The Status of a Pro-Israel Lobby in the Clinton
The article "Key Pro-Israel Lobby in the US May Lose Clout With Clinton," March 24, includes misleading information about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The author ignores the events of AIPAC's annual conference, which took place the week before the article ran. Convention participants were indeed addressed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, via live satellite from Israel, who cut short his US visit due to heightened violence at home.
AIPAC members were also addressed by Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who pledged that AIPAC "will have access to me as much as I can possibly give through my tenure as secretary of state." Having listened to such notable speakers, anyone who attended the conference could conclude that both AIPAC and the US-Israel relationship are in good condition.
AIPAC will continue to share its views and concerns with both Congress and the Clinton administration. To do anything less would be to ignore AIPAC's mission - the advancement of the US-Israel relationship - as well as the concerns of the American Jewish community. Robert H. Zeitlin, Philadelphia
The article overlooks the appointment of Martin Indyk to the post of Middle East specialist on President Clinton's National Security Council (NSC). Mr. Indyk is a former AIPAC assistant director for research and former international media and communications adviser to Prime Minister Shamir.
As Middle East adviser to the NSC, Indyk will be involved in formulating American policy toward the region. His previous experience indicates he is quite partisan toward Israel. Thus, with an AIPAC veteran established in the executive branch, AIPAC can concentrate on Congress and help ensure continued taxpayer largess toward Israel.
Though AIPAC may have gone through tough times recently, its dogged endeavors have paid off for those who wish to have AIPAC veterans and friends in influential positions in the government. With Indyk, AIPAC is no longer an intermediary - it has become a part of the government. Kent Morris, Salem, S.C. US role in El Salvador conflict
The editorial "UN's `Truth Squad'," March 17, demeans the UN's Commission on the Truth report about the atrocities committed in El Salvador.
Now that President Alfredo Cristiani has succeeded in granting amnesty to all participants, he is also indebted to grant amnesty to former Presidents Reagan and Bush, as well as Congress, for their roles in the conflict. They supplied the Salvadoran military with billions of dollars from United States taxpayers and trained soldiers in the US.
The government's participation in the El Salvador conflict is a very black mark in US history. Valfrid G. Hector, Lakewood, Colo.
Excuses about stopping communism in Central America were just a coverup for a policy of repressing demands for decent wages, housing, education, and human rights. We have been told that El Salvador is a "fledgling democracy." Apparently, democracy means freedom of choice with a gun to the head.
The media seems suddenly willing to reveal the barbarism of a US client state. Yet the evidence has been available all along. Perhaps the media chose to ignore it for political reasons.
Supporting foreign oligarchies, rather than regarding them as aberrations or necessary evils, is deliberate. When brought to light, specific abuses come across as episodic - perhaps attributable to corrupt individuals in high places and not the result of overall domination. L. Gagnon, Belchertown, Mass.