To Intervene or Not to Intervene in Bosnia

The editorial "Genocide's Crossroads," April 12, is moving and appealing. I wish I could believe that America could stand up to the task of facing history. However, the reasons for not taking military action in Bosnia pile up.

One of the primary lessons in Vietnam was that to win a war against guerrillas you have to take territory and keep territory. I doubt our army is trained for such action, or that the Army will commit the numbers necessary to hold territory. As in Vietnam, air strikes will be marginal and ineffective in this terrain. It seems likely the Serbs will obtain tactical nuclear weapons and, when disadvantaged, will use them. The more serious question: What will America do if US troops are subjected to nuclear we aponry? Will America recognize humanitarian restraints in such a situation? Also the American public cannot sustain a military undertaking. Vietnam created a poisonous divisiveness in our society. Even in World War II, with Nazism rapidly covering Europe, America could not unite until Pearl Harbor made self-interest clearly evident. Margarite Hall, Crozet, Va.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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