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. \\,11 and Associates E1117 West 5th Street Austin, Texas 78703 REALTOR W Representing all types of properties In Austin and Central Texas Interesting & unusual property a specially. 477-3651 are saying that. The good news is that all the Democratic candidates want this 50 percent reduction, want SDI to be scrapped, or at least . . . minimally funded. . . .We may be possibly on the road to a preferable as opposed to a predictable future because more and more people are realizing that Speaker Wright was right when he said “We’re all in the same neighborhood.” The next tricky business in arms reduction is to persuade conventional wisdom, which still says, “We have to pull up our nonnuclear socks,” that that ain’t the case. Conventional weapons are conventional only in the sense of being non-nuclear, not in the sense of being non-lethal. They also are wretchedly expensive. The Pentagon refers to “our economical nuclear weapons.” And they fuel our continuing policy of military intervention in Third World countries. And fourthly, they are part of the most atrocious trade the world engages in, namely the foul, arms trade. We happen to be the biggest dealer in the foul arms trade, but the whole world is in this business to such a degree that last year in 1987 the whole world posted a new high of 930 billion dollars spent on conventional, primarily conventional but also nuclear weapons. . . . LET’S TAKE JUST a moment to talk about “them Russians.” We might as well recognize right off the bat that the same question is asked on the other side. . . . “Can you trust those Americans?” . . . We don’t have to be sentimental. We know full well that we’re not supposed to tolerate the intolerable. And these days only anger maintains your sanity because there’s so much that’s intolerable in this world. I have in mind the repression of civil liberties in the Soviet Union, which is intolerable. The suppression of the same civil liberties in Eastern Europe, which is intolerable. I have in mind their invasion of Afghanistan; I’m glad that they’re eager to get out, I wish them luck. That too is intolerable. So how on the one hand are we going to say “they are fellow human beings, they are our brothers and sisters, but we refuse to tolerate the intolerable”? Saint Augustine once said, “Never fight evil as if were something that arose totally outside of yourself.” That’s a very good reminder for both interpersonal and international relations. . . . Self righteousness is the greatest bane of international relations. There’s nothing worse than saying “That evil empire . . .” feeling that somehow you are morally superior, or morally pure, while they are morally inferior and corrupted. . . . Most Americans are either sleeping through, or are having positive nightmares about a revolution termed by Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s as “a revolution of rising expectations.” It is a revolution sweeping Central America, Latin’ America, many parts of Africa and Asia. It is a revolution of human rights, only human rights seen BILL LEISSNER Rev. William Sloane primarily in terms of social justice. It is a revolution supported by .a theology of liberation, whose central characteristic is perhaps that it sees justice as central to, not ancillary to, salvation. It is a revolution not made, President Reagan, by Communists. It is not even a revolution made by revolutionaries. It is a revolution made by repressive regimes. For the simple reason that you can’t have a revolt without revolting conditions. The fire won’t spread until the wood is dry. . . . Now let’s also add that many of these revolutions are heavily Marxist. Not because the attraction is to Soviet power, but because the promises of Marxism are so attractive in countries where capitalism has been singularly unkind. What is the United States’ reaction to these revolutions? Alas, the reaction of the United States government and powers that be, to use a vague phrase, like the reaction of South Africa today, like the reaction of the Israeli government today, is to be more concerned with disorder than injustice. And therefore, produces more of both. Twenty seven hundred years ago, the prophet Amos addressed a warning to governments more concerned with disorder than injustice. He said, “You think to defer the day of misfortune, but you hasten the reign of violence.” Fortunately there is a chance in this area too, of changing American foreign policy. Up to now, American foreign policy has been unilateral, military intervention in the internal affairs of Third World countries. What we’re doing in Nicaragua is exactly the same as what we did in Vietnam. As then, so now, we have to ask ourselves “Who in the world gave us the right to decide who lives, dies and rules in small Third World countries?”. . . There is obviously a close connection between the arms race and human need and why it is that so many millions have fallen over the last nine years below the federally established poverty line. And I want to read you one paragraph that I found, of all places, in an airplane magazine, where I thought I was going to find some nice light reading. It talks about the arms race. And it says, let’s talk a trillion. “For one trillion dollars, you could build a $75,000 house, place it on $5,000 worth of land, furnish it with $10,000 worth of furniture, put a $10,000 car in the garage, and give all this to each and every family in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Iowa. Having done this, you would still have enough left to build a $10 million hospital, and a $10 million library in each of 250 cities and towns throughout the six-state region. After having done all that, you would still have enough money left to build 500 schools at $10 million each for the communities in the region. And after having done all that, you would still have enough left out of the original trillion to put aside at ten percent annual interest, a sum of money that would pay a salary of $25,000 per year for an army of 10,000 nurses, the same salary for an army of 10,000 teachers, and an annual cash allowance of $5,000 for each and every family throughout the sixstate region. . . . And that is only one-half of what the present Administration has spent or proposes to spend on military expenditures alone. So we can see the close relationship between peace and justice. We can see that Martin Luther King was right when he said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it’s the presence of justice.!” .. . Basically what I’ve been telling you is the philosophy of SANE/Freeze, a justice and peace organization, one that is committed to a safer, saner world through massive grassroots organization, so that as a goal it has in every Congressional district . . . a group of dedicated people, hopefully Anglo, Latino, hopefully businessmen, as well as educators for social reponsibility, and doctors and physicians for social responsibility . . . people who will support one another, do their homework, be able to state the opposition’s position to the opposition’s satisfaction and then point out to the opposition why this position is untenable. I look to Washington only to ratify what it can no longer resist. And therefore I am committed to a grassroots approach to peace and justice issues because I think this is the most effective way to try to change our country around. Coffin THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9