- The Washington Times - Friday, August 30, 2002

Sins of omission and commission

My Polish peasant heart pounded with indignation upon reading the sin of omission committed against the most famous Pole ever in Wednesday's editorial "Papal succession." I had to keep telling myself: "Calm down, Janucz, calm down, the good editorial writer made a simple mistake. He's probably not even Catholic, let alone Polish." After repeating this to myself several times (and drinking several vodkas), I am now calm enough to point out the following so that The Washington Times never makes the same mistake again.

For the record, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, was christened Karol Josef Wojtyla not merely Josef Wojtyla. For confirmation, you can check the records of his childhood parish church in Krakow or go to www.vatican.va.



The editorial "Papal succession" contains the following flawed sentence: "Ultimately, it is far from certain who will next trod in the shoes of the fisherman."

The tense of the action verb in that sentence is wrong. "Trod" is the past tense of "tread," which should have been used here because it denotes future action. Perhaps some chap from your side of the lake has pointed this out already, but it is my duty (as an Englishman attentive to his mother tongue's proper use) to pipe up, too.


Bristol, England

America's unambiguous role as Taiwan's protector

In an otherwise perceptive analysis of the need for clarity in Washington's commitment to Taiwan, Tod Lindberg asserted, "U.S. policy on China, from the time of its creation by Henry Kissinger, relied on a certain ambiguity in the remaining U.S. commitment to Taiwan" ("Playing it straight on the straits," Op-Ed, Tuesday). This is not so.

Congress passed and President Carter signed the Taiwan Relations Act on April 10, 1979, two years after Mr. Kissinger stepped down as secretary of state. That law is unambiguous as a statutory mandate that the United States "shall maintain the capacity to resist the use of force" against the people of Taiwan. The legislative history of this act reflects that this commitment would be effective regardless of any Taiwanese move toward independence.

Even during his tenure, Mr. Kissinger was well aware of the dangers of humoring China's territorial designs on Taiwan. In late 1976, according to a recently declassified transcript, Mr. Kissinger asked his top China aides: "If Taiwan is recognized by us as part of China, then it may become irresistible to them, our saying we want a peaceful solution has no force, it is Chinese territory, what are we going to do about it?"To that, Arthur Hummel, then assistant secretary for East Asia and later the ambassador to Beijing, responded, "Down the road, perhaps the only solution would be an independent Taiwan."

As a result, no U.S. administration before or since has ever recognized Chinese claims to sovereignty over Taiwan "acknowledging" that China had such a claim was as far as even the Carter administration went.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's comments in Beijing this week that the U.S. policy of not supporting Taiwanese independence is "different from saying we oppose it" was yet another subtle but important step to returning clarity to our China policy. I, for one, see no more problem with an independent Taiwan than most Americans felt about an independent Czechoslovakia in 1938.

World War II didn't begin because of "strategic clarity" in London or Paris but because of a lack of it.


Research fellow in China policy

Heritage Foundation


Don't underestimate nuclear threat

Gordon Prather's column contains as many dashes as a message written in Morse code, and the point he attempts to make is similarly incomprehensible ("Too loose nukes," Op-Ed, Wednesday).

Over and over again, he argues that building a gun-type nuclear weapon with the 48 pounds of uranium in Serbia is a task that has proven too difficult for rogue regimes and terrorists to accomplish. Does Mr. Prather really want us to take the chance that he might be proven wrong?



True to his school

I am incensed and outraged by your article "UDC law school pays a lot for students to fail bar" (Page 1, yesterday). It is full of inaccuracies, and none of it is supported by creditable research. Your so-called unidentified faculty member reeks of bad reporting. You printed the story based on the opinion of one man. This is irresponsible and should be considered in the context of libel and slander against the University of the District of Columbia's law school. This is clearly a personal attack and is not substantiated by any evidence.

I am a third-year student at the school, and I see none of the article to be true. In addition, the reporting was very one-sided. If The Washington Times is going to tell the so-called negative side of things, then it should also report the positive. Our school is a clinical law school, and we work in the public interest. The mission of our school is different from other law school programs. The school helps the people of the District by providing free legal services.

This summer, I personally helped D.C. residents who were in need but could not afford high-priced lawyers. The article fails to articulate that the other law schools in the District are not there to teach public-interest law, but are mills for those high-priced lawyers the people of the District cannot afford. If justice still lives, then it lives in the halls of the David A. Clarke School of Law.

The school also gives nontraditional students the opportunity to go to law school. The school is not majority white, as the article claimed, but is a diverse group of people of all races, creeds and colors unified for the common goal of pursuing the law. I, for one, would not have been able to attend law school otherwise. The Times fails to realize that we are not all of means and we cannot all get into or afford to attend Georgetown University or the University of Virginia, but we all should have equal access to the law.

I know you probably won't print this, but as responsible journalists, you should. You can quote me because I am not afraid to say something and sign my name to it, unlike your unidentified source.


Third-year student

David A. Clarke School of Law

University of the District of Columbia


Sales-tax increase will fund Dulles corridor

Elise Annunziata is in error when she states that revenue from a proposed sales-tax increase will not help fund the extension of transit to Washington Dulles International Airport ("Virginia's transit-tax debate misses the train," Letters, Sunday).

I refer her to Page 22 of the enabling legislation, H 668, which lists a number of proposed transportation projects that would be funded by the sale of bonds. The first item on the list is "Dulles Corridor Transit (locality share) $350 million."

This is just one of some 22 disjointed proposed projects totaling $2.8 billion in proposed bond sales.

Who is supposed to service these bonds? The legislation makes it perfectly clear that these bonds are not a debt of pledge of the full faith and credit of the commonwealth of Virginia or any political subdivision thereof. The answer is the newly established Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Where will it get its funding? From the taxpayers in the form of sales-tax increases.

These municipal junk bonds of necessity will demand a high interest rate because they literally are backed by nothing tangible.

This and the fact that there is no regional transportation plan and that the "authority" charged with the responsibility of developing one abdicated that responsibility are ample reasons to vote no on the sales-tax-increase referendum this November.


Falls Church

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