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U.S. Policy in Central America

August 01, 1986

For weeks our President has told us that the sure way to avoid further involvement in Nicaragua was to dole out a hundred million dollars to the contras. Thus our entire continent would be saved from the mighty nation of 3.5 million Nicaraguans, more than half of whom are under 15.

Now "senior Administration officials" tell us that our Defense Department must lend "trainers and logistics," and that the CIA "handles this sort of thing." These words are added: "With 20,000 troops, it's not a paramilitary operation--it's a military operation . . . if it works, it will be a model for others to follow."

Are we trusting the CIA because it did such a splendid job in Iran? Because it established democracy in Chile? Or because it succeeded so marvelously in Vietnam?

Or do "senior Administration officials" choose the CIA rather than trust the military genius who ordered 1,500 Marines into Lebanon (against the advice of the joint chiefs of staff) and then, before 251 young bodies were even flown home, distracted us from their deaths by an assault on Grenada?

DAN B. GENUNG

Los Angeles

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