- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 28, 2004

Catching Capone

Congratulations, your editorial “Gaza’s Capone” (Thursday) hit the nail right on the head. This is what the United States and other countries fighting terrorism should do — follow Israel’s reaction to terrorists’ attacks.

One cannot be inert, torpid or diplomatic with terrorists who are set to kill you. Action is what is needed and not lip service, as was revealed in recent hearings before the National Commission on Terroristic Attacks Upon the United States. We have lost many American lives because we were too cautious in adopting new tactics in warfare and took too long to react to terrorism.

Our State Department, in order to pacify the Arab states, is also at fault for our slow reaction to terror. Are we that hungry for oil that we are willing to sacrifice the lives of young Americans and our national pride to placate the oil countries? No faulty diplomatic tactics or procrastinated actions will stop the Islamic jihad or fanatical suicides.

Kudos to Israel, and let it be an example to others of what a small democratic nation can achieve in a relatively short time. It produced cultural and technological developments to benefit the world and showed the way to fight terrorism. The United Nations, which is not our best friend, is under the influence of Arabs and their money. Our politicians should save their energy spent fighting each other and concentrate on fighting terrorism now.

PAUL S. JAFFE

Silver Spring

A counterproductive sideshow

As usual, Tony Blankley didn’t shoot a blank (“Futile finger-pointing.”Op-Ed, Wednesday). I agree, it is fortunate that there was not a Dec. 7 commission to probe whether President Franklin D. Roosevelt could have anticipated Pearl Harbor. What mattered was how FDR and America fought the war.

Likewise, President Bush’s team should not have been diverted even an hour from its engagement in the war against global terrorism. It was counterproductivetohavea sideshow such as we watched on Tuesday and Wednesday. For example: It is too late to make an issue out of the fact that the Clinton administration spurned the Sudanese offer to hand over Osama bin Laden.

The September 11 commission apparently agreed, as there was no questioning of Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser Sandy Berger about the allegation. Historians, however, and not a partisan congressionally mandated committee, will determine just how this policy decision might have affected the security of the nation and Mr. Clinton’s legacy.

WILLIAM H. SMITH

Palm Desert, Calif.

Microsoft mis-hit?

The European Union’s decision to hit Microsoft with a huge fine and draconian penalties (“Microsoft hit,” Business, Thursday) for antitrust violations opens a Pandora’s box of regulation that ought to terrify other U.S. companies.

TheEU’s record fine against Microsoft is particularly troubling, since it punished the companyforactivities permitted under Microsoft’s settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

Today’s regulations are burdensome enough without authorities changing the rules on a whim and then levying massive punishments for violations. U.S. companies must now fear similar unpredictability in future regulatory actions.

Unfortunately, the EU’s ruling doesn’t just harm Microsoft and other U.S. companies. It impacts millions of Americans who work at Microsoft or invest in Microsoft directly or through mutual funds and pension plans.

Mostly it hurts consumers. By burdening Microsoft with additional regulation and the specific promise of careful scrutiny in the future, the EU limits innovation and slows progress.

MARSHALL MANSON

Center for Individual Freedom

Vice President of Public Affairs

Fairfax

You fail to grasp the significance of Microsoft’s strategy of bundling applications with its operating system. Eudora at one point had the best-selling e-mail client for home users, Netscape had the best browser, and Real Player has the best media player (but not for long). These companies were destroyed when Microsoft, rather than competing with them honestly in the marketplace, bundled an inferior substitute with its operating system.

By pursuing such a strategy, Microsoft eliminates any chance a competitor has of earning revenue on its application and being able to compete on a level playing field. Years later, after the competitor has been destroyed, the Microsoft product bundled with the operating system might become as good and stable as the competitor’s product used to be.

The constant viral vulnerabilities exposed in Outlook Express and Internet Explorer are just one negative result of allowing Microsoft to impose applications on a consuming public after destroying any chance anyone else has of making money selling a competing application.

JOHN NEWMAN

Westminster, Colo.

Bridging politics and art

Paul Beston’s fantastic article in Saturday’s paper titled “My unlikely bridge to the right” was in the Arts & Culture section of the paper. This needed to be in a section of the paper where everyone would be sure to read it. I encourage all liberals and conservatives to go to the archives and read this insightful piece. It is a work of art. (Oh, that’s why it is in Arts & Culture … I get it now).

Only a newspaper like The Washington Times would be open-minded and fair enough to print this. Thank you.

ANGIE MAGRUDER

Reston

Will work for food

Lefty John Kerry throws a right hook at President Bush by supporting tax breaks for American companies to stay home and closing tax loopholes for companies overseas (“Kerry promises 10 million jobs,” Page 1, Saturday).

This is a brilliant political move, which appeals to most patriotic Americans. Meanwhile, the White House continues to defend outsourcing as being good for Americans, a position which only appeals to the investor class. And if the stock market continues to decline, even those voters will become disenchanted.

Mr. Bush needs to quickly reverse his flawed libertarian economic policies and present his own patriotic initiatives to keep businesses and jobs in America. He should go to the right of Mr. Kerrybyproviding”even more” tax breaks for American companies to stay home, while agreeing to close the tax loopholes of those abroad. In addition, he should propose eliminating many of the onerous and costly regulations on American-based companies. By doing this and emphasizing his opposition to tax increases for small businesses, he could reclaim his conservative credentials.

Now if Mr. Bush would also end importing foreigners to undercut American workers and get serious about securing our borders, he would regain the trust of patriotic Americans and win overwhelmingly in 2004.

LOU VENTICINQUE

Jamison, Pa.

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