Recent developments in Burma, while still unclear, present an opportunity for the United States to correct the human rights violations which occur daily in that country (Part I, July 24). However, the United States should proceed with extreme caution if it wishes to make any lasting impact.
The Burma Socialist Program Party is not going to give away any of its power. The Burmese government, however, has apparently signaled that it is considering making some changes in its economic structure. In making these changes the United States can offer economic assistance, humane assistance, and other assistance--short of military--to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
Moving the Burmese government closer to the ideals of the United States will take many years. The progress must be viewed in inches rather than miles, yet Burmese government officials have indicated they are now ready to start the journey. The United States must be ready to join with them rather than to push them or run over them.
THOMAS EDWARD WALL