The Nation: Image of Impotence

After dozens of skyjackings, after the letter bombs, after the Munich massacre, the proposal before the United Nations seemed modest enough: to organize an international conference that would draw up a convention aimed at curbing such atrocities.

Last week, however, a coalition of Communist, Arab and African countries scuttled the proposal. The Arab states feared that such a convention would be directed against them. The Africans worried that antiterrorist sanctions would impede black guerrilla movements battling for independence. The Soviet Union knee-jerked its support of the Third World. The result was a resolution stating that the General Assembly is "deeply perturbed" by...

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