It's Time for Some New Approaches in Bosnia

It's Time for Some New Approaches in Bosnia

The editorial ''End the Bosnia Posturing,'' June 9, rightly urges international action against ''a one-sided genocidal aggression that threatens the long-term security of the West.'' Although a solution to that catastrophe poses an extreme challenge to the imagination, there are at least two things the United States and its allies should do to help catalyze a determined effort by all sides to reach a settlement. One step is through military action, the other is through diplomacy:

r The military measure. To the extent that military aid continues to flow from Serbia to the Serb forces in Bosnia, NATO air forces should initiate - and continue for as long as necessary - the bombing of every identifiable bridge and road on that border. Such a response cannot stop electronic assistance (via radio or computer), but NATO's message would be powerful nonetheless.

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r The diplomatic measure. The NATO powers should strongly declare their determination to deny United Nations membership to a Greater Serbia formed outside the framework of a negotiated settlement of the Balkan crisis. Trade and economic contacts would also be denied.

David J. Steinberg Alexandria, Va.

Attack attitudes, not individuals

The cartoon ''The Rich-Poor Gap,'' June 23, seems to imply that those with plenty of the good life are separated from the needy by a failed or weak sense of ''conscience.'' Cartoonist Jeff Danziger seems to be blaming individuals when he should be taking aim at the attitudes and the situations that have produced the problem. The legal and illegal taking of property is probably the prime source of the troubles, but not far behind is the expectation that an outside agency will be a means of support. By healing these failures of conscience we will all be lifted into prosperity.

John Abbott Woodland Hills, Calif.

NEH supports neglected cultures

Those who accuse the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) of elitism in today's budget-cutting frenzy have it all wrong. On the contrary, the NEH has distinguished itself for its even-handed, egalitarian fairness. As a fortunate participant in NEH-sponsored programs, I can speak directly from experience. In 1978, I received a research grant from the endowment to compile an English translation of the Navajo creation story, Dine bahane. Like other tribal peoples whose traditional poetry went unnoticed for centuries, the Navajos can contribute mightily to any list of the world's great books. All they need is the kind of unassuming recognition that the NEH fosters.

The endowment has special summer and year-long programs exclusively for teachers at four-year and community colleges to do research. The agency also invests in some of the country's smallest towns and least-populated counties, not only by funding books and media projects, but by subsidizing small exhibits and community lectures. This agency has stood alone in its willingness to appraise neglected cultures by the same time-tested universal standards it applies to Europe's benchmark works.

Paul G. Zolbrod Meadville, Pa.

Professor of English

Allegheny College

To improve economy, buy American

There is a better solution to the trade deficit than suggested by the authors of the opinion-page article ''Solution to the Trade Deficit With Japan: Cap It,'' June 8.

It would be advantageous to the United States to encourage Americans to buy American products. Not only would it reduce our trade deficit and reduce the interest that we have to pay on our debts, it would increase employment and thus improve greatly all of the family and social problems that accompany unemployment.

Yale J. Berry Boston

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