The Best of Notable Quotables; December 12, 1988

Vol. One; No. 22


"Personally, I think the Contras are worthless."

-- CBS News producer/reporter Lucy Spiegel quoted by David Brock in the January 1987 American Spectator.

“Arias warns Ortega: No room for games”

-- Washington Times, front page, January 14

“Costa Rican Asks Nicaragua, Rebels To Aid Peace Plan”

-- Washington Post, same day

"Why this sea of troubles? One reason is the old American tendency to ignore the Canadians, belittle the Mexicans, and invest in the armies of Central America.  Another reason is that diplomacy has been replaced in recent years by sloganeering and belligerence. Instead of making deals with the Sandinistas, the President said he wanted them to cry uncle."

-- John Chancellor on why anti-U.S. feelings are on the increase. NBC Nightly News, May 3.

"For months the Sandinistas have been trying to influence favorably U.S. public opinion by being flexible, permitting democracy. But now the Sandinistas simply say flexibility is not working, and they will adopt a harder line."

-- NBC’s Ed Rabel on July 12, after the Sandinistas expelled the U.S. Ambassador, arrested demonstrators, closed down La Prensa and Radio Catolica.

"And in Nicaragua, the Contras used weapons from the ‘enterprise’ against civilians. It’s a terrorist war they’re fighting. Old men, women and children are caught in the middle or killed deliberately as the Contras use violence against peasants to pressure their government. Thousands have died. Even when the hearings were taking place in Washington this summer, a Contra raid in Nicaragua killed three children and a pregnant woman. As the casualties mounted, the secret government in Washington knew that the Contra leaders were not such noble freedom fighters after all."

-- Bill Moyers in The Secret Government, the Constitution in Crisis, repeated by PBS on September 14.