The 'China spy/campaign finance' case Regarding "The China spy case" (March 12): I am greatly concerned by the lighthearted response you proposed. The issue at stake is more than when this activity began, which is a point the Clinton administration is attempting to hide behind.

The administration knew about this as far back as 1995, and only recently took action! The real issue is why this was not addressed by this president previously, considering the seriousness of the alleged capabilities that China has now secured.

Have we forgotten the campaign finance issues that arose during the '96 campaign, and the [monetary] support that came to the current administration from China? There certainly appears to be a potential tie-in between the delayed response [on alleged nuclear technology spying] and the funding of President Clinton's reelection campaign - at least enough to generate further investigation.

Robert Dowcett San Ramon, Calif.

More on Elia Kazan's Oscar Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley's opinion piece ("Elia Kazan: feted but not forgiven," March 10) is but one more attempt to make what the noted film director did to aid McCarthyism seem honorable.

Billingsley joins the parade of apologists for Kazan by portraying victims of postwar witch hunts as "Stalinists," and informers as patriotic heroes.

The people whose lives were destroyed during this shameful era were seldom, if ever, Stalinists. They were not always even communists, former communists, or even leftists. They included independent-minded progressives who were active in literary groups, organized labor, education and other walks of life. While some undoubtedly were misguided in their tolerant view of a despicable system, many were simply refusing to cooperate with government inquisitors bent on turning this country into lock step, rightist orthodoxy.

Al Dale Atlanta, Ga.

Mr. Kazan has admittedly had a distinguished career that deserves to be noted. But how many others were there who never had the opportunity to share their talent, not because of treasonous or subversive activity, but because of their alleged beliefs?

J. Hilton Turner New Wilmington, Pa.

Israel in southern Lebanon The Monitor's account of the debate on ending Israel's 21-year-old occupation of southern Lebanon misses the point completely ("Israel looks for reasons to exit Lebanon," March 10). The only thing Hizbullah and its fight for national liberation threatens is the ambition of some Israelis to remain in southern Lebanon.

While there is every reason to believe that Israeli security will be enhanced by a withdrawal from Lebanon, these concerns are beside the point. UN Security Council Resolution 425, passed unanimously in 1978, calls "upon Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory."

In the 20 years since, there has been no compliance by Israel with this demand for unconditional withdrawal.

Where other UN security council resolutions have been enforced by war, sanctions, bombings, and embargoes, Israel's obligations under Resolution 425 have been ignored with impugnity.

The Israelis are in no position to attach any conditions to their immediate withdrawal from Lebanon.

Hussein Ibish Washington Media director, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

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