Nicaragua is back in the news. We've seen headlines such as "U.S. Cites Role of Cubans in Contras War" and "Shultz Applauds Copter Downing." It looks ominously like the beginning of another Vietnam, anti-communist hysteria, more and more money and advisers, increasingly dangerous weapons, and, I believe, the implicit threat of sending in American troops.
Isn't it time we asked ourselves some questions? Since when is it OK to overthrow a legitimate government that we don't happen to like? How is our aid to the contras different from Cuban and Soviet aid to the Sandinistas? Where are the Sandinistas supposed to go for aid when they are being attacked by us? Why are we supporting the contras, most of whom are leftovers from the Anastasio Somoza regime, who are guilty of flagrant human-rights violations, and who have little if any support within Nicaragua?
If we were by any remote chance able to overthrow the Sandinistas without an invasion, what then? Another Somoza regime? As the weapons used become more dangerous and the war spreads, has any one in our government thought about the danger of its escalating to a nuclear war?
And finally, why in God's name are we not supporting the Contadora process, the last and best hope of ending the tragic, horrible bloodshed and bringing peace and stability to this wounded, poverty-stricken part of the world?