Budget Reduction vs. Nuclear-Weapon Production

The front-page article "Cold War Over, but US Continues Designing New Nuclear Weapons," July 23, puts its finger on a budgetary problem. The United States is not in danger of a ballistic-missile attack; even CIA Director Robert Gates concedes that no such threat is likely for at least a decade. Our senators surely realize that a far greater need is to fund domestic programs and to reduce our tremendous deficit.

Instead of an increase, can our leaders not decrease the allocation for this unnecessary and problematic development? Kenneth Thimann, Haverford, Pa. `China's villages' series

Part four of the "China's Villages" series, "As Party Declines, Who Is in Charge?," Aug. 12, is alarming for more reasons than one. Insiders are quietly predicting a breakup of the Chinese empire to be more chaotic than the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Despite all the years of Marxist pressure on the time-honored evils of old China - superstition, clan warfare, exploitation of the farmers and workers, and above all, exploitation and abuse of women - these are once more rising to the surface.

The article covers family clans, old-time religion, and resurgent warlords. What it does not cover is the hidden partner of all these institutions: the suppression of women. Any hope for a genuinely improved standard of living in interior China rests with the continued education and development of the female population.

Controlling the number of births, elevating the level of literacy, and democratization itself depend upon this development. We are looking at a disaster in the making. Laina Farhat, San Francisco

I enjoyed the four-part series on China in the Monitor. My wife is from China, and after reading the articles she found out more about her own country because of the freedom of the press we enjoy here in America. The series also helped me understand more of where my wife is from, what it was like for her growing up, and how I take a lot of what America has to offer for granted. It also helped me understand more about the Chinese society, past and present. Mark Hummer, Toledo, Ohio Covering Czechoslovakia

Our Embassy really appreciates the attention the Monitor is paying to what is happening in Czechoslovakia. Your articles covering political development in our country have been written with a good knowledge of the situation and are usually informative.

In the editorial "In Czechoslovakia, Ask the People," July 1, however, the author refers to the federal parliament of Czechoslovakia as a "Czech" parliament. In fact, this is a very good example of publicity which makes Slovaks really unhappy and confirms their belief that they live in a shade of their "older brothers" Czechs.

Czechoslovakia still consists of the Czech and Slovak republics, and its official name is the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. Daniel Vesely, Washington Press Secretary Embassy of Czech and Slovak Fed. Rep.

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