In "Multi-Ethnic Folly" [op-ed, Sept. 17], Charles Krauthammer failed to acknowledge the campaign of ethnic cleansing against the people of Croatia by the Yugoslav army and Serbian paramilitary units. He also failed to answer the question he posed--"What of the actual ethnic murderers and cleansers on the ground?"

By the end of 1994, nearly 50,000 people had been either killed or disabled as a result of Serbian aggression in Croatia. In addition, at the end of 1992, 700,000 displaced persons and refugees were in Croatia. In 1997, two years after the Dayton peace agreement, 290,000 displaced persons remained.

The most notorious of offenses perpetrated by Serbian forces against Croatia was the battle of Vukovar. On Aug. 1, 1991, the Serbian army atacked the city, bombed it into ruins and then occupied it. During the first few days of the occupation, the Serbs' campaign of ethnic cleansing was vicious. On Nov. 20, 1991, 294 patients were taken from the Vukovar Hospital and executed.

Throughout the past decade--first in Slovenia, then in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and most recently in Kosovo--the international community has witnessed a pattern of "ethnic cleansing" in the former Yugoslavia, most of which has been perpetrated by the Yugoslav army and Serbian paramilitary groups. The international community, in response to the International Criminal Tribunal's indictments of the responsible Serb leaders, must encourage the capture and prosecution of war criminals.

As long as those responsible for the aggression in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo remain outside the custody of The Hague, criminals will continue their acts of terror in the Balkans.


Morton Grove, Ill.

Charles Krauthammer's suggestion that an ethnically pure solution is the way to achieve peace in numerous trouble spots around the world, such as Kosovo, is questionable. The facts in at least one of the countries he mentioned, the Republic of Cyprus, don't support his thesis.

Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots lived intertwined in peace and harmony for hundreds of years. As a counter to the Cypriots' bid for independence from the British Empire in the 1950s, however, the British took actions that encouraged Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to break along lines of ethnic purity. The Brits tried to "divide and conquer" or, in this case, divide and stay in control.

Such encouragement motivated a small number of individuals on Cyprus. One such individual, a Turkish Cypriot, later admitted in a BBC television broadcast to planting a bomb in his own information office and blaming it on the Greek Cypriots. That bomb caused great divisions along ethnic lines. That individual is today one of the world's leading proponents of Mr. Krauthammer's thesis that peace can come only through ethnic purity--Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

Most Turkish and Greek Cypriots have a different view. In London today, large numbers of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have chosen, out of all the places available in that city, to live again intertwined with each other.



The writer is president of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, an organization of Greek Americans.