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Reaction to U.S. Bombing Raid on Libya

April 25, 1986

After watching reporters interview people in shopping centers and bars around the country for opinions concerning our raid over Libya and hearing the inevitable replies ("It's about time . . . ," "I only wish it had been sooner . . . ," "I think it's great . . . "), I wondered whether these persons ever did more than watch television to get their intelligence "fix" for the day.

Oh, sure, I, too, experienced that initial seductive glow that comes from dealing a real villain a bloody nose. But what now? And was it worth it?

I don't like seeing my country, a superpower, bombing to prove a point. I don't like seeing brave American pilots turned into killers of civilians.

Let the terrorists, Moammar Kadafi's henchmen, bomb cafes and children's schools to intimidate us, make a point. Let the colonel rant in the street, set his pitiful rabble eager to die for his benediction (What else has he to offer them?).

Great powers have always had to deal with unpleasant situations.

But we don't need an eye for an eye in America the Beautiful. Nor do we need our President, a la Kadafi, calling the leader of a fourth-rate nation a "mad dog" on the TV screen. Where is dignity, wisdom, the aloofness that comes from real power?

Because what we finally have to come down to is: The only real way to combat terrorism today is to face the fact that until the Palestinian people do have a homeland--wherever--we shall have opportunists like Kadafi only too happy to exploit the situation.

In the meantime, we should try to understand our allies. Kadafi may be calling for American scalps. But the battlegrounds so far have been on allied turf. Certainly there are more sophisticated ways, still as lethal, open to a great power to send a message to the terrorist world.

GAY WALKER MOORADIAN

Burbank

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