Tue, Dec 23, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letter

The price of complacency

In response to a Liberty Times editorial ("China is practicing state terrorism," Dec. 21, Page 8), I would like to note that if you asked me today what times I would prefer to live in, I would of course say times of general prosperity.

But often it is the times of social upheaval and war, or economic gloom and depression that makes the times of peace and prosperity possible and more vibrant as populations alive in the dark times communicate from their suffering: "I've had enough. Let's move on from here."

When times are hard, people are more willing to make the concessions that would forge a brighter day and a better future. Conversely, it is in the times of general prosperity and peace that the seeds of war, darkness, and depression are sown.

People forget what got them to the summit, or they become neglectful of real danger. The peoples of these times think: "This is what we all worked for, no one would dare try to ruin this."

They become complacent, contented, and fall sleep at the switch. You see it in the faces of the parents in the good times as they shake their heads at their wayward children. These parents think: "When I was their age, things were bad, and I was not afforded one-tenth the opportunity these children have today." So it goes that, though China is pointing a large number of missiles at it, Taiwan still exhibits complacency in the face of armed aggression.

China is a bully regime and shaming a bully has no effect. The dictators of China answer to none but their own self-interest. The one thing that would make these demigods sit up and think would be 500 offensive missiles pointed at their offices in Beijing and elsewhere.

The proper response is a buildup of strategic missiles, a tit-for-tat philosophy, as this is what bullies understand. The US is right in demanding that Taiwan do more to protect itself, as the act of a buildup of weapons and delivery systems might be all that is required to keep China from striking Taiwan, as China's dictators despise the weak and pay no respect to those that are weak.

Bode Bliss

Cleveland, Ohio

America's hypocrisy

How do we know that the concept of democracy can prompt different interpretations?

With Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) at his side, US President George W. Bush criticized President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for attempting to make unilateral decisions to change the status quo.

Bush's position seems incredibly hypocritical as the US responded to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 by deploying missiles in Turkey and fighting the Soviet Union's violence with violence.

Being a superpower, the US supposedly would work to protect democracy around the world.

In fact, former president John F. Kennedy once declared that the US would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Evidently, democracy can hold different meanings for different people at different times.

Vincent Cheng

Kansas

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