Liberal BiasIf nothing else, the March 3 Perspective...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 20, 1994

Liberal Bias

If nothing else, the March 3 Perspective article, "Diplomacy by ultimatum," reaffirmed the liberal bias of reporter Richard O'Mara.

No credible evidence suggests that the credit for the Sarajevo cease-fire belongs to Bill Clinton and the NATO allies. The facts indicate that the Serbs' historical allies, the Russians, forced the issue.

Without the appearance of 400 Russian troops in Sarajevo, the Serbs would have, again, thumbed their noses at Mr. Clinton. Further, Mr. Clinton and his merry band of foreign policy mis-shapers were so out-of-touch they were stunned when the Russians interceded.

One of the prime factors in successful foreign policy is the adversary's fear of U.S. power and resolve. Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan and Bush were feared and respected by potential and actual adversaries. They knew how to use power effectively.

After Somalia, believing that any foreign power, even one as insignificant as the Serbs, fears Bill Clinton is ludicrous. As with the first four, the fifth Clinton ultimatum had no effect, except, perhaps, providing the Serbs with another laugh.

Perhaps the funniest part of Mr. O'Mara's article was comparing Mr. Clinton's petulant threats to JFK's ultimatum to Khrushchev and George Bush's to Saddam Hussein.

Standing next to JFK and George Bush in the foreign policy arena, Mr. Clinton is a spoiled child, stomping his foot and demanding things be done his way, or he will hold his breath.

Bill Clinton's foreign policy ability is negligible.

His bumbling in Somalia and Bosnia prove he has no concept of world politics nor how to effectively use military power, much less how to use diplomacy.

John A. Beard

Gambrills

Cable Costs

The Federal Communications Commission's announcement that it intended to make further rate cuts in cable TV was well-meaning, but consumers need more.

As David Zurawik's Feb. 23 article points out, more than one-third of

Baltimore area residents actually saw rates increase as a result of the 1992 Cable Act.

University of Maryland professor Douglas Gomery's assessment that it will still be difficult to actually achieve significant rate cuts for consumers bolsters my own fears that even the new FCC rules may not achieve the desired results.

As president of the national cable TV consumer group, Television Viewers of America, I fought hard for passage of the 1992 Cable Act as a way to bring cable TV rates down for consumers. It is now clear to me that regulation will never be as effective in achieving fair rates as competition.

In the very few areas where competition does exist (fewer than 1 percent of cable systems in the country) cable TV rates are 30 percent below the national average. This is the kind of rate reductions that American consumers need. Moreover, competition in cable TV will also spur investment in the information superhighway.

Congress is currently considering legislation that would increase competition in cable TV by allowing local telephone companies to provide cable TV service.

Unfortunately, the bill currently falls short of the unfettered, equal competition that will benefit consumers the most.

It is to be hoped that Congress will modify this legislation to allow all competitors to "take their gloves off" and fight for customers -- resulting in lower rates and better service for America's cable TV viewers.

Gary Frink

Washington

No Statesmanship

Is there any statesmanship to be found in the Republican Party?

It certainly is not visible in the performance of the current Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

They all seem intent on embarrassing the administration in any way possible, apparently because doing so will improve their chances of winning the next election. An honest day's work appears to be the farthest thing from their minds.

A statesman, according to Webster, is "one who exercises political leadership wisely and without narrow partisanship."

Needless to say, statesmen are needed in our government to deal with and solve some very demanding national and international problems.

The Republican members of Congress should cease and desist with their petty partisan attacks on our president and the first lady and devote their energy and support to the solution of some real problems like health care.

In this particular case, the president has provided the Congress with a comprehensive "baseline" proposal and has stated a willingness to compromise on everything but universal coverage. Congress now has the ball.

Especially the Republican members need to stop bouncing around like children trying to get out of doing their homework, settle down and focus on doing productive work. They need to work in concert with our elected president with the objective of advancing the common good.

In our democracy, this is the essence of statesmanship.

Larry Guess

Havre de Grace

Football Fans Not Welcome

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