Premature praise of Carter's efforts

The author's praise of former President Carter in the opinion-page article ``Carter's Methods Bring Results,'' Jan. 11, is both unjustified and premature.

In Haiti, North Korea, and now Bosnia, Mr. Carter's assumption of a neutral posture in dealing with manifest brutality and illegality has diminished the prestige of the US presidency.

The author may be correct that, in each of these forays, Carter has eased tensions - but at what price? By making serious concessions to the guilty parties, Carter achieves the momentary calm that often accompanies appeasement.

At the same time, he makes future conflict, with the aggressor's hand strengthened, more likely. We should thus be grateful that, in the author's words, Carter is ``a unique individual.'' M.F. Harris, Alexandria, Va.

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