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Tough Problems Need to Be Thought Through

September 09, 1990

I found James Flanigan's Aug. 22 column, "The Costs and Dividends of Keeping Peace," disquieting.

Antithetical phrases such as "cost estimates seem small" and "military buildup can provide (economic) acceleration" are confusing. How can we not spend money and provide economic stimulus? Phrases like these should be separated by pages, not by a few sparse paragraphs.

Equally troubling are the supposed peace benefits. In the Middle East, the damage done to our national interest by our failures are only exceeded by the damage exacted from our successes. Expecting peace to come to this area recalls a quotation from Samuel Johnson on second marriages . . . "A triumph of hope over experience."

I know it is un-American, but just once, can we think a problem through? Please Jim, think a little harder.

G. THOM HAHN

La Jolla

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