Reagan has announced that he will continue to seek aid for the contras (Part I, Oct. 5) unless the Nicaraguan government agrees to move its elections scheduled for 1990 to an earlier date.
A State Department official explains: "We are finally taking the initiative. This will force Democrats who want to oppose us (sending $270 million to the contras) to say, 'No, we don't want elections in Nicaragua.' " Of course, the Democrats who oppose aid to the contras would not be opposing elections in Nicaragua, but that fine distinction would be lost on those who don't follow the news. Reagan is playing political football in an attempt to scuttle the Democrats.
Asked if the new demands will be rejected by the Nicaraguan government, the official stated: "Sure. We knew that when we decided to insist on it. And when they reject elections, that isn't going to play very well in the United States." This is a particularly lethal, cynical and arrogant version of political football, but to the people who are dying in Nicaragua it is not a game at all.
Reagan has called the the peace plan drawn up by the Central American nations "fatally flawed." It appears he is right, for Reagan seems determined to do whatever he can to prevent peace. He appears to be the fatal flaw.
MARY F. BARKER