New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 13, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
4A New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Wednesday. February 13, 1985
Tom Loeffler praises Reagan's choice of negotiators
Dave Kraatr, General Manager Hobart Johaioi, Editor
Reagan chooses strong team
By TOM LOEFFLER U.S. R«p. Dlst. 21 President Reagan believes that there is no more important goal to be achieved during his second term than to reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons.
To underscore the importance he places on this issue, the president chose to meet early on the first official working day of his second term with the three Americans he has charged with pursuing the goal of true arms control.
The negotiating team, whih begins
discussions with the Soviet Union in Geneva on March 12, is composed (rf individuals who bring a unique blend of substantive diplomatic and political acumen to the bargaining table. It is a bipartisan team which offers the skills necessary to achieve their goal.
Heading the team is Max Kam-pelman, noted lawyer and seasoned negotiator, who will lead discussions on space weaponry. Senior Foreign Service Officer Maynard Glitman will lead the talks on reducing intermediate range weapons. And,
leading negotiations on the reduction of strategic weapons is the former senior senator from our own state of Texas, John Tower, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee until his retirement in January.
As one who first came to Washington to work for Senator Tower — and who considers him both a mentor and close friend — I know personally of the unique and exceptional strength he brings to the team.
John Tower's intimate knowledge of weapon systems, his firm deter
mination to protect our nation’s military strength and his much-recognized military expertise, honed over 24 years in the Senate, will prove invaluable assets in the months ahead. More than any other negotiator, John Tower’s name sends a clear signal to the Soviet Union — and to the world — that the United States, while seeking genuine reductions in arms, will grant no concessions that might jeopardize our nation’s security. Furthermore, as a realistic skeptic on arms control agreements of the past, John Tower’s
support of any final agreement would be a clear indication that the President’s goals are attainable.
As we proceed, it must be with the clear understanding that the negotiating process will be lengthy. Due to today’s increasingly-sophisticated weapons technologies, the problem confronting the negotiators is how to accurately verify that both sides are in compliance with agreed-upon reductions. Additionally, I do not believe that it is in our nation’s best interests to even
consider unilaterally abandoning such systems as the MX or our research into the Strategic Defense Initiative — as some suggest.
These weapons advances are what brought the Soviets to the bargaining table. To abandon them now would give the Soviets what they want and would give us nothing in return. Only by negotiating from a position of strength can be ensure that it is in the Soviet’s best interests to reduce — and eventually eliminate — their nuclear arsenals.
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Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas, 78711
Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D C., 20510
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, D.C. 20510
Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
Rep. Tom Loeffler U.S. House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20515
Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C., 20515
Powers want U.S.-Soviet youth to lead them
WASHINGTON — In a move that could lead to better Soviet-American relations, President Reagan and Chairman Konstantin Chernenko have approved the idea of establishing ties between America’s Young Astronauts and Russia’s Young Cosmonauts.
This raises new hope that by exchanging visits and sharing dreams, Young Astronauts and Young Cosmonauts might lead the way to peaceful cooperation in space
In behalf of the Young Astronaut Council, I wrote a letter to Chernenko proposing affiliation. I pleaded that we are passengers together on a great spaceship called Earth, which cannot be broken into pieces, with the Soviet Union and the United States assigned separate orbits. The letter was hand-carried to Moscow last month by my daughter Tanya.
Two weeks later, the Soviet Embassy called to report that Chernenko had read the letter and that his response was "positive.” Then the Soviet diplomat inquired cordially, ’’Did Tanya enjoy her visit to the Soviet Union?”
I said she had a glorious time and had
come home favorably impressed. ’’Too bad she doesn’t write the column,” retorted the Russian, with a chuckle.
What are the next steps?
First, I have invited the Young Cosmonauts, with White House approval, to send a delegation to watch a space launching and tour our space facilities. “From this small beginning,” I wrote, ”1 look forward to the day that our astronauts and your cosmonauts will explore the vast cosmos together. We are merely scratching the surface of knowledge so profound, so illimitable, so beyond our present understanding that we should waste no time nor energy on petty disputes.”
Second, each Young Astronaut will be encouraged to write a letter to a Young Cosmonaut, explaining why they should become friends and what they might hope to accomplish together in space. Those who write the best letters will be selected for future exchanges, all expenses paid. Other exciting prizes will be offered.
Third, the International Aeronautical Federation has adopted the Young Astronaut program as the best way to achieve “peace
through space.” Under the federation’s auspices, the Young Astronaut program will be offered to other nations and ties will be sought between Young Astronauts and Young Cosmonauts around the world.
Every generation, if it is to fulfill itself, needs a dream to inspire it, an adventure to ennoble it. Seldom have young people had the incentive that space now offers.
For a half a millennium, the spirit of maximum adventure has awaited new Columbuses and Magellan. Now, for our children, it is at hand and on a scale far more vast.
Footnote: The Young Astronaut Council is recruiting 6-to-16-year-olds for future space exploration. All who sign up will be eligible to participate in the “Letter to a Young Cosmonaut” contest. For particulars, write to the Young Astronauts, 1015 16th Street, N.W., Suite 906, Washington, DC., 20005.
If the Young Cosmonauts accept our invitation to attend a space launching, their host will be Pepsi-Cola, one of the sponsors of the Young Astronaut program Another sponsor, Disney World, will invite the Young Cosmonauts to its Florida resort.
Arming the contras
Since the congressional cutoff of U.S. military aid to the Nicaraguan contra guerrillas, the anti-Sandinista forces have been getting weapons from “surrogate CI As” — countries friendly to the United States that are willing to keep the arms and ammunition flowing as a way of ingratiating themselves with the Reagan administration.
One ironic result of this arms traffic is that the anti-communist Nicaraguan guerrillas are being supplied with Soviet-bloc weapons.
The three biggest arms sources for the contras — now that the CIA’s arsenal has been put off limits — are Israel, Egypt and South Africa. Each country has been sending the contras Soviet-made arms captured from various guerrilla groups or, in the case of Egypt, provided orginally by the Kremlin.
The Israelis captured huge quantities of weapons from the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon. The South Africans captured Soviet weapons in occupied Namibia and during sorties into Angola. Both countries stoutly deny sending any arms to the contras, but a short, crytic press communique in Israel last year disclosed
that auditors had discovered the “disa pearance” of more than $250 million worth arms from military warehouses in the pa three years.
In the jungles of Nicaragua not long ag my reporter Jon Lee Anderson saw Egyptii army submachine guns of Soviet design the hands of contra guerrillas. Egypt to been getting its arms from the West in rece years, and apparently is unloading some its huge stock of Soviet weapons, acquired the 19(Qi and 1970s when the Kremlin to hopes of making Egypt a Soviet satellit Like Israel and South Africa, Egypt deni sending arms to the contras.
In addition to the “Big Three,” the contr; have been getting aid from other country on an unofficial basis. The suppliers inclu* South Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela ai Colombia. And contra sources say that sin la* August, when the CIA aid pipeline final ran dry, they have beal successful soliciting “private aid” in the United Stat* Hiey have been most successful, they sai with individuals who used to work “in ti U.S. government” and now are employed I defense contractors.
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