April 3, 1981 The Observer’s Position bully us around, telling us that there are some communists in the side he hates, so let’s kill the whole damn side. No, no, not again, not another Iran, not another Guatemala, not another Vietnam, not another Chile, not in Nicaragua or El Salvador or anywhere. Out of El Salvador! What was your position, Texan, on the Vietnam war? Did you plead ignorance? Did you say the President knows best? Did you play “Texas liberal” and deride “the doves”? Then you were a citizen responsible, were you not, for the Vietnam war. What was your position, Texan, on the government of Salvador Allende in Chile? No Texan’s business, you say? let’s worry about whom we elect governor, and look at our city council! Well, then, you stoody by silently, did you not, while Nixon, Kissinger, the CIA, and ITT coldly overthrew the first socialist government in Latin America that was committed to peaceful and parliamentary democracy. Well, what is your position on the situation in El Salvador? There, the ruling junta uses American weapons and helicopters against the guerrillas while the military under the junta’s umbrella ruthlessly murder the government’s opponents. Oh, you don’t know about that. Well, ever since the early fifties, when the Eisenhower Administration launched covert actions to overthrow, for instance, Mossadeq in Iran with lamentable consequences into this very year, the federal government has known, and the federal government has acted. Because the citizens have not been paying attention, the politicians have been aiding and abetting right-wing terrorists all around the world. We have sided with dictators just because they tell us they are “anti-communist.” Becoming “counter-revolutionary America,” we have earned the contempt of humanity because you have not cared. HOW DOES YOUR congressman stand on El Salvador? We wager you don’t have the foggiest. What about the military installations in your area, the military contractors what are they preparing for, what are they manufacturing? What about the Pantex plant outside Amarillo, where every nuclear bomb in the American arsenal is assembled? Do these things have nothing to do with us, who live here? They have everything to do with us and we with them. Houstonians who paid no attention to foreign policy in the 1960s let Texan George Bush celebrate the Vietnam war unchallenged. Now he is the “crisis manager” in the Reagan Administration. The connection cannot be denied, can it? Now, here at hand: El Salvador. The Reagan Administration has sent down “advisers” and military equipment for the use of the junta. Once again we are in bed with the right-wing terrorists. Secretary of State Haig prattles about “terrorists” in the purest exercise of cynical manipulation. The citizens are not supposed to notice that “our” side uses terror, too. The world is a revolution, it cannot be stopped, the question is not, Will governments be overthrown, it is, Will governments be in or come to power that will help their people and respect their human rights? We believe in democracy; we want the First Amendment internationalized. We believe in social justice, and we believe in civil liberties; we want new countries to be made on those great principles. We also believe that, even in the presence of communists who want to set up police states, nations and their revolutions belong to the people thereof. Above all we cannnot internationalize McCarthyism, letting the likes of Haig THE TIME TO DEMONSTRATE is now, not after hundreds or thousands of Americans are dying in Central American jungles. The Gallup Poll of late March shows that two out of every three “informed Americans” fear El Salvador will become another Vietnam, only 2% of the public wants the U.S. to send troops to support the junta, and only 16% even favor military assistance. Out! Out of El Salvador! It’s their country, let them fight over it! We call upon “Texas liberals” to extend once and for all your sense of the issues to the whole world. We call on those so inclined to get cracking again with marches, rallies, and demonstrations \(see the Social Cause Calendar at page and nuns with special knowledge to come forth and inform the people. Maybe ignorance was an excuse before, but after Vietnam there can be no excuses at all. Foreign policy is politics and we are just as responsible ignorant as we are if we are fully informed and aroused. We cannot know everything or even very much definitive about these foreign controversies, but until we try to learn about them we are simply patsies again for the Cold War cynics who always seem to wind up at the head of the government in Washington. Look, the time of the world may be short, the bombs may fall, and that is all. Risk being wrong. Risk being called a communist or a fool or whatever the rightists get it into their minds to call you. In the 1960s, you played it safe, and look what it got us! Not again. Please, speak softly to yourself, fellow Texas liberal. Not again. R.D. The Texas OBSERVER c The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1981 Vol. 73, No. 7 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. Editor and Publisher Ronald Dugger Staff Reporter Mary Lenz Business Manager Cliff Olofson Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 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. 75V 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. 2 APRIL 3, 1981
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