Mon, May 12, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letters

Save dragon boat races

SARS used to be something that was just annoying -- the news seemed to report little else and when you talked to people it was like talking to Kenny from South Park. Now the Ministry of Education's Dragon Boat Committee has canceled the races set for the end of this month and early June. It is deeply disappointing to those of us who have joined a team, been practicing hard every day, gotten closer to one another and maybe even started to enjoy getting up early for 6:30am practice.

Precaution is good, overreaction is not. The committee has taken a drastic step and I just wonder if there's not some sort of compromise where the dragon boat competition could still be held without sacrificing safety. I think I speak for my team when I say we would not be averse to wearing masks, having our temperatures taken or any other measures the committee thinks appropriate, just so long as we can race.

Because of SARS we have to adjust our way of life, not end it. We've worked incredibly hard, hard enough to give any team damn good competition, and hard enough to earn a chance to make the Dragon Boat Committee reconsider its decision and allow the races to proceed.

Andy Outerbridge

Taipei

Conspiracy theorists wrong

Jeffrey Sachs' article ("US crony capitalists go to war," May 6, page 9) is nothing new and typical of leftist "it's about the oil" opinion. Sachs tries to prove the George W. Bush administration's guilt by digging up any oil-industry association of US Cabinet members.

First, if it was indeed about the oil, the US would have invaded Venezuela instead. Venezuela is closer, smaller, produces plenty of oil and boasts a government that is having a hard time calming its citizens. Such a war would have saved the US and its taxpayers a lot of money. But that did not happen. Why? Because Iraq was a threat to the US and the world. It was not about the oil.

Second, it's normal for Cabinet members to be successful in corporate America before their careers as politicians or policymakers. Their resum?s most definitely undergo public scrutiny, but others seem to enjoy conjuring up conspiracy theories to back absurd opinions.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice also served on the board of governors of the San Francisco Symphony. Is the US attempting to influence Iraqis' taste in music after the war?

Lastly, the Bush administration is concentrating on Iraq's oil industry simply because that's what will bring the nation the most money to aid in reconstruction. Imagine the US suggesting that Iraqis export sand in order to make money. Oil is Iraq's most valuable export good, and that's what will bring Iraq back to its feet.

Eugene Liu

Atlanta, Georgia

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