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0 The Texas BSERVER PUBLISHER, RONNIE DUGGER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1981 Vol. 73, No. 4 February 27,1981 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Rod Davis , ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dick J. Reavis LAYOUT: Beth Epstein, Kat Duff CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Chandler Davidson, John Henry Faulk, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Molly Ivins, Laurence Jolidon, Matt Lyon, Maury Maverick Jr., Paula Manley, Greg Moses, Kaye Northcott, Janie Paleschic, Laura Richardson, Lawrence Walsh, Alfred J. Watkins CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Grant Fehr, Bob Clare, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Berke Breathed, Jeff Danziger, Ben Sargent, Mary Margaret Wade, Gail Woods A journal of free voices We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal offree voices. BUSINESS MANAGER Cliff Olofson The Texas Observer Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Publisher’s Office P.O. Box 6570, San Antonio, Texas 78209 Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues twice a year, in January and July: 25 issues per year. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. 750 prepaid. One year, $18; two years, $34; three years, $49. One year rate for full-time students. $12. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilmed by MCA, 1620 Hawkins Avenue, Box 10, Sanford, N.C. 27330. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 7`445W 14&::2 Advance /Rod Davis Veterans We don’t have to wait until May 25 to think about the veterans of America’s wars. I believe we should consider them now, because there is every indication their ranks soon will be swollen. A man who believes Vietnam was a noble cause has been installed as president of this once-democratic land and as his chief advisor on the conduct of nations he has chosen a rightwing general who intends to start brush wars in the name of stopping international terrorism \(read: World Communist Conincursions the way we have been so many times in the past, giving a grim and terrible twist to Mencken’s old observation that one should never underestimate the intelligence of the American public. Commies and saboteurs are everywhere, it ‘seems, wreaking misery on the world. It’s time, Reagan and Haig figure, that we do something about it. Do not listen to them. We have had enough wars, and we have saved the world too many times. Nearly every generation in this century, America’s century, has been presented with a war. Our grandfathers had World War I, the carnal nightmare; our fathers had World War II, the Big One; our older brothers and uncles had Korea, whose savagery was so well concealed by the government; and my generation had Vietnam, a war that disfigured two continents. There are, too, the other wars, in places we ignore: Guatemala, Angola, Chile, the Bay of Pigs \(which probably killed John Have any of these wars been noble? They say WWII was aimed at a real evil. True, in part; but it also was aimed at redistributing resources and, especially in the final years, when it was clear the Allies would win, the fighting was not so much against the enemy as among the prospective victors. A lot of people died to guarantee the boundaries of post-war industrial cartels. And Korea? What the hell was that about? What it was about was the opening round in the power grab by the emerging superpowers, a pitiful, brutal test which ate up a poor, small peninsula so that, like the Spanish Civil War of the ’30s, the Big Guys could test each other’s weapons and resolve. Result? Two totalitarian regimes supported by foreign powers face each other and claim sovereignty. Vietnam was the same story, refined. In the most lenient moments of reflection I cannot understand what, other than hubris, greed and cold war liberalism could have put 500,000 American troops in a small Asian country to wage an inherited colonial war. It was a madness. It fed off itself. It became a test of wills, a point of honor, and then, because it had become all that, it became, in 1975, a humiliating national defeat. If Gen. Haig wishes to consider terrorism, he should give his first thoughts to that which our country has inflicted. Terrorism is a loaded word, and, like aggressor, it is applied to those with whom we disagree. This is not to defend terrorism; but it is a very poor argument against terrorism to use it as an allegation and then pretext to imperialist intervention. And it is long, long past the time when the majority of the people in this country should understand that the wars we have been getting in and are likely to get in are terrorism of our own making. They are imperialist wars and bear no more resemblance to the meaning of this Republic than does Ronald Reagan to Thomas Jefferson. 2 FEBRUARY 27, 1981