- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2001

For armed services, threat of long range attack is real

Navy Capt. William Totis April 23 Commentary column, "Defense force charades," contends that the current emphasis on defense transformation is based on a false premise the "anti-access" challenge for which the author finds "no compelling evidence."
An anti-access strategy is one in which the enemy is able to prevent the U.S. military from gaining access to his combat zones, likely through technology that allows long-distance attacks. Mr. Toti, however, discounts the likelihood of this emerging threat and castigates the "armchair warriors" who assert its reality.
It should be pointed out, however, that in recent years, recognition of the anti-access challenge has become nearly universal within the national security establishment. For example, consider the following statement: "As we look at structuring expeditionary forces for the future, the Naval Service must address the anti-access strategies and asymmetric approaches that may emerge to counter U.S. access and influence." The source? None other than Mr. Totis own Navy, in its vision statement (available on the Web at www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/policy/vision/vis00/contents.html).
All the services will be challenged by the emerging anti-access threat, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his staff should be praised for choosing to confront it in the course of his review rather than pretend it doesnt exist.

Falls Church

Holster undergarment gets politically correct treatment

In the front-page story "New bra offers support, place to store a weapon," Paxton Quigley, the inventor of a brassiere with a built-in revolver holster, remarks that: "'[The ability to carry concealed pepper spray] is what interested 'Ripleys Believe It or Not" (April 25). The article goes on to mention that "the producers didnt want to feature anything about women and guns, but the pepper spray met their approval. The syndicated TV show completely retaped the segment to eliminate any mention of firearms."
Department of Justice crime statistics clearly show that women are less likely to be killed or seriously injured during an assault if they are able to defend themselves with a firearm. Heaven help any television program, though, even one as bizarre as "Ripleys Believe It or Not," that would dare to suggest that personal firearms have any legitimate place in our society. The thinly-veiled titillation of sexy underwear is okay, but the politically correct crowd wont tolerate any mention of the benefits of personal defense.

Panama City Beach, Fla.

Greeneville commander's 'overconfindence' doesn't merit court-martial

Your editorial about the reprimand given Cmdr. Scott Waddle for the sinking of the Ehime Maru was off the mark ("Substandard justice," April 25). I am a U.S. Army prosecutor, so you might expect that I would agree that Cmdr. Waddle should have received a harsher punishment than he did. In fact, Im growing tired of all the armchair quarterbacking I have heard from journalists, brass hats and, yes, even lawyers, about the incident.
Even assuming Cmdr. Waddle was as terribly negligent as your editorial says, his punishment took into account his entire, and otherwise exemplary, 20-year Navy career. You would have had him court-martialed for being "overconfident." My guess is that you have never visited a Navy submarine, let alone served on or commanded one. You have no idea what personal and family sacrifices are involved in a career such as Cmdr. Waddles.
You are correct when you say the Navy will use the USS Greeneville incident as a case study for future training. Unfortunately, that training probably will be used to teach future sub commanders never to go outside the peacetime envelope of safety, lest their actions be misinterpreted by the second-guessing, desk-bound bureaucrats and journalists back in Washington.

U.S. Army
Harker Heights, Texas

United Nations plans to reduce availability of weapons to civilians

Michel Rocards April 23 letter, "International supervision of small arms," was enlightening. It exposed the true aims of international arms control forces, in particular the United Nations International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA).
Comparing the founding document of IANSA, supplied by the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action, with Mr. Rocards letter exposes the truth. In his letter, Mr. Rocard plainly states, "The goal of the July conference is to enhance transparency and accountability in the transfer of small arms, an objective to which the United States is committed, not to restrict domestic possession." He clearly asserts that domestic restriction of small arms is not the goal of IANSA.
However, IANSAs founding document directly contradicts that assertion. Section II.A.2 of that document states that, "Effective domestic control over small arms requires: Reducing the availability of weapons to civilians in all societies." Clearly, this passage expresses an intent to restrict domestic arms possession. Thus, Mr. Rocards claim that IANSA would not intrude upon those rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitutions Second Amendment is doubtful. "Reducing the availability of weapons to civilians in all societies" most assuredly constitutes an intrusion upon those rights.
We must not meekly roll over in surrender to international efforts to disarm us as France did to the Nazis in 1940. To do so would leave us only with the hope that the tyrants foot is not too heavy upon our throats.

Hurst, Texas

'Intellectual' justification of assisted suicide is dehumanizing

I hope Bruce Fein reads Cal Thomas column on assisted suicide, which appeared adjacent to his on the April 17 Op-Ed page ("At deaths door with dread"). Maybe the intellectual will learn something.
Mr. Fein tries to reassure us that assisted suicide is for the good of all and that anyone who questions it is unreasonable. However, Mr. Feins list of reasons why 27 people in Oregon chose to be killed by lethal injection in 2000 is revealing: "becoming a burden on others; loss of autonomy; dwindling ability to enjoy lifes pleasures; losing control of bodily functions; and pain." What does it say about us as a society that these can be seen as acceptable reasons for state-sanctioned killing?
Mr. Fein says that for someone to choose death over being burdensome "bespeaks more of laudatory altruism than of a besieged mind." Has Mr. Fein ever spoken to the family of a suicide victim? Does he think they believe it was altruistic for their relative to kill himself? In fact, only a "besieged mind" would not understand that suicide burdens those left behind with a tremendous amount of grief and guilt. Likewise, has autonomy become so important that death is preferable to depending on and needing someone else? No wonder we have a 50 percent divorce rate.
I do not wish to belittle the pain and anguish of those who are dying. However, as a compassionate society, we must find a better way of responding to suffering than extinguishing the lives of those who suffer. The final thing we should do for those who are suffering is give them a sense of being loved and appreciated. As Mr. Thomas points out, we have had enough dehumanization in the past century.


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