On the Side of Maintaining Troops in Japan and South Korea
Regarding the article "Asian Allies Say US Military Presence Is Indispensable," Nov. 10: The Removal of United States troops from Japan and South Korea would be a disaster. The presence of our troops helps maintain peace in this unstable region. With the threat of North Korea building a nuclear bomb, the political situation becomes more uncertain.
Although Japanese and South Korean officials have met to discuss improving their relations, our presence is vital in assuring calm waters. If our government lessens defense abroad and at home, it may be acting prematurely. If our troops are removed, this could destroy any diplomatic, economic, or cultural relations. Mark D. Presley, Florence, Ala. The needs of Bosnia's displaced
The front-page article "UN Focuses on Urgent Needs of Bosnia's Displaced," Dec. 2, refers to the widespread belief among Muslims that the Western world would have taken military action if the Bosnians were Christian. I am sad to report that they are wrong.
In 1974, the Greek Orthodox Christians of Cyprus were subjected to "ethnic cleansing" as a result of Turkey's brutal invasion. Muslim Turkey occupied the best part of the island, killed thousands of civilians, and made refugees out of 200,000 people - almost half of the island's population.
While the Western nations condemned the invasion with just as much fervor as they now condemn Serbian actions, it was not long before the United States resumed its foreign aid to Turkey, in effect subsidizing its occupation of northern Cyprus.
Eighteen years later, the people of Cyprus have dozens of United Nations resolutions and positive policy statements from important nations, but their land is still divided. Demetrios Matsakis, Takoma Park, Md. Fitting Greece into the puzzle
The front-page article "World Pressure Mounts to Recognize Macedonia," Dec. 1, unfairly belittles the position of Greece. Greece is one of the few countries in the Balkans that has no desire to annex a part of any other nation; it would like not to have to defend one more border.
Greece is a small country, not at all secure in its boundaries. It is no coincidence that Turkey recognized the would-be Republic of Macedonia. Turkey threatens Greek ownership of the Aegean Islands and actively rejects those provisions in the treaty concerning control of the Aegean Sea. Sam Polites, Washington The great debate
Regarding the article "A Leading Senator Says US Should Turn Focus to World Relations," Nov. 13: Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana, says, "We've tried to remind people ... that the rest of the world is still out there...."
It's time Americans start seeing things that are happening around the world with a world view, rather than from a domestic view. The lack of stability in the newly formed countries presents a potential danger for the world as a whole.
Although many people feel that the US should be concerned only with domestic policy, foreign policy is just as important. Leigh Thompson, Lexington, Ala.
The primary focus of American government over the past several administrations has been to place emphasis on foreign affairs. We have paid the price domestically. A domestically weak America cannot effectively lead the world or continue to supply the economic strength needed to ensure peace, promote democracy, and effectively compete in world markets to benefit the American people. Thom Lester, Florence, Ala.