peace and development of the world.

CHU MAOMING

Press counselor and spokesman

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Washington

Do felons deserve right to vote?

I wasn’t surprised to read that Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine plans to continue Gov. Mark Warner’s mad spree of pardoning as many convicted felons as possible prior to his leaving office (“Kaine would continue restoring felons’ rights,” Metropolitan, Saturday).

After all, with Mr. Kaine trailing his likely Republican opponent, Jerry Kilgore, by eight to 10 points in all of the polls, he knows he will need the votes of all of the convicted drug dealers, murderers, rapists, robbers, child abusers, etc. who now can vote thanks to the liberal Democrat.

Liberals such as Mr. Warner and Mr. Kaine must feel that felons will be more inclined to vote for Mr. Kaine than for Mr. Kilgore, a Republican who has a strong law-and-order background and can be trusted to wage a strong war on crime and not coddle criminals the way liberals tend to do.

It outrages me that the votes of good, hardworking, honest Virginians will be canceled out by felons, thanks to Mr. Warner — and Tim Kaine if he is elected.

If we keep electing liberal Democrats, we’ll have to change the old adage to “Crime does pay.”

BOBBY L. MAY

Hurley, Va.

Preserving minority rights

The Republicans’ call to discontinue Senate filibusters of judicial appointments is an attack on the most vulnerable people in our society (“It’s more than judges,” Commentary, Sunday). The judicial branch of our government interprets the Constitution. It makes sure the rights of minorities and the most vulnerable are protected from the executive and legislative branches’ tendency to overreach.

Almost every policy theBush administration espouses benefits the rich and powerful, often at the expense of the least of our brothers and sisters. That displeases the God I know and love, especially the shameful treatment of the poor.

PAUL L. WHITELEY SR.

Louisville, Ky.

Parents’ responsibility

Finally, a journalist who feels that parents need to be accountable for their children. What a breath of fresh air Deborah Simmons’ column “Save the children” (Op-Ed, Friday) was. Parents need to stop blaming their children’s criminal and/or immoral behavior on Britney Spears, George Bush, Madison Avenue, hip-hop artists, the mayor, the media and the local dog catcher. Parents need to take responsibility for their children. Period. I agree with you that too many parents fail their children in this respect. Poor Lavelle Jones; he apparently had a mother who did not care for him enough to set guidelines. He paid for her failure with his life.

ELIZABETH DUN

Woodbridge, N.J.

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