- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2002

Columnist ignores conservation

Upon seeing the headline on Deroy Murdock's column "In need of terrorism-free oil" (Commentary, Sunday), I was encouraged that someone finally pointed out that Saudi Arabia is a major source of terrorist funding. However, upon reading the article, I was disappointed that the author said nothing about energy conservation. The following figures for the number of barrels of oil consumed per capita in 2001 should illustrate the gravity of Mr. Murdock's oversight:
U.S.: 25
Japan: 15.7
France: 12.4
Germany: 12.4
If you question this information, just take the numbers in Timothy Burn's article "The Energy Debate" (Page 1, yesterday) and do the math with the latest world census as I did.
How do Europeans maintain such a good standard of living while consuming 50 percent less oil than we do? How many more of our people must die as a result of Saudi subsidies to terrorists before we fully exploit the alternative sources of oil in Russia and Kazakhstan? It should be obvious to any American who truly cares that the quickest road to terrorism-free oil is energy conservation. Mr. Murdock's attempt to sidestep this issue is glaringly transparent. To make it simple: If you love America, lower your thermostat and cut back on your driving. If you love al Qaeda, buy a sport utility vehicle. Are we worthy of our brave men in uniform?


Silver screen reminder of the price of 'equality'

I was interested to see that Paul Craig Roberts brought up the movie "Doctor Zhivago" in his column "Forgetting class genocide," (Commentary, Sunday).
I went to see it when I was very young and saw it again in college. Last summer,when my wife went away and I had a whole evening to do nothing but watch a movie, I saw it a third time. Amazing movie. What hit me this time was the reality of it.
We all forget that Russia had a beautiful culture incredibly gifted doctors, poets, and writers, etc. But a movement that many may have tacitly supported wiped out millions of talented people in the name of "fairness" and "equality."
The angry, young boyfriend in "Doctor Zhivago" had good qualities, but lost them all in the name of an angry revolution. The good doctor, who wanted a more decent world, found that he, too, was not wanted. It seemed that anyone who valued beauty had to be eliminated.
Back when I saw it at 8 years old and again at 19, I felt America would never face such trauma. After September 11, my skin crawled watching this movie again. The change from beauty to desolation occurs violently and swiftly.
The human being immediately forgets all good qualities and becomes a beast. The beast desires equality of waste and anger, and every perceived benefit one person had over another has to be eliminated usually by means of death.
The sentence is usually executed with no remembrance of the wonderful things that person or institution had given to the world. I see that now when looking back on all our great leaders who have their imperfections brought to trial by an angry jury of revisionists.
I see great institutions such as the Catholic Church being drained away internally and externally by people who do not accept its values. And there are a lot of people who just can't stand America and wish to do the same to it. They do so by belittling the country, pointing out its failures and destroying leaders for their human imperfections.
It's all done to give the world "fairness" and "equality." To those who think that can be accomplished, I recommend this movie. Scratch us hard and yes, we all will be peasants once again.

Leesburg, Va.

U.S. policy towards proliferators makes little sense

A recent article again shows Pakistan's nuclear duplicity, which must be condemned by the international community ("Pakistani offered nuke aid to Iraq," Page 1, Dec. 22).
Unlike its nuclear neighbor India, which has shown remarkable responsibility by refusing to sell its nuclear technology to terrorist nations and by honoring international nonproliferation norms, Pakistan has sold nuclear know-how to North Korea and offered the same to Iraq.
Unfortunately, the United States continues to punish India by refusing to engage in civilian nuclear exchanges with that country although it allows such exchanges with China, which has been charged often with trying to steal nuclear technology from the United States. It makes no sense to group India with a rogue state like Pakistan and forbid U.S. companies from selling civilian reactors (as they do to China) to India and making the existing ones safer. There have been numerous cases of mishaps at India's aging nuclear reactors, and civilian exchanges would only make the industry more transparent. The last thing the world needs is another Chernobyl.
Strategically, the U.S. policy doesn't make sense. Asia probably is more stable with India having minimum nuclear deterrence capability than with China enjoying a nuclear monopoly. India is punished because it refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1968. The geopolitical realities are much different now, however. It's time for Congress to change the laws to reflect that.

Takoma Park

New year brings new fears of cloning follies

As the new year approaches with rogue nations under satellite scrutiny, we also have to watch out for rogue scientists cloning babies at the behest of space aliens.
That's the bizarre story out of Hollywood, Fla., where a cult of extraterrestrial worshippers claim they have cloned and delivered the first human baby ("Proof lacking in baby cloning," Page 1, Saturday).
It's most likely a pathetic hoax designed to attract attention to their cult, but the announcement signals the peril that accompanies the promise of navigating the genetic frontier. Ignoring human history and imagining a glorious self-evolution, we will be tempted to lift ourselves up by our own technological bootstraps.
Such scientific hubris brings to mind the lament, "He's a self-made man and it shows." Before we experience the societal expression of that joke, let's erect legislative and ethical boundaries to assure that we leave creation in the hands of the Creator.

Senior policy analyst
Washington Bureau
Christian Medical Association

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