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Column on hostages displays narrow view

Matthew H. Hersch '94 writes about his anger over UN Secretary General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar's acceptance of a message from Lebanese hostage takers through recently released hostage John McCarthy ["Lose the dead weight," Sept. 3]. This irrational response is understandable considering the sophomoric viewpoint -- which he shares with many others reared on Delta Force, Bruce Willis, Rambo and the World Wrestling Federation -- he enunciates in the rest of the article.

Quite apart from his unreasonable degrading of the highly respected diplomat, Hersch exhibits an odious sense of justice compounded by a complete lack of understanding of the aspirations of ordinary people in Lebanon and occupied Arab lands whose relatives languish in Israeli prisons on charges that would put communist China to shame. The fact -- supported by actions such as the spectacular kidnapping of the Shi'a cleric Shaikh Obeid -- is that these prisoners are as much hostages as the Westerners held in Beirut.

To denigrate the work of the Secretary General, just because he has to deal with terrorists on both sides, is to damage the only peaceful way that this nightmare can end for the hostages and their families on both sides.

Bilal H. Mughal G->