- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 5, 2006

Troubled Chinese communists

The wave of resignations from the Chinese Communist Party that high-profile asylum-seeker Jia Jia speaks of appears to be real, but some clarification is needed.

As mentioned in the article “Chinese defector finds no asylum” (Nation, Wednesday) as many as 14 million Chinese have left the party and its affiliated organizations. This figure has been obtained primarily through postings to the Epoch Times Web site from distinct Internet addresses in China and through calls from China to special centers abroad.

The figure is not, however, solely derived from the pool of reportedly 78 million Communist Party members. Many who post resignation statements are not current members. Instead, they are renouncing their affiliation with all party organizations, including the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneer League.

In other words, the 14 million renunciations are from a pool that includes all Chinese people. If this figure appears less impressive, it is helpful to keep two points in mind. First, the renunciation movement, sparked by the 2004 publication of “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” continues at a pace of roughly 20,000 people per day. By comparison, a total of approximately 1,000 people resigned following the June 4, 1989, massacre in Beijing.

Second, many Chinese reportedly want to withdraw their support for the party but are either afraid or lack the skills to maneuver around the Great Firewall.

As for Mr. Jia’s fate, concerned readers will be relieved to know he is now in Thailand. His situation, nonetheless, remains precarious.

JOHN NANIA

Editor in Chief

The Epoch Times

New York

What motivates our enemies?

Terrorists and Western civilization have a frame of reference problem. John B. Roberts II has it wrong in Friday’s Op-Ed, “Deterrence needed.” Terrorists are not necessarily “irrational,” even if game theory accounts for “non-rational actors.” Their rationale is just different than that of the West.

For example, suicide bombers are motivated by the “promise” of heavenly rewards after their “noble” deaths. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is anticipating a glorious Armageddon by developing nuclear weapons and putting his people at risk of “assured destruction,” hastening the advent of paradise. Moreover, the use of “human shields” by Islamofascists hinges on our rationality in confronting their irrationality.

Then there’s North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, another wildly irrational actor. For example, if he cared about his people’s welfare, he wouldn’t allow them to starve while he and his elite cohorts eat caviar.

North Korea and Iran are better poker players than we are. They are willing to “bluff” to the ultimate, which is to say they appear to bluff but actually might carry out their threats. They are master players of the game of “chicken” wherein, as modeled in game theory, they “signal” us by tying the car’s steering wheel down straight and jumping in the back seat, recognizing that because we care about every life — including theirs — we will jump first and they will die gloriously, plunging over the cliff.

ONA BUNCE

Bethesda

Obscenity, pornography and human misery

Oct. 29 through Nov. 5 was White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) week, sponsored by Morality in the Media, an organization working to combat pornography. Back in the 1960s, as chairman of its Greater New York Committee, I arranged for Billy Graham to receive our first award for his contribution to truth, taste, inspiration and love in the media, presented to him at Madison Square Garden.

Pornography, which is steeped in lust, is like a giant octopus spreading its feelers into every area of our culture — television, movies, publishing, advertising, fashion and the Internet.

Who can measure the hurt when precious children are kidnapped, raped and murdered? Who can measure the hurt when criminals assault women who are old enough to be their mothers and grandmothers?

We are faced with the constant dangling of the female form, in various stages of undress, as bait before the public eye, luring and tempting the vulnerable. News reports cannot capture the agony — the torment — of victims as those reports go on to the next item on their agenda, leaving behind broken bodies, broken spirits and broken hearts.

The American people must stop being intimidated by those who indulge in and defend this moral cancer using the First Amendment as its smokescreen.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. There are existing federal obscenity laws and the public must press for their enforcement. Contacting local and state legislators expressing concern is effective.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Unless good people in our communities take action, we will face more and more horrifying crimes.

DIANA RONALD-SZABO

Asheville, N.C.

Don’t slight Anne Arundel County

It’s no secret that the Washington Capitals’ training facility in Piney Orchard was old and needed to be replaced, but comments made by Olie Kolzig in the article about the new facility really struck a nerve with me (“Capitals show off Iceplex,” Sports, Thursday). Here is a direct quote from that article:

“It’s a little more vibrant on this side of the Beltway and closer to D.C. … There are a lot of things that attract free agents — money being first and foremost — but next to that it’s the community, whether it’s a place to raise a family and the training facility. D.C. is a very underrated city. This being closer to the city than our other facility was will have a great effect.”

Now I was born and raised — and still live in — Anne Arundel County and I can assure you it’s a fine place to raise kids. Anne Arundel County is a fine community, and it would be nice to read about how we supported the Caps while the training facility was located here, instead of hearing how big a hassle it was to get here and also how the area isn’t “vibrant” and not a great community in which to raise a family.

I am a Caps fan — I have been for a long time — and I believe that Caps goaltender didn’t mean to cast Anne Arundel County the way he did. I would just like the Caps to express a little more appreciation for what Anne Arundel County provided the team while their training facility was located here. I’m sure the Caps consider all of the surrounding areas an important fan base, but it is comments like this that make it sound like the Caps consider Northern Virginia as their only significant fan base.

JEFF OGLE

Edgewater, Md.

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