Re "Plan to Quit ABM Treaty Called Timely," Dec. 13: If George W. Bush thinks that his questionable election gave him a mandate to end the Antiballistic Missile Treaty and begin the testing and buildup of nuclear arms all over again, he's crazier than I thought. There has been no debate about this issue in our society, and if Bush thinks there was, he lost it by 200,000 votes.
Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz--these people are all in the war business, not the peace business. Cheney's former company even constructs front-line bases and facilities for the military. He's a war professional. Now, these same men are about to resume the arms race and militarize outer space. Everyone else in the world favors building on the ABM treaty, while we alone pursue a path of destructive rearmament.
The Times writes about the "timeliness" of Bush's announcement. That's just politics. The idea itself stinks. Americans should be taking to the streets to protest this shameful travesty.
The president says the Sept. 11 attacks prove that we need anti-missile defenses (Dec. 12). Did I miss something? Those attacks proved to me how easy and cheap it would be to bypass such defenses. I have heard no credible argument for abandoning the ABM treaty. The emperor is wearing no rationale.
Where does Bush think he's taking us with this inconceivably stupid dumping of the ABM treaty? Especially now, when world leaders are watching his every move. Have the American people been told what company is going to become very rich and deliver nothing? As in the Enron fiasco, the ugly face of this administration's policies is just beginning to surface. Can we boot Bush out of office now before he makes a total mess?
J. Fairchild Williams
According to the Constitution, Article II, Section 2, the president "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur. . . . " Why does the president have the right to abrogate a treaty without two-thirds of the senators' concurrence?