Nice-Guy Carter Is No Inept Politician
We read with dismay the opinion-page column ``Carter's Haitian Gambit,'' Oct. 6. The author seems not only to belittle President Carter, but almost to castigate him. Far from being ``politically inept,'' it seems to us that Mr. Carter is engaged in his diplomatic missions not to ``find the success he seeks in his post-presidential career,'' but simply for the betterment of mankind in this strife-torn world.
Carter laid the groundwork for present-day agreements with the Arabs and Israelis, for which Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin have won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Similarly, North Korea signed a nuclear agreement in Geneva to halt its nuclear production and to work within the guidelines of the international nuclear regulatory agency.
And finally, the banishment of the military junta from Haiti and the peaceful return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide were accomplished through the earnest endeavors of Carter, Gen. Colin Powell, and Sen. Sam Nunn (D) of Georgia.
It would hardly seem appropriate to term the successes of Carter as ``inept.'' Rather, they demonstrated his qualities of statesmanship that could possibly make him a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in the future. Paul and Mavise Crocker, Falmouth, Mass.,
I have known Jimmy Carter for nearly 40 years, and was one of those who helped him launch his political career. Events in my own life caused our paths to diverge such that I became an onlooker to his life and no longer a participant. I think I know him about as well as anyone. He is much like what the author says, including the fact that he is one of ``the nicest of men'' - a fact that seems to greatly upset some people.
What I have never been able to quite figure out about Carter is what there is in his personality that seems to completely turn inside out otherwise seemingly respectable, calm, intelligent people.
I have seen him operate. I know his propensity to be able to get rascals to do the right thing. His tendency to seem to ``get in bed with the enemy'' while leaving ``us friends'' behind used to infuriate us all. Yet, in the end, there was motive in the madness. He wasn't just leaving the ``ninety and nine to seek the one lost sheep.''
Whatever he was doing in Port-au-Prince, Carter wasn't ``captivated'' by Mrs. Cedras and busily finding ``trust and honor'' in thugs.
I wonder why the article couldn't have either agreed or disagreed with our former president in what he was doing and said why. Better still, since it was a fait accompli, why could he not have wished it all well, pointed out the risks, and let time tell us its success or failures? Warren C. Fortson Atlanta
The opinion-page article leaves me a little embarrassed for the author. The missions Carter has volunteered for have been the toughest and of significant importance to our country and current president.
The author is concerned about Carter's political ineptitude. He may be right. Carter was always more of a statesman than a politician, ready to put his reputation on the line for what he, or an expert adviser, felt was the right thing to do. To his benefit, the ``expert'' advisers'' were left behind with the presidency. Paul March, Seattle,
New look, but still long lines
Regarding the article ``Efficient and Attractive: Believe it or Not, It's the US Post Office,'' Oct. 14th: I believe that it is unfortunate that a quasi-government monopoly feels that pouring more taxpayer dollars into new stores is the answer to its management problems. I use the main cental post office daily. Two years ago, it was refurbished, but that has not had the impact that the article suggests. There are many times when a line of 20 customers forms with only one clerk to assist. There is no excuse for this kind of management. It is obvious from the growth of private postal service centers that entrepreneurs are willing to make this commitment to service without the taxpayers having to foot the bill. I hope that in future articles The Christian Science Monitor will take a closer look at the lack of financial accountability the United States Post Office has enjoyed for too long. Gordon Steen, Owings Mills, Md.