The Aug. 31 op-ed article "The Wrong Policy in Kosovo" might be a useful piece if its author, Thomas Melady, had suggested an alternative to the position he deplores as producing only hatred and violence, putting the Serbs and ethnic Albanians together. Instead, he concludes that "some arrangement can be worked out for the minority Serbs." He makes no suggestion as to that arrangement; he simply deplores the present situation.

Mr. Melady seems to conclude that, in some way he doesn't explain, the two factions should be kept apart until, or so that, animosities heal. One might ask him just how this is to take place. Perhaps he means segregating the groups as blacks were in the United States or Jews in the ghettos? Putting off a solution until "some arrangement can be worked out" is a decision to do nothing.

I have worked overseas in 31 countries, and have consulted for uncounted companies and agencies in the United Sates and Europe; two facts stand out in the clutter. One is that a decision to postpone is just as definite as a decision to say no. The second is that it is impossible to impose a solution from the outside on a serious cultural/emotional problem. A cooling-off period often is helpful, but eventually those who differ must themselves reconcile their differences.

I do not know what Mr. Melady had in mind with his "some arrangement," but no country is willing to foot the bill or police the situation in which the Kosovo factions remain apart while others work to bring them together amicably. Absent such a plan, the only possible alternative is to return the factions to their original positions, with a police force to impose some sort of a peace while the hatred cools down and, perhaps, the rabble-rousers are brought to trial or otherwise curbed.