Domestic lawsuits help pressure foreign regimes

Regarding Peter Choharis' Sept. 26th opinion piece, "Global firms need codes, not lawsuits," the law that permits alien plaintiffs to sue corporations in the United States limits relief to only grave violations of human rights.

Our courts have rightly adopted the reasoning that there are some crimes which make those involved enemies to all mankind and therefore actionable. Torture, genocide,and arbitrary executions are some of the crimes that the law encompasses. In order to be held accountable, the company must be complicit in the commission of those crimes. That companies involved in these types of abuses should be excused because they bring "jobs" is absurd.

Mr. Choharis dismisses that corporations acting in those countries could have any effect on the local politics. Inreality, corporations often are the main source of capital that allow repressive regimes to remain in power. If corporations areheld accountable, a regime that hopes to gain foreign investment would be encouraged to lessen its abuses. Allowing corporations to continue to aid in the commission of abuses without repercussions only benefits those who are willing to violate human rights to gain cheap and exploitable labor.

Andrew Howard Atlanta

Contradictions in Bush's Europe plan

In their Sept. 25 opinion piece, "A President Bush would retreat from Europe," Ronald Asmus and Jeremy Rosner call for Governor George W. Bush to explain why he would reduce America's commitments abroad.

If statements by Mr. Bush's running mate, Dick Cheney, reflect a Bush administration's strategy, they don't provide a clear explanation. Mr. Cheney has said that he wants to "keep the coalition in force" to deal with Sadam Hussein if weapons inspectors are denied entry to Iraq, and wants to reduce American troop presence in the Balkans.

The Iraqi policy would have us depend on cooperation among allies, while the Balkan policy would dismiss our NATO partnership role in the Kosovo conflict. It seems contradictory to expect cooperation from the coalition and deny it to NATO. Europeans would see a pullback of American troops from the Balkans as destabilizing to their security.

Jean C. Willis Galveston, Texas

Mental training key to Olympic success

I'd like to respond to your Sept. 18 article, "After hard work, shooter beaten by big '0,'" regarding the performance of Olympic hopeful Beki Snyder.

The article is a sad commentary on the lack of appreciation for mental preparation and mental resilience required for optimum performance at the level of Olympic competition.

Mental training should be part of any athlete's regimen and encouraged by the coach. An appreciation for mental preparation should start with youth programs on up to the elite athlete level.

Kenneth N. Morin, Ph.D. Dollar Bay, MI Sports psychologist

Watching the Olympics is fun

Your Sept. 22 article, "World-class Australia truly polite, no faking," hit the mark. After my late husband's retirement in the mid-seventies, we were fortunate enough to fulfill an urge for travel. Our three weeks in Australia were the most memorable.

It's hard to understand how people can call the Olympics boring. Superb athleticism, good sportsmanship, and genuine friendship make terrific viewing. My vicarious participation has been a privilege.

Betty Laurenson Canton, Ohio

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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