`United States of Europe': An Outdated Idea

It is clear from the editorial ``Behind Britain's Veto,'' June 29, that the Monitor favors a federal United States of Europe. The editorial states, ``There are EU [European Union] accomplishments to trumpet and good arguments for a yet closer union. It's time to hear them again.''

Maybe, but I beg you not to forget the other side of the case. There are already many in England who regard the Europe a la Jacques Delors (centralized bureaucratic control from Brussels) as a recipe for disaster. Already the Brussels machine has thrown up some grotesque situations, especially concerning the common agricultural policy and payments to pregnant ex-sevicewomen. The Europe a la Charles de Gaulle (a confederation of sovereign states working together but keeping their own identities) is a sensible and workable idea.

Opinion in Europe is beginning to move away from the idea of a Brussels-controlled super state. It is sad to see the Monitor supporting an outdated idea. R.J.R. McDougall, London

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Self-rule in West Bank: an old promise

Your timetable ``Selected Turns in Israeli-PLO Conflict,'' July 1, misleads in at least one major respect: The entry for 1979 describes the Camp David accords as having provided for ``self-rule in Jericho and Gaza.''

The accords are not, in fact, so limited. They refer not to Jericho and Gaza, but to the West Bank and Gaza, a considerably larger area. A naive reader might think that the Palestinians now have what was promised them at Camp David and that autonomy for the rest of the West Bank is to be an additional and unagreed-upon reward. M.A. Orend, Los Angeles

Don't abandon Bosnia arms embargo

We can only be shocked by the Monitor's endorsement of federal lawmakers' rush to violate the United Nations arms embargo in Bosnia (editorial, ``Let Bosnia Defend Itself,'' June 27).

UN member states are bound ``to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council'' on behalf of international peace and security. There's no escape clause for a national government, even a superpower. Unlike other member states, the United States can veto any action it doesn't like. All the US has relinquished is the right to change its mind once the rest of the world has gotten with the program.

Unilaterally flouting the embargo would force withdrawal of the peacekeeping operation that has kept Bosnians alive for two years. The countries that have supplied troops for the UN effort to contain the conflict - France and Britain above all - have justifiably vowed to leave if the weapons floodgate opens. While Bosnian officials may insist they would rather have weapons than food, it is not clear that the long-suffering population shares their bravado.

A US assertion that it is not bound by the Council arms embargo would fatally undermine collective security efforts. Russia and Serbia's Balkan neighbors would feel free to ignore the UN economic sanctions now choking Serbia - the strongest leverage we have to force concessions from the Serbs.

Amid much bluster about assuring Bosnian Muslims the means for their defense, the Senate sponsors specfically rule out any US soldiers going to Bosnia even to deliver the desired weapons.

President Clinton's much-maligned foreign-policy team has this one right. The Security Council has played the embargo card skillfully. It is astounding that 50 senators favored throwing away this tool. Jeffrey Laurenti, New York Executive Director of Multilateral Studies UN Association USA

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