Macedonia's Vote for Independence

The article "Macedonia Freedom Push Complicates Peace Efforts," Sept. 10, is entirely wrong. Macedonia's recent vote for independence will not complicate the European Community's effort to peacefully settle the breakup of the six-republic Balkan Federation of Yugoslavia; the fragmentation of Yugoslavia is caused by Belgrade's insistence on Serbian hegemony.The United States and Europe must speak out clearly and quickly to prevent an invasion by the federal Army and to allow Macedonia to develop into a democratic, free-market state. In such a state, the basic human rights of all of Macedonia's citizens will be recognized and protected. Like all nations, Macedonia has a right to be free, independent, and sovereign. Ivan A. Lebamoff, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Palestinians as 'nonpersons' In the opinion-page column "Israel and the US: A Crisis of Confidence," Sept. 13, the author demonstrates an arrogance which typifies the Shamir government's attitude on peacemaking. He chides the Bush administration for requesting a delay on Israel's request for US guarantees of $10 billion in commercial loans to ingather and settle Russian Jews. But not once does the author refer to the Palestinians, directly or indirectly, not even as a party to negotiations. He seems to view them as nonpersons. This viewpoint of Israel and its supporters has been successfully planted in the minds of Americans and has warped clear thinking. If the Palestinians can be made to appear as nonpersons, how can negotiations be made concerning their future? Indeed, why bother to negotiate? The author does clearly state the central issue: ingathering of Jews into their ancient homeland. But he ignores the fact that ingathering has another side - the dispossession of the Palestinian people long resident in that land. But if one sees them as nonpersons, dispossession is irrelevant, as only the Russian Jews are deemed to be imperiled. George V. Parmelee, Willoughby, Ohio

A different type of urban growth It is good to see the article "Urban Gardeners Raise Vegetables in the Midst of Newark Asphalt," Aug. 22, recognizing Newark's great urban gardeners. This is just one such program that has received grants of free seeds from America the Beautiful Fund's "Operation Green Plant." This program just celebrated its 11th birthday. From 78 projects in 1980 to 35,000 projects in all 50 states this summer, we saw volunteers grow 3 billion pounds of food for the hungry! Part of the democratic spirit on which this country was built took form in the sharing of gardening skills and plants. Just as the Native Americans shared their seeds with hungry Pilgrims, America the Beautiful Fund now advocates plants as a means to promote charitable good works during these difficult economic times. Paul B. Dowling, Washington Director, America the Beautiful Fund

Poetry is a mirror The Home Forum essay "Shakespeare on the Wall," Sept. 5, sheds much insight into the elusive subject of poetry. Poetry is probably the most controversial form of literature. To many people it is, by turns, confusing, pretentious, obscure, unrealistic, etc. But in the last analysis, poetry mirrors our lives and emotions in a way that is unique. A great poem speaks to us personally, just as a great painting does, or a sublime symphony. All three are closely related. They are curiously and wonderfully interwoven. William Beyer, Belvidere, Ill.

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