To the Editors:

In Paragraph two of the open letter from concerned writers [advertisement published in NYR, March 17] one reads that: “According to D. Jansen…the siege of Beirut was the longest of a major capital city since Paris was surrounded in the Franco-Prussian war….” The writers accept this statement and go on to make a number of arguments.

One could accept the exclusion of Leningrad, not the capital of the Soviet state, and might even understand the glossing over the mere sixty-three days of Warsaw’s agony. But one wonders how Mr. Jansen and these writers could have missed what happened in Madrid between November 1936 and April 1939. John Chancellor (NBC) saw it as the most obvious parallel in his reports from the smoking debris of Beirut. Are the writers, and Mr. Jansen, ignorant or are they, by implication, placing the Spanish Civil War among the non-events of history?

Alan A. Gonzalez

Raleigh, North Carolina

This Issue

April 28, 1983