Jack Wheeler's letter (July 26), criticizing your editorial (July 8), "Too Many Contras," says the editorial "perversely distorts reality." Without ascribing motives, I would suggest that his letter oversimplifies reality and is of a disappointing caliber for one claiming to be a "foreign policy consultant. "
I question his grouping of Angola, Mozambique, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan under a common heading of "Soviet colonies." It is an emotionally appealing classification, but the histories of, and current conditions in each are too different to identify all six as simply "Soviet colonies."
Wheeler believes "the most significant geopolitical development of our times" is the "rejecting" by the Third World of "Soviet imperialism in the 1980s." Here again a very appealing statement, but one that requires elaboration to help the reader determine if it has any validity.
I would suggest that the most significant such development might rather be the creation of new states in the post-World War II era, for this made the nature of international relations much more complex than is suggested by those focusing on a supposed bipolar world.
Wheeler scales the heights of ethnocentrism when he says the "American ideals of free-market democracy and individual liberty" inspire the "hundreds of thousands" who "take up arms against Marxist fascism and Soviet tyranny." Does he really believe that the Afghan guerrillas, for example, are inspired to suffer and die for concepts so alien to them?
He would be on more fertile ground by examining such concepts as "nationalism" and "group identification" for the sources of that inspiration.
Wheeler's letter had additional points of contention, and it is unfortunate that one who is a "foreign policy consultant" appears to have sacrificed objective analysis for the sake of oversimplification and tendentiousness.
STEPHEN M. KIRBY