Algerian PoliticsEditor: Your editorial on ''Algeria's War...


March 13, 1992

Algerian Politics

Editor: Your editorial on ''Algeria's War of Generations'' (Feb. 11) is perceptive as compared to much that has been published on the issue in American newspapers. You have correctly noticed that suppression of dissent by the military does not seem to be working.

I hope that as more information on Algeria reaches you, it will help in the realization that the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) is not a fundamentalist party. In fact, it was opposed by the fundamentalists who go under the name of Hamas.

The FIS is the party of the poor, the ''lumpen'' proletariat, who constitute the majority of the population. It does insist that women give up European dress and put on Islamic garb, but it definitely does not want to suppress women's rights.

In fact, the FIS has called for payment of wages to housewives, the only women workers who are denied wages. A very large number of women support the FIS.

As Algerians go to the original sources of Islam, the Koran and the Hadith, they are giving rights to all oppressed people.

On the other hand, the FLN, which ruled Algeria for decades, came up with the electoral law which would permit the husband to vote for his wife and three other persons. Surprisingly, none of the media now exulting over the end of democracy in Algeria ever objected to the decades of secular dictatorship in Algeria.

Islam is not a religion in the Western sense. It won't lead to any kind of understanding for Americans to judge Islamic aspirations by the principle of separation of church and state prevalent in America. Algeria is not Iran.

Kaukab Siddique.


Peril in the Grass

Editor: It isn't even spring, and already those little yellow pesticide-warning signs are popping up in my neighborhood.

Some people still do not understand that pesticide application can be detrimental to human health and the environment. Don't they care?

Shirley Carl.


Sellers, Beware

Editor:Realtors are not OK. The column published Feb. 23, "How to save on commissions," by Jane Bryant Quinn, was right on target. Consumers are not being informed that commission rates are negotiable. They are misled into overpricing their homes to make up for high commission rates.

This is what is known as "puffing" and the cost is passed on to the buyer. Even though in some cases buyers negotiate discounts of 10 to 20 percent on the sale price, brokers do not reduce commission rates.

One of the problems is that trade associations such as real estate boards have monopolized the industry. They actively discourage competition and lower commission rates. The fact of the matter is that homeowners are being overcharged to sell their homes.

The public will look on the real estate brokerage industry as a "profession" only when consumers' best interests are placed ahead of brokers. Until then, the public will continue to view brokers no differently than it does car dealers and some brokers don't want this perception altered. As a Realtor, I urge homeowners to negotiate commission rates. And in my opinion, any homeowner who is paying 6 or 7 percent to sell a home is

being overcharged.

rank W. Soltis


The writer is a partner in The Broker Realty Group.

No Easy Answers

Editor: In his letter of March 5, Thomas Hartman gives a words-of-one-syllable explanation of what was wrong with Bill Clinton's actions when faced with the draft. It was only half the story.

In the Nuremberg war crimes trials the United States established the precedent that individuals, in the military or not, are responsible for their own actions. Obeying orders is not enough. East German border guards are being prosecuted by this doctrine today.

Anyone who felt that destroying Vietnamese villages to save them was morally wrong, or that indiscriminate dumping of munitions on innocent rural communities could not be defended at the next Nuremberg was in a tough spot. Uncle Sam had sent flatly contradictory messages.

There are no easy answers.

Eaton Lattman.


Murder Victim

Editor: In a time when disregard, disrespect and despair are common, in a place where sex replaces love and manipulation substitutes for understanding, I had the opportunity of meeting a very special person.

Early this year, the Baltimore area was vilifying itself with the consistent symbiosis that drugs, poverty and illiteracy bring. As just another item among the many was the brutal murder in Bowley's Quarters of a young mother whose 12-year-old daughter came home to find her.

The superficiality suggests another marital dispute where drugs were involved and a killing took place, an item in the news, an obituary in the paper, another life taken.

But in this case (as probably in so many), the world is a slightly darker place because Jo Anne Wade is no longer with us.

Jo was a recovering human being -- recovering from an abused childhood, recovering from two bad marriages, recovering from her addictions.

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