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Conrad's Whale

November 03, 1985

Conrad's message must be an attempt at what U.N. Ambassador Vernon Walter calls "constructive ambiguity." "Meanwhile, another whale swimming the wrong way up the East River . . . " is the caption on the cartoon in question. But the whale, labeled "Reagan's U.N. Speech," clearly is swimming down the East River.

This surely is the sort of stuff that wins "critical acclaim." Whole doctoral dissertations at Harvard, the hub of the universe, could be written on precisely what might be the meaning of it all.

Can it be that Conrad has seen the error of his ways? Can it be that he applauds the clear distinction President Reagan drew in his speech between freedom and tyranny? Can it be that Conrad finally has come to share our Founding Fathers' view that liberty deserves a more transcendent status that contingent death in the hierarchy of values?

Conrad's record counsels skepticism. He probably just doesn't know which way is "up the East River," just as he seldom knows which way is up on any occasion, particularly in matters of world affairs. It is hard to believe that Conrad could ever bring himself to have anything good to say about President Reagan, even as an ardent "Right-to-Life" advocate.

FRANK C. KIRBY

Redondo Beach

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