India's Wake-Up Call

The fact of the matter on India's nuclear tests is that the blinding of the United States government stems from its own self-confidence and boastfulness. They were full of contempt for the Indians, as always, thanks to India's Gandhian over-humility. No one really believed that India was capable of detonating atomic bombs.

For 24 long years, India's reticence was translated by these boastful Westerners - in spite of India's Pokhran test in 1974 - as incompetence. In the meantime, China, France, and a number of countries went ahead with atomic blast after blast and no one heard any meaningful protest from the West.

Arvind Ghosh


King's killing bears investigation

Regarding Daniel Schorr's column "It's a Sad Day If America Conspires Against Americans" (May 1): Regrettably, Mr. Schorr misuses Coretta Scott King's perfectly credible and proper request that her husband's assassination be investigated by the Justice Department to illustrate his own understandable concern that too many citizens believe hidden conspiracies abound behind many prominent Americans' murders.

The exact circumstances of Martin Luther King Jr.'s passing is clouded in a mystery involving countless bumblings and embarrassing inconsistencies on our government's part which - for the sake of all Americans, not just the King family - it still needs to resolve.

While the author believes Gerald Posner's book leaves little doubt of James Earl Ray's guilt, both he and your readers may find, as I did, that a careful reading of the book by Ray's long-time, tenacious attorney William Pepper raises intriguing unanswered, but answerable, questions. May the Justice Department accept the Kings' request untainted by innuendo.

Harold G. Schick Jr.

Los Angeles

News media distracts the president

Godfrey Sperling's column "Clinging Scandal Diverts the President" (May 12) appalled me, for the first time in many years' reading of the Monitor.

Mr. Sperling has written many thoughtful, incisive, and revealing pieces on the personalities and opinions of politicians. But this time he has bought into the gratuitous, collective corrosion of Bill Clinton and his presidency by the media.

I also watched (and listened to) the latest press conference he reports on. I heard the "scandal" questions, and Clinton's careful, yet cutting (if you listened attentively) answers.

But they were not the majority of the questions, and he seemed not diverted. It is the news media, not Mr. Clinton, that is diverted from asking the questions important for the country, indeed the world.

And there are the repeated references to "scandals": Have we forgotten that nothing has been proven? Have we forgotten Mr. Clinton's contributions to the evolving peace process in Northern Ireland, his work on race relations in America, education, environment, etc.?

Or are these diversions away from the President's problems?

I wish that the author could reflect on the real significance of the diversion of the press. Marshall McLuhan was very right: The media are the message.

Hendrik J. Monkhorst

Gainesville, Fla.

OPEC membership

In the editorial "Fill 'er Up!" (April 30) you state that Venezuela is a non-OPEC country. However, Venezuela is one of the six founding members of OPEC.

Dag Ytreberg

Webster, N.Y.

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