A Leader's Timeless Ideas
Kudos to the author and his wonderfully written Jan. 17 essay, "King's Antiwar Message - Relevant in the '90s." As a recent college graduate who studied theology, I also found Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Riverside" Church address one of the most moving and prophetic speeches delivered by the civil rights leader. Although relatively unknown compared to his "I have a dream" speech, the thoughts in the Riverside address are germane to the economic and social ills which have beset this nation. Undoubtedly, King asserted, a bloated military budget and apathetic politicians have contributed to the fraying of the moral fabric of our nation. If the militarization of our society continues unabated, then, as Dr. King lamented, "the image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism." Let's hope our leaders can preserve the glorious image of America by trimming our military expenditures and commit themselves, unreservedly, to those most in need.
Struggle for self-determination
The Jan. 14 article, "The US-Indonesia Alliance Against East Timor," is a welcome look at the situation in East Timor. Indonesia's genocidal occupation has been condemned by 10 UN resolutions, but so far its clout as an ally of Western powers has given it an impunity that, in an analogous situation, eluded Iraq after that country's invasion of Kuwait.
In 1994 Special Representative of the Council of Maubere Resistance (CNRM) Jose Ramos-Horta sent President Suharto a letter outlining the East Timorese resistance's Three Phase Peace Plan. This eminently reasonable plan calls for one to two years of talks under the auspices of the UN followed by a five-year transition period of autonomous self-government by the East Timorese. The final phase covers preparation for a referendum on self-determination in which the East Timorese could choose between integration into Indonesia, free association with Indonesia, or independence.
Though Ramos-Horta requested Indonesia's feedback, Suharto never responded to the letter. Now that Ramos-Horta has won the Nobel Peace Prize, President Clinton should reverse the 21-year US policy of acquiescence and pressure Suharto to accept the CNRM's peace plan.
Keeping an eye on the ball
The Jan. 13 article, "Stock Market Fires a Soccer Coach," on the resignation of Kevin Keegan as manager of Newcastle United, refers to Alan Shearer, a Newcastle and England player, as a "World Cup star." As England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, Shearer has never, in fact, played in the finals of a World Cup tournament.
Alan Shearer did play for England in last summer's European soccer championships. England reached the semifinals and Shearer was the tournament's top goal-scorer. English soccer fans hope that Shearer becomes a genuine "World Cup star" during the 1998 World Cup finals in France.
Indiana Jones in a town near you
I was interested to read your Jan. 2 article, "Urban Archaeology Brings Indiana Jones to Middle America." Your readers may be interested to know that the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 is only one of over a dozen federal laws and executive orders aimed at protecting some aspect of America's cultural heritage. Prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, historic buildings, engineering feats, folk life, Indian sacred sites, historic shipwrecks, historic landscapes, and more are covered by these laws.
Some cities have turned urban archaeology projects into lasting tourist attractions. The granddaddy of them all, of course, is Colonial Williamsburg.
Leslie E. Wildesen
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