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Jimmy Carter

October 13, 1994

Colman McCarthy hit the nail on the head in his commentary on Jimmy Carter and his Haitian negotiations (Oct. 3).

I've heard some people claim that Colin Powell, by describing the military holocaust which would surround Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras if he resisted, was the chief cause of the dictator's withdrawal from power. But McCarthy puts the praise where it is justly due, on Carter's shoulders. By appealing to Cedras' better instincts, by helping Cedras to realize the link between his own and his family's humanity, and that of others, Carter caused Cedras to pause and reassess his actions. It was simple humanity that Carter used with Cedras.


La Canada

* McCarthy concludes with " . . . what has violence ever accomplished--besides more of it, which is the definition of the 20th Century." I would like to suggest that the use of violence led to the crushing defeat of Nazism. One wonders what kind of world would we have today if the century's most enduring peacemakers--Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Addams--had taken their nonviolent techniques up against the tender mercies of Adolph Hitler. What if the alternative of violence had been rejected by our country, what then would be the definition of the 20th Century?

And who would want to live in a society such as we live in today without the potential and actual employment of violence against society's lawbreakers? It was good for Carter to appeal to the "better side" of Cedras. But it didn't hurt the helpful outcome that 15,000 well-armed troops were on their way.


San Marino

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