Editor: The United States has now been engaged in the Middle East crisis for over three months. Isn't it time for Texas oilman George Bush to present a feasible energy program to Congress and the American people in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Is it too much to expect honest and courageous leadership during these troubled times?
Dorothy W. Cronin.
Editor: Ernest B. Furgurson's Oct. 21 Opinion Commentary piece, "Vietnam: It's About Time," failed to present a balanced picture regarding the road to better US-Vietnamese relations, relying instead on the argument that America's wounded pride remains the primary obstacle.
Normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam is linked to an acceptable Cambodia settlement, which includes a verified withdrawal of Vietnamese forces. However, the U.S. has consistently made clear to Hanoi that the pace and scope of the normalization process will be directly affected by the seriousness of their cooperation on prisoners of war and those missing in action and other humanitarian issues. Viable POW/MIA efforts by Hanoi would position both countries for improved relations, once the Cambodia-related criteria are met.
Some Americans, particularly in the business community, appear to be calling for immediate action to lift the trade embargo without regard for U.S. policy objectives. Hanoi's obligations regarding the necessary Cambodia settlement and the fullest possible accounting for missing Americans must not be abandoned in favor of commercial endeavors.
Those Americans overly anxious to ignore the "pace and scope" policy should recognize the following facts: Due to its effective communication and control systems during the war and since, Vietnam could readily resolve the fates of hundreds of American. This is evidenced by Hanoi's sporadic cooperation. Very importantly, some Americans previously known alive in Vietnamese captivity have not yet been returned. The burden, appropriately, is on Hanoi to provide answers.
Ann Mills Griffiths.
*The writer is executive director of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia.
Editor: Nov. 9, a day of joy for some, a day of infamy for others.
Fifty-two years ago, Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, marked the beginning of the Final Solution, the extermination of Jews just because they were Jews.
The same date in 1989 heralded the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, a cause for celebration for the people of both East and West Germany.
So, Jews throughout the world commemorate this date with vivid memories of unbridled pillage and desecration of Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues. They recall with horror the round-up of Jewish men to be hauled off to concentration camps.
While the Jews mark this date as the very beginning of the annihilation of 6 million Jews throughout Europe, the Germans, in stark counter-distinction, are dancing, singing, rejoicing because they are once again united.
While I take no stand on the unification of Germany, I must wonder why the tearing down of the Berlin Wall had to coincide with Kristallnacht. Did the German psyche wish to eradicate focusing on the negative while replacing it with a positive event? Was this choice designed to ask the worked to forget the horrors of the Hitler era and to think only of the hoped-for wonders that will occur from a united Germany?
Let us not obliterate the memory of Kristallnacht.
Rape Is Harmful
Editor: Regarding the article, ''Towson State student raped in daytime attack,'' what does the phrase ''otherwise unharmed'' mean? If the story was about someone who was forced into the woods at knifepoint where he or she was stabbed, would the journalist have included the phrase ''otherwise unharmed'' to connote that the person was not raped?
The point, of course, is that rape is as serious an injury as any other, and to say that she was otherwise unharmed implies that the rape was somehow mitigated. The reference to the victim's lack of additional injury was insensitive and unenlightened at best.
Elissa D. Levan.
Windows on Mt. Vernon Place
Editor: C. James Troy's letter concerning the exterior storm windows on Hackerman House, while sincerely motivated, reflects a lack of familiarity with the building and its current renovation.
The Walters Art Gallery conceived its project to convert this landmark structure into Baltimore's and Maryland's first museum of Asian art so as to add to the beauty of Mt. Vernon Place.
Meticulous analysis of paint samples revealed the precise hues of the original brick and trim. These have been restored to the building and, in turn, have revived the original unity of the four central corners of the square and the continuity of the western flank of Washington Place.