Ethnicity in African Politics

I would like to thank the author of the Opinion page article "Ethnic Loyalties Are on the Rise Globally," Dec. 28, particularly for stressing that there is no difference between Africa's "tribalism" and Europe's "nationalism" or "ethnopolitics."

Although the author addresses the present tribal conflicts well, he is very misinformed about their cause. It is true that tribes were involved in minor conflicts before European involvement. The current conflicts, however, are the results of none other than Europe's work.

The fact is that Europeans came to steal, kill, and rape, and the way they ruled was by bribing tribal leaders and by instigating violence between tribes, much like what the South African whites are doing now. The popular blame of European colonialists for the condition of Africa's tribal relations is justified. Benyam S. Denebe, Makanda, Ill. NAFTA: What's in it for Mexico?

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I continue to read the many concerns skeptics have about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ranging from loss of American jobs to the devastation of Mexico's corn growers.

There is one issue that has not been discussed. As someone with close ties to Mexico and a resident of Guadalajara for more than 10 years, I know that many of the recent arrivals to the United States would be much happier at home if given the chance to earn a decent living.

The Mexican government views NAFTA as a critical step toward improving the country's faltering economy. During a recent visit, I saw government-sponsored television and newspaper ads extolling the benefits of NAFTA, urging cooperation and participation as a means for economic growth and prosperity. Some of the real benefits include a reduction in illegal immigration and a healthier trading partner representing more than 88 million buyers of American-made products. For a country constantly shunned by its European allies, the US should take a long hard look at the vast natural resources and the consumer market across our own border. H. Smith, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. TV `down under'

Thank you for the article "After Outcry, Australian TV Agrees to Limit Adult Programs," Dec. 2, concerning a revolt against violent and sexually explicit fare on television during prime time.

It seems that "anything goes" is the motto for unrestrained degradation of decency. There is concern in the United States as well about the effect that such pictures have on children.

"The right to know" is individual, but when so much filth is presented on TV the public is taken for a ride. Decency and restraint are still alive, and, at least, should have equal time. Maja J. Gec, Chestnut Hill, Mass. Military cartoons

The cartoon of the marine helping the thin child up the stairs to 1993, Dec. 30, was beautiful and heart-warming. Albert Pitcher, Richmond Hill, N.Y.

The cartoon "Dilemma at the Navy," Nov. 20, hit a nerve. I have just retired as a line officer after 25 years in the Naval Reserve. The poor taste, nastiness, and crude depiction has, for me, reached a new low. I am tired of seeing Jeff Danziger's depictions of his targets as buffoons. His technique is boring and unworthy of the Monitor. Alan Fridkin, Westfield, Mass.

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