- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

The ICC an American perspective

In the May 15 letter to the editor "The ICC a European perspective," Christian W. Hansson states, "All Americans concerned with the rule of law and human rights should tell their leaders to stop undermining the [International Criminal Court]."

It is precisely because of our concern for the rule of law that we oppose the ICC. You see, in the United States, we have a rule of law that we are obliged as citizens to uphold the Constitution of the United States. According to the Constitution, the supreme judicial body of America is the U.S. Supreme Court. In other words, unless the Constitution of the United States is amended, American proponents of the ICC are advocating breaking the law and I don't support breaking the law.

Mr. Hansson offered his European perspective as "a Norwegian living in the United States." As an American living in the United States, I offer my American perspective on the ICC.


KENT SNYDER

Executive director

The Liberty Committee

Falls Church, Va.

Times gives fair hearing to Arab ambassadors

I would like to express how appreciative I am of the willingness of The Washington Times staff to listen to the point of view of Arab ambassadors on the ideologically charged and vexing issue of Palestine and Israel.

There is no ethnic hatred between Jews and Arabs similar to anti-Semitism in the West, contrary to what some have contended. Both peoples are Semitic and descend from sons of Abraham the Arabs from Ismael and the Jews from Isaac.

There is no better testimony to the harmony in their mutual relations than the Medina Covenant, made during the life of the prophet Mohammed. It promoted interreligious tolerance. Likewise, Jewish culture flourished in Andalusia, which was under Islamic rule for seven centuries. More recently, the Emir Abdelkader, who founded modern Algeria in the 19th century, had a Jewish ambassador.

The harmony was broken and a conflict erupted when two peoples, the Israelis and the Palestinians, laid claim to the same land. Some land-based conflicts have put Arab countries at odds, as was the case for Iraq and Kuwait. Neither conflict, however, is really an ethnic one. If an equitable solution is found to the land dispute, an era of partnership and cooperation may ensue.

We believe peace will be returned to this cradle of civilizations not by allotting praise or blame to the contending parties but by promoting the two-state solution which President Bush himself has recognized. We also believe the proactive engagement of the United States, as well as Europe, Russia and the Arabs, to make this solution a reality will be a major contribution to regional peace and world peace.

Opinion-makers in all our countries have a key role to play. By giving us a hearing, you are leading the way.


IDRISS JAZAIRY

Ambassador

Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

Washington

Beijing's isolation of Taiwan hurts world's needy

Describing how China not only has deprived Taiwan of participation in the World Health Organization but also has tried to block its efforts to extend unilateral health assistance to needy people, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, notes that nonetheless, "Taiwan has managed to provide more than $100 million in supplies, personnel and cash to 78 countries since 1995" ("A shot in the arm for fairness," Op-Ed, May 15).

However, Beijing's ruthless campaign to isolate Taiwan, no matter who may be hurt in the process, has forced many countries to turn down Taiwanese offers of medical help. Thus, several poor nations of the former Soviet Union had to reject a program to vaccinate children against contagious diseases. The former Czechoslovakia could not accept state-of-the-art prostheses. Cameroon had to withdraw a request for funds to build a hospital, et cetera, ad nauseam.

China wishes to be respected universally as a great civilization and a great power. Such respect cannot be earned, however, by showing contempt for the most basic needs of the world's less-fortunate people.


LORNA HAHN

Executive director

Association on Third World Affairs Inc.

Washington

Probe to determine if U.N. had role in China coercion

As the author of the amendment that provided $34 million to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), I want to set the record straight on a couple of points in the May 12 story "Envoys to probe use of U.S. funds for forced abortions."

The issue for the envoys to determine is not whether there is coercion in China's population program, nor is it whether U.S. funds are used in countries that "promote abortion." Rather, it is whether UNFPA participates in the management of a coercive program.

Just as we abhor coercion, a large majority in the Congress supports UNFPA's program in China precisely because its purpose is to demonstrate alternatives to coercive abortion and by doing so improve women's health and protect their rights. The Chinese have said they want this assistance. The Bush administration proposed $25 million for UNFPA, which works in 150 countries.


PATRICK J. LEAHY

U.S. Senate

Washington

Saturday mail delivery is a luxury we can't afford

What ever happened to the proposal for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to discontinue delivery of the mail on Saturdays ("Snail mail failing," Commentary, May 13)? The USPS could save millions in gasoline alone if their trucks weren't driving around all day, every Saturday, all over the country not to mention the cost of energy to open the country's many post offices on Saturdays.

We should consider conserving these resources. With faxes, emails, Federal Express, et cetera, it seems thatSaturday deliveries are not really necessary anyway. Closing down shop on Saturdays might even save enough money for the USPS to reduce the cost of stamps. That would be a novel idea.


SUSAN JENKINS

Shrewsbury, Pa.


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