In Beirut yesterday a spokesman for Amal leader Nabih Berri was sharply critical of remarks made by President Reagan at the opening of a speech on tax revision in Chicago Heights, Ill., on Friday. "For days," the Amal spokesman said, "the Reagan administration has said nothing. No comment. And for Reagan himself, at the most crucial moment, to make the kind of speech he made in Chicago is incomprehensible to them" -- the radical Shiites, who hijacked TWA Flight 847 and still apparently control four of the passengers apart from the others. The Amal spokesman described those radical Shiites as "extremely nervous people." Here is what Reagan said in Chicago Friday:
" . . . I want to say a few words about a subject that I know is on all our minds: the outrage of international terrorism.
"When terrorism strikes, civilization itself is under attack. No nation is immune. There's no safety in silence or neutrality. If we permit terrorism to succeed anywhere, it will spread like a cancer, eating away at civilized societies and sowing fear and chaos everywhere. This barbarism is abhorrent. And all of those who support it, encourage it and profit from it are abhorrent. They are barbarians.
"In a different age, the civilized world faced the bloody scourge of piracy. It was a long fight against a great but diffuse evil. But it was won in the end because civilized nations refused to succumb and missed no opportunity to stamp it out. The United States can be proud of the role that it played in that struggle, a role our Marines still sing about . . . .
"In our time, it's terrorism that must be overcome. We cannot accept these repeated and vicious attacks against our nation and its citizens. Terrorists and those who support them must, and will, be held to account."
Earlier, asked about the statement of hostage spokesman Allyn Conwell that it would be a mistake to link the seven American hostages kidnaped in Beirut over the last 15 months with the 39 passengers from TWA Flight 847, Reagan said:
"I don't think anything that attempts to get people back who have been kidnaped by thugs and murderers and barbarians is wrong to do. And we are going to do everything that we can to get all the Americans back that are held in that way."
Reagan's Friday comments were the latest of a number of toughly worded statements from the White House on terrorism and terrorists, interspersed with more conciliatory words during the hijacking. Two days after the hijacking of Flight 847, Reagan warned the kidnapers that, "for their own safety, they'd better turn those people loose."
On June 19, the day after the president's conciliatory news-conference assurance that he would wait the hijackers out, Reagan decried the hijackers' act, saying, "We cannot reward their grisly deeds. We will not cave in." The next day, Reagan said, "We must act against those who have so little regard for human life and the values we cherish." On June 25, the White House threatened a possible blockade of Lebanese ports, an attempt to close the Beirut airport, and other unspecified possible military actions.