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'Tragedy in Persian Gulf'

May 24, 1987

There truly is "Tragedy in the Persian Gulf." The loss of life is always a tragedy, and we should all mourn the death of those on the American frigate Stark. It is also a tragedy of greater proportions that U.S. policy has contributed materially to maintaining the state of military confrontation between Iraq and Iran.

The people of the Persian Gulf are well aware that the United States has quietly supported the Iraq war with Iran. There are indeed many questions to be answered, but they should be directed at U.S. policy in the Middle East.

U.S. policy should recognize and respect the sovereign rights of all Arab nations as well as the sovereign rights of all the indigenous peoples of the Middle East and their right to be heard in the negotiations for peace proposals.

U.S. policy must mature into a diplomatic policy that displays patience and wisdom in negotiating with nations of differing political viewpoints and policies. We must stop this policy of supplying arms and intelligence information to both military camps, or we will continue to have U.S. citizens die in the "cross fire" of military confrontations.

ELIZABETH REID-FOSTER

Canoga Park

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