- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 24, 2006

The real Taiwan

Chu Maoming, the press counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Washington D. C., argues that Taiwan is an indisputable part of China or, as he implies it, the People’s Republic of China (“One China,” Letters, Thursday). As such, Taiwan has no right to participate in the United Nations or any U.N. related international organizations. Mr. Chu’s argument deviates from reality.

Contrary to Mr. Chu’s argument, the People’s Republic of China has never governed Taiwan, not even for one day, since its establishment. Taiwan, whatever its official name is, has been a sovereign nation for more than half a century. It has its own democratic government, encompasses a well-defined territory, and exercises sovereignty over its entire territory. In addition, Taiwan’s population of over 23 million is larger than most U.N. member states.

As Article 1 of the 1993 Montevideo Convention stipulates, an entity with “(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states” is a state or at least a de facto state. Taiwan apparently is such a case. Should China haven’t been trying to brutally and amorally crush Taiwan in the international community, there will be no “more than 160 countries recognize the one-China principle,” as PRC sanctions and Mr. Chu emphasizes; and Taiwan would have been a member of the United Nations for long which it deserves.


Falls Church

ISO senators who think

As a lifelong Virginian, I must admit that Republican-running-as-a-Democrat James H. Webb Jr. has attracted my attention. After watching the candidates’ “Meet the Press” appearance and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate, I was left with the impression that Sen. George Allen applies his personal ideology to big issues while Mr. Webb is more analytical in his approach to problem solving (“Allen calls Webb a one-note,” Metropolitan, Tuesday). In my mind, that’s the choice between the two men running for the Senate.

No American can forget that eight years after their first U.S. attack, politicized religious radicals returned to America on September 11 to destroy the World Trade Center and burn the Pentagon. Given this and the discussion during the debates, it’s clear that national defense remains the key issue in the November elections.

We should all be encouraged by that fact that five years have passed without another foreign terrorist attack on U.S. soil. On the other hand, the situation for American troops serving their country in Iraq is not so good. Years into this conflict and with the army of the cruel dictator Saddam Hussein long ago destroyed, Americans are still being attacked and killed daily in Iraq, with the troops’ fatalities exceeding the number of people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11. In Virginia, this is the time to ask whether there might be an alternative to staying the course in increasingly factionalized Iraq.

For the answer, we don’t need to look too far. President Reagan, whom both Mr. Allen and Mr. Webb conjure up to support their campaigns, provides a solution. After the October 1982 suicide bombing in Lebanon that killed 241 sleeping Marines, Mr. Reagan analyzed the problem and made the decision to use our military advantage by moving the Marines offshore, where they were kept ready for battle while no longer being sitting ducks for low-tech truck bombers. Mr. Reagan apparently realized that to be effective, he needed to alter his course of action and that to do otherwise would be needlessly perilous for our nation.

Beyond Iraq, Virginia is the home of the world’s largest Navy base, the Pentagon and countless other military installations. Virginia’s elected officials need to understand the military, and Mr. Webb, like Virginia’s senior senator, John Warner, has this understanding. Both men boast distinguished wartime service records, and both have served as secretary of the Navy. Virginia and the nation need senators with analytical minds who are equipped to make the right decisions on the big issues.


Falls Church

Know thy enemies

Disdaining American values of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, Arnaud de Borchgrave distorts the Catholic principle of “infallibility” and disparages Pope Benedict’s recent theological address meant for scholarly discussion at a university (“Papal cannon misfires,” Commentary, Wednesday). Mr. De Borchgrave claims “The pope’s temporary lapse of infallibility was a theological cannon/canon shot heard around the world.”

How clever. Catholicism never claims its popes are infallible — after all they are human beings — but they do claim infallibility when it comes to religious doctrine. However, in this case, Pope Benedict’s quote was recounting a conversation between Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian intellectual on fundamental truths of Christianity and Islam. That quote is a fact, it is historical and therefore not open to interpretation as being “infallible” with regard to religious doctrine.

Mr. De Borchgrave also resorts to damning the West’s principles of freedom when he says “Any foreign policy adviser could have informed the pope that what he planned to say would be seen by Muslims as a force multiplier for extremists, along with Danish cartoons lampooning the prophet; the occupation of Iraq; Abu Ghraib prison pictures; Israel’s war on Hezbollah; and the U.S. support for Israel against Hezbollah.”

In other words, don’t say anything to rile up the intolerant Muslims who demand that we don’t say anything that is possibly offensive to them. Why not just retreat into our homes and let the extremists intimidate us into total retreat?

Mr. De Borchgrave’s column lives by the liberal principle that we must understand our enemies and not offend them, rather than believing our enemies need to understand our values and freedoms enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He’s got it backward.


Jacksonville, Fla.

Support voter ID

The House of Representatives passed a bill that will require a valid photo ID in order to vote (“House bill to require voter ID,” Page 1, Thursday). The bill passed 228-196 with all but four Democrats opposing this important legislation.

The House must be applauded for passing this much needed legislation. The Senate now must beurged to likewise put their stamp of approval on and pass this bill. The vote-ID bill is surely aimed at stopping voter fraud and keeping illegal non-U.S. citizens from voting in federal elections by the year 2008.

This isurgent legislation to keep the election fair and honest, and voters should urge their senators to vote yes on this bill. Voter fraud is not something that can be corrected after the fraud has been committed.

Why not have a photo ID requirements at the votingpolls? You show you photo ID at airports, when cashing checks or when purchasing tobacco and liquor. So why not on a important issue like elections?



Dream on, Saddam

If sleep deprivation falls under the Geneva Conventions’ definition of torture, then this mom was tortured by a tiny pot-bellied dictator named Lance from the moment he was born until well into his first year of life (“GOP compromises on terror detainees,” Nation, Friday).

Certainly Lance is a dictator because, in the tradition of every great dictator — from Mao to Fidel to Kim Jong Il — Lance’s picture is displayed in all corners of my home. I cannot turn around without laying eyes upon his smiling, benign face.

I confess that I am devoted to my little dictator to a degree that Saddam Hussein can only dream of.

In addition, I plan to vote for anti-war Senate candidate Ned Lamont who, if elected, can dig into government coffers and find the funds to hire me a full-time live-in nanny who will provide relief from this torture.


Ridgefield, Conn.

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