Evaluating the Situation in Yugoslavia

There are no ethnically pure borders in Europe, as the editorial "The Fall of Vukovar," Nov. 20, suggests. If the European and world communities allow Serbian grabbing of Croatian land it will have unforeseen consequences in post World War II Europe.Serbia itself is only 60 percent ethnically pure. What about the other minorities (Croatian, Hungarian, Albanian, Romanian, etc.) in Serbia now? The Croatian people are not a tribe. They have their nation, democratically elected government, and they voted to secede from Serbian dominated Yugoslavia. The mere presence of the Serbian army on Croatian territory is in violation of the cease-fire. Dragan Ivkovic, Melrose Park, Ill.

There is a holocaust going on in Croatia right now - a genocide of a defenseless people by the territory-seeking Yugoslav Army. Recently, I met a family of Croatian-Americans. They are literally speechless, shocked by the brutality of the Army. They describe, for example, the fate of Vukovar. A year ago it was a beautiful city of approximately 90,000, a majority of them Croatians. Then the city was selected for a territorial grab by the Army and the population told to leave. Our democratic government not only did not protest, but we are encouraging the genocide by supporting a strict arms embargo - assuring that Croatian civilians remain defenseless against the Army of Yugoslavia. Lilian Axelrod, Los Altos, Calif.

The editorial "The Tragedy of Dubrovnik," Nov. 15, is surprising and regrettable. Dubrovnik has deep symbolic meaning for Croatians, who were denied their nationhood and their history over many centuries. To write that the plight of that city is the result of "the often-blind independence drive of Croatia" is adding insult to injury. To further suggest that the Croats intentionally "placed significant firepower in the old district, taunting the Serbs to attack and calculating the resulting local and worl d outcry would be worth the cost of lost treasures" is cynical. Did defenders of the Alamo also place their firepower into the Old Mission to taunt their attackers? The merciless destruction of Dubrovnik has an explanation, though. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic knows that Serbia will never possess Dubrovnik treasure and therefore he wants to destroy it for others. Barry Brkic, Arlington,Va.

Dubrovnik, on the Yugoslavian coast, was one of the most beautiful places on earth. I spent a week in 1984 filling a sketchbook with drawings of the limestone houses, passageways, courtyards, churches, and gardens within ancient walls that hugged the sea cliffs. This is the sacred place that the Yugoslav Army has just finished shelling to bits - not even for any discernable military reason, but apparently out of spite. Guy Ottewell, Greenville, S.C.

Mexican import doubts The article "US Fights Mexico Over Avocados," Nov. 13, discusses whether or not the United States should lift its current embargo and import avocados from Mexico. The US should not import from Mexico because large plantation owners, like Armando Cruz Guillen who wears a "diamond-encrusted ring," are the people who benefit from exports. But, the Mexican people as a whole do not benefit. Wealthy plantation owners reap the benefits and in turn exploit their workers. Without a market for their goods, the plantation lands could be used to feed the native people. Denise Diener, Harrisonburg, Va.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.