- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Defeating the Taliban

In his article, “British pullouts hamper projects,” (World, Monday), Toby Harnden reported that in Helmand province, Afghanistan, only four out of more than 20 British civilian reconstruction posts supporting the ongoing military efforts in the region are filled.

It is extremely troubling to continually hear about military personnel risking their lives, only to see their victories squandered by the lack of or inconsistent reconstruction efforts. In order to win in Afghanistan, it is necessary to have a reconstruction effort that is a mix of both military and civilian personnel.

Additionally, as farmers in Afghanistan continue to be susceptible to the growing of poppy, efforts to wipe out the Taliban by just military means will prove fruitless.

A democratically viable government cannot exist inside of a drug state. Unless reconstruction officials aid these farmers, world efforts to defeat the Taliban will prove meaningless.

Furthermore, as long as coalition reconstruction officials stay in Kabul instead of deploying to the areas in need of reconstruction, military efforts in Afghanistan will accomplish nothing. The best way to defeat the Taliban is to feed, heal, employ and educate those who are susceptible to their message.

Until coalition personnel physically and continually go into the countryside to aid the people, there will be no way to defeat the Taliban.

CHASE G. BODE

Research assistant

National Defense Council Foundation

Alexandria

Scientific misrepresentative

The editorial related to a letter sent by the Royal Society to Esso UK Ltd (“Flunking Science 101,” Thursday) grossly misrepresented the Royal Society’s position on climate change. In fact, the article neglected to state the reason for issuing the letter, namely the society’s objection to the misrepresentation of the science on climate change.

I would like to clarify that the Royal Society has never stated that the science of global warming is “settled.” The society recognizes that there are uncertainties in the science and has called for global investment for further research into climate change. However, we believe the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action,

We would also like to strongly refute the assertion that we have asked Exxon Mobil to stop supporting studies “that might reveal that the current warming is due to natural causes …” The society’s letter asked for “clarification on which organizations, known to be misrepresenting the scientific evidence for climate change, will no longer be receiving funding from Exxon Mobil.”

The Royal Society, as the UK’s national academy of science, has a responsibility to speak out when scientific evidence, whether it be on climate change or any other scientific issue of broad concern, is being misrepresented. The Royal Society will therefore continue to ensure that science is properly represented by all parties to the public and policy-makers.

MARTIN REES

President

The Royal Society

London

Cardin and abortion

Thank you for your editorial, “Who is Ben Cardin?” (Oct. 4) listing the votes of senatorial candidate Benjamin Cardin, Maryland Democrat, and pointing out his weak positions on the war on terror and his pro-abortion positions.

His votes in the House of Representatives on terrorism show that to protect Americans from terror we must vote Republican. His pro-abortion votes against notifying parents of their minor daughters’ abortions, including four votes in the current session, indicate he favors giving cover to minors over the rights of parents.

There is much hoopla about Rep. Mark Foley’s instant messages, but there is almost nothing said about legislators like Mr. Cardin who abet the epidemic of sexual predators to boost abortion providers’ profits. The cover-up of statutory rape, as shown by a Life Dynamics survey, is routine in most of 800 abortion facilities. Since no abortion provider has sued Life Dynamics in over three years since the information was released, they must be authentic.

Abortion providers litigate rather than surrender their abortion records to law-enforcement officials, as exemplified by Planned Parenthood’s refusal to hand over records, but some records have been released in Kansas and the child rapists are being prosecuted.

Mr. Cardin’s votes against parents and children and for abortion providers are unconscionable.

FRANCOIS L. QUINSON

Gaithersburg

Dems point in wrong direction

Dictators welcome economic sanctions and blockades. The imposition allows the leader to justify economic failures and further enslave their countries through increased repression portrayed as a defense against a sundry of usually exaggerated or invented threats.

I guess those suggesting these kinds of sanctions for North Korea expect them to be as effective in removing a dictator through peaceful means as they were when used against Saddam Hussein or Fidel Castro, for example. The result? Absolutely no effect (“North Korea tests nuke,” Page 1, Monday).

The only case one can argue in which economic sanctions were partially successful was in South Africa during the apartheid era, although it is hardly an equivalent example to the others, as it was the most prosperous African country interdependent on international trade.

A man who already wastes 90 percent of his country’s revenues on weapons is going to care very little for economic sanctions and the black marketers of the world are salivating in anticipation of monies to be made.

Ironically economic sanctions will force Kim Jong-il to deal exclusively with outlawed international organizations like al Qaeda. I’m so glad to know the world is in the hands of the United Nations, an organization committed to the appeasement of this manic dictator — in the name of peaceful coexistence, of course.

The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations has said that North Korea should be congratulated “instead of passing useless resolutions or statements.” I couldn’t have described the nature of sanctions better myself. And now the Democrats, who agreed to feed the folks in North Korea while this obviously smart negotiator continued his arms race, are accusing the Bush administration of failure. Go figure.

COL. ANGEL D. ORTIZ

Air Force (retired)

Seville, Spain

In bad company

The article “Law targets Russian music-sharing site,” (Business, Oct. 2) shows once again the misplaced priorities of business interests.

To urge the Russian governmenttoshutdown Allofmp3.com as a condition to supporting its ascension to the World Trade Organization demonstrates a myopic view of international trade.

If shutting down a legal business is the hurdle Russia must clear, our government risks making the same mistake it did when it supported China’s entry into the WTO.

It is clear that the Recording Industry Association of America is using its political clout to push its business agenda. Indeed, the RIAA has been using our government as a foil to do what it hasn’t been willing to do — negotiate royalty payments with licensing agents in Russia and the companies that sell music over the Internet.

For the recording industry to use the government as a tool in its campaign to protect its cartel status is an unconscionable act that would make many Washington lobbyists blush.

Furthermore, the big record companies should tackle piracy. The peer-to-peer networks are the real threat to their bank accounts. Allofmp3.com has paid royalties to a licensing agent in Russia. The record companies only have to arrange for the royalty payments to be transferred to them, but they have refused to do so. Why? Because, as befitting the international syndicate they are, they are trying to extract additional money out of Allofmp3.com and its customers.

RORY DAVENPORT

Washington


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