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The Outlook for Intervention in Bosnia

The Opinion page article "NATO Forces Should End Bosnia Massacre," July 31, conveys a true lack of understanding of the conflict in Bosnia.

Not only is this a war of aggression, but it is also a popular insurrection and most importantly a civil war. Although it is quite clear that Belgrade supported the Serbs in Bosnia, it is clear that Croatia is also involved in the war, and the Serbs in Bosnia are beyond Begrade's control. The sanctions against Yugoslavia have not diminished the violence.

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The suffering the author also cites is not nationally exclusive. United Nations agencies, human rights groups, and Western media have reported atrocities committed against the Serbs. Concentration camps containing Serbs, massacres of Serbian civilians, and forced displacement of Serbs have been documented in Muslim- and Croat-held areas.

The only peace that is likely to last in Bosnia is one reached through a political settlement. Pressure should be brought against all parties to the dispute to accept the Lisbon Document agreed to by all three political leaderships in March. Once a political accord is reached, then and only then could a military force be used to shore up the peace by disarming all forces and by ensuring the safe return of refugees.

Military intervention on one side of the conflict is not the answer. As history has shown, the military imposition of peace in Bosnia is an extremely costly and long process - just ask the Turks, Austrians, and Germans. Obrad Kesic, Princeton, N.J. The Slovaks' Decision

Regarding the Opinion page article "Slovakia Declares Its - Identity?," July 21: The author is identified as an assistant United States attorney from Los Angeles who has been working as a US legal consultant in Bratislava for five months.

What is right for Slovakia is certainly not within this author's purview, nor any outsider's.

That has to be a decision that falls squarely on the shoulders of the 5 million residents of Slovakia. Hopefully, the Slovaks will make the right decision for themselves. Joseph Stipkala, Upper Marlboro, Md.

The front page article "New Czechoslovak Government Could Be United Country's Last," July 3, contains questionable assertions about Slovakia.

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The fundamental question for Slovakia today is self-determination, as it has been since 1918 and before under Hungarian rule. Slovakia has been proceeding in an exemplary fashion - democratically, peacefully, guaranteeing human rights, applying the rule of law, and conforming with international obligations. John J. Karch, Falls Church, Va. Israeli settlements

Regarding the front page article "Arabs Feel the Pressure of Israel's Overtures," July 23: The author states in the article, "The issue of Israeli settlements, built on Arab land to absorb Jewish immigrants, has been a major sticking point since the peace process was launched in Madrid last October."

This land is not Arab land, and the settlements are not being built to absorb Jewish immigrants. Many Israelis consider it Israeli land. To be fair, this land is disputed until its status is settled by a peace treaty. The inhabitants are mostly young Israeli families looking for affordable housing.

Michael Wolin, Longmont, Colo.

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