In his commentary on the futility of terrorism ("Terror Has Its Own Itinerary," Opinion, April 24), Thomas Powers observes: "In every place, terror has been enormous trouble--death or injury for the few, fear for the many, steady growth in the power of the security organs of the state--but in no place has terror been effective." Powers does not cite the most impressive instance of his thesis: the massive sustained terror campaign against a very poor country by the world's richest country.
The magnitude of U.S.-sponsored terrorism against Nicaragua is greater than the sum of the PLO, the IRA, the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Red Brigades and the Hezbollah. The hundreds of millions of dollars and the thousands of terrorists thrown into that attack have killed thousands, done hundreds of millions of dollars of material damage, and inflicted enormous suffering on the people of Nicaragua, as well as forming an image for the world of American lawlessness and ruthlessness. But in the end this terrorist campaign, like Powers' other examples, has failed in its purpose--the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government.
WILLIAM H. FORTHMAN