Reagan's Speech on the Contras

The President's speech has brought out my most basic English teacher instincts to interpret his unusual vocabulary usage. I suggest that his definitions are well-suited to George Orwell's "1984." A 1987 audience should have at least the following few glossary items at hand:

1. "Freedom fighters/democratic resistance"--Men who, according to virtually every independent human rights organization that have studied their activities, have kidnaped, tortured, raped and murdered hundreds of Nicaraguan civilians.

2. "The will of the Nicaraguan people"--A minority that yearns for the privileges it enjoyed under the repressive U.S.-supported Anastasio Somoza regime, and who indeed, wishes to return to that privileged state at the expense of a larger, poverty-stricken, hitherto uneducated population.

3. "A Marxist-Communist beach-head"--A government elected in a model of probity and fairness (Latin American Studies Assn.), which has significantly improved health care, raised the educational level and empowered the grass-roots population, while disempowering the supporters of the former Somoza regime . . . just as we would do to our detractors.

4. "Balanced budget"--All basic needs of our citizens . . . poor, old, non-Anglo . . . are abandoned, while an ever-increasing budget for arms is foisted upon us.


Van Nuys

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