- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Limit National, expand Andrews

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport likely will reopen with air traffic only from and to the south, limiting the usefulness of an already constricted airport. What to do? Open Andrews Air Force Base to airline operations, as has been done with some other dual-use U.S. airports. Its parallel runways match those of Washington Dulles International and Baltimore Washington International in length, unlike Reagan Airport's short runways. Building airline facilities on Andrews' east side, currently used by a few reserve units, would keep them far apart and miles away from the military infrastructure and Air Force One's hangar on Andrews' west side while allowing both military and commercial aircraft to use both runways. This would give the Washington area three international-size airports, well-spaced around the region. This also would increase economic opportunities for Anacostia and Prince George's County, which have sizable minority populations, just as Dulles spurred development in Virginia's northern counties and BWI helped the corridor between Baltimore and Washington. Extending Metrorail to Andrews, as has been discussed for Dulles, would make access to Washington as convenient as it has been using Reagan Airport.

As for the future of Reagan Airport, some Andrews air-reserve units could relocate there, improving security. Reagan Airport's airline traffic could return to the shorter-range movements originally intended, and corporate traffic would fill in. Our nation's capital would benefit from the reduced potential for a threat and the reduced noise.



Where does 'extremism' begin end and 'terrorism' begin?

I am disturbed by what appears to be a double standard for reporting terrorist activities in The Washington Times.

Muslims responsible for attacks on people and institutions around the world and those associated with al-Qaeda are labeled "terrorists." In contrast, in your Sept. 30 article "Protestant group blamed in reporter's death," the Protestants in Northern Ireland who have been "behind a wave of attacks on Catholics" are simply referred to as "extremists" and "militants."

Where does "extremism" end and "terrorism" begin?



Certain Koran verses threaten world safety

In the Sept. 29 letter to the editor "The truth about Islam," Kaushal Vepa correctly identifies the Wahhabi version of Islam as the ideological source of hatred against non-believers. This would imply that, in the long-term, this ideology must be discredited to ensure the security for America and other countries.

The followers of the Wahhabi ideology believe in verses in the Koran that command followers to kill non-believers. A proper response would be to discredit these verses in the Koran. Since the Koran was compiled in written form several hundred years after the Prophet Mohammed's death, it is unlikely that the prophet's revelations were correctly reproduced.

Since the acts of Islamic fundamentalism have affected all of us, we too should have a say in how Islam is preached and practiced.


Coram, N.Y.

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