Reagan's Speech on the Contras

The event that we all have been waiting for has finally happened! On national television we were treated to Scene 5, Take 1 of "Ronnie Goes Contrite," an 18-minute drama guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of all those poor souls who haven't yet figured out the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy don't exist. Our President is nothing but a hollow shell, held together by television makeup.

Notice that Reagan said only that he was "sorry," and that things got "out of hand." No acknowledgement that it might be ethically wrong and strategically disastrous to make a shambles of our own foreign policy, to sell rockets and missiles to people who will fire them right back at our own servicemen, to wheel-and-deal with the enemy for hostages, or to attempt by force and violence to overthrow the elected government of a neighboring country! There is more to true responsibility than that kind of trivial apologia.

What will the American public think when the first United States serviceman dies by a Hawk missile which was sold to the Iranians by our own President? Will Reagan then come on national television to say that he is "sorry," and that he "takes the responsibility?" Of what comfort will that be to the next of kin?

Amid all this disgraceful business, if there is not a whisper that Reagan step down, it is only because no one, Republican or Democrat, wants to give Vice President George Bush a full year lead in office before the 1988 elections. To what a sorry state has this nation been brought in the last six years!

RICHARD E. DICKERSON

Pasadena

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