[an error occurred while processing this directive] ZEPHYR Magazine
                              T H E
                           Z E P H Y R
                  __     M A G A Z I N E
                 Issue #43                7-29-87
            A weekly electronic magazine for users of 
                        THE ZEPHYR II BBS 
                    (Mesa, AZ - 602-894-6526)
                owned and operated by T. H. Smith
                    Editor - Gene B. Williams 
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                            (c) 1987

   There has been a lot of talk and news about Nicaragua and 
the Contras. With risk of offending some, there is a great 
deal of ignorance (not stupidity, mind you - just a bunch 
of misinformation and not bothering to check into what 
information is available). 
   A large problem at the moment is that Col. North looked so 
good on television that he has become, to many, a national 
hero. He broke the law, violated the Constitution, went 
against his oath of service, lied to Congress, shredded 
documents legally demanded of him and in general did a number 
of things that would have tossed any one of us into the 
slammer for years to come. He did so many illegal things 
that he had to be offered legal immunity before he'd even 
talk, and even then had the nerve to tell Congress that they 
had no right to attempt to govern him or the NSC.
   Yet he is a national hero for taking arms built with our 
tax dollars, selling them to a terrorist country, and then 
shuffling the profits off to another country - in violation 
of Congressional edict.
   Very strange. But that's where we stand. 
   What's all the flack about Nicaragua anyway? What's it all 

   Nicaragua is the largest country of Central America. It's 
also the more sparsely populated. It got its name from a tribe 
if Indians that lived there when, with the help of the United 
States, they first established independence (1838).
   In 1909 two American citizens were executed in Nicaragua. 
The United States sent in the navy to get things back under 
control again. The marines moved in and occupied the country 
between 1912 and 1925. 
   A part of the reason the United States was so interested 
in Nicaragua was that plans had been made to route a canal 
through the country. Things got sticky and the alternate 
came into being - now called the Panama Canal.
   (As a side note - Panama at that time was a part of Colombia. 
But Colombia didn't want to have anything to do with the US 
and refused to allow the canal to be built. With our typical 
bravado, we supplied the people in an overthrow and Panama 
became a separate country - and we got our canal, which we 
have since lost.)
   The plans for the alternate canal through Nicaragua still 
exist, by the way, and talk still continues concerning this. 
In fact, with the Panama Canal being lost to us (or getting 
lost to us), the talk of the new canal has increased in the 
past years. It's one of the reasons the United States wants 
friendly relations with Nicaragua so badly. It would be very 
much to our benefit to repeat in Nicaragua what we did early 
in this century with Panama. 
   As long as there is an unfriendly government in Nicaragua, 
we can kiss the plans for the new canal goodbye. Worse, if 
that government becomes too friendly with the Soviets, a 
canal might still be built, but one that can be used by the 
Soviets but not by us.
   But back to the story.
   In 1927 there were still US troops in Nicaragua. General 
Cesar Augusto Sandino started a movement - and a successful 
one - to fight the US troops stationed there. The Sandinistas 
of today take their name from this earlier "freedom fighter." 
(Hey! He might have fought against the US, but it was for 
the freedom of Nicaragua, to get foreign troops out.)
   By 1933 Nicaragua became Nicaragua again and Sandino took 
power. A puppet-president, Juan Batista Sacassa, was put into 
place. But there was an interesting twist. 
   One of the generals trained by Sandino - a guy named Anastasio 
Somoza Garcia (popularly known as Tacho) was given control of the 
Nicaraguan national guard. In 1934 Somoza up and offed Sandino. 
   Well, assassination has always been a favored means of 
grabbing power. It's also an excellent way to get someone you 
don't like to shutup.
   Somoza set up a military dictatorship. Afterall, he knew what 
was good for everyone, whether they liked it or not. (Typical of 
the military mind. "Let's make our own laws, huh?") 
   He did quite well for himself and for his family. Not many 
complained too loudly, either. First, it wasn't real safe to 
do so. Second, the country was making some real financial 
progress for the first time in its history. Even with Somoza and 
his family and friends reaping the cream off the top, the general 
populace was in pretty good shape and getting better.
   1956 came along. So did another assassination. Somoza bit 
the dust. Power was taken over by his son, Luis. Elections were 
held, but were a sham. When Luis wasn't in power, one of his 
family or one of his close buddies was. Then power would shift 
back to Luis, and back to a cousin, and back to Luis. No room 
for outsiders.
   Another son, and another general - Anastasio Somoza Debayle - 
took power in 1967 when Luis died. The death was considered 
natural, but some still suspect that it was a bit more. If anyone 
knows for sure, they're likely helping to fertilize the coffee 
   1979 came along. A growing group of "freedom fighters" made 
a grab for power. They took a name from the first "freedom 
fighter" and called themselves Sandinistas. 
   It took them just 7 weeks to chase Somoza right out of the 
country. Two days later (July 19) they officially took over 
Nicaragua. Their promises were typical of "freedom fighters." 
They swore to open the economy, to not ally themselves to any 
specific foreign power, to allow multiple political parties 
and to have open elections. (The Contras are now promising the 
same things, just as did Sandino, Somoza, Sacassa, Somoza, Luis 
and the Sandinistas - nothing new there.)
   The Sandinistas were guerilla fighters. They claimed to 
have popular support. The public that didn't support them got 
nailed to a tree - just as the Contras are doing now, and just 
as almost ALL "freedom fighters" do in their time. 
   The first year went along just great. The evil, wicked, nasty 
military dictator who knew what was good for everyone whether 
they liked it or not was out. The Sandinistas, who loved the 
common man and understood that the common man had a right to 
say what his government was like, was in power. Elections were 
coming. And they'd be free at last! after 50 years of broken 
   The 1 year anniversary of the revolution rolled up and 
suddenly it was decided that the common man needed more time 
to educate himself in order to make an intelligent decision as 
to who would govern his life. Afterall, the Sandinistas 
figured, Castro Ruz over there in Cuba had ousted a dictatorship 
just as they had done, had started to get the country back on 
its feet, and didn't bother keeping his own promise of free 
elections. And ol' Cigar Face was a damned important guy! Jeez, 
he had wine, women, song and money - LOTS of money - running 
out of his ears.
   So, let's put off the election for five years - give the 
stupid common man a chance to educate himself in the ways of 
the world so he becomes as wise as those of us in power.
   Back in the good ol US of A, Reagan was a bit tired of 
sending in money to a group who kept breaking their promises and 
lying to Congress - oops, to America (same thing). In January of 
1981 he suspended all financial aide to Nicaragua. 
   As an additional excuse - oops, reason - he made the claim 
that Nicaragua, with help from Cuba and the Soviet Union, was 
busy supplying arms and other such goodies to El Salvador to the 
south. So what that we were, too. We're the good guys! We can 
supply arms to anyone we want!!! INCLUDING Iran!!!!!!! But don't 
YOU dare do it, cuz you're the bad guy.
   The Sandinistas, of course, denied the allegation. (Meanwhile, 
no sanctions were placed against Cuba or the Soviet Union. In fact, 
quite the opposite was, and is, happening.)
   Well, later in 1981 a new group of "freedom fighters" sprung up 
in Nicaragua. They called themselves counter-revolutionaries - 
whatever that means. No one else knew, either, so they shortened 
it to "contras."
   Trouble was, the populace was fairly well satisfied with how 
things were going. Even with support from the United States, 
the contras had a hard time getting their non-revolution off 
the ground. It was made worse for them in late 1984 when the 
Sandinistas held the election they'd been promising for so long. 
   It was a typical election. "You have a choice, people. You 
can pick me, my buddy here, my cousin General Fred, or me."
   Daniel Ortega Saavedra was "elected" the first president, 
with 63% of the vote. They then turned to the world and said, 
"See! We had an election!"
   Reagan turned to the world and declared the election invalid, 
claiming that it was a "Soviet-styled sham" with those in power 
being the ones to decide who was to run for office - kinda like 
the Democratic and Republican conventions? Naw!
   What a lot of people don't know is that Reagan has had a mad on 
Ortega from long ago. During 1983 and 1984 he was already sending 
in United States troops - active-duty troops, no less - without 
the knowledge or approval of Congress.
   Our own Senator Goldwater, who is well-known for his no-nonsense 
attitude, was royally pissed, as were a number of other Congressmen. 
They'd been told - AFTER the attacks - that the United States was 
conducting some mild covert activities in support of the contras. 
They were NOT told that this "mild" activity included rocket and 
machine gun fire and acts of sabotage against both military and 
civil targets. All this was being carried on in secret, totally 
outside normal US government channels, complete with secret 
military groups, including private citizens, and with good ol' 
Col. North heading up the whole thing.
   As early as 1983 we were flying anti-Sandinista guerillas 
inside Nicaragua. At least twice in 1984 our troops got involved 
in fire fights to protect contra saboteurs. CIA operatives were 
also quite active in their acts of sabotage. Documents have been 
discovered that show that more than a few of the attacks credited 
to the contras were actually actions by the United States, with 
full knowledge beforehand by North, Poindexter, Casey and Reagan.
   Meanwhile, Reagan denied to Congress that any of this was 
going on. He went so far as to say both to the Congress and to the 
public that there were NO United States troops in Nicaragua.
   Through 1983 Congress had voted an appropriation under the 
condition that there was no attempt to overthrow the Nicaraguan 
government and no direct military involvement. Through most of 
1984 $24 million was allowed for intelligence support. It became 
obvious that this was being abused and that American troops were 
very directly involved, so Congress withdrew all support. That 
was October 3, 1984. At this time any and all direct military 
action was strictly and specifically prohibited.
   Reagan came forward and told Congress that there was NO direct 
involvement by the United States military. Congress appropriated 
another $27 million for "humanitarian aid" for the contras. This 
was August 15, 1985. 
   With repeated assurances that our military was not in Nicaragua, 
nor were any covert activities taking place, in October of 1986 a 
full $100 million was appropriated. Congress even allowed limited 
military involvement, but only in an advisory capacity. There is 
still some of this left, by the way. It won't be used up until 
October of this year. (The extra $25 million plus illicitly sent 
in by the Iran mess is an untrackable "bonus.")
   It was on-off situation. Congress couldn't seem to decide. 
Administrations answer was to go beyond the American system of 
government - to violate the Constitution, in actuality, and the 
American, democratic system of checks and balances - and carry 
on what they thought was best outside the law.
   Ortega began his 6-year term of office on January 10, 1985. 
A few weeks later Reagan declared openly that his goal was to 
"remove it [the Sandinista government] in the sense of its 
present structure." He went to Congress, demanding an immediate 
and total embargo against Nicaragua (as he did concerning Iran?) 
and told them that Nicaragua was part of a secret plot to 
invade the United States.
   Not all of Congress agreed with him. The general public let it 
be known in no uncertain terms that the majority of them certainly 
didn't agree. (Not with coffee prices already going through the 
roof!) Quite a few saw the contras as just another band of 
sanctioned thugs and terrorists.
   Reagan went so far as to sent a personal threat to Ortega. In 
it he said that he knew what they were up to down there - that 
Nicaragua was a threat to the security of the United States, and 
that the United States would blow their socks off. Actually what 
he said was that the United States would "react accordingly" - 
but you know as well as I do what he really means, right?
   Ortega and his group, typically, became even more power mad. 
The contras were stirring up trouble. Per capita income to this 
day is still just $900. The people were starting to rebel. The 
situation was made all the worse by continued US military activities 
in Nicaragua, which included heavy use of propaganda (a common 
weapon, and a valid one) and targeting "unfriendly" civilians.
   As of October 1985 civil liberties were brought to an abrupt 
end. Military law was established.
   A little less than a year later Reagan finally got his way. 
Congress appropriated $100 million for "military and non-military 
aid to the contras." The Sandinistas weak answer was to close 
down the only remaining newspaper of the opposition (one they'd 
allowed to operate all that time, by the way).
   It was an emotional time. Several Congressmen came forward 
afterwards, wondering if maybe they'd done the right thing. Others 
became even stronger in their support. Meanwhile, the World Court 
came to a decision in the case and told the United States to 
keep their nose out of it. Reagan, in so many words, told the 
World Court to shove it deep into a dark, tight hole.
   As another side note, it was right about this time that 
political comedian Mark Russel came up with the comment that 
during VietNam, America was unsure of itself; that afterwards 
we slowly came to appreciate ourselves; but that now we're having 
a mad passionate love affair with ourselves and it's time to 
go outside the doors and meet the neighbors.

   The Sandinista government is quite obviously oppressive. No 
one with any sense can doubt that. They're once again promising 
open elections, set for such time as the present civil upheaval 
quiets down a bit. Or so they say. Meanwhile, there are still 
few, if any, civil rights. If Ortega and his group decide that 
your ass would make a nice table decoration at Sunday brunch, 
off it comes. Trial by jury? What's that?
   In short, they're not nice people.
   On the other side you have the contras. They're not real hot 
on civil rights, either. They've been known to go into a village 
for food, supplies and some, er, entertainment? - and get rather 
irate if all aren't forthcoming. 
   Any place where there is so much action is bound to attract 
reporters. Camera crews have followed the contra forces through 
the jungles and into their camps. One was even lucky (lucky?) 
enough to have been around when the contras had to hightail it 
for Honduras. ("Border? What border?") One scene showed them 
coming into a village where they were welcomed with cheers and 
open arms. Another scene showed them skirting a village that 
wanted nothing to do with them - with either side. (That same 
village was later destroyed by the contras for harboring 
Sandinista sympathizers.)
   In short, they're not so nice, either. 
   Reporters come back with stories, and pictures, of atrocities 
of the Sandistas. They also come back with stories, and pictures 
of atrocities carried out by the contras.
   It's easy to see and understand that the Sandinistas are NOT 
what you'd call a good form of government. That makes it easy 
to sympathize with the contras. But what can you say about a 
group who burns a village to the ground, after killing every man, 
woman and child in it, because they won't give up what little food 
they have? (Of course, you can always take the closed-minded 
excuse of, "That reporter was lying, or is a commie pinko fag.")

   Ahhh, but why are we so concerned? Is it really because a 
Soviet base that close to America is such a great threat?
   A part of the answer is obvious - or so it seems. Of COURSE 
having a Soviet base that close is a threat. Back in 1962 we 
faced a somewhat similar situation in Cuba - a situation which 
very nearly got us into WW III when Kennedy threatened to remove 
Cuba from the face of the planet if the missles didn't come down. 
   But look at reality. The Soviets have bases closer to the 
United States right now. They're called submarines. We have the 
same thing, and more. We have a whole line of missles placed 
right along the Soviet borders and aimed at downtown Moscow (among 
other places). For the past 30 years we've had our proverbial 
gun barrel jammed down their throats, all the while thinking 
that this is just fine. Afterall, WE are the good guys! To hell 
with the populace of those countries where we keep our missles. 
So they protest. So they want us out. So they will be the first 
to go in a cloud of smoke if anything happens. 
   Even that doesn't matter, though. There are so many ICBMs on 
both sides that neither can hope to take out even half of the 
incoming. And half of the incoming is still 25 times more than 
is needed to kill every living thing on earth. Not just in the 
enemy country, but on the entire globe. (And that's not even 
taking nuclear winter into consideration.)
   Beyond that - take the outrageous situation where each and 
every land-based missle is either destroyed or fails to fire. 
It still doesn't matter. Our submarine fleet - virtually 
untouchable - has enough to still destroy every city and town 
in the Soviet Union. Their submarine fleet has nearly as much 
power, and they're just as untouchable.
   That's classic doom 'n' gloom. Hide your head all you want, 
it's still easily verifiable fact. There's even a term for it, 
created by our own beloved Reagan. MAD. Mutually assured 
destruction. It's the very basis of our foreign policy with 
the Soviets - and theirs with us. 
   "Blow us up and we'll blow you up."
   Present day "defense" on both sides is set up around this 
rather bizarre idea, with the goal - reached over a decade ago 
and still climbing - being the ability to annihilate the other 
no matter what. Let the Soviets set up a silo field outside 
Omaha, or us just outside Kiev - it won't matter. Not very 
much. You'll have gained maybe a 10 minute edge, which is 
diddly-squat in the overall scheme. A base in Nicaragua allows 
them maybe a 5 minute edge, tops.
   It still doesn't matter.
   So what's it all about?
   If it's not national security - which it IS to a limited 
extent - is it freedom for the Nicaraguan people? 
   But in that case, why send arms to a group that openly blows 
up a school bus full of kids, that tortures people to death for 
information, that doesn't respect national borders when it 
suits them, that basically carries on a terrorist activity? Why 
not also set some rules and regulations contingent upon getting 
that aide? 
   "You guys want to blow up military bases, fine. We'll even 
help. But leave the innocent people alone!"
   We don't do that because it's impossible, just as it was 
impossible in VietNam.

   Back at the beginning of this century we got sick and tired 
of having to sail all the way around South America just to get 
to Florida. But there was Central America. A narrow little 
strip of land with lots of big lakes. How nice it would be 
to dig a channel between the ocean, the lakes and into the 
   Two places were selected - Panama and Nicaragua. Both had some 
wonderful, big lakes that would make the job easier. Trouble 
was, Nicaragua was in an upheaval and Panama was owned by 
Colombia who wanted nothing to do with the United States. 
   Panama was easier. All we had to do was to supply their 
"freedom fighters" for a while so that Panama could break free 
of Colombia. Then we'd have a bunch of people in our debt. Not 
only that, let's draw up an agreement beforehand. We'll help 
you break loose if you'll give us this chunk of land here.
   And that's what we did in 1903. (Incidentally, the idea of 
the Panama Canal is NOT America. The Spanish came up with the 
idea way back in 1534.)
   Everything went fairly smoothly until 1974 when the Panamanians 
started to get sick and tired of the "Hey, we're great because 
we're Americans, you slobs!" Besides, we were still paying them 
a rental fee based on a lease agreement drawn up in 1955, which 
was revised from a 1933 version, which was revised from the 
original when the canal was under construction. (Imagine having 
the same rent for 20 years!)
   We're losing the canal, plain and simple. 
   At the moment things are friendly with Panama. That could 
change tomorrow or next week. They could get pissed at us, like 
just about every other country in the world is getting pissed 
at us right now (mostly for our "I'm so wonderful" attitude). 
   The existing treaty says that we won't build or even attempt 
to build a canal without Panama's approval. It's a stupid 
restriction - but then, the United States has never been one 
known to honor treaties. Besides, if Panama backs out on their 
end of the bargain . . . .
   An alternate site was chosen long ago. Quite a few, with 
the notable exception of the President of the time, preferred 
Nicaragua. It had quite a few advantages, and we didn't have 
to fight against a foreign country or steal their land (Colombia) 
to do it. Panama was actually a secondary choice in the minds 
of many. But Teddy liked it, so that's what we did.
   The idea of a canal through Nicaragua still remains. If the 
Panama Canal is closed to us some day in the future, Nicaragua 
is the ONLY other logical choice. Without that hunk of land, 
we're up a creek - or up the long way around South America 

   So, it all makes sense. It's practical - even logical. We 
HAVE to keep some kind of control over Nicaragua, just in case. 
   Just don't fool yourself that it's for all those nice 
altruistic reasons.
   When Aunt Sylvia takes a pleasure cruise from San Diego to 
Jamaica, we don't want her to have to go by way of Tierra del 
Fuego, now, do we?

                          The Editorial

   Put all of that aside. And no more tongue-in-cheek (or  
very little of it). Don't take my word for anything above, 
or anything to come. Check it out for yourself. Especially 
if you're going to refute some point or another.
   To toss insults or come up with things like, "That's a 
lie" merely insults your own intelligence. That kind of 
attitude belongs in Moscow. NOT in America. 
   So, check it out first. It's not difficult.
   Right off, you may not like it but we live in a big, bad 
world full of nasty people. The Soviets, and others, are well 
known for their covert activities. The United States has had 
its own covert activities since even before there was a 
United States. It's unfortunate, but spying and even assassination 
is a way of life in our world.
   It's also a simple fact that things are not always quite as 
they seem. Nothing is real simple. And ALL governments use 
propaganda to achieve what they want. 
   The Sandinista government isn't so great. It would be 
nice for them to be gone, or to at least change their ways. 
There's the question of whether or not we have the right to impose 
our will on them. It's easy to realize how wrong it is for the 
Soviets to impose their will on others by force. It's not so easy 
to accept that it's just as wrong for us to do the same.
   Henry Kissinger pointed out that the option to co-exist with 
the Sandinistas has been totally ignored as an option. Maybe it 
wouldn't work. We'll never know now. We've been actively trying to 
blow them out since before their first election. In a sense, the 
military and financial pressures, and the propaganda, might be 
responsible for causing that election to be a sham.
   A second option was to apply various sanctions in the attempt 
to bring Nicaragua back to the inter-American agreement, and to 
exercise forceful operations when and if. Instead, Reagan totally 
withdrew all support before the Sandinistas had any chance to get 
things going - and forcing them to turn elsewhere for support. In 
a single, somewhat blind move, he took away the power of the United 
States to influence how the government was operated while simul-
taneously causing the Sandinistas to turn to Castro and to the 
Soviet Union.
   The third option is to topple the Sandinista government in 
the hopes that when (and if) the contras get into power, they 
will be "more willing to buckle under and tow the line." The 
problem with this option is that it is outside the power of the 
executive branch. In the minds of many, it also comes dangerously 
close to the kind of action so typical of the Soviet Union.
   At the moment there aren't many options left. Like it or not, 
Reagan has left us none other than to work with, or through, the 
Contras. They are the only remaining "bargaining chip" we have.
   Face it. We've got the Sandinistas pissed at us. They're not 
about to sit down to the table and talk things over nicely. Not 
any more! Put yourself in their place. 
   Your big, powerful neighbor has been sending money, arms and 
support to get you kicked out since before you even took power. 
No talk - just force. How are you going to react to that? 
   Now imagine the same situation, but not with you as a calm, 
reasonable person - but with someone who grabbed power by 
violence in the first place and who wants to grab even more. 
   And that's the situation. 
   We can deal with the Contras - sorta, and for now. Withdrawing 
all support at this point would doom the Contras. Some see that 
as a slap in the face to the United States. It would be, but 
that's not important. More important is that we'd be tossing out 
the only bargaining position we have left down there. And that 
in turn would take the Sandinista government who already hates 
us because of our past (and continuing) actions and set them 
   Even worse, removing support at this point would be an open 
statement to other governments in that area, and elsewhere, that 
the United States just can't seem to make up its mind.
   There are claims that the United State's on-off policy is 
the main reason that the Contras aren't really getting anywhere. 
In all this time, they have yet to hold down even one significant 
chunk of Nicaragua. They blame that on the United States. There 
is a significant amount of propaganda right here in our own country 
that indicates the same thing. 
   But when it really comes down to it, the Contras actually have 
very little public support in their own country. Plain and simple. 
There is some support, to be sure. And it's a certainty that the 
populace there despises the Sandinista government. But at the 
same time, the general and average person in Nicaragua isn't 
exactly fond of the Contras, either.
   There have been too many acts of violence by the Contras 
against innocent people, and innocent villages. Their attitude 
of guerilla warfare, and to hell with anyone who happens to 
get in the way, is well known.
   There are some here are bound to say that all that is a lie. 
That's strange considering that checking it out is so simple. 
A school bus gets blown up. A village gets burned down with 
everyone in sight killed either instantly or by torture to get 
information. It's easy to sit back in your chair in front of the 
computer and talk about the fortunes of war. But you're here, 
safe and sound. No one has come through Mesa, or Tempe, randomly 
shooting down your friends. No one has taken your family out, 
tied them to a tree and cut off hunks of their bodies one at a 
   For a while, getting the Contras to straighten up was a #1 
priority. "Hey, if you guys want our help, you're going to HAVE 
to stop those terrorist-like activities against civilians."
   Leadership of the Contras has changed 4 times. Just when 
things look as though they're getting better, the old leaders 
are ousted and someone new takes over. The terrorist methods 
continue. They're well recognized except by those who have 
blinded themselves to the facts. The top leader of the Contras 
has been, and apparently will continue to be, a man named 
Enrique Bermudez.
   Arturo Cruz was a part of the Sandinista government. He is 
now an exile and a part of the overall resistance. He has said 
publicly that although there are some terrific people in the 
Contra movement - and there is some real scum in there, and 
especially those at the top, who want to return the country to 
what is known as "somocismo" - a kind of dictatorship that makes 
the Sandinistas tame in comparison. 
   The people don't want the Sandinistas. They sure as hell 
don't want the Somoza-type power structure under Bermudez, which 
was worse yet. Since the Contra leadership represents just this 
- and shows it in their daily actions - they just flat out don't 
have the public support that so many Americans think they have.
   Negotiations with the Sandinistas have been useless. At the 
same time, negotiations with Bermudez have been just as useless. 
If you think that Bermudez will change if he gets into power, 
you're living in a dream world. 
   What it comes down to is that the United States is using the 
Contra movement. We don't want them in power any more than we 
want the Sandinistas in power. (Nor do the people of Nicaragua, 
despite what you might have heard.) Think about it logically for 
a moment. If the United States DID want the Contras in power, or 
if they had all the public support that is so often claimed, 
they would BE in power. Right now. At very least they would hold 
some significant sections of the country - and certainly would 
have no need to annihilate villages to bring others into line.
   Or put it in dollars and cents. Last year alone the United 
States spent more than $12,000 per man of the Contra forces. 
This in a country where the average income is $900 per year. If 
you believe the reports, most of the food and immediate supplies 
needed are being freely given to the Contras by the people of 
Nicaragua. There is a heavy complaint that the Contras are 
ill-armed, with ancient, rusty weapons they brought from home or 
were given by villagers.
   Now think about that for a moment.
   We have little choice now but to support the Contras. But the 
time for blindness has long passed.

Until Next Time

   Whew! That actually started out as something that was supposed 
to be quick and simple. I got carried away with myself.
   As a plug, my most recent book, "Chilton's Guide to Operating 
and Maintaining Home Video Equipment" is in production. If things 
keep going as they are at the moment, it should hit the shelves 
sometime later this fall.
   It's the 9th book I've done for them. The other 8 are out there 
and ready to be purchased. Can't afford to buy one? Libraries 
carry them, too. The Tempe Library has just about all my books. 

   Next time around?
   Well, last time around was about the Mecham recall. Kinda 
joking around I nominated Chris Mitchell for a write in vote. 
That motion was instantly seconded - and then was almost as 
instantly disputed by Chris. 
   He doesn't WANT to be governor. (Smart guy!) But what if he 
was swept into office by public desire? The very fact that he 
doesn't want to be in office just might be the strongest point 
he has going - that and a whole lot of common sense.
   What would happen with Chris Mitchell in office, huh?

Zephyr Magazine is © Gene Williams. All rights reserved.