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Voice of America, 97-12-24

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] BETHLEHEM XMAS (LONG) BY AL PESSIN (BETHLEHEM)
  • [02] CONFLICT RESOLUTION: SERBIA'S HUNGARIAN MINORITY BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] EDITORIAL: NATIONS SIGN ANTI-BRIBERY AGREEMENT
  • [04] EDITORIAL: TURKISH PRIME MINISTER AT WHITE HOUSE
  • [05] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [07] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] YEARENDER: BOSNIA TROOPS '97 BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

  • [01] BETHLEHEM XMAS (LONG) BY AL PESSIN (BETHLEHEM)

    DATE=12/24/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224513
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THRONGED TO MANGER SQUARE AT JESUS' BIRTHPLACE IN BETHLEHEM WEDNESDAY EVENING, FOR A STREET PARTY AND A MIDNIGHT MASS. V-O-A'S AL PESSIN REPORTS FROM BETHLEHEM.

    TEXT: ///MUSIC ACTUALITY///

    AN AMERICAN CHOIR BROUGHT A GOSPEL REVIVAL FEELING TO MANGER SQUARE, WHERE THOUSANDS OF LOCAL PALESTINIANS AND A HANDFUL OF FOREIGN TOURISTS GATHERED TO WATCH THE SHOW. IN THE CENTER OF THE SQUARE, CHAIRS HELD SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE WHO CAME EARLY. AROUND THE OUTSIDE, LOCAL YOUTHS WATCHED THE SHOW, SHOT OFF FIREWORKS AND BOUGHT SANDWICHES AND SWEETS, ALL UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYES OF THE PALESTINIAN POLICE.

    IT WAS NOT EXACTLY WHAT AUSTRALIAN JENINE SAMUELS EXPECTED.

    ///SAMUELS ACTUALITY///

    IT SEEMS MORE LIKE NEW YEAR'S EVE TO ME RIGHT NOW. IT'S PRETTY CROWDED. FESTIVE, BUT I'M SURPRISED TO SEE SO MANY MUSLIMS HERE.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    IN FACT, BETHLEHEM HAS A LARGE MUSLIM MAJORITY, AND A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE TOWN'S POPULATION CAME OUT TO WHAT WAS ESSENTIALLY A BIG STREET PARTY. AMONG THEM WAS HANNA HAMDAN WHO, LIKE MANY MUSLIMS IN BETHLEHEM WEDNESDAY NIGHT, FEELS CHRISTMAS IN A WAY BELONGS TO THEM, TOO.

    /// HAMDAN ACTUALITY ///

    ALL OF US HUMAN BEINGS WANT PEACE, WANT (TO) LIVE TOGETHER, NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US, NO DIFFERENCE.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    LOCAL OFFICIALS SAID THEY WANTED THIS CHRISTMAS TO BE MORE A RELIGIOUS EVENT THAN A FESTIVAL, WHICH IT HAS BEEN SINCE THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TOOK CONTROL OF THE TOWN JUST OVER TWO YEARS AGO.

    IN THE END, THEY GOT BOTH, WITH THE FESTIVAL ALONGSIDE CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND A LARGE-SCREEN TELEVISION TO SHOW MIDNIGHT MASS FROM INSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE SQUARE. AMERICAN JOE ROMNEY HAD TICKETS FOR THE MASS AND WAS ALSO ENJOYING THE FESTIVAL OUTSIDE.

    /// ROMNEY ACTUALITY ///

    IT'S OUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AND WE APPRECIATE WHATEVER IS DONE TO GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY FOR BEING HERE. I KNOW THERE ARE PROBLEMS IN DOING IT AND WE APPRECIATE WHOEVER DID WHATEVER IS BEING DONE.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    (OPT) AT THE OUTDOOR PODIUM, A HOSTESS WELCOMED THE CROWD ON BEHALF OF THE PALESTINIAN MINISTRY OF TOURISM, AND INJECTED A BIT OF POLITICS INTO THE EVENING.

    (OPT) ///HOSTESS ACTUALITY///

    WE THE CHILDREN OF THIS COUNTRY SINCE THE OLDEST OF TIMES, STRIVE TO ACHIEVE THE MESSAGE OF JESUS IN DETERMINING OUR FATE AND IN ESTABLISHING OUR INDEPENDENT STATE WITH JERUSALEM AS ITS CAPITAL,AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL. (END OPT)

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    ///MUSIC ACTUALITY///

    CHRISTMAS CAROLS SPEAK OF THE "STILL" TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, AND A "SILENT NIGHT." CHRISTMAS EVE WAS NEITHER IN BETHLEHEM WEDNESDAY NIGHT, AND WHILE SOME PEOPLE WERE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE MORE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, NO ONE SEEMED TO MIND TOO MUCH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AWP/PT
    24-Dec-97 6:45 PM EST (2345 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] CONFLICT RESOLUTION: SERBIA'S HUNGARIAN MINORITY BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/24/97
    TYPE=WORLDWIDE ENGLISH FEATURE
    NUMBER=7-17792
    TELEPHONE=619-3464
    EDITOR=GARY EDQUIST
    CONTENT= (TAPE CUTS IN AUDIO SERVICES)

    INTRO: OFFICIALLY, THE HUNGARIANS REPRESENT THE SECOND LARGEST NATIONAL MINORITY IN SERBIA, AFTER THE ALBANIANS. [OPT] THE ROMA, OR SO-CALLED "GYPSIES," MAY ACTUALLY OUTNUMBER THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY [2:1], BUT THERE IS CONSIDERABLE CONTROVERSY OVER THE SIZE OF THE ROMANI MINORITY [END

    OPT]. VOA'S JUDITH LATHAM HAS VISITED THE FORMER

    AUTONOMOUS REGION OF VOJVODINA [VOY-VOH-DEE-NAH], THE AREA WHERE THE MAJORITY OF HUNGARIANS LIVE, AND HAS SPOKEN WITH HUNGARIAN LEADERS AS WELL AS WITH SERBIAN OFFICIALS IN BELGRADE ABOUT THE SITUATION OF SERBIA'S HUNGARIAN MINORITY. HERE'S _____ WITH A REPORT.

    TEXT: ABOUT 35 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA IS NON-SERB, AND VOJVODINA IS THE COUNTRY'S MOST ETHNICALLY MIXED REGION. [OPT] THERE ARE 22 NATIONAL MINORITIES LIVING IN VOJVODINA, WHICH USED TO BE REGARDED AS THE NATION'S "MELTING POT." THEY INCLUDE HUNGARI-ANS, ROMA, ROMANIANS, SLOVAKS, RUTHENIANS, BULGARIANS, GERMANS, UKRAINIANS, JEWS, AND OTHERS. [END OPT] RADMILA MILENTIJEVIC (RAHD-MEE-LAH MEE-LEN-TYAY-VITCH], MINISTER OF INFORMATION FOR THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA, SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE SERBIA'S NORTHERNMOST PROVINCE WAS PART OF THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE UNTIL THE END OF WORLD WAR I. TODAY, MS. MILENTIJEVIC SAYS, THE HUNGARIANS IN VOJVODINA ENJOY "ALL THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES" THAT SERBS DO.

    TAPE: CUT ONE -- MILENTIJEVIC (1:16) "THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA GUARANTEES THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF ITS CITIZENS. THEIR NEEDS ARE SERVICED. THEY ARE SERVICED THROUGH THE NEWSPAPERS IN THE HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE. MANY OF THEM ARE IN PRIVATE HANDS, BUT SOME ARE OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF. WE HAVE RADIO PROGRAMS IN THE HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE, WE HAVE TELEVISION PROGRAMS IN THE HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE. WHAT WE DO NOT HAVE AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS ARE UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE CONDUCTED IN THE HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE. EDUCATION AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL IS CONDUCTED IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH WE LIVE, WHICH MEANS SERBIAN. IN PRACTICAL MATTERS, THE HUNGARIAN POPULATION HAS ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM. THEY TAKE PART IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS OF THE COUNTRY. THEY HAVE THEIR POLITICAL PARTIES. THEY RUN THEIR CANDIDATES FOR THE ELECTIONS FOR THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENT. IF YOU GO THROUGHOUT VOJVODINA, YOU WILL FIND NO DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMPLOYMENT BETWEEN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SERBIAN, HUNGARIAN, OR ROMANIAN, OR ANYTHING ELSE IN THAT AREA, BECAUSE THEY ARE FULLY INVOLVED IN THE POLITICAL LIFE OF THE COUNTRY, IN THE ECONOMIC LIFE OF THE COUNTRY, IN THE SOCIAL LIFE OF THE COUNTRY AS WELL."

    TEXT: TIBOR VARADY [TEE-BOR VAHR-A-DEE], THE FORMER MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA, HAS A DIFFERENT VIEW. MR. VARADY, AN ETHNIC HUNGARIAN, IS NOW DIRECTOR OF LEGAL STUDIES AT CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY IN BUDAPEST. MR. VARADY SAYS THINGS HAVE CHANGED DRASTICALLY SINCE THE OUTBREAK OF WAR IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.

    TAPE: CUT TWO -- VARADY (1:34) "THE INTOLERANCE WHICH WE FACED, THE WHOLE YUGOSLAV NIGHTMARE, YIELDED A SITUATION IN WHICH ALL MINORITIES FOUND THEMSELVES IN A PREDICAMENT. NOW IN VOJVODINA WE HAVE HAD NO WAR, BUT WE DID HAVE A CONSTANT DETERIORATION OF MINORITY RIGHTS, AND THIS GOES FOR HUNGARIANS EQUALLY AS FOR OTHER MINORITIES -- SLOVAKS, ROMANIANS, AND RUTHENIANS IN VOJVODINA. WE HAD A FAIR AMOUNT OF MINORITY RIGHTS BEFORE THE NATIONALIST FRENZY STARTED IN YUGOSLAVIA IN THE '80'S. AND THESE RIGHTS WERE VERY, VERY SEVERELY CURTAILED. IN VOJVODINA, WHAT HUNGARIANS WANT ARE ESSENTIALLY THE LANGUAGE RIGHTS WE ENJOYED BEFORE THE '80'S. AND SINCE A LOT OF MISTRUST HAS BEEN BRED DURING THESE YEARS, IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT FOR HUNGARIANS AND LIKEWISE FOR OTHER MINORITIES TO HANDLE ISSUES PERTAINING TO THEIR OWN IDENTITY BY THEMSELVES. THIS WOULD MEAN SOME SELF-RULE IN DOMAINS LIKE CULTURE AND SCHOOLS. NOW THIS IS PERFECTLY COMPATIBLE WITH THE PRINCIPLES DECLARED BY THE YUGOSLAV STATE. IT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ITS PRACTICE. AND THIS IS WHAT IS NEEDED FOR A MULTICULTURAL COEXISTENCE IN VOJVODINA. AND I THINK IT IS DOABLE. I REALLY WONDER WHY PEOPLE WHO HAVE POLITICAL POWER AREN'T TRYING TO SOLVE THIS."

    TEXT: MR. VARADY BELIEVES THAT BOTH THE SERB MAJORITY AND THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY MUST LEARN TO ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER OR, AS HE SAYS, COME TO TERMS WITH "TWO BASIC THRESHHOLDS" OF COEXISTENCE.

    TAPE: CUT THREE -- VARADY (0:46) "THE MINORITY HAS TO PASS A THRESHHOLD AND TO SAY THAT HUNGARIANS IN YUGOSLAVIA ARE LIVING IN YUGOSLAVIA FOR GOOD -- NOT UNTIL THE NEXT CHANGE OF VOTERS, NOT UNTIL THE NEXT CHANGE OF FORTUNES IN HISTORY, BUT THEY ACCEPT THIS AS THEIR PERMANENT COUNTRY. THE THRESHHOLD THAT THE MAJORITY HAS TO PASS IS THE FOLLOWING. I THINK SERBS HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT HUNGARIANS ARE HERE, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMAIN HUNGARIANS -- NOT UNTIL THE NEXT ASSIMILATION, NOT UNTIL THE NEXT EXPULSION, NOT UNTIL THE NEXT STORM IN HISTORY -- BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMAIN HUNGARIANS. I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO KEEP THEIR CULTURE, AND IT IS ABSOLUTELY COMPATIBLE WITH LOYALTY TO A SOVEREIGN STATE."

    TEXT: OTTO SZAKOLAS [SAH-KOH-LAHSH], DIRECTOR OF HUNGARIAN TELEVISION IN THE CAPITAL CITY OF NOVI SAD, SAYS THE 280,000 HUNGARIAN INHABITANTS OF VOJVODINA REPRESENT ABOUT 8 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION OF THE FORMER AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC. AND, THEY COMPRISE ABOUT 3 PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA. MR. SZAKOLAS DESCRIBES THE PROBLEMS OF THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY AS PRIMARILY ECONOMIC. FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE FEW HUNGARIANS AT ADMINISTRATIVE AND MANAGERIALS LEVELS OF SOCIETY. HE BELIEVES THE KEY TO A BETTER FUTURE IS FOR SERBS AND HUNGARIANS TO FORGET THE NATIONALISM OF THE PAST DECADE AND TO COOPERATE IN BUILDING A CIVIL SOCIETY. HE SAYS ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES FOR THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY IS THE SPLINTERING OF ITS POLITICAL POWER INTO SIX COMPETING PARTIES. TAPE B: CUT ONE -- SZAKOLAS (ESTABLISH HUNGARIAN FOR 5 SECONDS) TAPE A: CUT FOUR -- ENGLISH TRANSLATION (0:47) "WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY IN VOJVODINA, I THINK THE HUNGARIANS ARE NOT REPRESENTED WELL BY THE SIX PARTIES BECAUSE THEY'RE VERY MUCH DIVIDED AND ALL OF THEM ARE TAKING CARE OF THEIR OWN NEEDS AND THEIR OWN THIRST FOR POWER. AND, THE WAY I SEE THE SITUATION OF THE HUNGARIANS IN VOJVODINA, I SEE IT IMPROVING ONLY IF THERE'S A GENERAL DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS WITHIN YUGOSLAVIA THAT WOULD BE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE HUNGARIANS AS WELL AS FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. THEREFORE, WHAT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE HUNGARIANS IN VOJVODINA IS NOT TO LOOK TO THEIR OWN INTERESTS IN TERMS OF THE LITTLE PARTIES' HAVING THEIR POWER STRUGGLES BUT TO LOOK FOR THOSE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS WITHIN YUGOSLAVIA THAT ARE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AND NOT JUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE HUNGARIANS."

    TEXT: HOWEVER, OTTO SZAKOLAS OF HUNGARIAN TELEVISION IN NOVI SAD ACKNOWLEDGES THAT, IN THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE, IT WILL BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR SERBS AND HUNGARIANS TO RISE ABOVE THE NATIONALIST STRUGGLE OF RECENT YEARS.
    24-Dec-97 11:20 AM EST (1620 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EDITORIAL: NATIONS SIGN ANTI-BRIBERY AGREEMENT

    DATE= DECEMBER 28,1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07583
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    DECEMBER 28, 1997.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    THIS MONTH, MEMBERS OF THE O-E-C-D, OR ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, TOOK ANOTHER STEP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL BRIBERY. ON DECEMBER 17TH, THE THIRTY-FOUR GOVERNMENTS SIGNED A CONVENTION WHICH CRIMINALIZES THE BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS. AS SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT SAID, "IT IS A VICTORY FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, FAIR COMPETITION AND OPEN TRADE."

    THE COST OF BRIBERY IS HIGH. IT UNDERMINES GOVERNANCE, HARMS ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY, AND STUNTS DEVELOPMENT. IT DISTORTS TRADE. IT PENALIZES CONSUMERS THROUGH HIGHER PRICES FOR THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES CAUGHT UP IN CORRUPT BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS. BRIBERY ALSO HURTS COMPANIES THAT REFUSE TO ENGAGE IN IT.

    TWENTY YEARS AGO, THE U.S. WAS THE FIRST COUNTRY TO PROHIBIT BRIBES OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS. SIGNATORIES OF THE NEW CONVENTION HAVE AGREED TO SUBMIT TO THEIR LEGISLATURES BY APRIL PROPOSALS TO CRIMINALIZE BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS. THEY HAVE ALSO PLEDGED TO SEEK TO ENACT THE CONVENTION BY THE END OF 1998.

    THE AGREEMENT IS A CRITICAL STEP IN THE EFFORT AGAINST COMMERCIAL BRIBERY. IN THE WORDS OF SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT, "ENDING CORRUPTION IS AN INTEREST WE SHARE WITH EVERY NATION THAT WISHES TO TAKE PART IN THE MORE JUST AND LAWFUL INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM WE ARE STRIVING TO BUILD."

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, DC, 20547, USA. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    24-Dec-97 10:58 AM EST (1558 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] EDITORIAL: TURKISH PRIME MINISTER AT WHITE HOUSE

    DATE= DECEMBER 27, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07582
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    DECEMBER 27, 1997.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    THIS MONTH, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON WELCOMED TURKISH PRIME MINISTER MESUT YILMAZ ['MESS-OOT 'YEEL-MAZ] TO THE WHITE HOUSE. PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ALSO MET WITH OTHER U.S. OFFICIALS, INCLUDING VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE AND THE SECRETARIES OF STATE, TREASURY, DEFENSE, ENERGY AND COMMERCE. THE MEETINGS SYMBOLIZED THE LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIP THAT TURKEY AND THE UNITED STATES ENJOY. TURKEY AND THE U.S. STOOD TOGETHER DURING THE COLD WAR. THEY CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY TO ADDRESS NEW THREATS TO SECURITY IN EUROPE AND ELSEWHERE.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ REVIEWED ALL THE FACETS OF THE EXTENSIVE U.S.-TURKISH RELATIONSHIP AND DISCUSSED WAYS OF INTENSIFYING CONSULTATIONS ON IMPORTANT ISSUES. ALSO DISCUSSED WERE THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION'S EFFORTS TO MAINTAIN PRESSURE ON SADDAM HUSSEIN AND PROTECT THE KURDISH PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRAQ. ANOTHER CRITICAL ISSUE IS THE DANGER OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, INCLUDING THE THREAT POSED BY THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, OR P-K-K. PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ALSO DISCUSSED TURKEY'S ECONOMIC REFORM PLANS AND HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD.

    AT A MEETING WITH VICE PRESIDENT GORE, TURKISH AIRLINES OFFICIALS SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH THE BOEING CORPORATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF AS MANY AS FORTY-NINE BOEING 737 AIRLINERS. THE SALE COULD BE WORTH AS MUCH AS TWO AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS. IN ANOTHER MEETING, MR. YILMAZ AND ENERGY SECRETARY FEDERICO PENA SIGNED A JOINT STATEMENT ON ENERGY COOPERATION. THE U.S. WILL WORK WITH TURKEY TO DEVELOP A PIPELINE TO TRANSPORT CASPIAN SEA OIL FROM BAKU, AZERBAIJAN, TO CEYHAN IN THE SOUTH OF TURKEY.

    AS U.S. OFFICIALS STRESSED, TURKEY IS A VALUABLE FRIEND AND ALLY. TURKEY MADE THE DECISION LONG AGO TO FACE WEST, TYING ITS LONG-TERM SECURITY AND PROSPERITY TO DEMOCRACY AND OPEN, FREE MARKETS. IN THE PAST, THE U.S. WELCOMED TURKEY INTO NATO AND THE ORGANIZATION ON SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE. BY THE SAME TOKEN, THE U.S. SUPPORTS TURKEY'S CANDIDACY FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. THE UNITED STATES WILL CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE TURKISH PARTICIPATION IN EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    24-Dec-97 10:58 AM EST (1558 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=12/24/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224500
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// REPRINTING WITH CR NUMBER ///

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES WERE MIXED IN TRADING WEDNESDAY ON EUROPEAN MARKETS. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: TRADING WAS GREATLY REDUCED AHEAD OF THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY. FRANKFURT WAS CLOSED FOR THE DAY. AND THE LONDON MARKET STOPPED TRADING BY EARLY AFTERNOON.

    INVESTOR SENTIMENT IN EUROPE WAS DAMPENED BY THE SELLOFF ON WALL STREET ON TUESDAY AND MORE OVERNIGHT LOSSES IN ASIA. IN LONDON, THE FINANCIAL TIMES-100 INDEX CLOSED DOWN ALMOST 36 POINTS, ABOUT SEVEN-TENTHS PERCENT OF THE LONDON MARKET'S TOTAL VALUE.

    PRICES ALSO OPENED LOWER IN PARIS, BUT THE MARKET CAN CAME BACK TO SHOW MODEST GAINS, RISING ABOUT THREE-TENTHS PERCENT.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE VALUE OF THE U-S DOLLAR WAS BASICALLY UNCHANGED AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, THE JAPANESE YEN, AND THE BRITISH POUND.
    NEB/JWH/MGB
    24-Dec-97 11:26 AM EST (1626 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/24/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224505
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN (THURSDAY) IN AN ABBREVIATED TRADING SESSION. CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 76-HUNDRED-60, DOWN 31-POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 932, DOWN SIX-POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY THERE WAS NO MAJOR NEWS TO MOVE STOCK PRICES WHICH OPENED HIGHER BUT BEGAN DRIFTING DOWNWARD AS THE SESSION WORE ON. VOLUME ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE WAS A MODEST 250-MILLION SHARES AND TRADING ENDED THREE-HOURS EARLY IN OBSERVANCE OF CHRISTMAS EVE.

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS AMERICANS ARE EARNING MORE AND SPLITTING THEIR GAINS BETWEEN SPENDING AND SAVING. PERSONAL INCOMES ROSE BY EIGHT-TENTHS-OF-ONE-PERCENT IN NOVEMBER WITH SPENDING RISING BY FOUR-TENTHS-OF-ONE-PERCENT.

    THE U-S JOB MARKET REMAINS STRONG. NEW CLAIMS FOR UN-EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FELL BY MORE THAN FOUR-PERCENT LAST WEEK.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE MICROSOFT COMPUTER SOFTWARE COMPANY SAYS A LAW PROFESSOR APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE MICROSOFT MAY BE BIASED. MICROSOFT SAYS LAWRENCE LESSIG RECENTLY WROTE AN ARTICLE IN WHICH HE IMPLIED THE COMPANY IS A THREAT TO POLITICAL FREEDOM. MR. LESSIG HAS BEEN APPOINTED BY A FEDERAL JUDGE TO ASSIST IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE U-S GOVERNMENT'S CHARGES MICROSOFT HAS ENGAGED IN MONOPOLISTIC PRACTICES.

    THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO HAS ADOPTED THE BROADEST RESTRICTIONS ON CIGARETTE ADVERTISING IN THE UNITED STATES. A NEW LAW WOULD BAN ALL OUTDOOR ADVERTISING OF CIGARETTES AND EVEN INDOOR ADS WHICH COULD BE SEEN FROM THE STREET. BILLBOARD AND TOBACCO COMPANIES SAY THEY WILL CHALLENGE THE LAW IN COURT. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/RAE
    24-Dec-97 2:07 PM EST (1907 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/24/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10503
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// ED'S: DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ////

    INTRO: THIS IS THE EVE OF THE GREAT CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS AND THAT IS REFLECTED IN THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS OF MANY PAPERS WHICH, IN PLACE OF USUAL COMMENTARIES ON THE AFFAIRS OF THE NATION AND WORLD, ARE QUOTING THE BIBLICAL STORY OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST. BUT, THERE ARE NEWS EVENTS DRAWING REACTION, AND CENTRAL AMONG THEM IS THE JURY VERDICT IN THE FEDERAL TRIAL OF OKLAHOMA BOMBING SUSPECT TERRY NICHOLS. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE THE NEW PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA; THE GROWING CONNECTION BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL; PRESIDENT CLINTON'S CHRISTMAS-TIME VISIT TO THE TROOPS IN BOSNIA;

    // OPT //

    A HOLLYWOOD JURY DECIDES A CONTROVERSIAL CASE INVOLVING A BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS FIRED BECAUSE SHE GOT PREGNANT; AND SOME THOUGHTS ON CHRISTMAS // END OPT] // NOW HERE WITH A QUOTE OR TWO IS _________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JURY IN DENVER, COLORADO, HAS CONVICTED THE MAN WHO HELPED TIMOTHY MCVEIGH PLAN THE BOMBING OF THE FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING IN OKLAHOMA CITY. HE WAS CONVICTED OF CONSPIRACY, AS WELL AS INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. HOWEVER HE WAS ACQUITTED OF THE MORE SERIOUS CHARGE OF MURDER, PRESUMABLY SINCE HE WAS FAR FROM THE SCENE WHEN THE BOMB EXPLODED. THE LONG-DELIBERATED JURY VERDICT WAS EARLY ENOUGH TUESDAY FOR THERE TO BE SUBSTANTIAL REACTION IN THE NATION'S DAILY PAPERS. FOR EXAMPLE, "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND CALLS THE RULING "DISAPPOINTMENT IN DENVER". THE PAPER WONDERS IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE A MASS MURDERER'S JUNIOR PARTNER?

    VOICE: THIS HODGEPODGE OF A VERDICT IS A DISAPPOINTMENT. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN A CONSPIRACY TO USE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND NOT BE GUILTY OF FIRST- OR, AT LEAST, SECOND DEGREE MURDER WHEN THAT WEAPONS KILLS 168 MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE CRUSHED RUIN? [MR.] NICHOLS WASN'T WORKING ON A CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENT WITH [MR.] MCVEIGH. THEIR CONSPIRACY TO MURDER MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WAS NOT A LAWFUL ACT AT ANY TIME. // OPT // ... IT IS ... TOO BAD FOR THE FEDERAL AGENTS WHO DIED IN OKLAHOMA CITY THAT TUESDAY'S VERDICT DIDN'T UNDERSCORE THE POINT THAT // END OPT // THERE REALLY ARE NO JUNIOR PARTNERS IN A MASS MURDER.

    TEXT: "USA TODAY," THE NATIONAL DAILY, HAS A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE DECISION, WORRYING THAT IF THE DEATH PENALTY IS ULTIMATELY HANDED OUT AND EXERCISED, IT WILL BE A MISTAKE.

    VOICE: CONVICTED TUESDAY OF CONSPIRACY AND INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER, [MR.] NICHOLS COULD NOW BE VIEWED AS MERELY A JUNIOR PARTNER TO [MR.] MCVEIGH. BUT EVEN SO, HE FACES THE DEATH PENALTY. AND WHO WOULD REGRET THE DEATH PENALTY FOR A MONSTER'S APPRENTICE? PERHAPS, IN THE END, WE ALL WOULD. THE MILITIA MOVEMENT THRIVES ON MARTYRDOM. [OPT] THE NATION'S ISOLATED CELLS OF SURVIVALISTS AND REACTIONARIES ONLY BEGAN TO COALESCE AFTER THREE DIED DURING A STANDOFF WITH FEDERAL AGENTS AT RUBY RIDGE IN IDAHO IN 1992. WHEN 81 DIED DURING ANOTHER STANDOFF OUTSIDE WACO [TEXAS] THE FOLLOWING APRIL, THE MILITIAS BEGAN TO DRAW SUPPORT FROM A WIDER CIRCLE OF SYMPATHIZERS. /// END OPT /// ... [MR.] MCVEIGH, THE WHEELMAN IN THE SINGLE WORST ACT OF TERRORISM IN AMERICAN HISTORY, IS ALREADY SENTENCED TO DEATH. PILING [MR.] NICHOLS INTO A FEDERAL DEATH ROW AS WELL ONLY COMPOUNDS THE RISK THAT THESE KILLERS WILL BECOME MARTYRS.

    TEXT: TODAY'S "NEW YORK TIMES" CALLS THE NICHOLS VERDICT -- SURPRISING, SOMETIMES INCONSISTENT BUT DEFENSIBLE -- AND ALSO RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER FINDING IN THE KILLING OF THE FEDERAL AGENTS.

    MOVING ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" HAS THESE THOUGHTS ON THE VICTORY IN SOUTH KOREA OF LONG-TIME DISSIDENT AND DEMOCRACY PROTESTER KIM DAE JUNG.

    VOICE: IN THE DAYS SINCE HIS ELECTION, KIM DAE JUNG HAS SHOWN THAT HE INTENDS TO GOVERN SOUTH KOREA IN THE SAME COURAGEOUS SPIRIT THAT MARKED HIS LONG, OFTEN PAINFUL EFFORT TO FIGHT REPRESSION AND ONE-PARTY RULE IN HIS HOMELAND. ONE OF HIS FIRST DECISIONS WAS TO ENDORSE THE PARDON OF TWO FORMER KOREAN MILITARY RULERS, INCLUDING ONE WHO TRIED TO HAVE HIM KILLED. THAT GESTURE OF RECONCILIATION SET THE TONE FOR THE PESIDENT-ELECT.

    // OPT //

    ... MR. KIM ALSO FACES AN URGENT CHALLENGE ON THE ECONOMY. HE MUST RESTORE PLUMMETING INTERNATIONAL CONFIDENCE WITHOUT BRINGING ON A NEEDLESSLY SEVERE CONTRACTION.

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON POST" HAS A MESSAGE FOR THE TWO FORMER GENERALS, AND EX-PRESIDENTS, BENEFITING FROM THE PARDONS.

    VOICE: IT IS IMPORTANT NOW THAT THE TWO EX-PRESIDENTS UNDERSTAND THAT CLEMENCY IS NOT VINDICATION. MR. CHUN GOT OFF TO A BAD START IN THIS REGARD WHEN, BEAMING AND WAVING UPON HIS RELEASE FROM PRISON MONDAY, HE IMPLICITLY CRITICIZED THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP FOR CAUSING KOREA'S ECONOMIC CRISIS. IN FACT, THE CORRUPTION OF WHICH MR. CHUN WAS CONVICTED WAS ONE SYMPTOM OF THE CRONY CAPITALISM THAT GOT SOUTH KOREA INTO ITS CURRENT MESS. WHILE THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT CAN BE FAIRLY CRITICIZED FOR MOVING TOO SLOWLY TO MAKE REPAIRS, MR. CHUN WILL BE REMEMBERED AS A MAN WHO HELPED CAUSE THE PROBLEMS. HE OF ALL PEOPLE HAS NO STANDING, MORAL OR OTHERWISE, NOW TO ASSESS BLAME.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: THE LATEST VIOLENCE IN MEXICO'S POOR, SOUTHEASTERN STATE OF CHIAPAS, IS ALREADY DRAWING OUTRAGE FROM SEVERAL PAPERS, INCLUDING "THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS."

    VOICE: MEXICO'S FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD FULLY INVESTIGATE THE MASSACRE ON MONDAY OF AT LEAST 46 PEOPLE IN ... CHIAPAS, SITE OF THE 1994 ZAPATISTA REBEL UPRISING. JUSTICE DEMANDS THE MURDERERS GET THE PUNISHMENT THEY DESERVE. NO ONE KNOWS YET WHO DID THE KILLING IN THE TOWN OF ACTEAL. HOWEVER, PAST MEXICAN MASSACRES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED BY RANCHERS OR OTHER PROPERTIED INTERESTS WANTING TO KEEP PEASANTS FROM SQUATTING ON THEIR PROPERTY OR FROM EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT TO BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY. ... MEXICAN PRESIDENT ERNESTO ZEDILLO NEEDS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LEADS THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE NEW ROUND OF CHIAPAS DEATHS.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: IN CALIFORNIA, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" ADDS:

    VOICE: PRESIDENT ... ZEDILLO CALLED THE KILLINGS 'A CRUEL, ABSURD, UNACCEPTABLE CRIMINAL ACT' AND VOWED FEDERAL INTERVENTION TO BRING THE KILLERS TO JUSTICE. THAT CAN BE DONE, BUT IT WON'T BE ENOUGH. THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT HAS TO TAKE HOLD IN CHIAPAS STATE; THE CHALLENGE AND RESPONSIBILITY LIE WITH [MR.] ZEDILLO.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON POST" IS INTRIGUED BY THE GROWING CONNECTION BETWEEN THE JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL AND THE SECULAR MUSLIM NATION, TURKEY, NOTING:

    VOICE: THE TURN [ALLIANCE] PROMISES STRATEGIC COMPANY AND A RANGE OF POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC COMFORTS TO TWO COUNTRIES OTHERWISE RATHER ISOLATED AND INCLINED TO SEEK FRIENDS BEYOND THEIR IMMEDIATE NEIGHBORHOODS. ISRAEL CAN USE TURKEY AS AN OFFSET TO HOSTILE REGIMES IN SYRIA, IRAQ AND IRAN. TURKEY CAN USE ISRAEL TO BOLSTER A STRESSFUL INTERNATIONAL POSITION CHALLENGED RECENTLY BY A CULTURALLY ALOOF EUROPE. TOGETHER, MUSLIM TURKEY AND ZIONIST ISRAEL DISPOSE OF POWERFUL MILITARY FORCES AND ABUNDANT OTHER HUMAN, TECHNOLOGICAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES. THEIR COOPERATION ACROSS ETHNIC LINES CREATES A MAJOR POWER CENTER EVEN IF IT FALLS SHORT OF CONSUMMATING AN ACTUAL MILITARY ALLIANCE. // OPT // THE TWO [ALSO] SHARE ... THE UNITED STATES AS [THEIR] PRINCIPAL SUPPORT [IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THEIR] OWN INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY. // END OPT //

    TEXT: ON PRESIDENT CLINTON'S CHRISTMAS-TIME VISIT TO THE U-S TROOPS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, TODAY'S "PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" NOTES:

    VOICE: .... THE REAL PURPOSE OF MR. CLINTON'S 11-HOUR VISIT ... WAS TO HELP CONVINCE CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT HIS DECISION TO EXTEND THE MISSION OF U-S TROOPS IN BOSNIA WAS CORRECT. IT IS. BUT IN BOSNIA THOSE WHO WOULD DESTROY PEACE ARE STILL WAITING, EAGER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE NATO ALLIES ARE COMMITTED TO PREVENTING THE REEMERGENCE OF WAR. ... IF THE GOAL IS TO STABILIZE BOSNIA AND ITS EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS, THEN NATO TROOPS SHOULD STAY UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY, A VERY CONTROVERSIAL PREGNANCY, TO A GORGEOUS 34-YEAR-OLD ACTRESS WHO WAS HIRED TO PLAY A SEXY, SEDUCTRESS ON THE TELEVISION MELODRAMA MELROSE PLACE,IS DRAWING A GOOD DEAL OF COMMENT. A LOS ANGELES CIVIL JURY HAS AWARDED THE WOMAN, HUNTER TYLO, FIVE-MILLION DOLLARS BECAUSE SHE WAS FIRED FROM HER ROLE BECAUSE OF HER PREGNANCY. "THE NEW YORK POST" THINKS THE DECISION IS CRAZY.

    VOICE: SUPERPRODUCER AARON SPELLING AND HIS UNDERLINGS SENSIBLY BELIEVED IT DIFFICULT TO INTRODUCE A NEW VIXEN ON THEIR PREPOSTEROUS NIGHTTIME SOAP [MELODRAMA] AND EXPECT HER TO SEDUCE MEN RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTER WHILE SHOW WAS HEAVY WITH CHILD. PREGNANT WOMEN DO HAVE THAT SPECIAL GLOW, TO BE SURE, BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS. AS IS THE JURY IN THE CASE, WHICH DESERVES A SPECIAL PRIZE FOR STUPIDITY SECOND ONLY TO THE PANEL THAT AWARDED TWO-POINT-SEVEN MILLION TO THE WOMAN WHO SPILLED MCDONALD'S [AN INTERNATIONAL FAST FOOD RESTAURANT CHAIN] COFFEE IN HER LAP WHILE DRIVING.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: AS MILLIONS OF AMERICANS PREPARED TO CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST, CHRISTMAS, TOMORROW, THE DAILY PRESS TAKES NOTE OF THE HOLIDAY. "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" RUNS THIS EDITORIAL ENTITLED "GOODWILL TOWARD MEN."

    VOICE: IT HAS BEEN SAID MANY TIMES, BUT BEARS REPEATING: PEACE IS MORE THAN THE ABSENCE OF WAR. THAT SUBLIME REFRAIN OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON, 'ON EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARD MEN,' SUMS UP WHAT IS REQUIRED. THE TWO ELEMENTS ARE INSEPARABLE. GOODWILL, FOSTERING COOPERATION AND TRUST, IS CONCOMITANT WITH PEACE. ... GOODWILL, EVEN IN MUSTARD-SEED QUANTITY, ALLOWS COURAGEOUS PEACEMAKING TO GERMINATE. THIS GERMINATION IS AIDED BY THE PRAYERS FOR PEACE OF EVERY PERSON OF GOODWILL, NO MATTER HOW DISTANT FROM BOSNIA, THE MIDDLE EAST, OR ANY OTHER SCENE OF HUMAN CONFLICT.

    TEXT: AND ON THAT PHILOSOPHICAL NOTE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, WE CONCLUDE THIS CHRISTMAS EVE LOOK AT THE EDITORIALS IN THE U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    24-Dec-97 11:16 AM EST (1616 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] YEARENDER: BOSNIA TROOPS '97 BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=12/24/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-38550
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AT YEAR'S END, THE SIZE, COST, AND MISSION OF THE NATO-LED FORCE IN BOSNIA IS A MATTER OF CONSIDERABLE DEBATE IN CONGRESS, THE PENTAGON, AND ELSEWHERE. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT JIM RANDLE REPORTS, LEADERS ARE WORRIED ABOUT GETTING REFUGEES BACK TO THEIR HOMES, ARRESTING PEOPLE ACCUSED OF WAR CRIMES, AVOIDING RENEWED FIGHTING, AND PREVENTING AMERICAN CASUALTIES.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS AMERICAN TROOPS WILL STAY IN BOSNIA PAST A PROMISED WITHDRAWAL DATE NEXT JUNE. HE PLEDGES TO WORK OUT THE DETAILS OF THE MISSION AND THE SIZE OF THE FORCE WITH NATO, OTHER ALLIES, AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.

    THERE ARE ABOUT 31-THOUSAND TROOPS IN THE NATO-LED FORCE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, INCLUDING ABOUT EIGHT-THOUSAND AMERICANS. THE FORCE IS SEPARATING THE ARMED FACTIONS IN THE HOPE PEACE WILL ALLOW RECONSTRUCTION OF CIVIL SOCIETY.

    MANY MEMBERS OF THE REPUBLICAN-DOMINATED CONGRESS ARE CRITICAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT AND HIS POLICY IN BOSNIA. CRITICS SAY BOSNIA COULD BECOME A QUAGMIRE THAT ENGULFS AMERICAN TROOPS IN A POINTLESS STRUGGLE TO BRING PEACE TO A PLACE WHERE FACTIONS ARE DETERMINED TO FIGHT TO THE DEATH.

    THE DEBATE OVER THE BOSNIA MISSION COMES AS TIGHT BUDGETS FORCE WASHINGTON TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER EVERY EXPENSE AND COMMITMENT.

    REPUBLICAN SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER (OF PENNSYLVANIA) SAYS BOSNIA MAY NOT BE IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO RISK MONEY OR AMERICAN LIVES.

    /// SPECTOR ACT ///

    I THINK THAT WE HAVE MORE INTERESTS OTHER PLACES, AND OUGHT TO BE EXPECTING THE EUROPEAN POWERS TO DO MORE THAN THEY ARE DOING.

    /// END ACT ///

    FELLOW REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN WARNER, A FORMER NAVY SECRETARY AND A HIGH RANKING MEMBER OF THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, HAS ALSO BEEN CRITICAL OF THE BOSNIA MISSION. BUT HE SAYS IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE TO PULL U-S TROOPS OUT OF THE FORCE THERE.

    SENATOR WARNER URGES PENTAGON OFFICIALS TO DO MORE TO ARREST WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS. HE WANTS THEM TO OFFER MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR REWARDS FOR THE CAPTURE OF SOME SUSPECTS.

    AN EXPERT ON BOSNIA, KURT BASSUENER (PRONO:BA-SEE-NOR) OF "THE BALKAN INSTITUTE", SAYS WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS ARE AN OBSTACLE TO RESTORING PEACE AND NEED TO BE ARRESTED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. "THE BALKAN INSTITUTE" WAS STARTED IN 1993 BY STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICERS WHO RESIGNED OVER WHAT THEY CALLED WASHINGTON'S WEAK BOSNIA POLICY.

    MR.BASSUENER SAYS WHATEVER FORCE CONTINUES IN BOSNIA NEEDS TO BE MORE ACTIVE AND ASSERTIVE TO CREATE A LASTING FRAMEWORK FOR PEACE.

    /// BASSEUNR ACT ///

    THE REAL CRUX OF IT ALL IS GETTING REFUGEE RETURN. GETTING PEOPLE WILLING TO GO BACK HOME. AND THEY NEED TO FEEL SECURE, THAT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE A GRENADE THROWN THROUGH THEIR WINDOW. IN THE LONG TERM THAT HAS TO BE A DOMESTIC RESPONSIBILITY ON THE PART OF BOSNIA.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT MANY EXPERTS SAY THE FORCE THAT REPLACES THE CURRENT "STABILIZATION FORCE" IS LIKELY TO HAVE FEWER TROOPS, SO EXPANDING ITS ROLE WILL HAVE TO BE DONE WITH CARE.

    SIMON SERFATY OF THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, SAYS THE COSTS AND RISKS IN BOSNIA ARE REASONABLE BECAUSE A RESURGENCE OF WAR COULD DESTABILIZE THE BALKANS AND THAT COULD DESTABILIZE ALL OF EUROPE. HE SAYS THE CULTURE AND ECONOMY OF THE UNITED STATES ARE SO CLOSELY LINKED TO EUROPE THAT CHAOS THERE WOULD DIRECTLY HURT AMERICANS.

    MILITARY EXPERT, COLONEL HARRY SUMMERS SAYS THAT IS NONSENSE. HE SAYS SUCH A DOMINO THEORY WAS BEHIND U-S EFFORTS IN VIETNAM. HE ARGUES IT WAS WRONG THEN AND ITS WRONG NOW.

    /// SUMMERS ACT 025 //

    IT IS NOT GOING SPREAD TO CENTRAL EUROPE OR WESTERN OR EASTERN EUROPE WHICH ARE IMPORTANT TO THE UNITED STATES. A BALKAN WAR WOULD REMAIN A BALKAN WAR. EVEN IT IF CAME TO THAT, IT IS NO GREAT THREAT TO THE VITAL INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

    /// END ACT //

    MR. SUMMERS, A FORMER ARMY OFFICER WITH WIDE EXPERIENCE, HAS WRITTEN MANY BOOKS ON MILITARY TOPICS AND IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ARMY WAR COLLEGE. HE SAYS BOSNIA DUTY AMOUNTS TO STANDING AROUND GUARDING BRIDGES AND SAYS THAT IS ERODING THE COMBAT SKILLS AND TEAMWORK NEEDED FOR A MODERN ARMY TO FIGHT EFFECTIVELY. HE SAYS THE LOSS OF READINESS IS A HIDDEN BUT DANGEROUS COST OF THE BOSNIA DEPLOYMENT.

    PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS U-S TROOPS IN BOSNIA ARE MISSING SOME SCHEDULED TRAINING IN LARGE UNIT MANEUVERS. BUT HE SAYS THE FORCE IS GETTING VALUABLE EXPERIENCE IN SMALLER OPERATIONS. HE SAYS THE U-S TROOPS ARE AT A HIGH LEVEL OF READINESS. (SIGNED).
    NEB/RAE
    24-Dec-97 1:38 PM EST (1838 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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