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Letters to the editor

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 11, 2007

DHS on top of counterterrorism

In his Op-Ed "DHS gets it wrong" (Monday), Mike Walker claims that the Department of Homeland Security cares more about immigration and emergency response than about terrorism.

Mr. Walker should know better. No effort against terrorism can be ultimately effective without border control, and as a former Federal Emergency Management Agency deputy director, Mr. Walker should know that developing a 21st-century emergency response system is absolutely critical to our country.

Our priority at the Department of Homeland Security remains protecting the American people from high-consequence threats, including terrorist attacks. To this end, we've implemented substantial counterterrorism programs and new capabilities that our nation simply didn't have prior to September 11.

We now collect advance passenger information and conduct automated targeting on international visitors before they arrive at our airports. Information and biometric fingerprints are checked in real time against terrorist watch lists, and dangerous individuals are denied entry to our country every single day.

We screen 100 percent of inbound shipping containers for threats, we've deployed U.S. inspectors and radiation detection equipment overseas, and by the end of this year, we'll scan virtually 100 percent of arriving cargo for radiation at our major seaports.

We've revamped intelligence collection and sharing across the federal government and boosted participation in state and local intelligence fusion centers. We've built layers of security across our transportation systems and critical infrastructure. And to support our state and local partners, we've provided nearly $20 billion in grants specifically for counterterrorism training, equipment and exercises.

That is hardly a lack of focus on counterterrorism. To suggest otherwise does a tremendous disservice to the 208,000 men and women who patrol our borders, our skies and our seas every day to keep our nation safe from all kinds of threats, natural and man-made.

RUSS KNOCKE

Deputy assistant secretary

Media relations and press secretary

Department of Homeland Security

Washington

Uprooting jihad

In his letter "The roots of terror" (Monday), Chuck Woolery claims that we misrepresented the "root" causes for Muslim suffering. Yet, "[t]he repression, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of Muslims" does not result from Western or Israeli policies or actions, but from totalitarian, corrupt Arab and Muslim regimes and clerics who confine them to the Dark Ages.

The current Sunni and Shi'ite fight in Iraq exhumes earlier wars, predating the American presence. Palestinians have received more financial aid than any other refugee group in history. They suffer because their corrupt leaders squandered it all, and prolonged the Palestinians' misery. Bolstered by the Saudi/Gulf and Iranian regimes, the Palestinians advanced a culture of death and destruction, strangling the development of a viable society.

Jihad is an eternal Muslim institution, antedating modern Israel's creation by 13 centuries. Through this institutional religious mechanism of war and repression, pre-Islamic Jews and Christians of historical Palestine were conquered, massacred, pillaged, enslaved and deported. The survivors and their descendants suffered the brutal Shariah-inspired system of dhimmitude until the League of Nations Mandate in 1918. That the Jewish people are now flourishing in democratic Israel, rather than as dhimmis under oppressive Islam, is still a basic "grievance" to Arabs and Muslims.

Appeasement and "critical and constructive dialogue" with jihadists whose goal is to restore the caliphate by any means, only proves ignorance of the Muslim Brotherhood agenda.

To stop the jihadists and alleviate the suffering of oppressed Muslims worldwide, we should discourage discussions with Islamists. Let the Islamists denounce their incessant attempts to politically enforce a seventh-century religious ideology upon entire nations. Let them also prove their denunciations by dismantling their terror funding networks.

When all jihadists renounce terrorism, al Qaeda stops killing "infidels," Palestinians no longer indoctrinate children to become suicide bombers, Iran no longer seeks to eliminate the United States and Israel and Muslim nations institute basic human freedoms, only then can Mr. Woolery's and our hopes for a peaceful world be realized.

RACHEL EHRENFELD

Director

American Center for Democracy

New York City

ALYSSA A. LAPPEN

Senior fellow

American Center for Democracy

New York City

Planned Parenthood and the law

The new Missouri legislation barring Planned Parenthood from providing sex education to teens in schools ("Abortion clinics face new rules," Nation, Saturday) is an excellent model for all states for three reasons.

Planned Parenthood provides students with harmful information, teaching them that teen sex is normal and natural, as shown on its Teenwire Web site. It promotes the use of contraceptives, which can lead to promiscuity.

Planned Parenthood, as pointed out in the article, has a major conflict of interest, as it will "make money if female students go to their clinics."

Planned Parenthood has a long record of failing to notify authorities of statutory rape as required by law when a minor is presented at its facilities for an abortion. Life Dynamics of Denton, Texas, did a telephone survey of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities and found 90 percent of them would cover up statutory rape (see www.childpredators.com). If this were not true, Planned Parenthood would have long ago sued to stop the publication of this information. For reports of rape coverups in Arizona, Ohio, California and Connecticut, see www.all.org/stopp/wsr070530.htm. According to the site, a young Connecticut girl had three abortions in six months.

Organizations that do not observe the law have a conflict of interest and provide harmful information and should be banned from teaching students in all states.

JOHN NAUGHTON

Silver Spring, Md

A question of sovereignty

In a letter to the editor, Roger C.S. Lin of Taipei, Taiwan, makes an elaborate legal argument against claims that the Republic of China is sovereign (" 'Territorial sovereignty,' " Friday).

In my judgment, under the "International Law of Common Sense," the question of at least de facto sovereignty for any entity is determined by the answer to the following question: Who exercises the police power there?

The People's Republic of China may claim sovereignty over Taiwan, and Taiwan may technically be "an overseas territory under the jurisdiction of the United States of America," as Mr. Lin claims. But the simple fact is that neither of those governments can so much as issue a parking ticket on Taiwan, can they?

In fact, the governmental machinery in Taipei exercises without oversight the full range of police powers from issuing parking tickets, to settling disputes, to imprisoning convicted criminals for life.

ROGER D. LEONARD

Bowie