TITLE: *TXT503   01/03/92 (01/03/92)
TEXT: *TXT503   01/03/92

N(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America January 3,
reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)

TThis past week, the United States honored two men who gave their lives in
the service of their country:  William Buckley and William Richard
Higgins.  Both died after being kidnapped and tortured by
Iranian-sponsored terrorists in Lebanon.  In ceremonies held on December 30
at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, Vice President Dan Quayle said
the United States owes the two men "a debt of gratitude that we can never

Robert Gates, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, said
William Buckley was "a man of great but quiet courage" who asked to be
assigned to Lebanon after the 1983 terrorist bombing of the U.S. embassy
in Beirut killed several of his colleagues.  Buckley was serving in Beirut
when he was kidnapped in March 1984.  Islamic Jihad terrorists claimed to
have killed him in October 1985, but other former hostages held in Lebanon
say he died several months earlier.  Islamic Jihad is a front for
Hizballah, the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization that operates
mainly in Beirut, the Syrian-controlled Bekka Valley, and other parts of

U.S. Marine Colonel Higgins was kidnapped in February 1988 while serving
as head of a U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.  Another
1izballah front -- the Organization of the Oppressed on Earth -- claimed
it executed Higgins in July 1989.  But he may have died several months
earlier after being tortured.  Colonel Higgins' widow, a major in the U.S.
Marine Corps, warned Americans not to be cowed by the terrorists who
killed her husband.  She said, "If we forgive, if we forget, if we thank
these savages, then we are merely inviting them, at a time and place they
will select, to kill again.  Shame on us if we do."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney called Higgins a man of peace.
Cheney noted that the U.N. group Higgins had served with was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize while he was in captivity.  "The fact is," said
Secretary Cheney, "terrorism can destroy buildings and lives, but it
cannot destroy the spirit of free men and women."  Cheney made it clear
that the United States will not forget the crimes committed by terrorists
against Colonel Higgins, William Buckley and other Americans.  Secretary
Cheney said, "We will hold those who bear responsibility for these murders
to account."