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'The Anguish of Afghanistan'

December 22, 1986

I would like to commend The Times for its editorial decrying the Soviets' genocidal crimes in Afghanistan. Tragically, the report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has become an annual Christmas catalogue of the Soviet atrocities against their Third-World neighbor. More recently, Amnesty International released a report detailing Soviet supervision of torture performed by its Afghan surrogates. Soon, Helsinki Watch will distribute its own report on the Soviets' systematic abuse, abduction, and indoctrination of Afghan children.

The Times has given more coverage than most to a story which literally approximates the Nazis' Holocaust. However, the international press has generally ignored this barbarism as it simultaneously highlights other areas of similar human rights concern. While the public is well apprised of the weekly bombings in Beirut, there is no mention of the daily bombings in the far-off sounding cities of Qandahar, Paktia, Herat, Jalalabad, Nangarhar, etc.

The justification for ignoring Afghanistan centers on the Soviets' blanket of censorship which has lowered over the country to be violated on the pain of death. Such a threat cannot be taken lightly, but the pain and suffering of human beings continue.

The Afghan freedom fighters are begging the world for anti-aircraft missiles as their most urgent need to repel the savage destruction of the Soviets' heavily armored Mi 24 Hind attack helicopters. They also desperately need the assistance of the international media to bring its awesome public pressure to bear on the Soviets' invasion. Certainly, such media attention as was lavished on Ferdinand Marcos and his wife's 3,000 pairs of shoes might also be focused on the Soviets and the murder of a million Afghans.

REP. DAVID DREIER

R-33rd Dist., LaVerne

Washington, D.C.

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