WASHINGTON — President Reagan told visiting Western Hemisphere legislators today that there has "never been a war between two free countries."
Reagan's memory apparently skipped past the War of 1812, in which an independent United States declared war on Britain, one of the world's oldest parliamentary democracies.
The Boer War at the turn of the century was fought between Britain and Dutch settlers in South Africa, and, more recently, the democracies of Israel and Egypt have fought. Also, Chile and Peru, and El Salvador and Honduras have had wars in recent years.
Reagan's declaration was a flat one: "There has never been a war between two free countries."