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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 12, 1986)
Wednesday, November 12, 1986 Daily Nebraskan
U cilaplomacy turnecil on its Jaeacii j )s vour car coverecj Wjth these?2
KRAUTHAMMER from Page 4
Which is exactly why the mullahs
are swallowing their hatred for the
Great Satan and offering to deal. (The
mullahs, also desperate for money, are
demanding $500 million in frozen assets
and U.S. help in raising oil prizes.)
After six years, they are just short of
toppling Iraq. Any marginal boost to
their war effort could be decisive.
For the United States, preventing
Islamic fanaticism from sweeping
through the Persian Gulf is a crucial
national interest. And yet, as a ransom,
for hostages and protection money
against future terrorism, we are con
sidering altering our policy, tilting
toward Iran, and thus jeopardizing that
interest. (And more than just consider-
American hostages from Lebanon has Why has our diplomacy been turned
followed a secret series of shipments of on its head? To a certain extent, all
military cargo to Iran.) Such a capit u- societies are concerned about rescuing
lation would constitute an appalling individuals. (The urge is particularly
act of dereliction. compelling, and most justified, when
Easy for me to say. What if I had a the individuals are POWs and others
loved one being held hostage in Beirut? captured in service to country.) All the
Wouldn 1 1 be screaming for the govern- inore 80 " America, wnere maiviuuai
ment to do anything necessary to get
the hostages back? Of course, I would.
Which is why hostage families should
not make foreign policy. Victims' fami
lies don't decide the punishment of
rfowcstic-criminals. Courts 'do that;
Courts were invented so that the gen
eral interest (it is "The People" not
"The Victim's Family" v. John Doe)
would replace private vengence. Diplo
macy was invented to secure the gen-
ing. The Washington Post reported erai saiety or the nation, not the saiety
Thursday that the release of three of individuals.
ism is a uniquely powerful creed. But
these are still insufficient explana
tions for the rescue fixation of Ameri
can foreign policy of the last 15 years.
The power of television is, of course,
one factor. On video, abstractions like
national interest or collective security
have no meaning. They cannot be
represented in pictures. A grieving
1986, Washington Post Writers Group
Krauthammer is a senior editor of The
New Republic magazine.
O T:- ' 7
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