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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
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August 9, 2010
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Publication Date: 
December 28, 1983
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? Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/09 :CIA-RDP90-005 28000505400001-8 STAT ARTICLfi APPEARED ON PAQE_ A - /;, WASHINGTON POST 28 December 1983 `T ~,e ~i~oblem of Terro~~sm L o disappear if ~e Run From It' UnlteA Press ]nternatlonal President Reagan's statement on the Bei- rut bombing: I received the report of the Long commis- sion last Friday and reviewed it thoroughly. The report draws the conclusion that the United States and its military institutions are by tradition and training inadequately equipped to deal with the fundamentally new phenomenon of state-supported terror- ism. Iwholeheartedly agree. The thrust of the history of this country is that we've' recognized the clear distinction between being at peace with other states and being at war. We have never before faced a situation in which others routinely sponsor and facilitate acts of violence against us while hiding be- hind .proxies and surrogates which claim, they claim they do not fully control. This problem is not unique to Lebanon. We've seen the ugly manifestation in Ku= wait, the terrorist bombing in Rangoon, .the senseless murder of Turkish diplomats, the attack on the pope, the bombing of our own Capitol and on the streets of London. In the days ahead, we need to systemat- ically redevelop an approach to this problem, recognizing that the worst outcome of all is one in which terrorists succeed in transform- ing an open democracy into a closed fortress. Now one fact, though it ig already obvious, the problem of terrorism will not disappear if we run from it. This is not to say that we are not working as urgently as possible to create political con- ditions in Lebanon that will make it possible for us to remove our forces. But we must not delude ourselves into believing that terrorism will vanish on the happy dap that our forces come home. For terrorists t.o be curbed, civilized coun- tries must. begin a new effort to work togeth- er, to share intelligence, to improve our training and security and our forces to deny a haven or legal protection for terrorist groups. And most important of all, to hold increasingly accountable those countries which sponsor terrorism and terrorist activ- ity around the world. The United States intends to be in the forefront of .this effort. For the near term, corrective action is being urgently taken tc) ensure the maximum. possible security of ~~c;r forces. Nearly alI the measures .identified by f hc~ distinguished members of the commis~il,n have :implemented, or have already been been implemented, I should say, and those that have not will be very quickly. The commission report also notes that the mission of the Marines is extremely difficult. And with this, too, there can be no dispute. We recognized the fact at the beginning and were painfully reminded of it today. But the point is that our forces have al- ready contributed to achievements that lay the foundation for a future peace, the res- toration of a central government and the es- tablishment of an effective national Leba- nese army. We do not expect Utopia, but I believe we are on the verge of new progress. toward na- t.ionul reconciliation and the withdrawal of forr?isn forces. A;;d ?et me finally say that I have soberly contii:?c~red the commission's word about ac- coun';,,ility and responsibility of authorities up ,:nc clown the chain of command. And ev- er~~,aherP more should be done to anticipate anc? prepare for a dramatic terrorist assault. ?%e have to come to grips with the fact that today's termris>ng are better armed and financed. They are more sophisticated. They are possessed by a fanatical intensity that in- dividuals of a democratic society can only barely comprehend. I do not believe, therefore, that the local commanders on the gorund-men who have already suffered quite enough-should be punished for not fully comprehending the nature of today's terrorist threat. If there is to be blame, it properly rests here in this of- fice and with this president. And I accept the responsibility for the bad as well as the good. In this holiday season our minds are drawn more than ever to the Middle East, and while the violence of this region has been the cause of much of our anguish cer- tainly over the recent years, it is also worth recalling that the three great religions in the mcxlern world have their roots in this ancient and austere soil From this paradox we can take hope, and I intend to bend every effort to ensure that those who died in this tragedy can claim as their ultimate legacy the mantle of peace- maker over this troubled and vital land. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/09 :CIA-RDP90-005528000505400001-8