- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Annan supporter overlooks history of blunders

Inaccuracies abound in Tony Flemings April 13 letter to the editor, "Annan has earned his global acclaim," which criticized Cliff Kincaids April 10 letter arguing that Kofi Annan should not be given another term as U.N. secretary-general ("Support for Annan not befitting of 'Americas Newspaper").

Mr. Kincaid listed 14 of Mr. Annan´s positions and policies that conflict with U.S. policies and interests, and four of his actions that show bad judgment. Mr. Fleming tried to answer only five of these 18 criticisms and alluded to two others.

Mr. Kincaid cited Mr. Annan´s terrible blunder in denying the request of U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda for permission to seize the weapons being accumulated by the Hutus for their massacre of a million Tutsis. Ignoring Mr. Kincaid´s description of this blunder, Mr. Fleming accused him of perpetuating the myth that the secretary-general was responsible for not sending reinforcements to Rwanda.

Another blunder Mr. Fleming ignored was Mr. Annan´s staging of a vote on independence in East Timor, which set off a blood bath there. Nor did he tackle the charge that U.N. peacekeeping forces have spread AIDS around the world. He also neglected the charge that Mr. Annan has done nothing significant to make the United Nations more cost-effective.

Mr. Fleming doesn´t deny that we have given more than $10 billion to support U.N. peacekeeping operations, for which we have received no compensation or credit. Bills have been introduced in Congress that would require the United Nations to reimburse the United States for missions undertaken in association or compliance with resolutions passed by the U.N. Security Council. Mr. Fleming implies that we should forgive this debt because we were "protecting primarily U.S. interests."

Mr. Kincaid criticized Mr. Annan for his advocacy of three treaties that the United States opposes one requiring that the United States reduce burning fossil fuels to prevent global warming, one that would ban all nuclear arms tests and a third establishing an international criminal court, which Mr. Fleming misleadingly calls "prosecution of war criminals." He claims these treaties "have either never come before the Senate or failed by the smallest of margins." The global warming treaty wasn´t submitted to the Senate because it was clear that it would be defeated overwhelmingly. The test ban treaty fell 19 votes short of the two-thirds required for ratification not a small margin.


REED IRVINE

Chairman

Accuracy in Media Inc.

Washington

The true color of police officers

It is sad to read of alleged racial discord within the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Department, especially in a city so ethnically diverse ("Ramsey vows 'zero tolerance for hateful words," March 31). Surely, wouldnt a professional as competent as Executive Assistant Chief Terrance W. Gainer be aware of and sensitive to such cultural issues? In a profession where perceptions are of paramount concern, I would be surprised if he were not.

Police officers are neither white nor black; they are blue. They are heroes and heroines, partners, and family. It is time for emotional healing, tolerance and common sense to prevail in this current dispute.


STAFF SGT. JOE HAMMELL

Waynesboro, Pa.

Events for homeschoolers more plentiful, diverse than article suggests

In the April 10 column "Conventions help with teaching plans," (Family Times), you provide some valuable information on attending home-schooling conventions. Your list of conventions, however, is not thorough.

You listed four conventions within a three-hour drive of the District, all of which are organized by religious groups affiliated with the Home School Legal Defense Association. You neglect to mention, however, the Maryland Home Education Association´s annual conference or the Virginia Home Educator´s Association conference in Charlottesville on April 21.

A wonderful resource that lists home-schooling conventions and organizations both religious and secular is the National Home Education Network (www.nhea.org).


JENNIFER JABLUNOVSKY

Manassas Park, Va.

Taiwan defense more crucial than ever

In their March 28 Op-ed "Caution or urgency in arms for Taiwan," Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Craig Thomas recommend that the United States not sell the sophisticated Aegis-equipped destroyers to Taiwan during the annual U.S.-Taiwan arms negotiations this month. However, their reasoning that the three Sino-American communiques prohibit such a sale does not hold. The communiques were concluded based on Chinas commitment to peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

More importantly, the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act states that "It is the policy of the United States to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character." The communiques were mere memoranda of understanding.

Unlike the senators, Adm. Dennis Blair, U.S. Commander-in-Chief for Pacific Forces, does worry about the continued buildup of Chinese intermediate-range missiles pointed at Taiwan. On March 27, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he has informed Chinese officials that "as their numbers increase and as their accuracy improves, become militarily significant, will force a response by the United States eventually in order to maintain sufficient defense, and that is really the most troubling aspect of the buildup."

The United States should sell the Aegis-equipped destroyers to Taiwan now.


IRIS HO

Fairfax

Eating meat contributes to starvation?

Your April 11 Inside the Beltway column, which poked fun at PETAs recent demonstration in Kenya, misrepresented the point of our action: We werent objecting to individual families who keep chickens but to the exportation of factory farming methods to Kenya and the disastrous effect of a meat-based diet on world hunger, the environment and animals.

I work in PETA´s India office, and I led the demonstration in Kenya. I know that your reporter is correct when she says millions of Africans are at risk of starvation. What she didn´t say, however, is that eating meat contributes to this dire problem. Renowned nutritionist Jean Mayer has estimated that reducing meat production by just 10 percent would free up enough grain and vegetables to feed 60 million people. Growing grains requires just 1 percent of the water needed to produce the same amount of meat.

Kenya is already staggering under the weight of poverty, drought and HIV. The last thing the country needs is the suffering, disease and waste of resources caused by American- and European-style factory farming. Many local residents understood this, supported the action and thanked us for caring.


JASON BAKER

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

India


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