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NATO's Failure to Act Against the Serbs

THE front-page article ''A War to Avoid,'' Dec. 7, does not mention the failure to mobilize the North American Treaty Organization's (NATO) military action against the Serb supply line that fueled the Bosnian Serb insurrection.

Yes, injurious economic sanctions were imposed against Serbia for this aggression, but nothing was done to stifle the continuing flow of such aid.

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Serbia may still be fueling the Bosnian war effort, notwithstanding Belgrade's announced termination of such aid to pressure the Bosnian Serbs to accept the latest peace proposal.

If, early on (after appropriate but unsuccessful warning), NATO had attacked this supply line by bombing every identifiable bridge and road on the Bosnia-Serbia border and every identifiable aircraft and ferry attempting to cross it, such a dramatic show of international resolve might have catalyzed a turn of events far different, indeed more civilized, than what Bosnia has had to endure.

Instead, the Bosnian government was left to lose much of its territory, and the United Nations, NATO, and the US, commensurately lost much of their international standing.

The message this sends to territorially ambitious governments in other parts of the world -- provided their aggressive ambitions pose no threat to American oil supplies -- is frightening.

David J. Steinberg Alexandria, Va.

Keep the peace alive in Angola

As Angola strives to recover from the devastation of two decades of civil war, and tries to rebuild its shattered infrastructures, the Unted States has an obligation to help the peace process succeed.

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President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola is committed to bringing peace and democracy to its people who have lived in strife for decades.

Dos Santos has boldly offered his opposition, Jonas Savimbi and his National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), a generous peace treaty to end the country's ongoing civil war.

The US must support this treaty with no less energy and determination than it devoted to negotiating the agreement. Strong American pressure and assurances of continued support on all levels persuaded the Dos Santos government to take the risks it has in signing the Lusaka Accords. President Clinton must marshal the political and financial resources necessary to help ensure compliance.

Dos Santos seems confident that if Angola can achieve real peace, then it can concentrate on becoming an economic power in the region.

Ed Emerson Washington Council on Angolan-American Cooperation

A poor judgement of Clinton

As a longtime admirer of The Christian Science Monitor, I must protest the editorial ''A Bad Week For Clinton,'' Dec. 8. It suggests that as a close friend of Webster Hubbell, President Clinton should have known what Hubbell was up to, and that failure to do so shows Mr. Clinton to be a poor judge of character.

''There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face: He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust,'' said Duncan of Candor in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

George H. Wolfson East Hampton, Conn.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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