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April 25, 1986 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

20 Friday, April 25, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

661 -CAMP

NEWS

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HOTLINE

Kaddafi

Continued from Page 1

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make no mistake — the effort
continues full speed ahead.
Earlier, the U.S. had sought
Egyptian cooperation over
many months. But President
Hosni Mubarak, preoccupied
with Egypt's own mounting
domestic problems involving
the faltering economy and the
rise of Islamic fundamentalism,
was not ready to play ball.
His predecessor, the late An-
war Sadat, had been prepared to
try to chase Kaddafi out of
Libya but the Carter Adminis-
tration did not let him. There
was a widespread U.S. assess-
ment at that time that Sadat's
forces were not necessarily up to
the job.
In addition, the Carter foreign
policy team thought that any
such Egyptian military drive
against Libya would merely en-
danger Sadat's own standing
within Egypt and the Arab
world. Sadat would certainly
have received the green light
from the Reagan team.
Thus, there would not have
been any tears in Washington if
the U.S. air raid had managed to
eliminate Kaddafi once and for
all. He is hated in the U.S.
capital by both Republicans and
Democrats. And the Adminis-
tration, both overtly as well as
covertly, can be expected to con-
tinue its pressure to get rid of
Kaddafi. That is seen in Wash-
ington as a given.
Reagan, for acting so decis-
ively after largely turning the
other cheek to Kaddafi's terror
during his first five years in of-
fice, is continuing to receive
widespread public support
across the country. The polls
have shown lopsided backing for
the tough policy.
"The essence of leadership is
to face up to the need for action
when clearly that is the only ap-
propriate response," editorializ-
ed The Wall Street Journal.
"There is no such thing as a suc-
cessful defensive war against
terrorists. Mr. Reagan con-
cluded, quite correctly, that the
only effective response is to
counterattack their sources.
Kaddafi, who has even bragged
about his prowess for secretly
plotting havoc, was .the ap-
propriate target.
"There will be consequences
to be sure. But there also will be
respect, even from the natural
enemies of the U.S., for a presi-
dent who decided that it was
time to demonstrate that the
U.S. cannot be pushed around.
In international politics, respect
is more valuable than praise."
Even The Washington Post,
which is often quite critical of
Reagan's foreign policies, con-
tinued to express support for
the operation. And in the pro-
cess, it lambasted France for de-

nying the Americans permission
to use its airspace. In contrast,
Britain's Prime Minister, Mar-
garet Thatcher, was praised.
"it is said in dismissal that
she owed Ronald Reagan for hie

support in the Falklands war,"
the Post editorial said. "Owing
can be the debt of a lackey. It
can also be the free offering of
a friend who understands the
purpose of alliance. The moment
is something of a lonely one for
the United States. It is good to
have British company."
Syndicated columnist George
Will was especially hard on the
French. Still, his views reflected
a broadly based position in the
United States. "It is hard to feel
dismay about the fact that the
U.S. raid caused collateral
damage to the French Embassy
in Tripoli," he wrote. "France is,
with Italy, especially con-
spicuous among the U.S. allies
that practice appeasement of
terrorists in order to deflect
violence toward Americans.
"This week France compli-
cated U.S. self-defense by refus-
ing to allow U.S. aircraft to fly
over France. In the 1980's, the
Fifth Republic is free to behave
as badly as the Third Republic
did in the 1930's because the
United States is unlike France.
It is unlike France not only in
scale, but also in kind, for which
France should be thankful."
The Reagan Administration
has also continued to harp on
the pre-World War II "appease-
ment" theme — namely that
refusing to stand up to Hitler in
the 1930's merely set the stage
for the eventual war. This same
admonition was repeatedly
underscored now by Reagan,
Secretary of State George
Shultz, Secretaiy of Defense
Caspar Weinberger, UN Am-
bassador Vernon Walters and

others. The free world must
finally stand up to Kaddafi. This
refrain was also echoed widely
on Capitol Hill.
Indeed, there was mounting
outrage in Congress over the
lack of European support for the
U.S. action. Member after mem-
ber, in their public statements,
noted that only Britain, Canada
and Israel backed the U.S.
Perhaps, some of them sug-
gested, it was time to pull out
the 300,000 American troops
from their dangerous positions
in Woken Europe and to let the
Europeans defend themselves.
"We did the proper thing and

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