- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shouldn’t throw stones

Very interesting. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finds it “troubling” that she had to wait a day before learning about Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident in Texas (“Democrats accuse Cheney, Bush of ‘troubling’ secrecy” Nation, yesterday).

It seems it was well more than a day before her husband confessed to the nation his Oval Office indiscretion and two years before the junior senator from New York’s Rose law firm billing records, sought under subpoena, could be located — in the White House residence.

What is it about people who live in glass houses?

W.H. SMITH

Palm Desert, Calif.

Inconsistent on the border

President Bush had the courage to send 150,000 troops half a world away to save the Iraqis from a life of oppression, torture and misery, and more than 2,000 brave Americans have died on their soil. Yet neither the president nor Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has the integrity to seal off the southern border of the United States by enforcing the law to save the middle class in the heartland from a life of oppression because of underemployment (after losing their blue-collar jobs) and jeopardy to their children’s financial security to pay for Mexico’s invading hordes (“Minutemen rally against illegals,” Metropolitan, Feb. 9).

Mr. Bush’s flippancy in using words such as “vigilante” and “prohibition” in referring to those who are tired of the above is not exactly a subtle clue that he is totally out of touch with the American electorate, though not the Mexican.

GREGORY GOFF

Falls Church

Population decline more than the numbers

Steve Chapman discounts the population implosion that is occurring in Europe (” ‘Demographic suicide’ in Europe?” Commentary, yesterday), but he is just looking at numbers in a very superficial fashion. The issue is not absolute numbers or numbers at all. The issue is the nature of man and how that nature usually corrupts itself.

Never in the history of the world have we seen what we will see in Europe over the next few decades. The number of elderly in comparison to the working population will skew ancient practices of family life and put incredible pressures upon European cultures. Also, the breakdown of long-held moral tenets without any adequate replacement cannot help but increase these cultural tensions.

We all love to have independence and choice, but quite often such independence and choice do not lead to caring, but to selfishness. Also, one should not assume that the economic engine will make selfishness and its miserable consequences go away. Twentieth-century history tells us that the world has a bad record in being blinded to the unintended consequences of perceived rational progress.

Such dreams can never measure hatred within the human heart. Numbers tell none of this story, and thus no one should predict the future in such a complacent manner.

Is it not always wiser to see the potential problems and act otherwise before it is too late? Neither Europe nor America should get complacent about its future.

Rational numbers and ideas alone may not solve our issues as we wish they would. Despite all progress and performance, we still have to try to be good people. Goodwill or its lack thereof will answer the question Mr. Chapman posits. It will not be numbers alone.

ANDREW MCCARTHY

Leesburg, Va.

Status quo in the Taiwan Strait

Remarks made by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian last month about the possible scrapping of my country’s National Unification Council (NUC) and the Guidelines for National Unification have been read as a provocation against the People’s Republic of China and a unilateral step to changing the status quo in the Taiwan Strait (“Taiwan to-do,” Embassy Row, Friday).

Let me first say that a firm decision has yet to be made over the matter, and that the Taiwanese government is acutely aware of the sensitivity of the situation and, regardless of the final outcome of the National Security Council’s deliberations, will endeavor to maintain peace in the strait.

Many of the criticisms leveled at Mr. Chen’s remarks claim they violate the “Five Nos” enumerated in his 2000 inaugural speech, in which he promised not to carry out any unilateral changes to the status quo. However, the critics seem to have forgotten that the Five Nos were predicated on China’s renunciation of the use of force against Taiwan. Also forgotten are the many peaceful overtures Taiwan has made across the strait over the years, all of which have been ignored by China.

Needless to say, the more than 800 missiles China has aimed at Taiwan, its so-called Anti-Secession Law, and its diplomatic suppression of my country represent a clear and present threat to Taiwan and its freedoms, not to mention the very status quo we endeavor to maintain.

DAVID TAWEI LEE

Representative

Taipei Economic and

Cultural Representative Office

Washington

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