- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 4, 2003

Problematic prophylactics The letter from Family Care International’s Cynthia Eyakuze-Di Domenico (“More on the ABCs,” yesterday) epitomizes the nature of the problem with those who advocate the use of condoms. She declares, “It’s time to put both politics and ideology aside and provide Africa’s youth with the information, services and condoms that can save their lives and our continent’s future.” Yet her invective itself is both political and ideological. Her assertion is self-contradictory.What this position advocates is the pursuit of promiscuous sex, and it encourages self-indulgence and irresponsibility. It proposes that people should be free to do as they please without regard to the consequences. Such a mentality is steeped in immaturity and adolescence.The very contention that condoms can prevent a person from contracting HIV is flawed. In lab testing, they are only 80 percent effective at preventing pregnancies. That is because condoms are porous, and at times even sperm that is 10 microns wide can and will slip through the holes, which are 5 microns wide. The HIV virus, on the other hand, is only 1 micron wide. No condom on earth can prevent its transmission. The reason the virus has not exploded into a far greater epidemic is because it must be introduced directly into the bloodstream, which is easier to do via sodomy than natural sex.Condoms also are inadequate to prevent the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases. Many of those merely require contact between the general regions of the sexual organs, which condoms fail to shield.Abstinence engenders the qualities of self-respect, self-control and reproductive responsibility as well as respect for and responsibility toward others. Sexual relations entail not only a physical union, but also emotional and psychological ones, if not also a spiritual bond. To indulge in sex without the commitment of a permanent union damages both people.Permanent commitment is another facet of maturity that many people would rather not accept. They ridicule it as passe because it is at odds with the immature pursuit of self-indulgence.If Mrs. Eyakuze-Di Domenico truly wants to save lives, she might consider advising people to refrain from putting their lives at risk in the first place.DAN LOVEViennaFranks’ accusers full of beansYesterday’s editorial “Targeting Tommy Franks,” while correct about the idiocy and moral myopia of the Belgian law claiming universal moral authority and jurisdiction, is mistaken on one point. The legal concept of “command responsibility” for military commanders for war crimes committed by their subordinates is well-grounded in international law. The editorial correctly describes the wisdom of the United States refusing to be a party to the farce of the so-called International Criminal Court. That the chief military liberator of 25 million long-suffering Iraqis should be considered criminal for the minute level of civilian casualties incurred is unreasonable. This is particularly true in light of the massively higher number of Iraqi civilian casualties directly caused by the regime’s deliberate actions.With intensive planning and occasional actions that risked the lives of our own troops, the United States and our allies minimized civilian casualties caused by us. This contrasts starkly with the Iraqi regime’s equally intensive planning and actions, deliberately causing the deaths of thousands of civilians, using them as human shields, locating forces adjacent to civilian homes, hospitals and mosques, etc.Command responsibility is the primary legal principle under which the United States convicted and executed Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese military governor of the Philippines at the end of World War II. Yamashita was not found guilty of personally ordering, or even personally knowing of any specific atrocities. The court found that as the commander of Japanese forces occupying the Philippines, he was legally responsible for preventing atrocities against Filipino civilians and Allied prisoners of war in the Philippines. The court’s guilty verdict was based on his failure to do so, making him legally responsible for their occurrence. He was hanged in 1946 for these crimes.Gen. Franks should be decorated for his distinguished service to both the American and Iraqi people.DAVID J. CROOKCoatesville, Penn.A Daly problemI read Dan Daly’s column on Iowa State basketball coach Larry Eustachy in the spirit it was intended and agreed with his observations right up to the end (“Give the man a break,” Sports, Thursday). This is where Mr. Daly suggests Eustachy has a “drinking problem.” Wow, having a few beers at postgame parties with college students translates into having a drinking problem? I consider myself to be a fairly moderate drinker, but under the Daly scale, I must be another Dean Martin. Unless I missed a part of the story where Eustachy was drinking from the keg, or doing upside-down shooters, I’d say it’s a bit unfair to characterize him as having a drinking problem. A judgment problem, absolutely. A drinking problem, let’s hope not. DAMIAN P. HILLAlexandriaSetting the record straightAn item in the April 18 Embassy Row column (“Population award,” Nation) implies, perhaps unwittingly, that I support forced abortion or coerced sterilization in China’s family planning program. I do not. I support the internationally recognized human right of individuals — not governments — to determine the size and spacing of their families.Not once in the 30 years I have been speaking and writing on population issues can anyone point to a single incidence where I have expressed support for China’s one-child family policy. I am categorically opposed to force and coercion in China or anywhere else. Furthermore, neither I nor the Population Institute consider abortion to be a means of family planning, but rather a procedure to which all too many women are forced to resort when they lack access to or knowledge of family planning — the first line of defense against abortion.I have never opposed President Bush’s withholding of funds to support abortion, but I vehemently oppose his denial of funds for family planning. This is precisely what he has done in refusing to release the $34 million congressional appropriation for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) this year on grounds that the agency supports or participates in force and coercion in China’s family planning program. Mr. Bush’s action came despite three investigations, including one by his own handpicked team, that concluded that UNFPA is, in fact, the best hope for ensuring volunteerism in the Chinese program.An estimated 400 million women worldwide want and need to determine how many children they will have and when they will have them but lack access to family planning information, education and means. Denial of such access amounts to senseless and unconscionable assurance that more and more of these women will resort to abortion, not abstinence.WERNER FORNOSPresidentPopulation InstituteWashington

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