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Pige 4 The Salina Journal — Friday, November ft, Opinion/ Salina Journal He's the Reagan Express engine Paying high price Sure, Cuba is a thorn in our side, controlled as it is by a bellicose dictatorship, but it is heartening to keep in mind that it's also a big blister on the back of the Soviet Union. The Soviets subsidize one-quarter of the Cuban economy — about $3 billion in 1980 — and they have to lay out many million dollars more in other costs to keep Fidel Castro from toppling. And the price is rising. The U.S. embargo on trading with Cuba has been helpful in keeping Cuban development sluggish and unbalanced, thus raising the ante for the Soviets. However, we have been mostly unsuccessful in persuading our Western competitors not to deal with Cuba. For instance, Spain is an active seller of ships and motor vehicle parts, and, of Cuba's $250 million in agricultural imports in 1979, $191.5 million was generated by Canada. Italy accounted for 8.3 percent of Cuba's agricultural imports. Japan accounted for 28 percent of the manufactured goods trade with Cuba, and Western Germany contributed 11 percent. But, still, because of the embargo, no nation except Russia is investing the resources necessary to stimulate development of the Cuban economy. It remains primarily dependent upon the price of sugar — the crop accounts for 85 percent of Cuba's hard currency earnings. And sugar is now at a dismal 11 cents a pound. So both Cuba and Russia are paying a high price for their unholy union. May that state of affairs continue! Rebuilding needed Many columnists reacted with horror recently when President Reagan casually suggested that it was possible a nuclear war could be limited to Europe. But a recent poll indicates he might have been expressing a popular opinion. The poll, by AP-NBC, asked 1,598 Americans how this country should respond if the Soviet Union launched a limited nuclear attack on Western Europe. Fifty-two percent said the U.S. should not respond with nuclear weapons. Only 13 percent said the U.S. should launch an all-out nuclear attack on Russia. Sixteen percent said the U.S. should counter with a limited strike against some Eastern European country, and 19 percent (perhaps the most honest and realistic of all), said they weren't sure what should be done. That should be interesting and heartening reading to the Russians, as are the news reports of widespread demonstrations in Western Europe against the U.S. stationing nuclear weapons there. It also should be a warning to the Atlantic Alliance. The Alliance must be rebuilt because it depends upon the continuing assurance in both Western Europe and America that the concept of mutual defense really is mutual. That understanding is being shredded these days The fact is that the balance of nuclear fear, as tenuous as it is, probably is the only thing keeping us and Western Europe out of war. It certainly is better than the alternative — lying down and admitting we won't retaliate to save each other. Letter to the Editor Blatant partiality alleged DEAR SIR: Once again the Salina Journal has shown its blatant partiality to Salina Central. Last week you ran an article on the front page of the Journal, noting that four Central students had been suspended because of using alcohol at a school dance. In last night's paper (Nov. 18), you ran an article telling of the suspension of 21 South High students for drinking alcohol at a school-sponsored event in To- peka. This story was buried on page 19 in the second section of the paper. Now, certainly, if Central can make the front page with only four suspended students, South deserves the same consideration. I am personally sick and tired of your prejudice against South. Give us equal coverage! — MRS. AGNES BROWN, Rt. 4. Salina. •ff -tf -fr (Editor's note: The front-page story concerned the school board's discussion of a post-Homecoming party. The fact that four students had been suspended wasn't mentioned until the llth paragraph — on page 2 — of the story.) NEW YORK - A recent visit to Washington brought home forcibly what most observers would acknowledge if they thought about it but which tends to get overlooked in the rush of events: just how central and indispensable a role Ronald Reagan plays in the administration that bears his name. Back in 1910 when Louis Brandeis and the Pujo Committee were looking into the tangled affairs of the New Haven Railroad, one of the line's executives was asked under oath what relationship J.P. Morgan bore to his fellow members of the railroad's board of directors. "/ would say," he replied dryly, "that it was roughly the relationship of a bull to a herd of cows." That is also, metaphorically speaking, the relationship of Reagan to the other high officials of his administration. Every now and then some critic of the president's tries to depict him as just a cardboard figure sustained by a cabal of White House scene-snifters who are "really" running the show; but the effort never gets anywhere for the most basic of all reasons: It just isn't true. There isn't a single Cabinet member who has managed, or as far as we know even tried, to establish himself publicly as an independent power center, the way Henry Kissinger so spectacularly did in the Nixon administration. Budget Director David Stockman was caught putting his doubts about the president's economic policies on what he fondly imagined was for the moment the private record, and got for his pains "a trip to the woodshed" and a spell of probation. In the foreign field, Alexander Haig and Richard Allen fight like Kilkenny cats, but mostly over which is performing most faithfully the will of their political father in the White House. Treasury Secretary Donald Regan increasingly stands forth as a figure of impressive solidity and worth, but his chief contribution thus far has been to serve as Reagan's most loyal paladin in the matter of supply-side economics, , m« IT is, n" jusr HAS TO BE W ^**-^T"J •k N3 ' ^* •• VI » •" \r • W AWRJLSLOP IN TUK LAST faM ftJTHES,' even though he was supposed originally to have his doubts on the subject. Over at Defense, Caspar Weinberger has slipped easily into the role of a flinty defender of the Pentagon's prerogatives and views, but remains the good Reagan soldier he has always been since their old days together in Sacramento. Even the White House Big Three — Meese, Baker and Deaver — though rightly credited with great clout, have no scrap of independent status, almost no political existence, apart from that they derive from Mr. Reagan. Everywhere at once As for Reagan himself, he somehow contrives to seem to be everywhere at once: Challenging Brezhnev to genuine arms reduction, and meanwhile insisting on heavier defense expenditures in case the challenge is declined; refusing to back down on his program of tax reductions, and bargaining with congressional leaders for further budget cuts; By William Rusher Syndicated Columnist flying back from Texas on the presidential emergency command-center aircraft, to become familiar with its operation; speaking to all overseas U.S. military commands from the situation room in the Pentagon; taking David Stockman to that woodshed; calling in Haig and Allen and ordering them to cool it; fielding the barbed questions of reporters at a press conference, and playing gracious host to the visiting president of Venezuela. At the state dinner for the latter, it seemed to one observer that Ronald Reagan had never looked better. His chestnut hair subbornly refused to turn gray. His cheeks are developing that shiny ruddiness that rightly reminds one of apples. His hearing, which has not been perfect for a number of years, was more than adequate to cope with subdued dinner-table conversations, and his unfailingly good-natured wit was on display as usual. When he called his companions' attention to a particularly well-sculpted dessert, somebody asked if he had changed chefs at the White House. 'Wo," the president replied with a twinkle, "we kept the one they had. He's Just glad he doesn't have to make chitlins anymore." Several months ago, watching President Reagan receive a group of visitors and respond in his warm yet courtly way to their greetings, a White House butler with many years's experience under half a dozen presidents murmured approvingly to one guest: "That man knows how to live in this house." Playing it cool on El Salvador WASHINGTON - At least one department of the U.S. government seems to have learned a lesson from Vietnam. It is, praise be, the Pentagon, which is displaying the most uncharacteristic restraint in the face of temptation in El Salvador. The secretary of state, Alexander Haig, has been decanting inflammatory rhetoric about military action from the first days of the administration. The thought of re-fighting Vietnam, of showing the Soviets who's boss in this hemisphere, has powerful appeal for him. His aversion to guerrillas, either singly or in groups, is exceptionally well known. He went on about "international terrorism," about "going to the source," about the East-West nature of conflict. Lately, and more ominously, the general in charge of our diplomacy has been hinting at a blockade of Cuba and Nicaragua. "I've never seen this smoke without a fire," says an anxious congressman. During all this, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who would have to .-• By ' " ' w Mary 4 Syndicated •-"Is Columnist run the "splendid little war" that Haig has in mind, has been curiously silent. The hardliner in the Pentagon who ceaselessly warns us of Soviet strength and guile, seems oblivious of the threat in the Caribbean. For this we must thank the generals. They fought one jungle war in a small country with open borders, and they are not keen for another one. Besides, they do not want the bad publicity that such murky adventures would bring on the eve of receiving the largest allowances ever proposed for the Department of Defense. In his press conference, the president indicated that he realizes he must pay lip service to bitter Vietnam remembrances. Asked about the "contingency plans," Reagan said firmly, "We have Going beyond Camp David PARIS — The spirit of contract, with emphasis on the crossing of every "t" and the dotting of every "i," now dominates the approach to peace in the Middle East. Hence ; the unseemly bickering among Americans and Europeans on the peace plan submitted by Prince Fahd and the idea of a buffer force for the Sinai. But the main parties — the Egyptians, the Israelis and the Palestinians — require most of all a touch of the magnanimous vision that inspired the post-war settlement here in Western Europe. Camp David, of course, is the indispensable building block. As long as that settlement holds, there will be no serious war in the Middle East. Thus the maintenance of Camp David is the condition for peace in the area, and the world has reason to doubt the good faith of those who assert it is dead or dying. Still, the Egyptian-Israeli settlement is apt to unravel un. less two conditions are met. First, the formal peace accord between Egypt and Israel needs to be given life in regular meetings of officials, tourism, trade, cultural exchanges- and joint projects for development. Second, a way must be found to ease the problems that now divide Israelis and Palestinians. Security guarantees of recognized frontieip are, of course, important. A By Joseph Kraft Syndicated Columnist Sinai buffer force, if it comes into being with Americans, Europeans and others, can bolster the settlement between Egypt and Israel. And Prince Fahd's peace plan offers elements for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians. Ripening needed But emotional conditions have to be ripe before negotiations and security guarantees can be meaningful. Camp David would not have taken place if President Anwar Sadat had not previously transformed the atmosphere by his historic visit to Jerusalem. Now, as then, there is a need for a transformation of the environment. The Egyptians once again face a difficult choice. Peace with Israel ended the terrible drain of war. But it did little to improve economic and social conditions which generate hostility toward the leadership among Egyptian. The other Arab states feed the internal opposition indirectly, and, by isolating Egypt, worsen economic conditions directly. So the Egyptians can move past Camp David only if peace is identified with more hope of improved living conditions. Israel is a state born of a Holocaust tolerated by most of the civilized world. History teaches the Israelis to doubt the value of frontiers and guarantees. Outside pressure only makes them dig in all the more. Prime Minister Menachem Begin is doing just that now, and thus setting a tone for everybody else. So the Israelis, more than anybody, need to have their outlook expanded. The Palestinians have been fobbed off by Israel, the great powers and, above all, the Arab states. Many are exiles living in refugee camps with no prospect for betterment. They are driven to concentrate on precisely those matters where Israel can least afford to be flexible — statehood and the restoration of old claims on territory that is now part of the Jewish state. Better proepecti But better prospects in the area exist. There is water. There is arable land. There are minerals, and there are skilled hands, and inventive minds. Past studies have shown large possibilities. What they have lacked is polit- ical backing. But now world peace itself demands that there be pushed with great force development plans encompassing Israel and the neighboring lands occupied by Egyptians and Palestinians. Some Europeans have already grasped this. Much of the foregoing article is based on a paper prepared by Max Kohnstamm, the Dutch associate of the great European leader Jean Monnet. Kohnstamm points out that Europe bears primary responsibility for the Holocaust which led to the creation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. He indicates the overwhelming European interest in avoidance of the economic catastrophe that would go with another break in oil supplies. He shows that the post-war settlement in Western Europe was accompanied by a series of development programs - from the Marshall Plan through the Schuman plan and the European Community. He also shows that the European Community now has the authority and the resources to put across major development in the Middle East. Economics, of course, is no substitute for politics. But development can change perspectives, raise hopes and foster political action. A generous approach along these lines offers to the Europeans something they cannot otherwise achieve - a role in the Middle East. I; V no plans for putting Americans in combat anyplace in the world." But he was vague about El Salvador, disputed claims of "military stalemate" and repeated the Haig line that the whole mess is simply an example of "exported revolution." Not keen on it The reason that the plans do not get off the drawing board is that Weinberger is not keen on it. It isn't that he doesn't subscribe to Haig's inflammatory rhetoric. It's just that he thinks it would be awfully difficult to fight a war there. Moreover, his conversations in Europe, where he has had heavy weather peddling neutron bombs and new nuclear weapons, have convinced him that intervention in El Salvador could cost too much: It could retroactively vindicate the Soviets in Afghanistan and prospectively in Poland. While the president was speaking, El Salvador Defense Minister Jose Guillermo Garcia was on Capitol Hill, speaking to Rep. Mary Roser Oakar, D-Ohio, who keeps demanding to know who killed the four American missionaries in El Salvador last December. During the recent visit of Napoleon Duarte, the hapless civilian president of the junta, he was repeatedly asked why justice had not been done. It was borne in on him that the cavalier government conduct of the case had eroded all confidence in the good will and effectiveness of the Junta. Col. Garcia brought to Ms. Oakar a 100-page volume, in Spanish, of the evidence collected against six soldiers who are in prison but not charged. He also brought material explaining Salvadoran law. Garcia also called on Rep. Michael Barnes, D-Md., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs. Barnes urged on his visitor the importance of negotiating with the leftist forces. CITIZEN SMITH The Senate recently voted unanimously to require the president to name a special envoy to El Salvador to institute talks with all parties within the country and their Central American neighbors. The author of the amendment, Sen. Mark Hatfield, R- Ore., received angry calls from both Secretary Haig and Thomas Enders,* assistant secretary for inter-American* affairs. He heard nothing from the De^ fense Department. : * Weinberger went to Arlington' Na : " tional Cemetery for the Veterans Day* observances. Vietnam was being re* fought verbally, all around him — acr^ imonious arguments about the memo-! rial proposed for the Mall, about tele-^ vision shows commemorating the vet-g erans, about Agent Orange and ragf centers and national ingratitude. • | Weinberger made the familiar hawk* pledge. "Never again will we-ask* young men and women to serve in a* war we do not intend to win." ". 1 The doves read it as further affirma-I tion of his antipathy toward military: action in the Caribbean. To them, heg was saying "don't tangle with guer-5 rillas." That, of course, is something: the secretary of state has yet to learn. '. M Meditations • Therefore if any man be in Christ, he£ is a new creature; old things are 1 * passed away; behold, all things are be-; come new.-n Corinthians 5:17. 3 Do you believe that God created the* universe? Then why doubt that he "can* create you afresh? ; :'J Letters Wanted \ The Journal welcomes letters to thej» editor but does not promise to print" them. The briefer they are the better chance they have. All are subject t& •• condensation and editing. Writer's-, name must be signed with full address 5 for publication. Letters become thej: property of The Journal. 1 By Dave Gerard a * "Last ditch talks were held yesterday. Then managemenl | dug a new ditch!"