US Support Vital for Transcaucasus Peace
The opinion-page article, ``An Agony of Indifference in Nagorno-Karabakh,'' June 27, captures the tragic situation confronting millions of Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh.Skip to next paragraph
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Today, peace in the Transcaucasus is within reach. Plans offered by both the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and the Russian government are now on the table. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity.
Sadly, Azerbaijan has delayed the current negotiations while it accumulates new weapons, institutes a draft, and continues (along with Turkey) to enforce a total blockade of Armenia. While Azerbaijan's resistance to Russian peacekeeping forces may be viewed positively in the West, it must not mask the games the government of Gaidar Aliyev is playing with the CSCE process. In this context the Azeris playing the Russian card is likely another excuse to stall the peace process.
As the author makes clear, a lasting peace cannot be achieved without immediate United States leadership. A strong US commitment of diplomatic resources and a plan combining the pending CSCE and Russian-negotiated agreements can bring a speedy end to the suffering. Any gesture rewarding Azerbaijan, especially while Mr. Aliyev is blocking an opportunity for peace, is premature.
Nearly eight months ago, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh signed the CSCE's framework for peace. Instead of joining the process, Azerbaijan launched a massive five-month military offensive. We fear that Azerbaijan's current military buildup and its refusal to negotiate, combined with the lack of cooperation between the US and Russia, is far too reminiscent of last fall's failure. Rouben Shugarian, Washington Armenian Ambassador to the US
My country 'tis not of Disney
Thank you so much for your on-target editorial, ``Disney's America,'' June 23. A hallowed historic site is sacred and requires a certain amount of simple gratitude.
I have visited a Civil War prison site and graveyard in Georgia. As I walked about the quiet place where wildflowers bloomed, the memory of the loss of life and hardship for those who served was poignant. The place required no modern amplification, no hype, no noise to impress the senses and interfere with the memory of the past.
May opposition to the Disney Corporation's plans be strong and loud enough to stop what would be a terrible mistake. Paula Caracristi, Sacramento, Calif.
Tour de cities a risky trek by bike
As a bike commuter for many years, I resent the tone of the recent article ``Bevy of Urban Bikers Raises Safety, Policing Challenges,'' June 28, which focused almost exclusively on transgressions by cyclists while ignoring those of motorists. To appreciate the cyclist's perspective, the writer should try riding a bike in traffic sometime.
Without going into detail, I wish to state that, in my experience, most motorists are guilty of excessive courtesy: When I approach a stop sign, a driver will wave me through; even if I insist on stopping, as the law requires, the car will frequently not move until I have gone through the intersection.
Another problem for cyclists is that, while we ``are required ... to obey the same traffic rules as motorists,'' we are also admonished to stay on the right margin of the right lane. This is dangerous for cyclists because cars frequently pass too close for comfort, leaving very little margin for maneuvering around potholes, glass, and other obstructions.
It should be pointed out that for every bicycle, there is one fewer car on the road snarling traffic, polluting the atmosphere, and burning oil.
Cyclists should be treated not as a problem but as part of the solution. Paul Rosenberger, Manhattan Beach, Calif.