Bosnia policy a dangerous precedent

The article ``Reticence in Foreign Affairs,'' Feb. 3, recalls the years 1938-39 when France and Britain, the superpower policemen of their area, also pursued a ``standoffish'' policy with regard to Hitler.

If this is what the American public wants, then it will have to be ready for a possible war. If the Serbs succeed in their ``ethnic cleansing'' policy, the United States may face a far greater threat from ethnic cleansing on a colossal scale in Russia, Ukraine, or Kazakhstan (which have nuclear weapons), or in other former Soviet republics. In a supposedly ``confined'' conflict, will nuclear-tipped missiles miss their targets and hit European cities - or even American cities? Will the strontium 90 from atomic fallout encircle the globe again as it did during Soviet nuclear tests of the 1960s?

When one dictator succeeds, others are tempted to grab power. Bosnia is being watched closely by would-be dictators. Henry G. Rutledge Jr., Davis, Calif.

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