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Hersch columns displays limited views on Philippine and Yugoslavian politics

I disagree with Matthew H. Hersch '94's latest article ["Get off my island, please," Sept. 24]. Hersch, like Henry Ford, shares the opinion that "History is Bunk," especially when it comes to the unpleasant history of US colonialism.

The Philippine Senate recently voted not to renew the lease of Subic Bay Naval Base, acquired by the United States in an armed robbery known as the Spanish-American War. At the turn of this century, the United States drove the Spanish from the island, then crushed any native resistance to American domination at the cost of thousands of Filipino lives.

Since then, the United States had held bases on the island, which have been resented by many of its citizens. Likewise, the other spoils of the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico and a naval base in Cuba, remain in United States hands. These possessions have no legitimate national security purpose whatsoever, being merely remnants of what Hersch might think of as the "good old days," when Teddy Roosevelt and his ilk sailed the world in search of plunder. For the rest of us, though, the bases are an anachronism, a sign that the United States continues to practice imperialism even while claiming to be building a "New World Order."

It's time that Americans wake up to the fact that playing policeman of the world is an expensive game, and that the bill comes

due eventually. In this case, the United States should pack up its toys and go home, leaving Cuba, Puerto Rice, the Philippines, Okinawa and Western Europe to determine their respective futures themselves. And we should get on to dealing with our domestic problems, which are far more threatening than any threat we face from losing the Subic Bay naval base.

Russell Olwell G->