Redrawing the Borders of the Yugoslav Republics
The editorial "Now Croatia?," July 11, remarks that one way out of the present Yugoslav crisis may be for Croatia to cede more land to Serbia. All of the parties involved have at one time thought that redrawing borders would be a good idea. But with the exception of the Serbian government, all have realized how intractable such an option would be. As thorny as the current situation in Croatia seems, the situation in Bosnia/Hercegovina promises to be much worse. And the problems of Macedonia would be worse still. The present stance of Croatia and Slovenia can be seen primarily as a redefinition of the role the republics play in Yugoslavia. Even the Serbian government made clear that some such redefinition would be necessary when it abolished the semiautonomous status of two of its provinces. Why is this injustice so rarely addressed? Redrawing borders would not address the fundamental problem of ensuring that minority rights in all the republics would be respected, which is the only real prospect for peace. Take the case of the so-called "autonomous region of Krajina," which some Serbs have called to have ceded to Serbia. It contains only a third of Croatia's Serbs, a mere 3 to 4 percent of the population. Moreover, what of the many Croatians who also live in Krajina, or outside of Croatia altogether? Are the Croats who live outside of Croatia going to be allowed the same rights to secede and merge with Croatia as Serbs are? Clearly, the issue of where to put the republics' borders is best resolved by leaving them alone. Any other course will plunge the country directly into civil war. R. D. Loncarec, Cambridge, Mass.
The editorial makes mention of Croatian/Nazi collaboration during World War II. Why is this the only aspect of history that deserves mention? What about the equally grisly crimes of the Serbian Chetniks? And what about the Yugoslavian royalist government's allegations of Serbian "racial superiority," which was meant to justify further allied aid for a Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia? What about the many Croats who risked their lives to fight against the Nazis - among them, Croatia's current president? And why stop at World War II? What about the unlawful imprisonments, tortures, and murders perpetrated by the Serbian royalists who governed Yugoslavia before then? There are people throughout Yugoslavia who remember with horror the cruelty of that regime, and who are terrified to see the likes of V. Seselj of the now-reactivated Serbian Chetnik Party gaining prominence. Is it because they have been too civilized to voice their fears with guns and bombs that they are being ignored? Martin Hrgovcic, Houston
Cold-fusion experiments The article "Cold-Fusion Follies," July 10, seems reactionary. "Science News," a well-respected weekly science newsmagazine, has recently reported dozens of fascinating experiments currently being conducted upon cold fusion. The fact that cold fusion experiments are having a difficult time reproducing results does not mean that they are not using the scientific method or that their object is to defraud the public for personal gain. Cold fusion is a complex and poorly understood phenomenon, but it is not a hoax. The magazine's reports describe a growing body of experimental evidence supporting various aspects of cold fusion. A conference gathered in Italy recently to discuss such experimental results. It is time to give cold fusion the rigorous scientific examination, discussion, and reporting it demands. L. H. Woeltjen, San Luis Obispo, Calif.