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US policy in Central America

What a biased and unfair portrayal of the Sandinistas in the article ``American schools mirror upheavals in world politics,'' Sept. 13. The Sandinistas are painted as tyrannical rulers driving frightened Nicaraguan children to flee to the United States to avoid the violence of the Sandinista Army, which the article implies indoctrinates children and threatens them with death.

I have seen very little in the Monitor about the thousands of Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Honduran children swelling US classrooms to escape the torture and violence being carried out by the US-backed regimes ruling in their home countries.

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The US sends millions of dollars to these countries in support of military dictatorships that make no attempt to lessen the economic disparity of millions of landless peasants. Such are the ``democracies'' that the US government so proudly hails as foreign policy successes in Central America.

The violence and death in Central America are the result of maldistribution of resources and unnecessary war - not of a current government's political ideology.

People are dying and US foreign policy is exacerbating the situation. It's time the US public learns what is really happening in Central America and evaluates policy motives. Thousands of lives depend on it. Gayle Haberman Ann Arbor, Mich.

Worth 1,000 words Jeff Danziger's editorial cartoon Sept. 13, showing the homeless hidden around the corner while another bank is being bailed out, is right on target - as so many of his drawings are.

Billions of dollars are spent to bail out ailing banks and savings-and-loans, but only token sums are available to provide affordable housing, basic health care, and minimal nutrition to millions of citizens who are living on the margins. Many who comfort themselves with the notion that homeless people bring on their own troubles will object to this pointed suggestion that their plight is really a matter of national priorities.

I have no problem with cartoons that provoke thought about issues of the day. That's the purpose of opinion and editorial pages.

This cartoon is truly worth a 1,000 words of text. Phillip Miller Annandale, Va.

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