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‘Professional Enemies’ of U.S. Protest Raid: Walters

From Times Wire Services

Vernon Walters, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said today that the NATO alliance is “absolutely solid” and anti-American demonstrations in Europe protesting the U.S. raid on Libya were staged by “professional enemies.”

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities across Europe on Tuesday, smashing windows, fighting with police, burning American flags and blocking traffic to protest the U.S. bombing raid. Some of the protests continued today.

“The people you saw (on U.S. television Tuesday night) are our professional enemies demonstrating,” Walters said on NBC’s “Today” program.

“They haven’t suddenly become our enemies because of Libya. There’s a large clique of anti-American demonstrators in Europe. The people you see in those demonstrations are the same old people. They’re in the anti-missile business; they’re in the anti-nuclear business.”

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A small group of protesters in Tokyo today tried to push their way into the U.S. Embassy compound but were repulsed by guards. In Peking today, Arabs burned an American flag outside the U.S. Embassy.

London police reported 160 arrests after an estimated 2,000 demonstrators blocked traffic on Tuesday outside Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s office.

The protesters carried placards reading, “Murderers Out of Britain” and “Margaret Thatcher--Blood on Your Hands.” Eighteen U.S. F-111 fighter-bombers based in England took part in the air raids and their mission had been approved by Thatcher.


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