When the President brings up the specters of gasoline lines in order to generate fear and support for his policy of protecting Kuwaiti oil tankers, he implies that the same things can again occur if the Soviets or the Iranians take over the Persian Gulf.
We are dealing here with the oft-used "planted axiom." By that is meant merely the statement of a platitude, which seems on its face to have validity so that it is accepted as such without question. By saying that we do not want the Soviets to have the Persian Gulf as a "Soviet lake," we generate enough emotion in the populace so that their only response is, "Well of course not!"
One ought to remember that it was neither the Soviets nor the Ayatollah Khomeini who created long gas lines but our friends the Saudis and the Iranians under the shah.
IVAN M. HOFFMAN