- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What’s China up to?

The article “U.S. calls new China law on Taiwan ‘unhelpful’ ” Nation, March 9) and the editorial “China’s paper dragons” (Monday) both raise the question “Why now?” Why cause waves now? The Chinese economy finally is undergoing the growth it needs to raise its masses out of poverty, so why upset the apple cart? Possibly because now is the opportune time for China to prepare for forced reunification with Taiwan by year’s end.

The United States was revealed to be a powerful nation with feet of clay by Osama bin Laden with his September 11 attacks. Nineteen men put us on the brink of an economic depression, and we have used up our economic reserves to recover from the effects of those 19 men.

Our Army is overextended in Iraq and Korea, and U.S. land forces will not be coming to Taiwan’s aid anytime soon. Could our Navy protect Taiwan from a Chinese invasion? Yes — if we don’t lose too many aircraft carriers too quickly and North Korea doesn’t mobilize on the 38th parallel. (Then we would have to have a couple of our precious carriers guard South Korea’s flank from North Korea, further reducing our resources to defend Taiwan.)

But will we even try? What if our economy goes south because of rapidly rising interest rates and massive defaults on home mortgages? The Federal Reserve has no intention of raising rates rapidly, but what if the 10 percent of our national debt that is owned by the Chinese were dumped on the world market tomorrow? Would we need to raise interest rates rapidly so the rest of the world would finance our deficit spending?

What if trade with China ended and we couldn’t get cheap consumer goods for a few years? In a matter of months, we would be in the depression predicted by Stephen Roach at Morgan Stanley, and our attention would be focused on the economic situation at home as opposed to saving Taiwan.

There would be no political stomach in the United States for wasting our multibillion-dollar carriers in what would be sold by the liberal media as an “internal struggle” and “civil war.”

Of course, China would suffer an economic disaster as well, and that would cause extreme suffering for a huge mass of people.

The problem is that the ruling class of the People’s Republic of China could not care less about the welfare of its population. It has shown a criminal neglect of its people for 50 years. Its past behavior is a predictor of future results.

JOHN DONOVAN

Alexandria

‘3Rs’ — not sex education — needed

I wonder if the placement of the article “Schools chosen for sex course in Montgomery” (Page 1, March 5) was to bring it to everyone’s attention or to emphasize the importance of the subject.

It got my attention, and I object to the sex course in the strongest terms. Sex education is the responsiblility of mom and dad. Schools are supposed to teach the “three Rs.”

For some reason, a citizens advisory committee is pushing this course. Citizens for Responsible Curriculum is against the course. The 20 or so people on the advisory committee are not elected; the school board that unanimously approved the curriculum is elected, and its members will have to explain their reasons at the next election.

I, for one, will do everything in my power to vote them out of office. When our students are falling behind other nations’ students, it’s because of a lack of quality education. When we can’t mention God in school or in our pledge of allegiance or point a finger at someone, but it’s OK to teach students how to put a condom on a cucumber, there’s a problem.

JOE ABOSSO

Potomac

English as a first language

Your special report “Emphasis on English” (Page 1, Sunday) quotes Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, Maryland Democrat, describing Maryland’s official-English bill as an “offensive and harmful proposal.” I would like to ask Miss Gutierrez if she also finds it offensive and harmful that more than 170 of the United Nations’ 191 member countries, including Mexico, have official languages?

Public-opinion surveys indicate that Miss Gutierrez’s opinions do not reflect the views of immigrants, who overwhelmingly agree that new immigrants should be expected to learn English.

Notwithstanding Miss Gutierrez’s opinion, Americans should never apologize for insisting that new immigrants learn English and assimilate into our culture.

That’s the price, eagerly paid by generations of immigrants before, for the priceless privilege of coming to the greatest country in the world.

K.C. MCALPIN

Executive director

ProEnglish

Arlington

Mean-spirited feminists

I share Jonathan Turley’s outrage about Susan Estrich’s personal attacks on Michael Kinsley (“Estrich’s vicious attack,” Op-Ed, Monday). Indeed, she spreads a common, ignorant stereotype about Parkinson’s disease.

She embodies a brand of emotional and intellectual dysfunction that appears to manifest itself primarily in liberals and leftists: One, they perpetually complain about what they don’t have. Two, they always cast themselves as victims. Three, they rarely, if ever, present a rationally cogent and succinct case about anything.

I think Miss Estrich’s shrillness and pettiness also demonstrate the state of American feminists. They are a humorless, thin-skinned, intolerant, nagging, politically correct swarm.

They seem to live to do only one thing: humiliate men, as well as women who disagree with them, and be as offensive and vicious as possible in that effort, all the while playing the injured party.

C. KENNA AMOS JR.

Princeton, W.Va.

Hughes a fine choice

Congratulations to President Bush for nominating a trusted adviser, Karen Hughes, to lead his public diplomacy efforts (“Bush tabs Hughes for State post” World, yesterday).

The president clearly understands the grave threat to U.S. security posed by growing public sympathy and support for anti-American terrorists.

The challenge for Mrs. Hughes is not merely improving U.S. public-relations efforts. Indeed, as the Heritage Foundation’s Helle Dale recently noted (“Opinion of U.S. on the rise,” Op-Ed, March 9), it is clear that U.S. actions matter.

In a poll we recently commissioned in Indonesia, American tsunami relief efforts were shown to have led to a dramatic drop in support for Osama bin Laden. Through ongoing polling, focus groups and dialogue in foreign countries, the United States needs to identify additional actions it can take to further weaken the global terrorist support base throughout the Muslim world.

KEN BALLEN

President

Terror Free Tomorrow

Bethesda

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