…The Reagan administration's covert war against Nicaragua was generally said to have been the classic exemplar of the self-styled Reagan Doctrine of supporting anti-communist guerrilla movements around the world. Perhaps the best explanation and defense of the Reagan Doctrine can be found in the contribution to the aforementioned Right V. Might: International Law and the Use of Force that was made by Reagan's first Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick and her legal adviser Allan Gerson, entitled "The Reagan Doctrine, Human Rights and International Law." Here Kirkpatrick and Gerson quite correctly (though perhaps unwittingly) pointed out that on May 5, 1985 Reagan took the opportunity to publicly announce his so-called doctrine at Bitburg, West Germany (p. 22). There Reagan laid a memorial wreath at a cemetery that he knew contained the remains of dead Nazi Waffen SS stormtroopers despite the vigorous protestations of the justifiably outraged American Jewish community and U.S. veterans organizations, among others. As I argued in a general debate with none other than Gerson himself, inter alia, before the annual convention of the American Society of International Law held shortly beforehand in New York City on April 26:
It is the Reagan administration's Machiavellian approach to foreign affairs that sponsored the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is the Reagan administration that brought you the United States invasion of Grenada. It was the Reagan administration that brought you the U.S. invasion of Nicaragua, which still goes on today. It is the Reagan administration's policy of constructive engagement that has encouraged the South African invasion of Angola. It is the Reagan administration which has launched an all-out vicious assault on the integrity of the International Court of Justice. And it is now the Reagan administration that is going to be paying tribute to 39 SS soldiers at a cemetery in West Germany. I think nothing could be a more eloquent and symbolic statement of what motivates the foreign policy of this administration than that act.
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign IL 61820 USA
(personal comments only)