- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 29, 2000

Frederick Hart's monument to future generations

The Washington Times article "Degree of friendship" (Life, Jan. 17) just begins to identify the talents of the late sculptor Frederick Hart.

His genius is evident in his "Three Soldiers" sculpture at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and "Creation" at the Washington National Cathedral. What we must appreciate was his resolve and dedication to the art. He never wavered or compromised in his commitment to fulfill his goals of excellence.

Mr. Hart is a role model for youth; that of dedication, being true to one's self and, in Rick's lifestyle example, perseverance.

While mastering his craft as a stone carver at the Washington Cathedral and pursuing his role of sculptor, his living and working quarters were extraordinarily simple: an old garage near Dupont Circle, in which his basic needs could be met. Despite these limitations, he remained dedicated.

The posthumous award of an honorary doctorate of fine arts from American University is well-deserved. The excellence he demanded of himself will be appreciated by future generations.

GLORIA SIBLO

Annandale

Amtrak, D.C. will benefit when 'art' is removed

The Jan. 24 article on Amtrak and graffiti cleanup is right on the money ("Amtrak joins war on graffiti," Metropolitan). I use Amtrak to travel between the District and New York City every four to six weeks and agree that graffiti generates a sense of lawlessness.

New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's efforts to clean up graffiti has regenerated the quality of life in Manhattan. I look for similar positive results from the Amtrak and D.C. policing effort that the article describes. The whole city will benefit.

This notion of "marking" territory with graffiti reminds me of dogs marking their territory. The folks who use the expression "art" in connection with graffiti are utterly misguided, like the people in the children's story about the emperor's new clothes. The Washington Times did good work.

DOLORES DEMBUS

BITTLEMAN

Washington

Undersecretary of the Army responds to 'Inside the Ring' item

The Jan. 14 Inside the Ring item "Green Ammo II" claims that I directed the Army to consider filling all 120 mm tank rounds with tungsten instead of depleted uranium (DU). This is absolutely and unequivocally false. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a strong proponent of the use of DU because of both its effectiveness and its health and environmental safety test results. Evaluation of those soldiers exposed to DU dust as a result of friendly-fire incidents during the Gulf war shows "no evidence of adverse clinical outcomes associated with [depleted] uranium exposure at this time in these individuals."

In addition, the column states that DU poses an environmental hazard and attributes that statement to an organization that is not in any way part of the Department of Defense or any other federal agency. The name of that organization easily could mislead a reader to believe that this assessment, which is false, is the official position of the Department of Defense.

I am disappointed by the lack of responsible journalistic standards applied to this story and call for its immediate correction.

BERNARD ROSTKER

Undersecretary of the Army

Washington

Mixed reaction to Sen. Helms' visit to the United Nations

Sen. Jesse Helms' recent talk to the U.N. Security Council represents the arrogance of power of a nationalistic U.S. minority and a flawed understanding of how to achieve security and peace in the new millennium ("Angry Helms slams U.N. for its 'lack of gratitude,' " Jan. 21). He demands that the United Nations, an organization of 185 sovereign nations, act in the "national interest" of the United States or lose financial support from us. Is it in our "national interest" for Mr. Helms to antagonize the rest of the world, including our European allies, with his narrow, jingoistic views and ultimatums? Our long-term security, and hence our real national interest, is to cooperate with the United Nations in establishing a peaceful, lawful and just world based on democratic principles and universal human rights.

The United Nations was established 55 years ago to prevent future horrors of war such as those endured during World War II. That war was caused at least partially by extreme nationalism and a feeling of superiority by Germans and Japanese inflamed by jingoistic leaders. These misled nations thought they could rule the world. As one who was a refugee child living in Germany during that war, I am reminded of the nationalistic arrogance of the German anthem "Deutschland uber Alles."

Is Mr. Helms leading a minority nationalistic faction in the United States with the slogan of "United States above everything" with the idea that our technological and economic superiority will allow us to dominate, if not rule the world? With this type of thinking, we can abrogate treaties, disregard international laws and refuse to ratify human rights treaties and conventions such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention to Eliminate All Discrimination Against Women and the treaty to establish the International Criminal Court. Instead, we bomb Granada, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Sudan, Afghanistan and any other country we please because their sovereignty is inferior to ours. We continue to worship at the altar of power politics rather than the rule of international law and cooperation and universal human rights.

Mr. Helms stated that the United Nations and its attempt to establish international law in dealing with injustices in the world better not interfere with our sovereign right to intervene in the world as we see fit. If all other nations adopted this type of thinking and copied our insistence on a right to act in our "national interest," the result would be perpetual insecurity, terrorism and genocidal warfare.

The majority of U.S. citizens who support the United Nations and its universal human rights agenda need to wake up and vote for senators, congressmen and other candidates who reject Mr. Helms' nationalistic thinking. Let us strengthen all the functions of the United Nations, including peacekeeping, by cooperating with other nations, paying our dues and assessments and sharing the burden of providing a peaceful, lawful and just world for everyone.

ANDY SCHOENBERG

Salt Lake City

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Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright's statement that only the U.S. president can speak for the United States is incorrect ("Albright disavows Helms' statement," Jan. 25).

There are many resolutions and treaties that have originated with the United Nations that the United States has not joined. This refusal to sign on to treaties comes not from a president unwilling to do so, but rather from a Senate unwilling to give its consent. The Senate and House speak loudly and clearly every time they and only they appropriate funds for the United Nations and every time they do or do not enter into a resolution or treaty formed by the United Nations.

The president constitutionally should not speak for us in any commitment of of foreign aid, the approving of treaties or the declaring of war. These things are reserved to the people to decide through their elected representatives. In a sense, the president negotiates for us, but when it comes time to "speak" for us in terms of commitment to resources or actions, the people reserve that right to themselves through a representative process.

JOHN A. SHAFFER

Venango, Pa.

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A lot of patriotic Americans feel the same way Sen. Jesse Helms does about the United Nations. Let's face it: Without my and other Americans' tax dollars it wouldn't exist. Of course, I have little or nothing to say in the matter of where my tax dollars are spent. If I did, the United Nations would get zip, zero, nothing.

THOMAS BOWLIN

Kaneohe, Hawaii

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