- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 3, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Oakland airport should apologize

How about an apology? (“Airport found legitimate in troop treatment,” Nation, Thursday) Why is any escort needed? Any Marine or soldier, especially 200 of them, can escort me anywhere in the world. They can escort themselves. As far as I’m concerned, they’re “safe” by definition. They can carry and use weapons responsibly in foreign countries but not in the country they’re protecting, the United States.

They know how to secure weapons. They do it every day. What’s changed? Nothing noted in the story says Oakland International Airport has done anything, or any other airport for that matter.

BOB BUNTING

Centerville, Ohio

McCain surging despite Limbaugh lampooning

In his article “Talk radio impugns McCain’s liberal record,” Donald Lambro writes that the “battle on talk radio has turned into a lopsided offensive against [John] McCain” (Page 1, Wednesday).

Despite this, the results in Florida would seem to suggest that Rush Limbaugh and his like-minded friends are the ones who are in the minority. If there is any lopsidedness among the voters, it appears to be in Mr. McCain’s favor. So while the talk-show hosts make their voices heard over the airwaves, the voters are making their voices heard in the voting booths — and theirs are the voices that count.

JANICE SCHELL

Purcellville, Va.

Ignoring Ron Paul’s candidacy

With regard to the article “Obama: Decriminalize pot” (Web site, Thursday): Could The Washington Times be any more obviously opposed to reporting on Rep. Ron Paul?

Why don’t you just run a disclaimer at the bottom of all your articles about the presidential race saying, “We refuse to mention Ron Paul’s candidacy, no matter how relevant his views might be to this piece.” He is the only presidential candidate who not only supports the end of the criminalization of marijuana but the end of the pernicious war on drugs as a whole.

Certainly your readers would find that information a worthwhile addition to any piece about policy positions held by the candidates regarding the war on drugs.

CHRISTINA PENN

Ashburn, Va.

Palestinians allowed ‘breath of fresh air’

After Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip blew holes in the wall that imprisoned them, tens of thousands of people from Gaza were able to cross over the destroyed sections of the wall and go into Egypt, where they were able to buy food, medicines and heating oil, thus ending, at least temporarily, the Israeli blockade against them (“Gazans pour into Egypt,” Page 1, Jan. 24).

What a breath of fresh air for all of those imprisoned people, who had been sealed off from the world by the Israeli siege. In the future, this will be recognized as a historic event, comparable to what happened about 20 years ago when people in Germany tore down the Berlin Wall, which had surrounded and isolated West Berlin.

CAROLINE HERZENBERG

Chicago

Evaluating the FairTax

No one is claiming that tax evasion will disappear under the FairTax, but the Wednesday editorial “Taxes and candidates” overlooks two prime characteristics of the proposal that will make evasion decline. First, the number of collection points under the FairTax drops from 155 million to 20 million, making the FairTax far easier to supervise and administer.

Second, evasion under the FairTax would drop exponentially because it takes only one to cheat on an income tax. It takes two to cheat on the FairTax, a seller and a buyer. Sellers who cheat under the FairTax will be gambling with their registration certificates, which will represent their economic livelihoods.

The evasion argument against the FairTax is a non-starter.

JIM BENNETT

Summit, N.J.

U.S. should not recognize Kosovo

Thank you for publishing “Warning light on Kosovo,” (Commentary, Thursday). Given the plethora of long-running conflicts in the Balkans (some many decades old) I don’t understand why at this particular moment the United States and Germany find it so urgent to destroy international law by illegally recognizing Kosovo against Serbia’s wishes. Kosovo’s non-Albanian residents (Serbs, Gypsies, Turks, etc.) have suffered horribly from extremist Albanians, with thousands slaughtered, hundreds of thousands ethnically cleansed and more than 150 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries destroyed — and with NATO doing next to nothing to stop the violence. Kosovo is not ready for independence, regardless of any “promises” made by U.S. leaders at the expense of the Serbs.

After the Serbs have been betrayed numerous times, Serbia has no faith in the West and will not be interested in joining the European Union regardless of what hollow “promises” are proffered. Serbia is a democratic nation that is giving the Albanians of Kosovo every opportunity to participate in this process. All we are doing here is reversing all of Serbia’s positive progress in the past decade by encouraging extremists and telling Serbs that the West had it in for them from day one.

To add further perspective, the Russian company Gazprom has purchased Serbia’s oil monopoly. Thus, oil will be transported from Russia to Bulgaria to Serbia and then probably travel via the Danube up to Western European markets. This will be by far a better means of transporting energy than going through the treacherous and terrorist-infested mountains of Kosovo, Albania and then the Adriatic Sea. It’s time for the United States to start making friends with the Serbs by reversing its irrational anti-Serbian policies. Serbia, with its strategic central location in the Balkans and large population, can be a tremendous anchor of stability for a tumultuous region.

The United States and Germany are creating a dangerous precedent that will irreversibly damage relations with Russia and encourage separatists the world over. We should think very carefully before we let arrogance and ignorance trump logic and moderation.

MICHAEL PRAVICA

Henderson, Nev.

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