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Repugnant Review

August 10, 1986

Sen. Dennis DeConcini's review of "Terrorism: How the West Can Win" (The Book Review, July 20), was as chilling and repugnant as Netanyahu's book itself. After quoting the author's definition of terrorism as "murder, maiming, and menacing the innocent for political reasons," he goes on to advocate exactly those tactics for retaliating.

He applauds the wholly unconstitutional strategy of "preemptive strikes" regardless of "risk of civilian casualties," and says that we "need not confine our military response to the terrorists themselves." So if terrorists kill half a dozen, we are justified in killing a hundred, not terrorists, but innocent families (as we did in Libya, one day after our deputy secretary of state went on national television to assure the world we would not attack, even knowing the attack had already been ordered four days earlier!).

Such treacherous advocacy is unworthy of any American, much less a senator, and will lead to further retaliation and counter-retaliation, until somebody decides to use atomic bombs and we're all obliterated. Meanwhile, neither DeConcini nor Netanyahu has addressed the question of why we have those terrorists to contend with in the first place. If, as suggested, they have their roots in totalitarianism, why does America so often support right-wing dictatorships, in some cases even after they've been deposed? And to assert they have their roots in Islam is an insult to Muslims everywhere.

ROBERT McCLAREN

Fullerton

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