The article ``Cities gain time to clean up air,'' Nov. 18, clearly revealed the futility of many United States environmental policies. As stated in the article, the deadline set in the original Clean Air Act has been extended twice and is destined to be extended again by Congress.
What is the point of formulating policies in which deadlines can arbitrarily be lengthened? It would appear that such policies serve only as symbols of insincere concerns and as pacifiers for those people who voice their objections to the status quo.
Had government officials given substance to the Clean Air Act in 1977, it is likely that ozone and carbon monoxide air levels would have been significantly reduced, either by regional compliance with set standards or from fewer existing major pollution sources and federal highways. Michael L. Harris Davis, Calif.
Action in Gulf The article ``Gulf analysts see little hope for war's end without joint superpower or Arab action,'' Nov. 25, provides an insightful analysis of the current situation in the Persian Gulf.
It mentions several significant reasons for the continuation of the conflict. Most disturbing is the suggestion that the superpowers are unwilling to end the war.
It is time for the US to work toward its stated objective, to end the conflict. The concern for human life and the return to peace should be of higher priority than paranoid fears about Soviet expansion.
We must pressure our government to support sanctions against the belligerents. If an embargo on oil purchases and arms sales were created, it might be possible to bring an end to the war in months rather than years. Cindy Johnson Seattle
Parting with `Irises' I enjoyed the article ``Van Gogh: oracle of color,'' Nov. 23, and the feature of Van Gogh's magnificent work ``Irises.''
To see the painting in all its brilliance was a real treat for those who viewed it at Chicago's Art Institute in the showing ``A Day in the Country/Impressionism and the French Landscape,'' in 1985. I understood that the painting was on loan from the Joan Whitney Payson Gallery of Art at Westport College in Portland, Maine, and had hoped to view it again someday. How could the gallery part with such a treasure? Judith Boba Glenview, Ill.