- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2002

Chinese missiles threaten Sino-U.S. relations

The People's Republic of China's (PRC) determined buildup of coercive missile capabilities and increasingly sophisticated repertoire of "asymmetric warfare" test the long-term U.S. relationship with that country and U.S. strategic posture in the Asia-Pacific region ("Chinese missile has twice the range U.S. anticipated," Nation, yesterday).

The Pentagon's 2002 annual report to Congress correctly points out: "While seeing opportunity and benefit in interactions with the United States Beijing believes that the United States poses a significant long-term challenge. China has adopted an ambivalent if not skeptical attitude toward the U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region."

In this context, China's acquisition of "over-the-horizon" offensive capabilities is aimed at accomplishing two things.

First, it aims to increase the number of credible military options to intimidate or actually attack Taiwan, despite its professed goal of peaceful unification with the island.

Second, it aims to deter possible U.S. intervention, turning the Taiwan Strait into a PRC sphere of influence and denying U.S. freedom of navigation in the Western Pacific.

Either scenario undermines U.S. security interests.

These new developments dictate caution in restoring military exchanges with the PRC.


VINCENT WEI-CHENG WANG

Associate professor of political science

University of Richmond

Richmond

More Asian insecurity

I would like to respectfully disagree with the points raised by Ted Galen Carpenter's column "Needless exposure to risk" (Commentary, Tuesday). According to Japanese news reports, North Korea told U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly that it is not only conducting a uranium-enrichment program, but possesses biological weapons. Termination of U.S. security arrangements in Asia will not insulate the United States from these weapons. The oceans are not protective barriers September 11 was proof enough of that. The United States is a Pacific nation, too.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has admitted to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that North Korea has abducted 13 Japanese citizens, eight of whom died in captivity. It is worth noting that, according to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, three of these abductees were taken while studying or traveling in Europe (one in the United Kingdom, two in Spain). North Korea has thus demonstrated the ability to conduct special operations far outside Northeast Asia. U.S. withdrawal from Asia will not reduce the danger from ballistic missiles and special operations forces, the tools of asymmetric warfare.

Japan is more cognizant of the threat posed by North Korea's weapons of mass destruction, including its now-confirmed nuclear weapons program and associated ballistic missile programs, than many give it credit for. If anything, the development of these weapons is not an argument for unilateral withdrawal, but for accelerated development of an effective ballistic missile defense system.

Japanese defense policy is set by Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which forbids Japan to use force to resolve international disputes and permits only the smallest defense capability needed to ensure Japanese security. Far from "smothering" Japan, it is the United States that has for years urged Japan to increase its own defense capabilities and Japan is doing so. If a war can be deterred and nonviolent solutions found, then everyone wins, including Americans, and I believe that U.S. security arrangements make that more likely.

Finally, as someone who has lived in Japan (albeit as a civilian), in the shadow of the North Korean threat, I am convinced that only by working together with our fellow democracies can we hope to deal with the threat posed by North Korea's weapons of mass destruction.

If we don't deal with this in Asia, at the source, then we will have to deal with it on Main Street USA, just as we did on September 11. I'm sure that none of us wants that.


ANDREW CUMMINGS

Plano, Texas

Israel's conditional 'law of return'

I wish to correct an error in an article about anti-Semitism among Russian immigrants to Israel ("Rise in anti-Semitism prompts call to tighten immigration from Russia," Page 1, Tuesday). The article, which originally appeared in the London Sunday Telegraph, wrongly states that "Israel's law of return grants anyone with one Jewish grandparent the right to settle in Israel and to bring his or her family."

In fact, the Ministry of the Interior refuses to admit persons of Jewish heredity who profess Christianity. This decision has been upheld repeatedly by the Israeli courts.


EUGENE G. WINDCHY

Alexandria

Wither homeland security?

What a day of sadness for our country and victory for our enemies. Those who have sworn to honor and protect our nation have destroyed it with the stroke of a pen ("Senate passes homeland security bill," Page 1, yesterday). "Homeland security," in much the same manner as "gun control," will have an enormous impact on all the law-abiding citizens of our country and no hope of accomplishing the purposes implied in their names.

What did the exclusion clauses say? You know, the places in these bills where the personal and professional liberties of our government elite are protected? Does it bluntly say that government employees are exempt? Does it protect the eavesdroppers from prosecution for misuse of our trust? Exemptions are always there, in every bill, protecting the interests of that very small percentage of our population that works in Washington while careful never to extend the same respect and protection to our interests, our rights.

The Constitution, which laid out guiding principles that have made our nation great, has been shredded and no longer protects us. What a day of sadness for the people of the United States.


GEORGE D. WALTON

Campbell, Calif.

Nevada doctors besieged by lawyers

The Washington Times correctly identifies the need for tort reform in medical malpractice cases ("Tort reform and the new Congress," Editorial, Monday). But private trial lawyers are not the only threat to the health of Nevada's medical profession. The Federal Trade Commission is currently pondering action against the same Clark County OB/GYN Society that has been ravaged by malpractice litigation.

FTC lawyers believe the Clark County doctors are guilty of illegal collective bargaining. Under FTC mandates, doctors are unconstitutionally denied their right to jointly negotiate with insurance companies. The FTC's position exists to artificially maintain the bargaining power of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) over doctors. In this past year alone, the FTC has prosecuted hundreds of doctors for trying to defend themselves against HMOs. In the course of their prosecutions, FTC officials have threatened, harassed and coerced "settlements" out of physicians and their management consultants.

If President Bush is serious about protecting physicians from legal excesses, as Sen. John Ensign, Nevada Republican,claims, then he should start by cracking down on his own taxpayer-financed lawyers working on the FTC staff. The American people have never approved of the FTC's fascist tactics against physicians, and it's about time the White House exercise some supervision over its own bureaucracy.


S.M. OLIVA

President

Citizens for Voluntary Trade

Washington


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