The title of the article ``Vietnamese Call for News of Their Own Missing in Action,'' Dec. 27, is misleading to the reader. While I am sympathetic to the tremendous wartime losses of the Vietnamese people, they do not suffer the same uncertainty concerning the fate of their loved ones. Unlike the 2,288 Americans still missing in Southeast Asia, Vietnamese would have the ability to return to their families, if still alive. The Vietnamese government is known to have extensive documentation, historical data, and other information that would rapidly resolve the fates of hundreds of individuals.
Secretary of State Baker's admonition to Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach during their unprecedented meeting last September reflected long-standing US policy that normalization of relations is linked to a comprehensive political settlement in Cambodia and Hanoi's cooperation on POW/MIA and other humanitarian issues.
It is our hope that Vietnam will decide that it is time to move quickly to resolve the POW/MIA issue, thereby eliminating an obstacle to improved relations, once the Cambodia criteria are met.
Hanoi holds the key to improved bilateral relations.
Ann Mills Griffiths, Washington, Nat'l League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in S.E. Asia
A barbarous past In the article ``A Star's Activism, on Screen and Off,'' Dec. 28, actor Martin Sheen informs the reader he won't take parts in films displaying excessive violence, explicit sexuality, or ``nontruths.''
His new directorial project is the story of an American bullfighter in Madrid and is based on his Spanish heritage. But it will glamorize the slow, bloody death of a bull while thousands cheer.
The actor has long been applauded by our family for his human rights activity. Yet his inability to extend his strong feelings for human rights to the myriad forms of creation that also suffer at the hands of humans is apparent here.
Years ago, my ancestral home pitted animal against animal, human against animal, and human against human. Should I promote a film detailing this barbarism in an effort to rediscover my past?
Lyla DeVita, Lafayette, Calif.
Base aid on scholarship Jeff Danziger's cartoon, Dec. 31, points out a major problem in financial aid. Why, today, is it assumed that ``scholarships'' must be based only on athletic ability or race? Where is the old standard of scholarship and/or economic need?
It is currently quite possible that a white top academic student whose family will have a difficult time financing higher education will miss out on aid while a minority student from an affluent family and with a ``C'' average will have no problem qualifying for assistance. If we apply economic criteria, aid will go to those truly in need - including the bright student from a poor white family.
Mary Knight, Bellevue, Wash.
Steering the US away from war I want to thank your cartoonist, Jeff Danziger, for doing his darndest to steer our country away from war. He will be one person, at least, who won't have to say ``I did nothing'' to prevent this US-led disaster.
I salute his courage and sensitivity and creativity in the service of peace.
Sharon Neal Hatami, Walnut Creek, Calif.