Will President Reagan keep his promises? It depends on which ones you have in mind.
Six days after the election an enthusiastic supporter of the victors, David Rockefeller, went to Argentina and exuberantly announced that at least one promise would be kept—talk and action on human rights would be toned down. Right-wing dictatorships, especially in Central and South America, were promised our support. Shortly thereafter, the new secretary of state and then the president himself at his first press conference outlined the new priorities—human rights out, anti-terrorism in.
Soon it appeared, however, that some types of terrorism would still be in. Following Rockefeller’s assurances to Argentina and the Latin-American dictators, and after Haig and Reagan proclaimed the new priorities, the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights reported (New York Times, February 5) “that Argentina alone accounted for more than half of the 11,000 to 13,000 people who have been reported missing and are assumed to be victims of political terrorism.” Another Reagan enthusiast and potential official, Rita Hauser, appeared on public television (February 10) and added South Africa to...
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