Once again I applaud the efforts of The Times editorial board on its efforts to inject reason into the debate on El Salvador. The Reagan Administration continues to ignore the complicated realities of El Salvador while screaming about international communism and the export of revolution.
I emphatically agree with The Times' assessment that the only viable solution for El Salvador is a negotiated one. A recent several weeks trip down there proved to me that this truly is the only way. But I would like to comment on several of what I'll call understatements in your editorial (Oct. 17), "Slipping Back in Salvador."
You referred to the Reagan Administration's lack of "quiet diplomacy" in encouraging negotiations. Well, that certainly is a true statement, but it glosses over some very important points.
The horrors of El Salvador during the beginning of this decade are well documented. Estimates of killings by death squads and security forces hover at about 55,000, not to mention those who disappeared, were imprisoned or forced into exile. Also well documented are the links between the death squads and the military and security forces. You may remember Vice President George Bush's well publicized trip to warn the Salvadoran military that a continuation of death squad activity would severely threaten U.S. support.