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'Fervor Gives Way to Reason'

May 12, 1986

My thanks to Richard N. Goodwin for his excellent article (Editorial Pages, May 2), "Fervor Gives Way to Reason on Libya." I needed that. In an earlier article (Editorial Pages, April 16) he had implied that the U.S. bombing raid on Libya was something to brag about. Usually, I agree with him on our foreign policy and the nuclear arms build-up--so that article confused me.

Perhaps, many in that first approving majority are also having second thoughts. An act of violent revenge is not courageous. Terrorism is a vicious weapon used by people too weak to fight conventional war. Of course it must stop. But bombing innocents has only created more terrorists whose hates are deeper than ever!

In this Nuclear Age, a military solution is no solution. In 1957, President Eisenhower said, "War in the future can serve no useful purpose. A war which becomes general, as any limited action might, could only result in the virtual destruction of mankind."

As Goodwin says, we have retreated from our global responsibilities. This country has been greatly blessed. We call ourselves the "land of the free." We must not forget that true freedom involves a responsibility, not only to our people and our land, but also to everyone else. We have been reminded of this interdependence with others by the recent nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, U.S.S.R.

As a superpower we can't evade the responsibility of helping to lead the way to world peace. That includes helping to solve the Palestinian homeland problem that has caused so much unrest in the Middle East. It means mature, intelligent dialogue with Russia, not name-calling. It means recognizing the needs of our own people and improving the quality of life. (Several other Western nations rank above us on literacy and health charts). The tremendous amount of money spent on arms could instead be aiding unfortunates all over the world. Remember, we all live on Earth's one life-support system. It is very precious.

JEAN E. SORENSON

Burbank

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