Since the birth of South Africa as an independent nation, it has had good and friendly relations with this country. It is strategically an extremely important nation and is the most advanced economically on the continent of Africa. It controls the sea lanes around the Cape of Good Hope through which travels much of the oil to the West. It also supplies a large percentage of the metals essential to industry in our country.
One has only to look at the rest of sub-Saharan Africa to see that despite apartheid the blacks of South Africa are far better off economically than those of any other country in the region. With few exceptions the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are ruled by either military or civilian dictators, their economies in shambles and the people starving.
The well-known author Alan Paton, speaking about sanctions and disinvestment, has been quoted as stating, "The South African nationalists may at times behave like fools, but they do not behave like cowards. The self-righteous will have to bring the whole country to its knees. It will have to be by the gun. We will become one of the begging nations of the world, and the West having broken us will have to feed us." Mr. Gray needs to be reminded that his job as a congressman is not only to represent his constitutents but of equal importance to protect the strategic interests of his country.
William E. Crolius
UNFAIR TO BRISTOL
What kind of a critic is a man who, when he writes a scathing review about a play, finds it necessary to make snide remarks about the town in which the play appears (William Collins' Oct. 17 review of The Good Earth)?
To describe Bristol as a "gritty little borough" is an insult to all the fine people who live and work here and are proud of their town. Bristol is an old historic town with lots of charm that was much in evidence on Oct. 17 - an annual celebration of Bristol Day.
To suggest that its people would welcome a return of Deep Throat was a callous remark by a man who should confine his criticism to plays and players and not cast aspersions on a community and its residents.
Marion S. Flood
Someday when they are handing out Pulitzer Prizes I hope Dorothy Storck is handed one. Her Oct. 18 column, "A child in a hole," was not only excellent writing, but it brought tears to my eyes more than did the Texas rescue of Jessica McClure from the well into which she had fallen.
Yes, indeed, if we could rescue all the children who slip through holes and cracks in our social agencies - a fine bit of writing Ms. Storck.
Carol S. Rowley
Supporters of Judge Robert H. Bork and certain members of the media (e.g., Edwin Yoder's Oct. 9 Op-ed column) have made much of the largely fitful public campaign mounted by groups opposed to Judge Bork as a factor leading to his defeat in the Senate.
Variously characterized as a "disgraceful advertising campaign," and by President Reagan with the hysteria he typically reserves for those with the audacity to disagree with him, a "lynch mob," these complaints uniformly overlook the originators of the 1980s negative media campaign: the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC), Sen. Jesse Helms' Congressional Club and other elements of the radical right that form the keystone of Mr. Reagan's constituency.
Groups such as People for the American Way were formed in response to the negative advertising campaigns of NCPAC and the others, and there is a certain gross irony that conservatives and reactionaries should whine so shrilly about the genie that they let out of the bottle and that they characterized as ''informative" when it suited their agenda.
Moreover, it is completely clear that the Bork nomination collapsed under the weight of Judge Bork's own testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and not as a result of any sinister liberal advertising campaign. It behooves the defeated supporters of Judge Bork, who have enjoyed their victories in the past, to understand the simple truth.
Jeremy T. Ross
'JUDICIAL DARK AGES'
A LETTER FROM ROBERT B. SURRICK
Recently I was characterized in the news media as an "archenemy" of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen. This characterization or labeling does me and the cause for judicial reform a disservice.
Anyone looking fairly at what I have done and said for the last five years must conclude that the focus of my attention has been on the failure of the judicial accountability process, specifically the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board, and not on any individual. I used individual judges or justices as examples of that failure.
It has also become obvious that the Pennsylvania attorney discipline system has become politicized. There are numerous examples of attorneys with powerful political friends escaping discipline over the last five years. The disciplinary board prosecution of me - initiated and engineered by Justice Larsen because I voted for his removal from office when I was a member of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board - is but another case in point. Any fair- minded person looking at the charges, still pending against me after 4 1/2 years, would have to conclude that the charges have no basis in fact or law and constitute selective prosecution of the worst kind.
In light of the fact that I voted for Justice Larsen's removal from the Supreme Court and that he shortly thereafter filed a complaint against me in the summer of 1983, how can anyone say that the scheduling of this hearing eight days before the election in which Justice Larsen is running for retention is anything but political? Even though the hearing was, on Friday, postponed until Nov. 6, I had to laugh when Gilbert J. Helwig, chairman of the Disciplinary Board, said he would be "surprised and shocked" if the original scheduling for Oct. 26 had "anything to do" with the election. Indeed, there has not been a single fact against me that was not known to the Disciplinary Board in 1983.
What is happening to me is not important as far I or any individual is concerned. The larger issue is the prosecution of frivolous charges by the Disciplinary Board against a member of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board who voted for the removal from office of a justice of the Supreme Court. Can anyone imagine any lawyer who now serves on the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board voting for the removal of a justice or politically powerful judge or complaining when the board doesn't do its job?
What is happening here is that a powerful, arrogant judiciary has run amok and is sending a message to the lawyers in the commonwealth that will be heard and heeded. It is no coincidence that not a single lawyer of stature has voiced an opinion in the Larsen retention election although five county bar associations who have voted (by secret ballot) have overwhelmingly found Justice Larsen unqualified.
Five years ago I had a prosperous practice and probably was one of the most respected trial lawyers in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Again, what happens to me is not important. I offer these facts because it is clear that every lawyer knows that the same thing can happen to him or her for daring to speak out.
This is not a renaissance period in the judiciary. I said five years ago that we were entering the judicial dark ages, and we are there.
Robert B. Surrick