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'Hatchet Victims'

September 28, 1986

I congratulate you on your insightful editorial (Sept. 15), "Hatchet Victims," in reference to the Reagan Administration's foot-dragging on funding for foreign aid programs that are helping the world's poorest people become self-sufficient.

How sad it is that our President doggedly asserts the need for vastly increased military spending and at the same time seeks to reduce spending aimed at the root causes of instability in the world--abject poverty and hunger!

Historically, our country has been the leader in promoting freedom and justice in the world. Developmental assistance to countries that desperately need help has been a keystone of our leadership to promote independence and self-sufficiency. As you point out, the cost of programs that offer new hope for the world's poor represents a very small fraction of total U.S. spending.

As Congress confronts the difficult budgetary decisions yet to made, we hope our elected officials will remember that "Hatchet Victims" are more than programs; the victims represent the hopes and lives of the world's poorest people. As citizens, we should remind our congressmen and senators of that and call for a commitment for greater U.S. leadership in this area.

RICHARD A. WEST

South Pasadena

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