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Assessing Dukakis, Bush and Jackson

May 28, 1988

In the wake of (Massachusetts Gov.) Michael Dukakis's march to the Democratic nomination for President, voters would do well to question his naive and isolationist approach to foreign affairs. It is an approach born of inexperience, and is uncomfortably reminiscent of another Democratic governor who proved a disaster in the White House, Jimmy Carter.

Liberal Democrats such as Dukakis have been strangely unwilling to recognize the Republican Administration's many foreign policy successes. These have occurred because Republican policy is to operate from strength, not weakness.

For example, the Soviets are leaving Afghanistan because the United States has provided weapons and other military support to the moujahedeen , the Muslim resistance fighters. The Sandinistas are talking to the Contras in Nicaragua only because of the military pressure applied through the support of the United States.

Outside our own hemisphere, the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf has continued largely unabated because of the U.S. decision to maintain a naval task force in the area. In Africa, there may ultimately be a negotiated settlement in Angola, and it will be only because the United States has been steadfast in its support of Jonas Savimbi and his UNITA faction. In Europe, the new INF arms reduction treaty was agreed to by the Soviets only because the United States and its NATO allies were resolute in their decision to install Pershing II cruise missiles to counter ranks of new Soviet SS-20s.

On foreign policy alone, the choice between Vice President George Bush and Dukakis could not be clearer. It is peace through strength, or uncertainty through weakness. Slowly, painfully, and expensively, we have rebuilt our military strength after the debacle of the Carter years. We cannot afford another four years of another weak Democratic Administration.

RICHARD P. SYBERT

Los Angeles

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