- The Washington Times - Monday, April 16, 2001

A merger of connected needs

Frank J. Gaffney Jr.s "concerns" about the pending merger of ASM Lithography and Silicon Valley Group (SVG) are not only unfounded, but contradict what this merger really means for the United States and the U.S. semiconductor industry ("Defense fire-sale redux," April 3). The truth is that the combination of SVG and ASML is good for the United States and vital to the U.S. semiconductor industry.

The merger is a commercial transaction that will enhance American competitiveness in the global marketplace and maintain SVG´s American workforce and its technologies; this transaction will help to assure that SVG´s capabilities stay in the United States. Without this acquisition, SVG, its employees and its technologies will have difficulty competing against the larger, better-capitalized competitors that include two Japanese companies Nikon and Canon and one Dutch company ASML.

ASML is offering SVG the unique opportunity to get back in the world league while growing its U.S. operations and research-and-development capabilities. We as a company and as a nation would be remiss to turn down this opportunity.

ASML´s commitment to invest in research and development and to expand the manufacturing base in the United States to serve not only the U.S.-based customers but also to export to the global semiconductor equipment market already has been demonstrated by its strong seven-year presence in the United States.

Together, ASML and SVG will have the technological and financial resources as well as the market reach to be a leading force in the global industry and to lead the advent of next-generation tools to make more powerful semiconductors. This is the reason that the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association and leading semiconductor manufacturing companies such as IBM, Intel Corp. and Motorola Inc. have strongly supported this merger.

In his article, Mr. Gaffney calls for a "real and rigorous investigation" of the transaction, with a particular focus on SVG subsidiary Tinsley Laboratories. What he fails to note is that ASML, SVG and Tinsley have undergone one of the most extensive and thorough reviews ever conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and that ASML has addressed all of the government´s security concerns raised to date.

ASML has made numerous commitments, above and beyond legal requirements, to provide assurance that Tinsley´s optical capabilities remain available to the U.S. government and that the technology is not transferred to any country not authorized by the United States to receive it.

All of the facts concerning this transaction lead to one inescapable conclusion that the transaction is good for the Defense Department´s needs, the future of semiconductor development in the United States and the nation as a whole. We are confident, by virtue of our deliberations with high-level officials in the administration, that they will reach the same conclusion and that this merger will soon be completed.


PAPKEN S. DER TOROSSIAN

Chief executive officer

Silicon Valley Group

San Jose, Calif.

Yellow ribbons are for tying every day

Thanks to Helle Bering for her thoughtful column, "Yellow ribbons," published April 11 in the online version of The Washington Times, which I read every day. I considered this crew to be hostages when Chinese officials said they expected something from us in return for the crews safe trip home. Thankfully, they were released before I made it out to buy yellow ribbons for my door and my shirt and my car antenna. In our world, words mean what they say.

"Hostages" in your mind or not, that´s what our crew was, and yellow ribbons would have been very appropriate. Sometimes bringing back bad memories is just a reminder to never let it happen again.

As a Navy wife of more than 16 years, I think you and most other civilians have a distorted view of what our yellow ribbons stand for. I appreciate the difficulty you and others not in this type of life may have with seeing them. To you, our yellow ribbons may bring only ugly memories of a certain hostage crisis.

They are not brought out only in crisis situations. We wore them proudly and hung them on our doors during the Gulf War, during Panama and Somalia, and I know a few women with loved ones in the Balkans who wear them today.

Our yellow ribbons are a symbol of hope hope of the return of our crews, our spouses, parents, brothers or sisters, whether soldier, sailor, Marine or airman.

Our yellow ribbons are a symbol of faith. When they´re far from us, there´s a chance they´ll get a picture from home taken by a stranger. That yellow ribbon is a confirmation to them that we´re here waiting for them, that they are not forgotten and are always loved.

These same yellow ribbons are also a symbol of pride. They show others what we have been through and who we are.

Did I say they weren´t brought out only in crisis situations? I suppose that´s not true. We hang ´em up or wear ´em every time a crew or a squadron or a ship or an air wing leaves for any extended period of time. Separations are part of our lives, and so are yellow ribbons. They are part of the everyday "crisis situations" that we learn to live with.


KC DUFFY

Kailua, Hawaii

American history refutes anti-immigrant arguments

Joseph L. Daleiden of Evanston, Ill., takes a myopic view of Americas economic history and the role that immigrants have played in it when he says in his April 5 letter to the editor ("Study reveals flaw in lax immigration policy") that I had failed to remember "that earlier in this century, most immigrants did so badly that 40 percent decided to return home."

Early in the last century, a lot of people both new Americans and established natives did poorly during America´s worst economic downturn, the Depression. While some immigrants sought greener or more familiar pastures back home, others stuck it out through the dust bowls and the hard times and became outstanding citizens, soldiers and leaders.

Hysteria about being overrun by immigrants like immigrants themselves comes in waves.

Benjamin Franklin feared we would be overrun with Germans and the eugenicists swore Slovaks and Jews would never assimilate a century ago. Now a new wave of doomsayers argues America is not strong enough to absorb the latest arrivals. Four hundred years of historical evidence to the contrary stacks up pretty well against these alarmists.

Our nation was strong enough to belie Franklin´s apprehensions, and we are strong enough to belie Mr. Daleiden´s as well.


FRANK SHARRY

Executive director

National Immigration Forum

Washington

Federalizing-the-schools idea deserves an 'F'

When is it going to be acknowledged that a primary reason for the failure of so many public schools is precisely the solution being offered more federal rules, promises, funds and threats?

Let the states and local governments provide basic education. It is beyond my comprehension that anyone still believes Washington legislators and bureaucrats can devise a series of universal solutions that can be effectively applied to thousands of diverse school districts.


DENNIS A. SMITH

St. Augustine Beach, Fla.

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