Want to spread that Web? Think local ... technology, that is.
Regarding your Sept. 16 editorial, "UN control of Internet? Try again.": Universal access to the Internet is limited by local economic activity and acceptance of technology, not control by the US. UN governance of the Internet will only further politicize the Internet and will not enhance global access.
You wrote: "The benefits of the Internet need to better reach all of the world....the Southern Hemisphere is missing out, with only 3 percent of IPv4 addresses currently located in South America and only 1 percent in Africa." The number of addresses in a region reflects how many computers are connected to the Internet, which depends on the local economy and access to technology, not the perceived US control.
Unfortunately the "digital divide" between rich and poor is a huge problem. The UN might better spread the benefits of the Internet with projects such as that of Nicholas Negroponte of MIT's Media Lab, who is developing a $100 laptop as an education tool for developing countries.
International governance will not attack the problem.
Cape Meares, Ore.
Regarding your Sept. 19 editorial "John Roberts, the progressive": I was disappointed to see John Roberts state during his confirmation hearings that international trends or precedents are not relevant to how US laws should be interpreted.
By asserting this view, he joins a chorus of conservatives who believe the American legal system to be the unassailable model of justice.
It is the height of arrogance to believe the US can learn nothing from the wisdom and experience of other nations. "You look outside yourself to other sources," Mr. Roberts said at his confirmation hearings about the need for judicial humility.
It's a shame those sources won't include the lessons learned by the citizens and courts of other lands.
Robert J. Inlow
In response to the Sept. 20 article, "US tempers its view of victory in Iraq": The US attempt to stabilize Iraq by fitting Iraqi security forces with enough man- and fire-power to protect the country's sovereignty during a virulent insurgency is the wrong approach. Instead, the US should implement a partition plan excluding most of the "Sunni Triangle" from the rest of Iraq, while including Sunni areas where the populace is willing to work with the Shiites and Kurds.
Although not perfect, partition worked with India and Pakistan, and with Israel and the Palestinians (albeit complicated by the annexation of Gaza and the West Bank and the second intifada) in that both plans avoided a devastating all-out war. Such a plan in Iraq would either isolate Sunni extremists or pressure them to accept a constitution, while facilitating an American withdrawal and international (United Nations?) participation.
Regarding the Sept. 20 article "Who will take Germany's top office?": While incumbent Chancellor Gerhard Schröder gleefully maintains that those who wanted to get rid of him as chancellor have failed, he forgets that he himself called for early elections. The simple truth is that Mr. Schröder's attempt to strengthen his coalition through early elections has utterly failed. He has brought on the current stalemate himself.
Let's have matter-of-fact competence replace reliance on charisma.
Hans J. Thimm
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