Hostages: Silence Greets A Birthday

Silence Greets A Birthday

The small item appeared in the London Daily Telegraph on June 1: "The family and friends of Mr. Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy, missing in Lebanon, said special prayers to mark his 48th birthday yesterday." Prayers were among the few words being spoken about the fate of Waite and the 22 other foreign hostages in Beirut. In Western capitals, officials were closemouthed. British Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe did say, however, that there is no reason to believe Waite is "not still alive."

In Lebanon, while no new hostages have been seized, a leader of the Islamic radicals made...