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Proposed Policy in Persian Gulf

June 21, 1987

The decision has been made to place American flags on Kuwaiti oil tankers to place them under the protection of the United States. The need to protect the Persian Gulf is not at all in question, as those shipping lanes provide our allies with much of their oil. The course of action taken by the President seems to be one intended to provoke Iranian hostility, however.

Could it be that President Reagan is providing bait for the Iranians so that he may seek revenge on the nation that has caused him so much recent anguish?

The President was quick to name Iran as the guilty party in the Iraqi attack on the Stark. This form of alteration of fact is reminiscent of doublespeak.

It seems obvious that this type of high stakes game is far too risky to play in the already unstable Persian Gulf region. Isn't it more logical to seek a peaceful settlement to the Iran-Iraq war, rather than to put the gulf and American troops in even more danger?

If we do not seek a peaceful end to this war, then the very flags we so easily fly on Kuwaiti ships today may be the flags that we will use tomorrow to bury the victims of this pistols-at-dawn diplomacy.

JIM ROSENTHAL

Pasadena

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