Should the US Extend Diplomatic Recognition to the Baltics?

Regarding the article ``Lithuanians Expect Soviets to Try to Seize Parliament,'' Jan. 18: The Soviet Union's decision to attempt the intimidation and ousting of the democratically elected governments of the Baltic republics is an affront to the peoples of the world who believe in the rights of free representation and self-determination. We, as citizens of a nation founded by the quondam oppressed, should establish full diplomatic relations with the Baltic republics. Their peaceful egress from illegal Soviet domination is in the best interests of our country and the Soviet Union. We should never forget the remarkable courage of those who fight and die for the freedoms we enjoy.

Matthew J. McGuire, Washington

Canada follows dangerous path The article ``Economists Weigh the Costs of Independent Quebec,'' Jan. 16, requires clarification. There is no legal way Quebec can separate from Canada, referendum or not. To attempt illegal separation would result in civil war. The aspirations of a few modern-day Napoleons on the provincial scene and weak and ineffectual federal politicians are leading Canada down a dangerous path eagerly paved for them by irresponsible news organizations.

Richard H. Eldridge, Vancouver, Canada

Let `adults' fight wars The article ``Do We Need a Draft?,'' Jan. 22, overlooked one important aspect of military service. Throughout history, we ``adults'' have been in charge of the governments of the world. When things go wrong, however, and events lead us into war, we call upon our youth to do the fighting and dying, to give their lives for our mistakes.

In the past, the basic reason advanced for this was the need for youths' physical strength. With the changes in modern warfare, perhaps the time has come to and let the ``adults'' bear the brunt of the fighting resulting from their management of affairs. Computers, modern communications, and electronic devices have, to a considerable extent, replaced trench warfare and long marches. Who could be better than adults - with their education, training, and computer-age experience - to operate these highly technical and sophisticated systems? With a starting draft registration age of 40, those making the decisions would be called upon to serve, and would probably be more careful in their recommendations and decisions - especially those that affect war or peace.

Donald M. Ralston, Santa Barbara, Calif., Tommyanne C. Ralston

Responsible action from the UN The thoughtful opinion-page article ``UN's Coming Election,'' Jan. 25, should be directed to the nations comprising the UN Security Council. After all these years, the UN is acting responsibly for all mankind, and this election is the time to continue this respectable stand.

After this war in the Gulf, careful action will be needed to punish not the citizens of the world, but the acts of their leaders, and to help guide settlement of all Arab nations and Israel to live together in peace and harmony.

Betty H. Thomas, Green Bay, Wis.

No yahoos on the Yazoo River The article ``Mississippi Delta Families Slowly Gain Against Poverty,'' Jan 23, was informative, and the observation about ``more harmony between the races'' is certainly correct.

But fie on you, or at least your graphics department. If you're going to rename the Yazoo River, ``Yahoo'' is about the worst and most inappropriate choice you could come up with.

Mary M. Jones, Yazoo City, Miss.

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