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President Reagan's Secret Dealing With Iran

November 23, 1986

The United States is now involved in a situation in Lebanon and Iran that was completely avoidable. For the past five years Beirut has been the scene of total chaos, with no one political faction being able to secure control and no one person being able to predict that he or she will be alive to see the next day. Even the presence of the U.S. Marines could not guarantee stability.

In the midst of this civil war there are American citizens who choose to live and work for various institutions and businesses. These Americans are supposedly intelligent enough to realize that they are at risk. They have had ample time to leave Lebanon, instead they have made personal decisions to remain.

Given these facts, as an American citizen, I resent the arrogance of David Jacobsen and the other hostages who believe that we should place our country in jeopardy for their self-serving decisions. The United States should announce to all citizens who work in Beirut that they remain at their own peril and that the United States cannot be responsible for their safety. This simple statement will probably give them greater protection as there will be no point in capturing a person who cannot be a hostage.

KEN WOODWARD

Cardiff

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