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Dra w ing by Dan Hu b ig Reagan reach of the authority of Congress as the War Powers Act seemed to require, he dispatched U.S. Marines to Lebanon. In the summer of 1983 1,800 of them were holding on there despite having taken casualties and despite the deadly terrorist bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut. President Carter, hoping to encourage the prodemocratic groups among the revolutionaries in Nicaragua, persuaded Congress to send aid to the revolutionary Sandinista government there. Reagan has used the CIA to foment a war and an invasion from Honduras against the same Nicaraguan government. In other ways and in other episodes he has demonstrated that the use of military force abroad is the means that becomes the end of his foreign policy. In 1980 Carter had tried to warn the voters of the bellicosity that was inherent in his opponent’s statements and policies. The Reaganists countered with the most ingenious ploy of the campaign: They accused Carter of implying that Reagan was a warmonger, and rather than press the point with the facts Carter backed away. Reagan’s prepresidential record does show him to be a Teddy Roosevelt-type nationalist who often impulsively advocated the use of military force. His record so far as President shows that he has moderated the rhetoric but not his preference for force over diplomacy and negotiations. Reagan’s strength on the stump when he speaks of foreign policy questions derives from the fact that most Americans share both his pride in the United States and his anticommunism. The concern about and opposition to his foreign policy which are registered in public opinion polls are probably in the main expressions of fear of another Vietnam and the dread of nuclear war. There is an extremism at the base of his views that makes many people uneasy about having him in the White House. On the issue of communism, Reagan is categorical. In his basic General Electric speech back in 1962 he said, “Now there are many people among us who deny that we are at war. But war was declared a hundred years ago by Karl Marx and reaffirmed fifty years later by Nikolai Lenin,” and then by Khrushchev. \(Lenin’s name was ble truth is that we are at war, and we are losing that war simply because we don’t or won’t realize we are in it. . . . It is a declared war.” And, “There can only be one end to the war we are in. . . . Wars end in victory or defeat.” In his 1964 speech for Goldwater he declared that “we are at war with the most dangerous enemy ever known to man. . . . The guns are silent in this war but frontiers fall while those who should be warriors prefer neutrality.” The “final step” in “the Communist master plan,” he said in 1976, “is to conquer the United States.” Nine days into his presidency Reagan raised questions about his ability and will to negotiate nuclear arms treaties with the Soviets when he said during his first press conference that those very Soviets “reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to obtain” their objective. Two years later he told reporters that he had just read an article that quoted “the Ten Commandments of Nikolai Lenin. . . . And they are all there, that promises are like pie crust, made to be broken.” This theme was one of the drumbeats of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade rallies in the 1950s, and whatever implications the fact has for arms talks, Reagan believed it then and still does. In his 1978 radio broadcasts he asked why the U.S. should ratify the SALT II treaty when “the Soviets don’t keep their word even when they understand the meaning.” He also said on radio that year, while discussing the fact that Castro lied by saying he was not a Marxist-Leninist: “Calling a Communist a liar when he is one is pretty frustrating. How do you insult a pig by calling it a pig? Communists are not bound by our morality. They say any crime, including lying, is moral if it advances the cause of socialism. That is Karl Marx as interpreted by Lenin.” Disvaluing the Helsinki accord, he said “the Russians make promises; they don’t keep them.” Two years before he assumed the presidency he said, “I wouldn’t trust the Russians around the block. They must be laughing at us because we continue to think of them as people like us.” In 1978 he reasoned, again on radio, that Russia should be denied its vote in the United Nations. The Soviets and their satellites had refused to pay about $100 million in U.N. assessments for activities of which they disapproved. “If a club member or, in many cases, a union member is delinquent in his dues,” Reagan said, “he loses privileges, including the right to vote till he pays up. Why shouldn’t our ambassador officially move that voting rights be denied to the Soviet Union? And this THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5