Sitting DuckRecently three United States senators made a...


December 31, 1992

Sitting Duck

Recently three United States senators made a trip to Somalia. Why? How did their junket benefit the Somalis?

Now the president of the United States is going to Somalia. Why? How will his junket benefit the Somalis? What will it accomplish, other than demonstrating the ability of a lame duck to fly?

Philip Myers

St. Margarets

Stay Out of Bosnia

The Dec. 10 Sun editorial, "After Somalia, Bosnia?," suggests military intervention as the answer in the Balkans, the justification being the U.S. military operation in the Horn of Africa.

The American Friends Service Committee, which for 75 years has been aiding victims of warfare, believes that military intervention is not a politically effective course of action in the former Yugoslavia.

Imposition of military force from the outside will not address the underlying divisions and sources of conflict, but only deepen the warfare and forestall the healing that is ultimately needed.

We suggest instead a commitment toward the long, tortuous and more difficult road of negotiations, a stronger enforcement of economic and military sanctions and support for the citizens' movements for peace within the countries engaged in the conflict.

Regarding Somalia, where the AFSC has been involved for the last 10 years doing relief and development work, we recognize the necessary role of United Nations peacekeeping forces and have no objection to the use of U.S. troops as part of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

However, we oppose the current use of the U.S. troops in Somalia and feel that all peace-keeping forces must be under the command of the United Nations.

As The Sun recently pointed out, the U.S. government delivered almost $150 million in military aid in the 1980s to Somalia, which contributed to the current state of affairs in this embattled


While our government must share responsibility for the chaos in Somalia, the U.S. military is not the organization that can reconcile the warring parties. It is still questionable whether the presence of U.S. military forces can assure the urgent, immediate goal of improved delivery of relief aid.

It is our belief that a sustained effort must be made by the U.N., with the support of the nonpartisan humanitarian agencies, to pursue every promising avenue for the restoration of peace in Somalia.

In particular, we recognize the significant role that can be played by local clan leaders in finding resolution for the crisis and support the U.N. in its efforts toward that end.

The United Nations is probably the only agency capable of developing a long-term solution to the strife in the Horn of Africa or in the Balkans.

As many societies in the post-Cold War atmosphere attempt to address internal strife, the international response to both Somalia and Yugoslavia could set a pattern for resolving future conflicts.

dythe M. Jones


The writer is director of the Southern Africa project for the American Friends Service Committee, Middle Atlantic Region.

Load of Guilt

Letter writer Edward Mattson's Dec. 12 criticism of Mike Bowler misses the point entirely. The point is that the National Rifle Association has fought every attempt to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, psychopaths, etc.

John Hinckley had no trouble buying the guns with which he shot Jim Brady and President Reagan. A seven-day waiting period would have stopped the attempted assassination.

It is a peculiar paradox that an organization founded to promote marksmanship now fights to allow the sale of guns whose only design is for mass murder. The National Rifle Association has a heavy load of guilt to carry.

oward H. Green



Announcement of the sale of radio station WITH to a buyer who plans to change the format and create a children's network is a cause of great consternation.

At this time, WITH is the only station in the Baltimore area offering quality music. "The Station of the Stars" is about to become the station of the kiddie car set.

This station has been described as a nostalgia trip, but it is far from that. Newer music is always played that fits the classic pattern of melody, rhythm and lyrics not spouted by the junior high set.

The station, to many of us, is a way of life. Ellington, Goodman, Shaw, Miller, Sinatra, Bennett and newer artists who sing and play without screaming, are featured daily.

The sale is not in the public interest. I urge all listeners who are not aware of the proposed change to write the Federal Communications Commission and try to discourage this move.

Demographics indicate a trend that encourages middle-aged and seniors audiences. This latest move goes all the way. Wonder what children's "drive time" is?

alcolm E. Holt

Glen Burnie

Norplant Is Wrong Answer

I was astonished at the public attitude concerning Norplant. ++ Where are the mothers of daughters who would be implanted? I guess being the mother of two sons (ages 20 and 27), it shouldn't bother me what or who profits from the implanting of young women.

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