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AN OPEN LETTER TO DR. SIDNEY DRELL Dear Friend: I have read your two splendid lectures--the speech on nuclear weapons at Grace Cathedral, October 23, 1982, and the opening statement to Hearings on the Consequences of Nuclear War before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. What you say and write about the appalling dangers of nuclear war is very close to my heart and has disturbed me profoundly for many years now. I decided to address an open letter to you, feeling it necessary to take part in the discussion of this problem, one of the most important facing mankind.
Lord Carrington used this year's Alastair Buchan Memorial Lecture to make a timely and well-reasoned appeal to the West to take a new approach to East-West relations. He reminded us that:
Nicaragua's Revolution is, in my judgment, in danger of dying in its infancy. I joined the Revolutionary Government with appreciation and pride. I served it with a loyalty founded on the conviction that the Revolution would be good, first and foremost, for Nicaragua. My experience has disillusioned me: dogmatism and adventurism seem to have wiped out the democratic and pluralistic ideals which, in 1979, united all Nicaraguan advocates of freedom. My lamentation and criticism is that these ideals have been shattered and the moral defenses of the Revolution have well-nigh vanished. It was because of my profound dissent from the conduct of that government and the direction of the revolutionary process, as well as the realization of my own inability to influence them, that I subsequently chose to return to private life.
The Reagan Administration came to power confident of its ability to impose Washington's will on Central America. El Salvador was the immediate focus of its attention--and optimism ran high. The ill-timed January 1981 "final offensive" of the Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberación National (FMLN) had already failed when Ronald Reagan entered the White House. To the eager eyes of the new Administration the FMLN's defeat appeared a rout. Victory would be swift and at little cost, Washington believed, with no need for U.S. assistance markedly above the levels reached by the outgoing Carter Administration. The easy success would spark little controversy at home and abroad, and sweep away any lingering remnants of the Vietnam syndrome in the United States.
As a territorial entity, the West Bank can almost no longer be separated from Israel. Menachem Begin and his government have seemingly already achieved their central ideological objective of creating the undivided, because it is already indivisible, land of Israel. Weeping over U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and all that supposedly flows from them, such as the Camp David Accords, appears to be precisely that: an act of piety toward intentions that have been defeated on the ground.
Just as farmers might react to the end of a long drought, I and presumably every other Minister of Finance have been heard to issue a collective sigh of relief at the first clear signs of a U.S. recovery. This incipient recovery and the successful rescheduling of the largest debtor countries seem to have averted, for the time being at least, the very real danger of a collapse into global depression, financial crises and wholesale disruption of world trade flows. I understand "implosion" of the world economy is the current favored term to describe that particular chain of events.
Over the past year, the problem of the debt of less-developed countries has been of intense concern not only to the private banks which hold most of that debt, but to the governments of the LDCs and of the creditor countries and to the multilateral institutions that have had to play a major part in a well-coordinated initial set of measures to stem the problem and bring it gradually under control. These efforts remain of the utmost importance for the continuation of a worldwide economic recovery and for the stability and progress of the LDCs themselves.
Trade disputes have moved from the business page to the front page. No longer can they be considered ordinary commercial frictions to be dealt with in a routine way through existing institutions and within agreed rules. Nor are they simply the unhappy consequences of an international economic decline that will melt away with the first burst of economic resurgence.
Writing in these pages in 1952, Lebanese diplomat Charles Malik urged the United States to protect the security of a free and independent Lebanon. He described Lebanon's unique position--and predicament--of standing between East and West, looking toward the culture and markets of the Arab world and toward the sophistication and political liberties of the West. He made an eloquent appeal: "The Lebanon could not be true to East and West alike unless she stood for existential freedom. In the end is this alone her justification . . . . Whoever is about to suffocate must be able to breathe freely in the Lebanon."
Once again there has been a long and bitter fight in the Senate over the President's nominee for Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Like Paul Warnke in 1977, Kenneth Adelman has now been confirmed, but by such a narrow margin--and with such substantial political baggage--as to cripple his ability to manage the agency and promote its objectives.