- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

ChiComs get bum rap on Tibet

A.M. Rosenthal’s article, “Pleading in isolation,” (Commentary, Sept. 29) is an excellent example of what the Dalai Lama has achieved in convincing many in the media that he is the issue between Tibet and China. But he is not, and problems will be solved in spite of him and without him.

Where is the evidence that the Dalai Lama is a refugee? He voluntarily left the Potala Palace in Tibet and went to India.

The historical record shows that Tibet was a part of China when the Mongols conquered and ruled China from 1279 to 1368; under Manchu control in the 18th century; and under Chinese rule from 1644-1911. It almost vanished from 1912 to 1949; and then was declared an autonomous region of China in 1965.

The question is whether the Tibetan people should be kept in a system of illiteracy and feudal theocracy.

There is no doubt that the Dalai Lama “is a man of good soul, kindness, bravery, and even good humor.” Mr. Rosenthal reports that the Dalai Lama has offered the Chinese a “third way.” Who can imagine that his wish to stop “waves of Chinese” from entering Tibet will be supported, while freedom of movement, subject to reasonable visa requirements, is generally approved internationally?

But “freedom of religion, culture and ‘linguistic identity’” will be no problem for the Chinese, now that communism is dying in China as a result of its inherent faults. Buddhism has flourished in China over the centuries since its introduction from India in the first century, and now a tremendous resurgence is reported. Evidence of this is seen in the fact that the Chinese are rebuilding many of the historic monasteries that the Red Guards destroyed in Tibet during the Cultural Revolution. Art and learning have been promoted by the Buddhists throughout the centuries, and evidence of this is seen all over China; there is no evidence that they are now being suppressed anywhere.

Mr. Rosenthal may yet see the Dalai Lama, without ceremony and without his former authority over all things Tibetan, return to the Potala, while the Chinese continue to build roads, schools, clinics and hydroelectric power plants in Tibet, with living standards of the Tibetans continuing to rise and Buddhism continuing unrestricted.

RUTH L. ROETTINGER

Chevy Chase

To tell the truth

Neither Guy Taylor’s article “U.S. appeals Moussaoui ruling” (Nation, Wednesday) nor other recent articles and Op-Ed columns that I have seen deal with the veracity of testimony that might be obtained from the senior al Qaeda operatives Moussaoui’s defense lawyers want to interrogate in court.

Why are journalists ignoring the obvious? Members of al Qaeda are openly contemptuous of the U.S. justice system and practically everything else in this country. They are determined to destroy America and everything for which it stands. Does anyone honestly believe they would take seriously the oath administered to witnesses and then speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, especially when the well-being of another member of al Qaeda is at stake? That notion, which is the basis for Judge Leonie Brinkema’s previous ruling, is preposterous.

PHIL EDMUNDS

Boalsburg, Pa.

Rush Limbaugh’s addiction

Rush Limbaugh admitted he’s addicted to pain-killing drugs, and checked himself into a drug rehab center. Big deal. Only after somebody else “outed” him did he admit his problem to his audience. It’s kind of reminiscent of Bill Bennett, Bill Clinton, et al, who get caught and have no choice except to confess.

But the real issue here is not whether Mr. Limbaugh is addicted to a medicinal drug. The real issue is whether he purchased the drug legally with a prescription from a licensed pharmacy. The story that broke last week indicated he illegally obtained the drug in humonguous quantities from a drug bootlegger who was his former domestic employee. Mr. Liclean with the public, made no reference to his alleged criminal behavior.

My question is this: Had somebody else not reported him to the authorities, would he ever have revealed the truth, or would he have remained in denial indefinitely? Today, we witness many convicted criminals expressing remorse for their wrongful acts, and apologizing to their victims — or their victim’s families. Yet, the demeanor of the confessors belies the fact that their only real regret is that they got caught. I detect the presence of egg on Mr. Limbaugh’s face. He has lost all credibility with me.

WARREN WILSON

Kirkland, Wash.

I am not a Rush Limbaugh fan, but I hope he ovemes his addiction to pallers. When he comes back to radio, I hope his addiction experience will have made him more compassionate and empathetic.

When rock singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994, I remember Mr. Limbaugh saying Mr. Cobain was “a worthless shred of human debris.” Mr. Limbaugh said he had no sympathy for someone who commits suicide. Depression is the leading cause of suicide, and countless numbers of people from all walks of life suffer from its mental anguish.

I cannot imagine a person who has been severely depressed ever saying he/she has no sympathy for someone who committed suicide. America looks forward to seeing how Mr. Limbaugh’s addiction experience changes his life.

PAUL L. WHITELEY SR.

Louisville, Ky.

Limiting lawyers’ role

Kudos to Liz O. Baylen for her powerful photograph in Tuesday’s paper (Nation) of James Renwick Manship playing a larger-than-life George Washington, the father of his country, looking down on the Supreme Court.

George Washington nominated the first men to serve our nation on the high court. He also set a high standard for all future presidents, and set the precedent for a two-term limit, which, after Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four terms in office, Americans wisely wrote into our Constitution by the 22nd Amendment.

The photo’s caption, “The Ten Commandments are the foundation stone of all our laws,” conveys concisely the common sense of George Washington. These wise words are clear and straightforward. They are virtues desperately needed in the Supreme Court and in all courts in America today.

Nothing in the Constitution requires federal court justices and judges to be lawyers. How many honest Americans believe lawyers have a monopoly on understanding principles of truth, justice and the American way? Or that only lawyers can fairly judge the facts and the laws?

President Bush should nominate non-lawyers to be federal court judges who honor the Founding Fathers’ intent for our constitution. That would accomplish the goal of court reform better than any other action the president might take.

RONALD WILCOX

Fairfax

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