EDITORIAL LETTERS

By , Larry Byrne, and Ana Cristina Sol

Set Caged Ukrainian Dolphins Free The front-page article ''Dolphins of War Seek New Jobs and Cleaner Waters,'' Sept. 6, was unaccountably one-sided. It fails to adequately question the appropriateness or humaneness of maintaining Ukrainian military dolphins in captivity now that the ''might - and money'' are lacking for their proper care. It is certainly true that ''the Black Sea is getting dirtier all the time,'' so it is imperative for governments and citizens to do everything possible to halt the degradation, and to restore and protect this natural dolphin habitat. The proper response for the Ukrainian Navy to the lack of funds for dolphin care would be to begin a rehabilitation program and return the dolphins to the wild, especially those most recently caught and still ''unused to confinement and frozen fish.'' Domesticating them is not realistic nor in the best interests of these wide-ranging, socially complex mammals. The ''dolphins of war'' need to be saved, but as free and wild animals in protected natural habitat, not as captive, marginal workers in polluted cages. Naomi A. Rose Washington Marine Mammal Scientist The Humane Society of the US USAID furthers global interests While I agree with the editorial ''Organizing Foreign Policy,'' Sept. 7, I would like to clarify some misconceptions about the United States Agency for International Development that the editorial perpetuates. The Clinton administration has worked hard to maximize results with a foreign assistance budget that has been cut more than 40 percent since the Reagan administration. For the first time in the history of the US foreign assistance program, we are getting out of countries - dozens so far. In addition, AID has streamlined its design and procurement processes with new systems that are serving as a model for other agencies, eliminated 90 organizational units, and focused its mission on four strategic objectives. As a result of these developments, the US foreign aid program works better to further our national interests around the globe and is a model of efficiency for international management. These efforts earned AID the label of ''the No. 1 laboratory for reinventing government,'' from the Washington Times. To say the agency was ''one of the worst-managed in government'' overlooks this record of change. Larry Byrne, Washington USAID Assistant Administrator for Management El Salvador's wages Regarding the article ''The Price of Low-Cost Clothes: US Jobs,'' Aug. 29: I would like to clarify some of the misleading statements in the article. Wages in El Salvador are not the same as those quoted. It is absurd to compare a developing country's wages, especially one that has a labor surplus and has recently emerged from armed conflict, with the final sale price of goods in the US. The manufacturing-cost portion of a product only represents a small part of the product's total cost. In the majority of cases, Salvadoran experts do not have any control over a product's final sale price in the United States. These types of comparisons are not only unbalanced and unfair, but also serve only to misinform and confuse readers. The goal of President Armando Calderon Sol's administration is to invest increasingly in human capital. Regarding the charge that exploitation of minors and 70-hour work weeks are allowed in El Salvador, our country's current labor law regulates the employment of women and minors. Minors, under 18 years of age, are prohibited from working in dangerous or unhealthy jobs. For minors, education is obligatory. Work that would in any way hamper or impede their education is not permissible by law. Ana Cristina Sol Washington Ambassador, Embassy of El Salvador 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.

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