The rioting in France among Muslim immigrants should be a wake-up call for U.S. politicians who refuse to yield to the concerns of the electorate about our own immigration crisis. Any country proceeds at its own peril when it allows the rate of immigration to exceed assimilation.
DAVID M. BELL
In his commentary " The Boys of Nowhere" [November 21], Fouad Ajami says, "France went on a colonial binge in the 19th century, striking into North Africa, implanting its language, culture--even its vineyards--in warmer climes. Now, the colonies have struck back." For the record, France and the French colonists left Algeria July 2, 1962; Algeria was independent. No longer welcome in Algeria, the French colonists left behind a sturdy infrastructure and moved to France. I was one of them. In 1963, I moved to America, and in 1971, I became an American citizen. In the late 1960s, boatloads of North Africans, including Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians, came to France. They did not like the deteriorating living conditions in their own independent countries. France was put in the position of taking care of a sizable minority group that, for many reasons, has not easily assimilated or prospered in France. What a curious problem of its own making France has 43 years later.
I can' t buy the idea that Muslim rampages in France are the backlash against former French colonialism. I think a prominent religion has been taken over by Wahhabist fanatics. Perhaps at least a few Muslims agree that bin Laden and Zarqawi and their ilk should be eliminated, not only for the safety of the civilized world but also for their sociopathic hypocrisy and heresy in brutalizing Islam and ruining its reputation for a long time to come. The only cure for poverty I know of is education, and in this case, the best secular type one can obtain. Only in this way may present unfortunate trends be reversed.
D. RADFORD HOENES, M.D.
In "No Gushing for These Gushers" [November 21], you write that "Republicans show signs they are feeling heat over their perceived alliance with Big Oil." One paragraph later, you note that the oil industry "contributed $25.5 million to federal candidates in the last election cycle, 80 percent of it to Republicans." That's a perceived alliance?
ANDREW R. CRAWFORD
I am not persuaded by the oil industry's explanations about higher fuel costs. Their smoke-and-mirrors defense cannot cover up plain and simple third-quarter profiteering. Perhaps it's time to realize that the business model that guides large corporations can no longer apply to the oil industry. Unreasonable profits made from this essential commodity are unacceptable.
Once again politicians are denouncing oil companies for their record profits and accusing them of "gouging" consumers. Lost in the general outcry is the fact that the oil companies made their profits by productive work. They risked their money and invested tens of billions of dollars over decades in prospecting, drilling, transporting, stocking, and refining oil. They created a huge infrastructure to produce and distribute gasoline. Politicians, by contrast, have produced nothing but environmental regulations that cripple the ability of oil companies to drill, transport, and refine oil in this country. If the American people want to stop the gouging responsible for high gasoline prices, it is the politicians, not the producers, whom they must rein in.
Ayn Rand Institute