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Child Abuse Neither a Joke Nor an Excuse

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I was at first angered by Mr. Danziger's Feb. 25 cartoon of Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic: ``Actually, we both had abused childhoods.'' That child abuse can create monsters is no joke.

German psychologist Alice Miller's book, ``For Your Own Good,'' shows how cruel child-rearing practices helped to create a nation capable of horrendous treatment of fellow human beings. Surely Danziger did not mean to make light of one of the fundamental causes of violence in our world.

Perhaps his intent was to make fun of our United States legal system for letting criminals go free on the grounds that childhood abuse caused their criminal behavior.

If so, then I agree that society's growing awareness of the consequences of child abuse has led to unreasonable and dangerous conclusions. Let us convict criminals of their crimes and then, where possible, provide the kind of treatment that can help free these individuals (and society) from the effects of the abuse they suffered. Yvonne Fann, Des Moines, Wash.

Covering Armenia- Azerbaijan conflict

Thank you for the opinion-page article ``If Azerbaijan Talks Peace Armenia Will Listen,'' March 8, by the Armenian ambassador. Last month you had an article by the Azeri ambassador. I applaud the Monitor's equal, evenhanded coverage of this volatile yet often overlooked issue. As an Armenian-American I am pleased to see the succinct and intelligent presentation of the Armenian point of view. Raffi V. Aroian, San Francisco, Calif.


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