- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Barry is not above the law

D.C. Council member Marion Barry sets a poor example as a politician for the district he represents (Ward 8), and in my opinion, he is a disgrace and embarrassment to our nation’s capital (“Barry fights to stay out of prison,” Page 1, Monday). If the average citizen failed to file his or her income tax as many times as the former mayor, he or she would have been behind bars long ago. Mr. Barry has been given too many free rides, and it’s about time that criminal charges against him be enforced once and for all. No man is above the law, including Mr. Barry.

DOUGLAS GOODGION

Falls Church, Va.

China’s star trekking

As the article “Beijing space test scattered debris” states, China successfully shot down one of its own satellites on Jan. 11, which has added more than 1,000 pieces of space debris, putting orbiting satellites at a higher risk (Page 1, Tuesday).

The Air Force Space Command recently stated that China is making huge secret investments in its space program and that there are reports China will have enough anti-satellite missiles to destroy all U.S. low-Earth-orbiting (LEO) satellites by 2010. As part of that secrecy, there has been no official word about the satellite shooting.

One then could interpret China’s silence as the start of the 100-year “yellow war” that military experts have been predicting since the end of the Cold War, which lasted for more than 50 years. Could this space war precede and trigger the yellow war?

Economic and war-game simulations predict that China’s growing gross domestic product and its huge trade surplus will make it a military powerhouse in the next 25 to 40 years or even earlier than that. So, how should America react to this?

In addition to putting up the newer space-monitoring systems and weaponry as the Air Force Command is doing, we should look into the geopolitical angles as well. The long-term containment of China lies in the recently concluded U.S.-India nuclear pact, which should prop up India economically, politically, diplomatically and militarily to counter the growing might of China.

DAVE ANAND

Trumbull, Conn.

The price of gas

In “Gasoline at $6 vs. warming?” (Commentary, Monday) Ben Lieberman rightly points out that far higher gasoline taxes would be needed to reduce consumption sufficiently to address global warming goals.

What he fails to acknowledge is that far higher oil prices are inevitable because oil is finite and likely will enter decline when roughly half the oil is gone. Many oil experts believe we are at the point where nearly half the conventional oil is gone and we will soon experience falling global oil production.

When oil enters decline, the price will rise. There are at least two ways we can experience this price increase: We can capture it through a tax shift, raising gasoline taxes and reducing other taxes or future taxes by reducing the deficit. Or, we can wait for the marketplace to raise the price of oil and send all our wealth to the oil companies and oil-exporting nations.

Choosing to raise the price of gasoline now through a tax shift would be better for America even if we weren’t faced with global warming.

CARL HENN

Rockville

What deterrence?

In response to the article “Bush renews bid for reform” (Page 1, Tuesday) which says that apprehensions on the border are down 68 percent as a result of “deterrence,” my question is: What deterrence? The Yuma sector of the border is virtually wide open.

President Bush also was reported to favor “fair treatment for undocumented residents.” These residents are illegal aliens, many of whom also are identity thieves, drunk drivers and murderers who do not deserve any special treatment except a one-way ticket back home.

Once we have secured the borders and effected a serious workplace program of enforcement of our immigration laws, we can deal with the issue of providing a sensible plan dealing with some sort of guest-worker program — in which the workers actually return home upon completion of their term of employment.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

Been there and done that, sir

Oliver North wants a $20 billion government-run program to build a better mousetrap and free us from Iran and the “bondage of oil.” (“Concealed costs,” Commentary, Sunday).

Is that all this so-called limited-government conservative can come up with? Does he know that the Clinton administration tried something just like that and got no further than the Ford Edsel did? How about at least a nod toward hybrid cars?

Hybrid cars represent a strategic opening in the energy battlefront. If that opening is exploited to its fullest (and as quickly as possible), the car market will be pushed toward more and better alternatively powered vehicles. This market-based opening already has been broadened from three hybrid models to more than a dozen in a very short time and has sent General Motors et al. scrambling.

If Mr. North really wants to get us free from the “bondage of oil,” he might start that process with a hybrid car (or two) in his driveway.

MICHAEL SULTAN

Reston

Turkey in denial

Turkey’s calls for Gaz de France’s withdrawal from the Nabucco project (“Denying massacre hurts ties to West,” World, Monday) are economically and politically insignificant for France.

Politically, the leading Socialist Party presidential candidate, Segolene Royal, recently stated that Turkey cannot join the European Union without recognition of Armenian genocide. The chairman of the Socialist Party, Francois Hollande, argued that even a French referendum on Turkish EU accession would be pointless without Armenian genocide recognition.

Economically, trade between France and Turkey has increased consistently since France’s adoption of the genocide resolution in 2001 — by a margin of 131 percent between 2001 and 2006, to be specific.

At this moment, the French company Alstom is cooperating with Japanese and Turkish partners on a $323 million Turkish railway deal.

Europe figured out long ago that Turkish threats are exaggerated. The European Parliament report on Turkey’s accession to the European Union has consistently made mention of the Armenian genocide. Turkey’s response: a few weeks of angry statements, and the relationship moves on as usual.

A democracy must not capitulate to genocide deniers and must carry out its human rights duty by adopting the Armenian genocide resolution.

JULES BOYADJIAN

Armenian Youth Federation

Valence, France

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