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Bosnia policy a dangerous precedent

The article ``Reticence in Foreign Affairs,'' Feb. 3, recalls the years 1938-39 when France and Britain, the superpower policemen of their area, also pursued a ``standoffish'' policy with regard to Hitler.

If this is what the American public wants, then it will have to be ready for a possible war. If the Serbs succeed in their ``ethnic cleansing'' policy, the United States may face a far greater threat from ethnic cleansing on a colossal scale in Russia, Ukraine, or Kazakhstan (which have nuclear weapons), or in other former Soviet republics. In a supposedly ``confined'' conflict, will nuclear-tipped missiles miss their targets and hit European cities - or even American cities? Will the strontium 90 from atomic fallout encircle the globe again as it did during Soviet nuclear tests of the 1960s?

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When one dictator succeeds, others are tempted to grab power. Bosnia is being watched closely by would-be dictators. Henry G. Rutledge Jr., Davis, Calif.

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