The opinion-page column ``Democrats `Frozen' by Gulf Crisis,'' Dec. 11, says that Mario Cuomo made a political mistake by suggesting (or rather alluding to) the possibility of a compromise to avoid war in the Persian Gulf. He suggested we allow Iraq to retain a small slice of Kuwait and access to the Persian Gulf. The comment is not what most aspiring candidates for president would dare say. Governor Cuomo, however, is not your run-of-the-mill candidate. He had the courage to speak up about what must be done to prevent our president from leading us into war. There must be compromises. If Secretary of State James Baker goes to Geneva simply to repeat Mr. Bush's demands, it is a farce to say we did all we could to avoid war. Samuel Starr, Montpelier, Vt.
Financial services reform The article ``Legal Fray: Credit Unions Vs. Banks,'' Dec. 11, cites inaccurate data and misrepresents the position of the American Bankers Association (ABA) regarding proposed reform of the financial-services industry. The proper amount of the annual credit union tax subsidy is approximately $500 million. It is in fact the commercial banking industry which pays more than $10 billion annually in federal taxes.
The author contends that the ``ABA also wants to see federal insurance funds of credit unions combined with those of banks and thrifts.'' ABA has not suggested this. The banking industry has called upon Congress and the national Credit Union Administration only to bring regulation of credit unions more into line with that of banks and thrifts, specifically in regard to the tax exemption and accounting procedures for deposit-insurance premiums.
Brian Muys, Washington, American Bankers Association
Picturing earth and moon together Regarding the article ``Galileo Gets Earth Boost for Jupiter Trip,'' Dec. 10: The ``first-ever pictures of Earth and Moon together'' were not taken by Galileo but by the Voyager I spacecraft as it headed toward Jupiter nearly 20 years ago. And there is no ``dark side of the moon.'' The side of the moon that faces Earth and the side that faces away receive the same amount of sunlight.
Ben Bova, Naples, Fla.