Reagan Policy in Nicaragua

With increasing frequency I hear of the possibility of sending American troops to stop communism in Central America, and, as a Vietnam veteran with a son rapidly approaching draft registration age, it scares the hell out of me.

As Ronald Reagan and his pathologically anti-Communist supporters continue to casually toss around this possibility, I’d like them to publicly declare that saving Nicaragua or El Salvador from the Havana/Moscow cabal is so important that they would be willing to have their own sons (or grandsons) die for it. That’s the only way I’ll know how important they really feel it is.

Our children’s lives are not just another commodity on the military’s inventory list like so many bombs, planes or sets of jungle fatigues. When they start talking about sending in the troops, they’re talking about our kids dying. That’s what war is all about--except, of course, in Reagan’s Hollywood point of reference where the blood is phony, the screams are dubbed in, and the dead rise up as soon as the director yells “cut.”

Each time Reagan and his supporters talk about military aid to the contras, each time they mention vital American interests in Central America, each time they prattle on Rambo-like about our honor, it sounds more and more like they’re greasing the way for sending our children to die.


Well, I was one of those who answered my country’s call the last time, and I, like thousands of others, felt duped. My son is not nearly so naive as I and my fellow Vietnam vets were. He’s not prepared to die for bogus reasons, and I’ll do what I can to ensure that he doesn’t have to.