April 6, 1986
Jeane Kirkpatrick's magical ability to weave truth from the frayed slogans of the Reagan administration showed once again in her "Blinders are off" column on March 30. The blinders are not off Mrs. Kirkpatrick. She does tell us that opinion polls in Central America "establish that solid majorities of Costa Ricans and Hondurans believe it would be better for Nicaragua and for themselves if the contras won. " I'd like to know how an accurate poll can be done in countries where many of the people don't have phones.
April 4, 1988
It has been a cruel, disorienting past month indeed for those who follow - or try to follow - the vagaries of Central America. Nicaragua, yesterday's hemispheric threat, has the new look of an island of calm, while its once- quiescent neighbors - Panama and El Salvador - edge toward the brink. They fill the turmoil-elsewhere columns; Daniel Ortega and the contras having quit the fray. In a burst of Easter bipartisanship, Congress now showers "humanitarian" largesse on the contras and the children maimed by the conflict.
April 3, 1988 |
Six people protesting U.S. involvement in Central America were arrested yesterday morning in Egg Harbor Township after climbing a fence near the entrance to the 177th Air National Guard Fighter-Interceptor Group's facility at Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona. Capt. Joseph Murphy of the Air National Guard said the six walked about a quarter-mile in the direction of a flight line where F-106s were parked, before the protesters were stopped by security police at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
May 13, 1987 |
The trouble with bad manners, Stendhal somewhere along the line apostrophized, "is that it can lead to crime. " It takes a certain amount of sleuthing to travel from remarks made by a bishop at the funeral of William J. Casey to log the distance between bad manners and crime, but it can be done. Totalitarian dictatorship is the greatest crime conceivable (totalitarian dictators killed about 30 million people - so far - under communism, a comparable number under Nazism and Maoism; more, even, under Pol Pot in Cambodia)
January 22, 1989 |
From Brownsville to San Diego, a human hurricane is blowing in from Central America. A rising tide of undocumented immigrants - from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras and Guatemala - is lapping along the 1,933-mile Mexican border, creating national alarm. Why? What is causing this influx? The refugees owe their plight to failures in U.S. foreign and domestic policies, according to a consensus of experts. Foreign policy setbacks ranging from suspension of military aid to the Nicaraguan contras to renewed political violence in El Salvador are cited by analysts - including those in the Reagan administration - as among the chief causes of the massive exodus from Central America.
October 22, 1986 |
Two academics were debating on television the other night when one became acutely exasperated with the lame position of his adversary. He wanted to call the other fellow stupid, but he contained himself, this being national television. So how did he unburden himself of his frustration? He called the other fellow's position "counter-intuitive. " Now there, I thought, was the most elegant way of calling somebody dumb I'd witnessed in a long time. Indeed, I thought of that wonderful formulation as the news burst upon us of an American C-123 going down in the remote reaches of Nicaragua loaded with ammunition and evidence of the clumsy hand of the CIA. "Counter-intuitive" is not a bad term to ascribe to the Reagan administration's ham-handed war in Central America.
November 24, 1990
You've noticed, of course, that "protecting democracy" is not in the arsenal of rationales for the U.S. buildup in the Persian Gulf. Still, it was not that long ago that Washington was obsessed with pushing for - and underwriting war on behalf of - "fledgling democracies" in Central America. Everywhere but Sandinista Nicaragua, the White House assured, the breeze of democracy was blowing. Not, to be sure, that there weren't some niggling problems. Well, those days of obsession and attention are gone: Opinion surveys report that Central America is a mile-wide yawn.