- The Washington Times - Monday, July 24, 2006

What Lebanon must do

If the Lebanese government is worthy of the recognition due to a sovereign state, it’s absurd that the terrorist political group Hezbollah is permitted by the Lebanese government to run rampant in southern Lebanon with Iranian-donated offensive weapons, attacking the neighboring state of Israel, predictably provoking Israeli counterattacks that will affect all Lebanese (“Israel pounds Hezbollah,” Page 1, yesterday).

Hezbollah claims that it is the true protector of the people of Lebanon, and some evacuated Lebanese-Americans paradoxically echo this claim. However, in pursuit of its own terrorist ambitions, Hezbollah is essentially using all of the Lebanese people as human shields, while the Lebanese government keeps its official military idle.

If Lebanon desires world recognition as a sovereign state and expects world support against responsive Israeli incursions seeking Hezbollah on its territory, it must assume the responsibility of a true state by disarming or controlling armed groups within its borders. Does anybody remember the Taliban’s fate after it continued to harbor al Qaeda after al Qaeda attacked the U.S.?

JONATHAN NOEL

St. John’s, Newfoundland

China-U.S. relations

William Triplett’s article “Gaps at the G-8 Gates?” (Commentary, July 13) and his accusation that China is “the world’s leading proliferator” of weapons of mass destruction is groundless and misleading. The author lacks basic understanding of China’s position on nonproliferation, and his opinion does not serve the general interests of China-U.S. relations.

China has always resolutely opposed the proliferation of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. China does not support, encourage or assist any country to develop WMD and their means of delivery. Over the years, China has participated extensively in the construction of the multilateral nonproliferation regime and actively promoted its constant improvement and development. To date, China has signed all international treaties related to nonproliferation and established a complete system for the export control of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile weapons and other sensitive items and technologies. This system is based on a host of export control regulations and related control lists in line with the prevailing export control methods and world principles.

On the question of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China’s position has been consistent and clear — namely, committing to building a nuclear-weapon-free Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability there and resolving the issue of the DPRK nuclear program through peaceful means. The constructive role that China plays in the Six-Party Talks is also known to all.

China is deeply concerned over the latest complication in the situation on the Korean Peninsula and opposes any action that may further exacerbate the already complicated and intense situation. Calling on the various parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, China continues to commit to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and stands for peaceful resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiation. Participating in the U.N. Security Council consultations with a responsible and constructive attitude, China has made enormous efforts to seek an appropriate solution to the issue.

On July 16, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the DPRK missile test. It is the hope of China that the various parties concerned will take this opportunity and work together to create the conditions to resume the process of the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible and safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in northeast Asia. This is the desire of the entire international community. This is the right direction that every concerned party should work toward.

While China is vigorously working together with its partners, including the U.S., to promote the solution of the issue through diplomatic means, one cannot help but question Mr. Triplett’s motive in turning a blind eye to such efforts. Bilaterally, China-U.S. relations serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and bring tangible benefits to their peoples. In international affairs, China and the U.S. are not only responsible stakeholders but also constructive partners in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world. The meeting between President Hu Jintao and President George W. Bush over the weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia, proved once again how closely China and the U.S. are cooperating and coordinating on issues of global and strategic significance.

Cooperation between China and the U.S. has changed how we look at each other, how we live and what we expect from the future. And cooperation is here to stay.

CHU MAOMING

Press Counselor and Spokesman

Embassy of China

Washington

Neo-cons and economic policy

James Glassman’s “Illogical special trade deals” (Commentary, yesterday) illustrates how the pursuit of empire and mercantilism corrodes and corrupts us. Contending that it is time to reserve free trade just for those nations that “truly deserve it,” even free-market champion Mr. Glassman calls upon our representatives to make trade a bludgeon for Empire America to hit over the head any foreign nations that “misbehaved” until they submit to our wishes. That’s not free trade; it’s foolish hubris.

Mr. Glassman should take to heart what George Washington said about trade in his farewell address: “Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing.”

The best course of action would be to scrap the entire edifice of trade restrictions that are on the books and eliminate all tariffs or, alternatively, institute a universal, comprehensive, low-rate revenue tariff. The neo-conservatives have totally bollixed up America’s foreign policy. The last thing we need is to turn economic policy over to them.

LAWRENCE A. HUNTER

Senior fellow

Institute for Policy Innovation

Warrenton, Va.

Standing up for Jim Webb

In the wake of the first debate between James H. Webb Jr. and Sen. George Allen, which occurred on Friday, one of Mr. Allen’s campaign aides is quoted in Seth McLaughlin’s “Iraq heats Virginia campaign” (Page 1, Saturday). The quote, “James Webb has been a movie producer and author for the past 20 years — other than a short stint in the Reagan administration,” infers that Mr. Webb’s time as a Pentagon official was short-lived; this implies that he is a national security dilettante.

In actuality, Mr. Webb served four years as a senior Pentagon official. Three of them were as assistant secretary of defense for Reserve affairs. During his time there, he was very effective, and several of the reforms he initiated are assisting the increasingly large role of the National Guard and Reserves in the global war on terror. Mr. Webb’s tenure as secretary of the Navy was cut short because of his resignation in protest over a matter of principle regarding the policies of then-Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci.

I am a Republican, and I think Mr. Allen has been a good representative of our state. Mr. Webb is perfectly capable of defending himself, but he is also an old friend and comrade. I dislike seeing his service to the nation misrepresented in any way.

GARY ANDERSON

Stafford, Va.


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