A United Nations Peace Force or Police Force?
Regarding the Opinion page article "The Limitations of a UN `Army'," July 23: While the author's distinction between a peace force, assembled to effectuate compliance with international law, and a force arrayed to secure military victory is valid, nonetheless his analysis is incomplete.Skip to next paragraph
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The author's premise that a coalition must be dominated by one party is invalid. Surely concerted, multilateral forces can be commanded by either joint leadership or concurrent national leadership. Furthermore, a United Nations police force, once in place, can serve as a deterrent.
In a civil war, the faction opposing its presence also stands exposed. Accordingly, there is no substitute for collective action in the post-cold-war world in order to secure the peaceful settlement of disputes. Indeed, this objective can be fulfilled without resort to unilateral, national control.
Owing to the experiences in Vietnam and Lebanon, the United States Pentagon has been reluctant to see America take the initiative by sending our forces to crisis areas. Certainly, there should be no national will to impose democracy on other nations.
But humanitarian gestures and commitment to the concept of the inviolability of a nation's borders, free from aggrandizement and aggression, are solid grounds for US involvement. This may even lead to the fostering of negotiations between the parties to a conflict. Finally, what better cover to allay the Pentagon's fears about its reputation and US national prestige than a UN military force? Elliott A. Cohen, New York Perot's leadership role
Regarding the editorial "Ross, We Hardly Knew Ye," July 20: Ross Perot seemed to me exactly what the country needed as far as leadership. His business record shows he clearly knows how to analyze, solve, or correct problems quickly and effectively and has gotten the respect of international business for getting things done and being an honorable man. He also is not afraid to fight for what he thinks is right or to upset the status quo. What is so wrong with running a government the way in which Mr. Perot
ran his companies - efficient, profitable, and not tainted by corruption? I. Mumberg, Langhorne, Pa. Estonians have had enough
Regarding the Opinion page article "Zionism: a Model for the Russians?," July 10: As a native-born Estonian and a naturalized American citizen, I was part, with my family, of the great exodus of Eastern European peoples who fled their native countries after World War II rather than face occupation by Soviet forces. A benevolent and caring America accepted us into its mainstream. However, a few words must be expressed to clear the air on some of the author's observations.
How can a nation of 1 million Estonians truly discriminate against a next-door neighbor of 220 million? The Russians who now live there were originally sent by the USSR to colonize the country. In the past 45 years, their industries have polluted the land. They have taken the foodstuffs and livestock and shipped them wholesale to Russia. They have forcibly conscripted Estonian youths into Soviet military service. They refuse to speak the Estonian language and have required Russian to be taught in all sch ools.
When the Baltic nations recently declared their independence from the former Soviet Union, they meant it. They have simply had enough of Russian intervention in their personal lives, government, industry, education, culture, language, and heritage. They quietly but determinedly forge ahead to their own destinies. They wish to be left alone. Ivi M. Paasinen, Taylor, Mich.