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European, U.S. Reaction to Raid on Libya

April 27, 1986

Six readers wrote letters to the editor (April 20) with various degrees of anti-French hysteria. One went as far as practically accusing the French of being responsible for the downed American F-111 over Syria.

What happened to common sense? Ever since the War of Independence, France has suffered more losses than the United States for every war involving both nations as allies: thousands more in the 1780s than American troops, 3 1/2 million in 1918 and more than a million in 1945. France fought Moammar Kadafi twice in the Chad in recent years and has suffered hundreds of deaths in terrorist attacks, ranging from worshipping Jews to innocent bystanders.

We are lucky that our American cities, trains, airports, department stores do not face the same terror. Can't France decide what attitude to take as a sovereign nation?

A survey in Newsweek magazine shows that two-thirds of the French were supportive of President Reagan's attack. The Times (April 21) stated that 70% of the British opposed it. France is the only major European nation where no anti-American protests took place following the bombing of Libya.

Stop using France as a whipping boy! This reader regrets the French decision not to allow passage of our planes over France, but the French president, as all Europeans do, does believe strongly that terrorism will continue in spite of the raid. He has, after all, the responsibility of saving the lives of his citizens.

J.M. POLETTI

Los Angeles

Poletti is secretary-treasurer of the Union des Francais de l'Etranger, Southern California.

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