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Mideast Hijacking

July 07, 1985

The hostages have returned home safely but in their wake, George Orwell's book should be retitled "1985." Black seems to be white, lies seem to be the truth, friends seem to be enemies, and murderous thugs seem to be nice guys.

The Syrian regime that "arranged" the release of the hostages is one of the most murderous in the world. Not only have they murdered thousands of people in their own country, but they have both sponsored and promoted terrorism as well as inflicted a reign of terror agains the Israeli people for almost 40 years.

The Amal militia, yes, that very faction led by "liberator" Nabih Berri, has been responsible for countless outrages in the world. Fro a government minister such as Berri, to be involved in thuggery and deceit is scandalous.

Come on hostages, naivete is all right, but some of your statements about Amal border on the ridiculous. Now that the hostages are free, the Lebanese have returned to their fratricidal killing. Muslim kills Christian, Shia kills Palestinian, Christian kills Muslim, and so it goes.

The politics of the Middle East are serpentine and convoluted. To have suggested that the prisoners of war that Israel was holding in Atlit prison were hostages was simply to ignore the facts. To suggest their release as a quid pro quo for the release of the American hostages was both morally wrong and a dangerous precedent.

There is only one solution to these outrages. Hit the terrorists with such massive force that those left will barely be able to crawl to the Tarmac of an airport, let alone hijack an aircraft. Only then will we be free of this scourge. Will America lead the free world or will she remain the paper tiger that others perceive her to be?

RICHARD REBHUN

Los Angeles

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