Misinformed CommentaryWilliam Pfaff appears to have...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 15, 1992

Misinformed Commentary

William Pfaff appears to have reached a new low in his misinformed commentary on Yugoslavia ("Where the 14th Century Vies with the 20th," Sept. 29). He makes the strikingly absurd comment that before the present conflict, a ". . . modern, pluralist and tolerant society" did exist in Yugoslavia.

That is patently false. Yugoslavia never had such a society.

Until the current break-up, the Communist Party ruled in a stifling dictatorship.

Even before World War II, democracy could never get off the ground in old royal Yugoslavia, having been paralyzed by intractable inter-ethnic conflicts in the 1920s.

The only time that anything resembling an open, Western-type democracy existed in that part of the Balkans was during the reign of King Peter I, who ascended the throne in 1903.

Yugoslav historians and intellectuals freely admit to this, although it is a source of embarrassment for many to admit that last time real democracy existed was before World War I in the tiny Serbian kingdom.

A few relatively open cafes and courageous talk by a few intellectuals do not constitute a functioning democracy, as Mr. Pfaff would have us believe. That is a cavalier assessment that the most superficial tourist would not make.

Mr. Pfaff also characterizes the passions underpinning the current conflict as made up of " . . . ignorant emotions and tribal passions of 600 years ago."

Two things deserve to be said in response.

First, 1945 is not "600 years ago." That is the last time that wide-scale inter-ethnic conflict existed, at a genocidal level. You can no more expect the peoples of Yugoslavia to forget this than to suggest that Jews forget about the Holocaust.

Second, in assuming the tone of a superior Western commentator, Mr. Pfaff ignores his own history -- a history full of violent ethnic wars, genocide, political repression and worldwide colonialism.

Also, industrialization in the 19th century represents the West's greatest advantage and the catalyst to political development. The people of the Balkans did not enjoy this advantage.

At a time when industrial progress was rapidly changing Western societies, the people of the Balkans were living under Islamic rulers who are the historical counterparts of Kadafi and Khomeini.

Drage Vukcevich

Catonsville

AIDS Alert

Baltimore has been named one of the top four cities where AIDS is the leading cause of death among young adults. These "young adults" contracted the virus as teen-agers. Baltimore needs to wake up to the needs of its teen-age population.

Members of ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) are the only ones, so far, to have acknowledged this need by distributing safe-sex pamphlets and condoms on the first day of school in front of the School for the Arts.

The pamphlet was targeted specifically at teens (not parents) to promote honest discussions of human sexuality. If these teens were handed a textbook version of sex, would they have read it?

That's the objective, isn't it -- to get them to read and remember anything and everything they need to know to avoid contracting a disease which will kill them? I can't sit at home with a bag over my head and think my kids would never have sex (as much as I would preach "abstinence, abstinence, abstinence!").

I hope the advice sticks.

It's just too bad it had to be on a street corner instead of at home or in the school.

Marcia Plait Treece

Baltimore

LaRouche Was Victim of East German Lie

Beginning approximately one month after the February 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, major media outlets in Europe and the United States, including The Sun, ran literally hundreds of stories alleging that the European co-thinkers of political maverick Lyndon H. LaRouche were being sought as the perpetrators of this vile murder.

Now, one Herbert Brehmer, who served as a leading "disinformation" officer of the infamous East German Stasi, has come forward on Swedish National Radio and in the pages of the Swedish Journalists Association weekly with the shocking admission that the whole story was from the start nothing but a Stasi-concocted hoax!

The implications of Mr. Brehmer's confession are truly staggering. Despite repeated statements by the Swedish police in 1986 that there was absolutely no "LaRouche connection" to Mr. Palme's death, the print and electronic media on both sides of the Atlantic churned out these wild allegations as though they were revealed truth, up to six months after the assassination.

Mr. LaRouche insisted at the time that he and his associates were being set up for either physical or legal assault through a massive disinformation campaign run by Soviet-bloc intelligence services in cooperation with corrupted elements of the intelligence and law-enforcement "community" in the West.

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