JAMES G. DUNAIF, a New Yorker who writes a Letter to the Editor to us a couple times a month, passed along an interesting point which we thought deserved editorial treatment.

Mr. Dunaif points out that in the JofC Nov. 4 it was reported that Sheikh Ali Khalifa al-Sabah, the Kuwait oil minister, claimed that the tanker war in the Arabian Gulf is as serious as attacks on civilian ships during the second World War.As Mr. Dunaif points out: This is nonsense. The facts, he says, are these.

Since the tanker war began in February 1984, some 150 ships have been reported hit, some 150 merchant seamen killed and no ships reported sunk.

In World War II, he says, 2,828 Allied and U.S. merchant ships were sunk by German U-boats and an estimated 40,400 Allied and U.S. merchant seamen were killed. Many other Allied ships were sunk by Japanese submarines. U.S. submarines sank 2,200 Japanese merchant ships.

The Sheikh wants to sell his oil and wants a glut of tankers and doesn't like high war-risk insurance rates that increase tanker rates, but let him not try to rewrite history in the process, is how Mr. Dunaif ends his letter.

As long as there are people like Mr. Dunaif out there, it not only makes journalism worthwhile but sort of fun, too.

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