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Reagan and the Unfolding Iran-Contra Deals

November 30, 1986

The resignation of Poindexter and the firing of North in relationship to the Iranian-contra affair is certainly not going to solve the problem. The issue is not who did it, but why it was done. A careful examination of our recent foreign policy initiatives will reveal actions based on simple, but flawed assumptions.

First is the assumption that all our problems are East-West in nature. Therefore, all we need to do is to contain and/or control the Soviet Bloc and its allies and our problems will be solved.

Second is the assumption that essentially military solutions will be effective in solving our problems. Thus bombings, mining of harbors, weapons sales and covert actions were chosen.

If we look at the results of our government's actions, we cannot be happy. Our foreign policy is muddled, with our prestige and influence on the wane. Our debt and trade balance are much worse than ever, due to excessive government expenditures. Our problems will not be solved by the firing of aides, or by asking Secretary of State George P. Shultz to resign. The problem is obviously not individuals, but rather comes from a lack of perception as how the world is really functioning.

We live in a complex, interdependent, interconnected world. A "fortress mentality" is at best a denial of reality, which can only result in our own demise, whose signs are already all around us.

We had best realize (and the sooner the better) that the Cold War post-World War II mentality no longer serves us, where communication is now instant and worldwide, and where there are enough nuclear missiles to destroy the world in about 7 minutes. It is time for us to realize that realistic and effective actions can only be based on cooperation and nonviolence, not combative and militaristic actions.



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