crisis our leaders have made it out to be.
It s time to replace the head nodders, doom sayers and constitution iq-
norers with politicians who are more concerned with sound economic policy
constitutional law and honesty. We don't want all our decisions made for us'
All we need are the facts.
Strategic Offense Initiative?
We Americans seem confused in the wake of the Iceland min-summit. how
do we deal with a Soviet leader who proposes to stop this nuclear insanity
once and for all while our president adheres vigorously to the development of
a dangerous new weapon, Star Wars, or the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Americans historically have opposed unilateral disarmament only because
we were afraid the Soviets wouldn't be as humane. Now we must come to
terms with the fact that Soviets have proposed disarmament and we are not
Complacent Americans have dutifully digested Reagan's lies about Star
Wars. The press has allowed him to steer the debate, pitting "technological
visionaries" versus "ye skeptics of little faith." Think about the logic Reagan
uses. In ten years, the superpowers verify that all ICBMs are dismantled. Star
Wars is designed to protect us from ICBMs. Do we need Star Wars in ten
years? By answering yes, Reagan is doing the equivalent of surrounding his
house with sandbags during a drought! Thus, the relevant Star Wars debate
addressed not whether it will work (because it may), but whether we need it.
The question is not what scientists can do, but what they should do.
Meanwhile, the press asks the question, "Was Mini-Summit a Soviet Set-
Up? Of course it was. After historical breakthroughs in arms control was
agreed upon, the Soviets re-introduced the stipulation that Star Wars
research must be restricted to the laboratory. (Star Wars research requires
extra-laboratory testing, so this restriction is severe.) Reagan has maintained
his commitment to Star Wars all along, and as expected he refused to aban
don his dream regardless of the arms control agreements. Iceland probably
was a propaganda tactic of Gorbachev, but it worked to dramatize the im
passe created by Reagan s Star Wars. Unfortunately, Reagan's propagandists
have flooded the domestic airways since Reykjavic and the debate on Star
Star Wars is not a defensive device. Its effect is offensive. Just as the
development of the new MX missiles will prompt a corresponding Soviet
response. Star Wars forces the Soviets to develop counter strategies, like
anti-satellite weapons and additional ICBMs to flood the system. The liberal
press coined the term Star Wars to ridicule the plan, but it has become
common fare. The press should restructure the debate on Star Wars by
renaming it, more accurately, the Strategic Offense Initiative, or SOI.
The continuing Geneva arms control negotiations are the most promising
since SALT II. But Reagan's Strategic Offense Initiative stands in the way.
The new Congress has the power to block funding for SOI research. Now it is
up to the American public to reject Reagan's SOI propaganda, voice their con
viction for arms control, elect sensible representatives, and hold them ac
countable for their positions on SOI.
"Boy he really blew this one." "He came home empty handed." "The talks
collapsed and Star Wars is what the fate of the United States' foreign policy
revolves on." These are the remarks that the media and many Americans are
hurtling at President Ronald Reagan. These people claim that the summit at
Reykjavik, Iceland was a fiasco.
It was my contension that President Reagan made a wise decision about
arms control in Iceland. I also felt that President Reagan established a bargain
ing agent. President Reagan had enough insight to know that if he would
have signed the agreement that Mr. Gorbachev had proposed, he could have
signed away effective arms control. By signing the agreement, the Strategic
Defense Initiative would have been cast into oblivion. Halting SDI or 'Star
Wars' is doing away with real arms control. The Star Wars plan is the most ef
fective way of making the United States safe from not only a Soviet Union
nuclear attack but from any nuclear attack from any country in the world. It
would in essence be as if the United States had a shield over its head. The
arms race would become extinct. If nuclear weapons are launched, SDI
would prevent their ever landing in the United States. If the nuclear weapons
are not effective, then producing them is futile and serves no purpose. Star
Wars is arms control.
President Reagan has also given the United States a great bargaining tool.
It is obvious from Reykjavik tht the Soviet Union does not seek the comple
tion of Star Wars. The question is why do the Soviets not want to see SDI
completed? The SDI plan can not possibly hurt the Soviets. It is for the pro
tection of the United States. The answer to the question is that the Soviet
Union does not seek true arms control or arms reduction. The Soviets see
their edge crumbling in the wake of an idea that would finally put arms reduc
tion on earth. It is my conjecture that the Soviet Union feels that if the arms
race is ended then their already thin economy will crumble; of course that is a
matter for the economists to decide.
The opponents of the SDI plan claim that SDI actually starts another arm
race. That claim is ludicrous. If SDI is finished, then nuclear arms are
automatically extinct. There will be no use for them. Opponents also bring to
surface the idea that if the SDI plan is so sweeping, then why is the United
States trying to keep it such a big secret. The only plausible teeson tor the
secrecy is that if such technology gets in the hands of a nation that tries to
its creation for evil, then SDI could be turned into an instrument ot destruction
instead of peace.
In conclusion, it seems that if the Soviet Union really wanted a reduction in
the nuclear arms then they would certainly acclaim president Reagan for hav
ing a very brilliant idea; instead, they will employ spies to find the secret of
SDI in order to make it work for them. The way the Soviet Union will make it
work for them is unpredictable. That is probably the main reason as to why
the United States keeps SDI such a tremendous secret. As for the people
who think that Star Wars is a fiasco, the question to them is "What in the
world do you think can be better than the absence of nuclear arms?" Reagan
did not "sell the world short" in order to accomplish a fanciful dream. He took
insight, delved into the future and pulled from the objectives that he found
there. In all reality. President Reagan may have insured an end to the arms
race. But as always, there will be those that condemn futuristic ideals. Such
are the people who condemned Seward for purchasing Alaska, now one of
the major producers of domestic oil. Such are the people who said man will
never walk on the moon. Such are the people who say that 'Star Wars' will
never be arms control.
Bobby C. Simpson