I had only to ready your headline, "Reagan's Just an Old Softie; Compassion for the Families of Hostages Led Him Astray," to break into hysterical laughter at the naivete of Bethell's article.
Bethell's argument doesn't hold water. The American people are now finding out that behind that charming facade lurks a conniving, hard heart. If Bethell's argument were true, which it is assuredly not, then Reagan's permission to sell war materiel to our enemy with which to kill perhaps thousands of innocent Iraqis, men, women and children, is even more immoral than it appears on the surface.
Could that old man possibly think that the lives of a very few American hostages are worth more than the lives of those people in Iraq? Naturally the relatives of the hostages think they are, but I do not, and I believe my fellow Americans will not condone such evil.