At Least Russia Asked the UN for a Mandate

Regarding the editorial ``In the Name of Peace,'' Aug. 5, on the United Nation's peacekeeping mandate for Russia in Georgia: That such a mandate was in the offing became clear when the UN sanctioned French intervention in Rwanda, where, like the Russians in Georgia, the French have a history of partisan intervention. It was only a small step further to give ex post facto approval to Russia's action.

The essay characterized Russia's foreign policy toward its new neighbors as ``swallowing ... states ... in the name of peace.'' Certainly Russia's conduct has many similarities to past practices of other imperial states. But it should be recognized that Russian policy today is not a simple plot to reestablish the Soviet Union. It is the product of a wide range of domestic perspectives on relations with the new states.

The fact that Russia values the UN's blessing indicates its desire for good standing in the world community. The US has to nurture that commitment while pressuring Russia to translate it into action, specifically respect for the sovereignty of its neighbors. Darrell Stanaford, Carmel Valley, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED @RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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