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U.S. Reaction to Terrorism

January 15, 1986

Why does the United States and Israel appear to be alone in their efforts to punish Libya for the role it played in the recent terrorism? Am I missing something? These terrorist acts were not committed in the United States and were not exclusively directed at U.S. citizens. Logic suggests that the countries who are violated by terrorism directly would be the first to seek reprisals, no matter what foreign countries were represented around the site of the acts in Rome and Vienna.

Although the effect of economic sanctions by the European nations, who are directly affected by terrorism, might still not be especially effective deterrents, such sanctions would be a step in the right direction. Are the Europeans so economically tied to Libya that they are reluctant to punish the apparent Libyan seat of terrorism or is it something else?

Perhaps they view such hostile acts by Palestinian terrorists as partially justified by the Israeli problems with the native Arabs, just as we view hostile acts by the anti-apartheid forces as partially justified by the minority-white problems with the native black South Africans. I would enjoy learning the truth of the matter.

ROBIN BAKER

Playa del Rey

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