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Communism will fail in Vietnam, tooI take...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Communism will fail in Vietnam, too

I take exception to Sandy Grady's column "Clinton right to end the longest war" (July 13).

I will grant that it was a courageous thing for the president to do. But I can see no benefit that will accrue to the United States, only to communist Vietnam.

If "we need Vietnam" as a counter against China, as Mr. Grady alleges, then the U.S. truly is a paper tiger with no clout of its own.

What I object to most, however, is his incorrect assertion that "Vietnam was a class war" in which the poor, whom he described as "grunts," were sent to fight in rice paddies while "the rich or well-connected could hire lawyers, rig the system, stay in school."

Is he implying that all those who fought the war were poor and stupid -- as well as being wrong -- while those who avoided it were well-off and educated -- and right in addition?

All of my friends in the class of 1965 came from good families with middle-class incomes and values and went to good schools. Many could have gone to college and thus avoided the draft, but they either enlisted or were drafted. All of them served honorably.

All graduated from college after their service, and today own businesses or have good jobs.

In my own case, I quit high school in the middle of my senior year to join the Army, for patriotic reasons and to fight communism. Like my friends, I graduated from college after I came home with an honorable discharge and decorations.

Every July 4, we march with the Vietnam Veterans of America in parades in Dundalk, Towson, Catonsville and Bel Air.

As we approach, marching behind our battle flags, the people in the crowds rise and applaud us now for what we did then. That's the only revisionist history I care about.

The war will not be over until today's fortysomething media types -- who resisted then and write columns now -- stop refighting the war in their articles.

In the end, they will lose -- when communism is overthrown by the Vietnamese communists themselves, just as in Europe. Wait and see.

Blaine Taylor

Towson

The writer served in South Vietnam with the U.S. Army's 199th Light Infantry Brigade during 1966-67.

News and ads

Between now and September when the two Suns merge, there will probably be countless requests that favorite features of The Evening Sun be retained.

One hopes that the publishers will also decide whether they will produce a newspaper or an advertising medium.

The Evening Sun carries enormous ads with single strips of news fitted in where a little space is left available.

Is this a newspaper? Is it absolutely necessary that advertisers use enormous spaces to get their messages across?

People who read the paper for the news should be spared the bother of searching for information in a welter of blockbuster advertisements.

Frank Matthews

Baltimore

Waco hearings

Three years after the events at Ruby Ridge and Waco, the wall of media acquiescence is finally being breached by popular indignation and disgust. Congress has noted the protest of the people over this purported non-issue and is publicly airing the concerns. No longer can the media ignore them.

In anticipation of the hearing, the promotion of Larry Potts -- the mastermind of Ruby Ridge and Waco -- to the number two position in the FBI has been rescinded.

One has to ask what prompted this audacious promotion in the first place? Yet there was nary a protest from the believing press.

Ed C. Straley

Baltimore

News judgment

Shame on you. What a waste of valuable newspaper space. In color, no less. Front page of the Today section, June 6. That appalling nobody, sticking his tongue out.

"Planet Kato" you called it. How is it possible that this so-called "famous houseguest" is worthy of any mention in your newspaper?

Kato Kaelin is no longer a witness, right? He is not even a famous houseguest anymore. He's nothing.

Yet, your newspaper went along with 98 Rock's promotion. You took the bait and swallowed it whole.

Even the Orioles management knew better and did the right thing by declining a request to have this has-been houseguest throw out a ceremonial first ball at a Sunday night game.

Having this amateur featured prominently on the same front page with the recovery of Christopher Reeve, an authentic and well-liked actor who has accomplished something in his profession, is poor editorial judgment. Shame on you.

Leonard Arzt

Bethesda

Will the West let Serbia defy the world?

A crime against humanity is going on in Bosnia, yet the U.N. and Western leaders are incapable of doing anything about it.

At the very moment when genocide -- by its new name of "ethnic cleansing" -- was an ongoing event, our great non-leader, Mr. Clinton, was pompously proclaiming at the dedication of the Holocaust Museum in Washington that genocide must never be allowed to happen again.

While Serbian snipers are using Bosnian city streets as shooting galleries, targeting women, children, even pets, and while Serbian artillery is targeting schools and hospitals, blowing up sick and wounded patients, the U.N. and our Western non-leaders are enforcing an arms embargo on the Bosnians, effectively giving the Serbs a helping hand in the annihilation of the Bosnian people.

History will judge the West harshly on this matter. As an American, I am deeply ashamed of our part in this tragedy.

Mr. Clinton, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and National Security Adviser Anthony Lake aren't the only impotent incompetents who share blame for this shameful policy.

We have military brass who absurdly claim that 500,000 troops would be needed to contain the Serbs -- and protect Bosnia.

Nonsense! Hasn't anyone at all in the Pentagon thought of using our smart missiles? That's why there were developed -- to hurt an enemy without exposing ourselves to harm.

The U.S. should twist the U.N.'s arm enough to get an OK to do the following:

* Give the Serbs an ultimatum -- cease all fire and draw back 10 miles from all positions in the next 24 hours or else.

Of course they won't, knowing that we're all talk and no action. When time is up send three or four dozen missiles targeted on Serbian airfields, ammo dumps, fuel dumps, motor pools and one of the two bridges across which they are being supplied.

That would get their attention.

* Next, give them another 24 hours to comply or else. If they don't, double the number of missiles and knock out the second bridge.

Meanwhile, if the Serbs threaten reprisals against any U.N. forces, tell Messrs. Milosevic and Karadzic very bluntly that if they carry out their threat they will then see the mother of all firestorms, and the Bosnians will be generously armed.

These two thugs, being cut from the same cloth as Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein, will understand our language perfectly.

They will undoubtedly propose various alternatives, but they must draw back, or else. The Serbs undoubtedly are fierce, stubborn fighters, and the two thugs' lust for power is enormous. But I don't believe that they are stupid.

When they see their military assets going up in smoke and the Bosnians getting plentiful weapons, they will take the only viable option -- quit shooting and draw back.

That will be the time for Mr. Clinton to get rid of his hopelessly incompetent advisers, particularly Christopher and Lake, and hire Zbigniew Brzezinski, who probably understands the situation better than the whole Washington crowd put together.

If Mr. Clinton does not take bold action now, the situation will only get worse, and the shame for all Americans will only become deeper. Where are the Theodore Roosevelts and Harry Trumans now that we need them?

The Western powers all seem to be led by various versions of Casper Milquetoast.

John P. Lockwich

Baltimore

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