Letters to the Editor

From the issue of August 30, 2001

Little noted are the thousands who perished when Vietnam was united at the hands of the communist north, and the purging in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge regime. Kissinger did not have a significant hand in these events until 1970, when the "Kissinger Connection" was established with North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho. By that time 95 percent of the damage had been done. The other five percent can be attributed to the Khmer Rouge and the Hanoi unification scheme. Even trying to equate a fraction of the blame with Kissinger is neuralgic, since any deal or breakthrough had to be finalized by Richard Nixon and his administration.

I felt this crash course of Indochinese history was seriously needed for Mr. Sokol, and incumbent upon me to provide it. Blame Japanese expansion, French imperialism, American "containment" theory. Blame the Khmer Rouge, blame Hanoi intransigence, blame the five American presidents who prolonged the war. But do not blame Henry Kissinger, who sits at the zenith as being one of the most prominent foreign-policy strategists of this past century.

Mr. Sokol, you'll thank me later for this. Ignorance isn't necessarily bliss.

Christian Gary Wilson
Coral Gables

Not with Our Money She Doesn't
Fat salaries subsidized by United Way? No way: Regarding your story "Queen of the Oldies" (July 26), written by Jacob Bernstein, I want to set the record straight about our funding of the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Center. For each of the past two years the center has received an annual allocation of $326,218 from United Way of Miami-Dade.

Contrary to Mr. Bernstein's story, our funding does not pay the salary of the agency's executive director. The majority of our funding is used by the agency to draw down matching state and federal dollars for congregate and home-delivered meal programs at the agency's sixteen centers. This year more than $291,000 of United Way funds will enable the agency to generate an additional $2.5 million in government funding. The balance of our funding supports health, transportation, and other social services for the agency's elderly clients.

All United Way agencies must submit audited financial statements on an annual basis. These audits are reviewed by a volunteer team of accounting and finance professionals to ensure that United Way dollars are being spent efficiently, effectively, and for the programs and services they were intended.

Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO
United Way of Miami-Dade

Jacob Bernstein replies: I did not intend to imply that the salary of executive director Josefina Carbonell was drawn from United Way funds. Faced with state-imposed limits on money allotted for salaries, the center sought additional funding for that purpose from nonprofit organizations similar to United Way.

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