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Kissinger on Nicaragua

September 14, 1987

Kissinger's article reinforces my belief that those who interpret history and current events do so for their own benefit. In the case of Nicaragua, the master juggler has once again made murky what to many people is crystal clear, and holds himself up as the expert to whom we should turn for guidance. The fact of the matter is that Nicaragua is choosing its own destiny. Some of us worry about that; apparently many otheres don't seem the least bit threatened by it.

I would venture to say that by far the largest majority of the 50,000 or so U.S. citizens who have visited Nicaragua since 1979 would agree that that country represents no threat to the security of the United States. The real and very simple question is whether or not the U.S. is big enough, courageous enough and confident enough in the wisdom of its own people, to step aside while a tiny country (full of affection for Americans) attempts to achieve its own manifest destiny--a destiny that we have delayed interminably through our continued support for corrupt dictators and military hoodlums, who in turn have denied the people of Central America even their most basic of civil rights.

If President Reagan could get the facts straight from his advisers about the lengthy and sordid record of U.S. involvement in Central America, he would accept the fact that his policy toward Nicaragua is morally bankrupt. When are we going to learn that we cannot control the hearts and minds of people intent on their own brand of freedom? And when is Kissinger going to learn that simple solutions to human problems aren't necessarily bad ones?

FRANK P. STEPHENSON

Ojai

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