- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2003

Separate but equal entertainment

I fully agree with Jim Miller’s Wednesday letter, “Not Bob Hope’s style,” which denied that Mr. Hope avoided meeting and shaking hands with officers on his United Service Organizations (USO) tours — and I write from experience.

I spent two tours of duty in South Vietnam, my first tour as a photographer. I had the privilege of meeting and photographing Mr. Hope and members of his entourage during a visit to Cam Rahn Bay. When Mr. Hope landed at the base — as was his usual routine when visiting any command center — he was met by the commanding officer. Then Mr. Hope shook hands and traded quips with every officer in the headquarters command, from generals to second lieutenants.

Before Mr. Hope and his entourage arrived at any military base, the commanding officer would be sent a letter in advance giving instructions pertaining to housing, dietary requests and so forth. Included in those instructions was the seating arrangement at the show. All wounded men were placed in the front rows, followed by the enlisted men and finally the officers. Perhaps that is why Saturday’s “Nobles and Knaves” mentioned that he ignored the officers.

It is true that Mr. Hope would sit with the enlisted men when he ate in the mess hall, but later he would entertain at the officers club. In short, Mr. Hope went out of his way to treat every member in the military the same, regardless of rank. He gave respect and received it in return — one mark of a truly great man.

ARLIN MENAGER

Silver Spring, Md.

Buoyant broadband services

A recent article in The Washington Times reported on a study that concludes consumer adoption of broadband is slowing (“Consumers begin to lose interest in high-speed Internet,” Business, May 19). The article may have left the mistaken impression that fewer and fewer people are signing up for broadband services when, in fact, precisely the opposite is true.

In 2002, based on information from our member companies, the number of cable modem subscribers grew by 4.1 million customers, compared to 3.5 million subscribers added in 2001. As a matter of simple math, as the base of customers gets larger, the percentage rate of growth inevitably slows down, even if the same number of new customers is added from year to year. In the case of cable modem service, the absolute number of new customers has continued to increase significantly every year, and there’s no reason to expect this to change.

Continued growth of broadband services depends on three important factors: availability, price and content.

High-speed Internet service is already available to about 85 million U.S. homes from local cable operators, and 12 million of those homes — nearly 15 percent — already subscribe. The price for an always-on, high-speed broadband connection to the Internet is not substantially greater than the combined price of dial-up Internet service and a second phone line. So, consumers have every reason to continue to switch to broadband.

Additionally, compelling content that takes advantage of high-speed Internet access is now widely available, and much more is being created. Whether it’s sports, music, news, movies, education, gaming or other entertainment, broadband content is just beginning to demonstrate its potential.

Each of these factors is a sign that broadband adoption will continue its impressive growth and millions more consumers will begin using broadband in 2003 and beyond. In fact, Jupiter Research projects that 25 million U.S. households will use cable modems, DSL, or other residential broadband providers to connect to the Internet by the end of 2003, reflecting growth of 40 percent this year.

ROB STODDARD

Senior vice president

Communications and public affairs

National Cable & Telecommunications Association

Washington

Philippines are an all-weather friend

I must take strong exception to the May 23 editorial “Christmas in the Philippines.” The state visit of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the White House forged a new paradigm in Philippine-U.S. relations, based on shared values and mutual interests.

Mrs. Arroyo was one of the first Asian leaders who wholeheartedly supported the United States in its fight against terrorism. She also took a politically unpopular stand in the Philippines by participating in the “coalition of the willing” and supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. These are hardly the hallmarks of a fair-weather friend, as your editorial suggests.

President Bush recognizes the political courage of Mrs. Arroyo on issues of security, and he applauds her many economic reform initiatives. He would not have invited Mrs. Arroyo to be the first Asian leader (and just the third national leader) honored with a state visit during his administration if he had any doubts about the strength of the relationship between our countries, which has never been more robust.

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO

Ambassador

Embassy of the Philippines

Washington

Speaking up for Turkey

The May 12 letter “The myth of Turkey” aims to distort Turkey’s record and ignore its accomplishments. Its assertions concerning human rights disregard the facts, while its allegations of genocide misrepresent events during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, when invaders and nationalist movements caused suffering among Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.

The Turkish people are proud of their nation’s tradition of secularism and democracy, which serves as a strong basis for our partnership with the United States. Recent legal and political reforms have put Turkey in good standing for European Union membership.

Turkey and the United States have worked together to bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim world, stabilize the Balkans and the Caucasus, integrate the former Soviet republics of Central Asia into the community of democratic states, bring peace to the Middle East and establish an East-West energy corridor.

Turkey has been particularly active in the war on terrorism, working closely with the United States. Turkey led the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during eight critical months over the past year, enhancing the security environment there as U.S. and coalition forces continued to root out terrorists. In Iraq, Turkey allowed allied forces to use its airspace and its military facilities in case of emergency. Turkey provides logistical support to U.S. forces in Iraq and has a primary role in the transit of humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

In Cyprus, Turkey did not “invade,” but legally intervened, as per the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960, liberating the Turkish Cypriots from the 11-year-long ethnic cleansing campaign of the Greek Cypriots and preventing the realization of Enosis (annexation of Cyprus to Greece). Nor is Turkey occupying the island. Rather, it is playing a vital security role in preventing a repetition of the past. In contrast to the Greek Cypriot destruction of 107 mosques and places of worship throughout the island before 1974, Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries in the north are preserved and protected, as confirmed by relevant international experts.

Turkey remains a strong democracy, a bastion of stability in a volatile region and an ally of the United States.

DENISE SEV

Director of public affairs

Assembly of Turkish American Associations

Washington


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