Regarding the Opinion page article "Beyond the `No Fly' Zone," Sept. 2: I agree with many points the author makes. I do not support the extreme harshness that Saddam Hussein uses in carrying out his policies. Saddam, however, is an Iraqi and an Arab. And it was not until 1958 that the people of Iraq had a native government, and they are proud that their leaders are at last their own.
Under what the author calls the "Old Guard" or the Baath administration, the holdings of the wealthy were broken up, the peasantry achieved greater rights to their land, the middle class greatly increased in size, education was made compulsory for girls and boys, and the status of women was appreciably elevated.
The goals of the Baath party also include secularism, pluralism, and in the future representative government. True, today Iraq has a one-party system, but representative structures are in place in the form of the parliament established in the early 1980s and the elections which have been held regularly.
What would the independent social organizations which Kurds and Shiites might establish in north and south security zones look like? In the north, the Iraqi Kurds have always joined their brothers in Iran, Turkey, Syria, and the Commonwealth of Independent States to play these nations off against one another to gain power for themselves. In this region, traditional paternalistic values would show no signs of abating under the pressures from wary neighbors. In the south, the fundamentalist religious value s currently in vogue in Shiite societies would prevail.
Would these two patterns be so far superior to the Baathist goals of economic and social development? Though these goals would be more difficult than ever for the central region to achieve, they could be a development model for all other Middle Eastern countries and for the third world as a whole. Charles Kelly, Philadelphia Foreign oil policy
The front-page article "Election Ignores US Dependence on Foreign Oil," Sept. 3, appears naive. Why debate the obvious? The allies have made it clear that the continued flow of foreign oil to the market economies is vital. What is left for discussion? The federal government has said that it does not want a domestic petroleum industry. There is much more to the domestic petroleum industry than finding new resources. The most important matters involve interlocking international factors.
H. W. Peirce, Tucson, Ariz. Bias against men in Somalia?
Regarding the editorial "A Test in Somalia," Aug. 19: I feel that the Monitor is biased against men. This article makes a statement that downplays the values of the lives of men. The article states, "The tragedy of hundreds of thousands of starving women and children trapped by civil war and drought demands the world's quick response." Are not starving men worthy of the world's equally quick response? Rich Angell, Japan Family values
Would some of the proclaimers from any United States party please explain what they mean by "family values?" Values are fundamental principles of right and wrong. What concretely are those principles that can be agreed upon regarding the family? Surely we cannot stop at the equivalent of Norman Rockwell pictures - old-fashioned isn't good enough. Just what characteristics reflecting what specific values are the political tribunes of family values holding up as right? Alvin G. Edgell, Belize City, Belize