- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2002

Russia yet to prove itself NATO-worthy

In bringing attention to the biggest threats to our country terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction James M. Goldgeier emphasizes the importance of our cooperation with Russia within the framework of NATO ("Transatlantic turbulence," Op-Ed, May 7).

Mr. Goldgeier does not see any problem with integrating Russia into NATO's hierarchy. Nor is he concerned that Russia's sheer size and varied interests may turn such a conglomerate, to use the words of Czech President Vaclav Havel, into a toothless replica of the United Nations.

But there is another aspect, which so far has not been mentioned in discussions of bringing Russia into partnership with NATO namely, Russia's interpretation of the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact. So far, Moscow has not had the courage to denounce the brutal implementation of the pact's secret protocol, which forcefully incorporated the Baltic states into the Soviet Union. Thus, in Russia's view, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania voluntarily joined the Soviet Union in 1940. Russian Federation President Putin has never apologized for Russia's crimes against the Baltic states.

How can Russia, under such circumstances, be part of NATO? NATO should be an organization of like-minded countries, not an organization based on expediency. By introducing dissent into its ranks, we would undermine NATO's future as a cohesive political and military force.


CAMILLA KUUS

Washington

The U.N.'s faulty family-planning

The flurry of letters printed in The Washington Times in defense of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) attests to the orchestrated disinformation campaign characteristic of the fund ("Anti-family-planning column full of holes," May 9). Here are the facts: UNFPA shipped 10 million condoms into Tanzania. The Tanzanian Bureau of Standards tested them and concluded that they were defective. UNFPA disputed that these condoms were defective. A lab in the United States tested the condoms again and also concluded that they were defective. On May 11, the fund finally admitted in a press release that "a laboratory in the United States found defects in samples submitted for testing."

UNFPA also now admits that these condoms were purchased under contract from a firm based in China. The fund has a strong relationship with China. They often speak in one voice.

The Chinese State Family Planning Commission (SFPC) and the U.N. Population Fund both claim that coercion does not exist in 32 county family-planning programs supported and jointly managed by UNFPA in China.

However, from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30, a team of independent investigators recorded testimonies of victims and witnesses of forced abortion and forced sterilization in UNFPA's model county program in Sihui, Guandong Province. More than two dozen victims and witnesses said that coercion exists in this model program. Despite such firsthand evidence given to Congress, UNFPA continues to attack the messenger.

So when UNFPA gets defensive about indefensible distribution of defective condoms into AIDS-stricken regions, be aware that it's standard operating procedure for a group that whitewashes forced abortion in China.


SCOTT WEINBERG

Director of governmental affairs

Population Research Institute

Front Royal, Va.

Robo-rat redux

While exploring the moral repercussions of using animals in research, Commentary columnist Charles Rousseaux aptly quotes the animal rights organization Compassion Over Killing: "Animals are our moral equals who have the right to live free of abuse and exploitation" ("Run robo-rat, run," May 12).

While Mr. Rousseaux finds this idea "rabid," to think otherwise seems unjustifiably selfish. As humans, we fancy ourselves the apex of life on Earth and arrogantly maintain that our suffering is more important than nonhuman suffering. While it's easy to see the prejudice of our forefathers, it is much harder for us to examine our own self-inflating prejudices.

The animals of this world should not be viewed merely as commodities. Rather, it is time to extend our compassion beyond just those of our species and make the world a kinder place for all of us who live here.


PAUL SHAPIRO

Campaigns manager

Compassion Over Killing

Takoma Park, Md.

Mexico is not a friendly neighbor

It was deeply disturbing to read your May 13 front-page story "Mexican soldiers in border crossings," in which Juan Jose Bremer, Mexico's ambassador to the United States, plays down the 23 known border incursions by his uniformed compatriots in 2001. Mr. Bremer is disingenuous when he describes these serious U.S. border violations as "unnoticed or accidental crossings" or when he says his government is not aware of and does not condone these violations. The Mexican government has such a long history of corruption that Mr. Bremer has very little credibility.

As you report, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, a man of integrity, believes these Mexican soldiers and policemen, who repeatedly cross our borders, are providing cover for drug dealers and smugglers of illegal aliens. Indeed, it is wholly plausible that al Qaeda terrorists could enter the United States this way if they paid enough money for protective passage.

These illegal border crossings violate U.S. sovereignty and threaten our national security. We must begin to hold Mexican President Vicente Fox and his government accountable for them. The White House and Congress must end their current love fest with Mexico and Mr. Fox before another September 11 happens. Mexico is not a friendly neighbor. Until Mr. Fox ends these incursions and takes concrete measures to prevent illegal immigration and drug smuggling, the United States should treat the government of Mexico as an enemy.


SCOTT A. LAUF

Executive director

CitizensLobby.com

Washington


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