- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Peace through strength will work for China, too

In his April 14 Commentary column, "Going with what worked," Christopher Matthews takes issue with President Bush for referring to China as a "strategic competitor" rather than a "strategic partner," as former President Clinton called China. Mr. Matthews writes, "We tried the hard line and learned its limitations." In the article, Mr. Matthews goes so far as to sustain Chinas version of the recent reckless action of the Chinese fighter pilot in causing the near loss of one of our reconnaissance planes flying above international waters. He says "we landed our plane on Chinese territory without permission," we demanded the prompt return of the crewmen and the aircraft and "we treated the life of a courageous if reckless Chinese pilot as unworthy of note, and a proud countrys territorial integrity as unworthy of respect." Mr. Matthews not only blames the United States for the entire incident, but also generally ascribes responsibility for all the worlds unrest to the United States.

Winston Churchill is supposed to have said once that the United States may be the only altruistic society/country in the history of the world. Many believe that maintaining a strong United States is the only means of assuring a peaceful world.

Yet Mr. Matthews appears to agree with the Chinese position that the United States seeks to establish "hegemony" over the globe, and he identifies every "hot spot" as the result of America´s selfish actions. Mr. Matthews ends his column by pointing an accusing finger at the Pentagon for developing a strategy for fighting a war in Asia and trying "tough talk." Just when did we use "tough talk"?

Mr. Matthews says, "Let´s go with what worked." What has worked is "peace through strength," economic, social and military strength strength of character and strength of conviction. In "Architects of Victory," Joseph Shatton identified Winston Churchill and former President Reagan as among those who contributed most to the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Their strength and their willingness to stand up to the despotic regimes of the 20th century have made it possible for most of the world to enjoy the blessings of freedom as we begin the 21st century. It was the active involvement of the United States and its allies that brought about this "victory."


D. CRAIG HORN

Laurel

Milosevic must answer to the world

Though the recent standoff with China has understandably captured the full attention of the United States, Wednesdays bombing in the former Yugoslavia should serve as a reminder that much is still required to bring peace to the Balkan region.

The arrest of Slobodan Milosevic certainly was a step in the right direction, but the importance of bringing him to trial at The Hague cannot be stressed enough. Aside from providing a much-needed dose of retribution for the atrocities committed against Kosovo´s Albanians, Mr. Milosevic´s trial before The Hague war crimes tribunal would send the much broader message that such actions will not be tolerated by the international community. New President Vojislav Kostunica is right to desire a strong judiciary in his country, but his claim that Mr. Milosevic´s extradition stands in the way of such authority is unfounded. The international community helped facilitate Mr. Milosevic´s removal. His appearance before The Hague reflects the world´s commitment to protecting human rights and does not diminish Mr. Kostunica´s authority.

Justice ought not be mired in politics. A crime was committed not simply against Kosovo´s Albanians, but against humanity in general. For that, Mr. Milosevic should be forced to answer not only to his fellow countrymen, but also to the world at large.


BLAINE DUNCAN

Woodland Hills, Calif.

Bush appointment based on qualifications, not sexual orientation

As a homosexual Republican, I have to protest the irrational, bigoted letter from Bill Wheaton chastising President Bush for appointing homosexual Republican Scott Evertz to head his White House Office of National AIDS Policy ("Bush appointment of homosexual a compromise of principle," April 12). Mr. Wheaton charges that Mr. Bush compromised his principles by making this appointment, yet the president promised repeatedly throughout the fall campaign that his appointees would be judged on their qualifications and integrity, not their sexual orientation. The appointment of Mr. Evertz is proof of that promise, and I applaud the president for it, as do the 1 million homosexuals who voted for Mr. Bush.

It´s a pity Mr. Wheaton is so obsessed with sexuality that he fails to understand that many homosexuals can and do believe as deeply as anyone else in the conservative principles that guide the Republican Party. It may come as a surprise to Mr. Wheaton, but one of those conservative principles is equality of rights under the law, with liberty and justice for all. I suspect, in fact, that many members of Log Cabin Republicans are bigger believers in individual rights and free enterprise than Mr. Wheaton, and we´re not about to be railroaded out of the Republican Party by the likes of him.

Finally, contrary to what Mr. Wheaton seems to believe, AIDS is no more an integral part of homosexuality in the United States than it is of heterosexuality in the rest of the world. AIDS is caused by a virus, not a lifestyle, and it´s astonishing that some people still need to be reminded of that.


DAVID LAMPO

Communications director

Log Cabin Republicans of Northern Virginia

Alexandria

Small arms opponents trust government more than citizenry

Former French Premier Michel Rocards assurances aside, his letter to the editor is hardly comforting to those of us who view with suspicion international efforts to restrict private ownership of firearms ("International supervision of small arms," April 23). Mr. Rocard attempts to allay our suspicions by assuring Americans that the goal of the U.N. conference in July is merely to fight illicit trading in small arms. I am not convinced.

When Mr. Rocard speaks of possessing small arms for "legitimate purposes," I wonder: by whose definition? Self-defense, hunting and sports are "legitimate" purposes in Mr. Rocard´s eyes, but how about possessing firearms as a means to defend against government tyranny? Would that not be a legitimate reason to own small arms? Apparently not, in Mr. Rocard´s eyes.

Mr. Rocard is most revealing when he wistfully regrets that "a blanket prohibition of transfer to 'nonstate actors´ (groups not recognized as representing a state) may prove unrealistic." Notwithstanding his assurances that there is a discernible line between non-state actors and civilians, Mr. Rocard´s ultimate aim is to remove all firearms from private ownership. With a prohibition like his in place, private citizens around the world will be defenseless against tyranny be they organized resistance fighters (non-state actors) or members of a civilian militia. It is clear Mr. Rocard does not want private ownership of firearms.

Thus far, the tyrannies most common in this world are those of a socialist or communist nature, and those tyrannies would be the ones to suffer the most from an armed citizenry. Because of France´s socialist history, it is natural Mr. Rocard would want only the government to own firearms. He trusts the government and not the people.


KENT D. JOHNSON

Springfield

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