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'A Ballad for Nicaragua'

February 21, 1988

Much has been written about the plight of the Nicaraguan people, their subjugation under Marxist rule, and the obligation of the U.S. government to overthrow the Sandinista regime. Much has also been written about the atrocities the U.S. has become a party to by supplying aid to the Contras.

The Sandinistas have massacred their economy, severely restricted freedom of the press and civil rights, and brutalized and tortured its citizens. The Reagan Administration has lied to Congress and the American people, circumvented the democratic process, and supplied weapons to people who kill babies as a means of getting their point across.

In all likelihood the reforms promised by Sandinista President Daniel Ortega as a strategy to delay Congress' support will last only long enough for him to crush rebel resistance.

My reaction is, it's none of our business.

The Marxists have as much of a right to exercise their system of rule as do the democracies. The results may be atrocious, dismal failures, but they have the right to try, and to quell any attempted subversions of their government, just as those who must live under this rule have the right to resist it.

There are very few ideals worth dying for; and even fewer worth killing for. Freedom is one of those ideals. But individual freedom, not abstract freedom.

The time may come when Americans will have to fight toe to toe with an enemy to defend its freedom. When that happens--if our liberal inaction and adherence to democratic rule results in the subjugation and oppression of our people, then perhaps we can be justified in shedding the blood of others or spilling our own. Until then, leave this dilemma to the people of Nicaragua.

LUTHER C. JACKSON IV

Torrance

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