Let's let China find own path to successIt stands to...

the Forum

November 09, 1992

Let's let China find own path to success

It stands to reason that China should attempt to achieve a viable regime somewhere between communism and capitalism. It has viewed the vagaries of both systems and should be able to take advantage of each one's drawbacks.

It is obvious that the Chinese cannot afford to self-destruct as the Soviet Union did. Having four times the U.S. population with only slightly more legroom creates a unique situation. China must make as smooth a transition as possible to a new form of government.

With a disdain for frills and perks, plus its discipline and lack of greed, China is poised to create a market economy capable of making Taiwan and South Korea look like lemonade stands.

Thus, if the Chinese are to succeed they must avoid instability, maintain some semblance of order, and work together.

While many self-righteous Americans rail at China for its civil rights violations, we're hardly in a position to preach to cultures we don't understand when we can't even run our country without prejudice and economic favoritism.

Does China have a drug problem? What is the illiteracy rate? Does it waste natural resources at the rate we do?

Give this sleeping giant a decade or two, and if it can mesh capitalism with socialism the power base of the world may shift from the West to the Orient.

There are many ifs, but if China avoids the mistakes major "civilized" nations have made, it may well pull it off.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

Losing team

Gov. William Donald Schaefer and President Bush deserve each other.

Mr. Schaefer, a Democrat, is a disgrace to the party.

The people in Maryland are disgusted and fed up with both Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Bush, and neither one of them is needed in Maryland.

The Democrats do not need Governor Schaefer, and I am glad he has joined a losing team.

Frieda Domm

White Marsh

Help the born

I find it obscene that people for and against abortion raised more than $3 million and used it for a public relations blitz.

On the same page I read an article about homelessness on the increase. How many people already born could be housed, how many fed and given decent health care with $3 million?

Wouldn't it make more sense to find the reason for abortions and then try to eliminate them? It seems so ironic that we fight constantly to save the unborn but continually neglect the born.

A. McAvirue

Baltimore

German POWs in U.S. camps

Almost half a century has gone by since several German prisoners of war were killed by their fellow prisoners while in U.S. POW camps. According to your report ("Mysterious flowers symbolize questions over 14 executed German POWs," Oct. 28), these prisoners were traitors who were justly punished.

As a German ex-POW of those years -- who happened to find a new home in the U.S. in 1960 -- I wish to remind you that while some armies fight for just causes, others must fight for the diabolic intentions of a tyrant and his aggressive ideology. Such a fight for the wrong cause was the task of the German military forces in World War II.

Naturally, there were many dissenters -- clandestine opponents of the regime who found themselves in a dangerous position. Telling a political joke was enough to warrant the death penalty, believe it or not.

I vividly remember the muffled curses of tormented infantrymen fighting desperately on the plains of Russia. We were torn between military camaraderie and our deepening insight into the evil nature of our military and political goals.

When we -- the remnants of a crack division -- were transferred to the Normandy front and subsequently captured in the huge Argentan-Falaise pocket, I could sense the first faint, sweet smell of a new order. Captivity in the U.S. POW camps was a time to get prepared for a new freedom at home.

Yet a slowly declining majority of Nazis still dominated our camp life. "Black lists" were made with the names of those who subscribed to American newspapers -- I was an avid reader of the New York Times in a Nebraska camp -- or who cast doubt on Germany's final victory or attended church services in the camp.

We dissenters were not troublemakers. We rather enjoyed the disciplined camp life -- we even enjoyed our work detail duties.

As non-commissioned officers, the Red Cross rules did not force us to work, but we signed up voluntarily for work in order to do useful things in those days. For doing so, we were branded "traitors" by our die-hard Nazi fellow prisoners. Luckily, we were separated from that extreme group.

Traitors? There were hardly any more military secrets to be revealed in that final phase of the war. The murderous deeds of the fanatics were just one of the ultimate convulsions of Nazi tyranny. Surely these were tragically misguided young men. But the military laws of wartime were harsh.

Please, think about the innocent victims who presumably hoped that their desire for freedom would be protected against Nazi vengeance on American soil.

Ernst Niedermeyer

Towson

Alarming cuts in state medical assistance

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