In the opinion-page article "The Yugoslavia Test," Nov. 26, the author incorrectly compares the current internal conflict in Yugoslavia with the invasion of Kuwait.Although he asks the right question Will the right of a people to chose its own destiny depend on its having the armed might to repel its neighbor's predation? he refuses to see that the "democratic Croatia," along with its aspirations for autonomy, brutally suppresses rights of other nations to live in Yugoslavia. Also, the author doesn't understand that the importance of the Serbs within Yugoslavia, in which they account for almost 40 percent of the total population, cannot be neglected. The right solution to the Yugoslav crisis is not "one aircraft carrier." It should be based on peaceful negotiation among all parties involved, and it can be acheived through unbiased mediation. Miloroad S. Kovacevic, Iowa City, Iowa
Former pro-Yugoslav Croat intellectuals and scholars, including myself, have unfortunately come to the conclusion that any attempt to resurrect Yugoslavia will cause further nightmares for both Serbs and Croats. Only the separation of Croatia from Serbia, with guaranteed rights for all minorities, can ensure peace in this area of Europe. Forced cohabitation, twice imposed in this century, irrespective of its theoretical and ecumenical paper value, is bound to sow further seeds of violence and lead to senseless incrimination on both sides. Tomislav Sunic, Huntington, Pa. Assistant Professor of Political Science Juniata College
Separation of church and state The editorial "Religious Expression in Public Life," Nov. 21, goes too far in its effort to find a compromise between strict church-state separation and excessive accommodationism. The Rhode Island graduation prayer before the Supreme Court in Lee v. Weisman is neither fish nor fowl. It is a strange hybrid, a prayer offered by a clergyperson who must agree to fit his/her prayer to the rigid specifications laid down by the state. Such a prayer brings honor to neither religion nor to government. Let's face it - it is simply not possible to devise a truly nonsectarian prayer. Our constitutionally mandated separation of church and state does not equate hostility with religion. Its purpose is to protect the religious freedom of every individual. Separation does not exclude religion from public life. It simply keeps government from being involved with religion. Further, the Bush administration's interest in this case is hardly benign. The administration has urged the Supreme Court to scrap the Court's traditional Lemon test for determining whether or not an act of government is constitutional. If George Bush has his way, we can kiss religious freedom and much of the First Amendment goodbye. Edd Doerr, Silver Spring, Md. Executive Director, Americans for Religious Liberty
Nuclear weapons in Israel In response to the opinion-page article "Brinkmanship in The Middle East," Dec. 2: I agree with the writer that Americans should be concerned about the prospect of nuclear war in the Middle East if the peace talks fail. Since Israel has shown that it is willing to destroy anyone who poses a real threat to them, it is important that a peaceful solution be found. Margo Kapinos, Pensacola, Fla.