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Letters

By Thomas Nelson WinterHoward L. Naslund, and Skip Gebhart / May 8, 1998



US Foreign Policy on Seekers of Independence

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It is not just in Kosovo that the US is playing the wrong card, as a Kosovo journalist says in your article "Lines Harden in Brittle Kosovo" (April 24).

Again and again, the problem with American foreign policy is that it is un-American. US policy in Kosovo, Abkhazia, Karabagh, and Cyprus is akin to our telling George Washington, "forget everything and just go back to being a British colony and a faithful subject of King George III."

We are telling Kosovo to be "autonomous" and yet remain part of Yugoslavia. Worse, we are telling the same thing to Abkhazia, Karabagh, and Cyprus, where in each case a war has been fought and won by the "rebels."

If the US had been this kind of "superpower" after the American Revolutionary War, King George and his Parliament would have been encouraged by it not to admit our independence, and would have dragged the war into a "peace process," trying to win what they had lost on the field. They would never have signed the treaty of Paris of 1783.

Further, autonomy is not a road to peace; autonomy is a fig leaf. The Allied High Commission told the Kurds to be autonomous after World War I. Real autonomy never happened and the Turks are still treating the Kurds as "terrorists" 80 years later.

Attempting to force Abkhazia again to be part of Georgia, Karabagh again to be part of Azerbaijan, Northern Cyprus again to be part of Cyprus, and Kosovo to continue being part of Yugoslavia is to ensure continuance of bloodshed. Abkhazia, Karabagh, and Northern Cyprus are free and independent states, and Kosovo ought to be. Any other policy is to say "keep bleeding."

In short, US foreign policy works against peace, not for it. Lasting peace will come to these places when we tell the King Georges of our time to face facts.

Thomas Nelson Winter

Lincoln, Neb.

Political issues of the census

Regarding the editorial "Down for the Count?" (April 28): If the Census Bureau "experts" were permitted to conduct scientific, objective sampling where appropriate, we could be assured of an accurate, nonpartisan count. But selection of a discredited extreme partisan, ex-House Whip Tony Coelho, to oversee the project reveals true Clinton administration goals.

After the immigration/naturalization scandals, the current administration can hardly be expected to conduct an honest sampling. Thousands of immigrants were processed in an illegal manner, background checks were waived, and partisan contract Mexican organizations were allowed to cheat on the testing in order to facilitate registration, solely to insure the maximum number of new Democratic voters.

Memos from Al Gore's office confirmed that, but copies of these memos were published primarily in conservative newspapers.

Having demonstrated an appalling lack of ethics and integrity for political purposes, compliance with law was not a consideration for this administration. Surely you don't expect informed, objective readers to still believe in an administration whose credibility has been self-destroyed.

Howard L. Naslund

Annapolis, Md.

Name transposed

I was disappointed to see the Monitor's April 28 coverage of Jesse Jackson's visit to southeastern Ohio refer to "The University of Ohio." There is no such institution, of course. The campus he visited was that of Ohio University, the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Alleghenies (1804).

Skip Gebhart

Huntington, W. Va.

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