- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2002

Nothing ominous about Chinese-Pakistani cooperation

William C. Triplett's March 19 Commentary piece, "Gen. Xiong pays a visit to Pakistan," is so full of wild surmises and outrageous suppositions that I am staggered that it appeared on the Commentary page of a respectable newspaper.
Mr. Triplett ignores the wild arms purchasing spree by Pakistan's traditional opponent, India, and makes far-fetched accusations of "secret protocols" between China and Pakistan "in the manner of the Molotov-von Ribbentrop Pact of 1939."
Pakistan and the People's Republic of China have had close military ties since the founding of the current Chinese republic. These ties have long co-existed with a close military alliance with the West. Indeed, Pakistan's relations with China have proved useful to the United States, particularly with Henry Kissinger's famous trip to Pakistan in 1971, for which Pakistan paid a heavy price in Soviet wrath, even as Indophiles such as Mr. Triplett waxed eloquently with ominous warnings against a Pakistan-China nexus.
What is troublesome is not Pakistani-Chinese intelligence cooperation, which is almost inevitable for friendly neighbors. The real danger lies in an India increasingly under the sway of swastika-waving, missionary-burning fascists who seem to have cast a spell over Indophiles such as Mr. Triplett.

SAAD GUL
Columbia, Md.

Evolution is designed for science classes

The March 14 Commentary piece, "Illiberal education in Ohio schools," written by my colleague Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, erroneously suggested that I support the teaching of "intelligent design" as an alternative to biological evolution. That simply is not true.
Rather, I believe that public school science classes should focus on teaching students how to understand and critically analyze genuine scientific theories. Unlike biological evolution, "intelligent design" is not a genuine scientific theory and, therefore, has no place in the curriculum of our nation's public school science classes.

EDWARD M. KENNEDY
Senator

The Interior Department's assault on Midway

On the heels of the Immigration and Naturalization Service debacle, your March 16 story, "Historic Midway shuts down," further underscores the mismanagement of a federal agency running amok.
The use of the word "discourages" in the article's subtitle "Fish and Wildlife Service discourages visits to WWII site" is an overly polite reference to the Interior Department's horrendous actions.
Let's not forget, Midway Island is a national treasure. It is a memorial to the 580 Americans who lost their lives in June 1942 while protecting the island from being captured in one of the greatest naval victories in the history of the world. It seems as if the Interior Department's public servants are insensitive to the sacrifices made there.
Midway veterans are quickly dying. Deaths of World War II veterans are estimated at 3,000 per day. That the Interior Department would prevent these survivors from visiting the island they defended with their lives is despicable. It simply defies all sensibilities.
Men did not give their lives at Midway to create a wilderness retreat and personal domain for the benefit of Fish and Wildlife employees. In cutting down the trees that the Navy planted on Midway, these employees are participating in an act comparable to the Taliban's destruction of ancient Buddhist statues carved into the mountainside along the old Silk Road.
In dictatorial regimes, government workers make rules to benefit themselves, while the people have no outlet for appeal. In America, however, citizens are supposed to be able to hold their government responsible for its actions. I would like to think that we continue to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but what has happened at Midway is a disgrace and not an isolated instance.
These Interior employees are the same people who held up construction of Tellico Dam in Tennessee out of concern for the snail darter later found to be populous in other habitats. They are the same people who faked evidence that a threatened species of lynx inhabited the Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot forests. They are the ones who denied hundreds of farmers in the Klamath Valley use of a water reservoir when their crops were dying in order to protect the endangered sucker fish and coho salmon.
Most of all, however, they are masters of protecting themselves. If the new secretary of the Interior doesn't step forward to confront these "civil servants" gone wild, then the president or Congress should take the necessary action before Midway's 60th anniversary this June.

BILL PRICE
Vienna

BSA policy reflects poorly on local United Way

The local United Way's support of the Boy Scout's discriminatory policies is very strong, as shown in the March 15 story "Scouts lose United Way funds over gay ban." The United Way of the National Capital Area is even willing to violate its own rules for the Boy Scouts. According to its Web site, "All 501(c)3 organizations wishing to be included in the Campaign must apply and be approved on an annual basis. To be approved, an organization must comply with pre-determined criteria, including the following: Observe a policy of and practice non-discrimination."
The Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council has a policy of discrimination against gay people and has been found in violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act. It has been ordered to cease and desist in violating the law and ordered to pay $100,000 in damages plus legal fees to Eagle Scouts Roland Pool and Michael Geller, who brought their complaint in 1992. The Scouts are required to reinstate both men. The Boy Scouts are appealing this decision in order to continue to discriminate. This case is very much alive in the courts and may yet wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The United Way of the National Capital Area is embroiled in financial and managerial crises. Until it starts living up to its own principles and policies, it will continue to earn the mistrust of the public at large.

BOB SUMMERSGILL
President
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.
Washington


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