Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 1 | Spring 1985

VOL. 7, NO. 1 Gone, but probably not for long: Book mogul Walter Powell. “What this town needs is a bookstore!’’ STAFF Co-editors David Milholland Jim Blashfield Lenny Dee Design and Production Jim Blashfield Production Assistants David Milholland, Sharon Niemcyzk Ad Production Stacey Fletcher Bill Fletcher Beverly Wong Camerawork Laura DiTrapani Typesetting Archetype, Marmilmar Cindy Shumock, Sherry Swain Ad Sales—Portland/Eugene Lenny Dee, Anne Hughes Dru Duniway, Neil Street Sandy Wallsmith Ad Sales—Seattle Joe Racek Proofreaders Theresa Marquez, Betty Smith Contributing Artists Tim Braun, Andrew Larkin Stephen Leflar, Henk Pander Liza von Rosenstiel, Marly Stone Steve Winkenwerder, Matt Wuerker Contributing Photographers Eric Edwards, Arun Nevader Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Development Lenny Dee Editor-on-leave Peggy Lindquist Thanks Ed Carpenter, Stephanie Denyer Sheila Gallagher, Tyra Lindquist Paul Loeb, Melissa Marsland Laurie McClain, Lola Maria DNA, Gail O'Neill John Wanberg, Sue Widder Charlotte Uris The Clinton 500 The Clinton St. Quarterly is published in both Oregon and Washington editions by CSQ—a project of Out of the Ashes Press. Oregon address: P.O. Box 3588, Portland, OR 97208, (503) 222 6039; Washington Address: 1520 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (206),682 2404. Unless otherwise noted, all contents copyright© 1985, Clinton St. Quarterly. EDITORIAL When Ronald Reagan unveiled hrs Strategic Defense Initiative—immediately dubbed Star Wars—in March of 1983, it seemed outlandish enough to be passed off as incipient senility. And after a few months of discussions, its cost (incalculable, but estimated by proponents to be many hundred billions), doubts as to its true effectiveness and its heavy impact on precarious arms control and power-balance relationships appeared to bring about its early demise. Yet the Reaganauts have more staying power than they’re often given credit for, and Star Wars once again became a political reality as the Democrats suffered their electoral debacle. The past few months have brought the proposal back full force, with important allies being forced to endorse the concept (Prime Minister Thatcher) or reject it (President Mitterrand), long before it had been dealt with by the U.S. Congress. Even the creators of science fiction found their numbers split between proponents such as Robert Heinlein and adversaries like Isaac Asimov. Soon after the Reagan announcement, a blue-ribbon group which included former President Carter, and such eminent cold warriors as Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, Cyrus Vance, Maxwell Taylor and W. Averell Harriman, was formed to oppose it. They declared that it “would bring about a dangerous new phase of the nuclear arms race.” Since every one of these gentlemen had presided over the expansion of our nuclear arsenal, what was it they feared? Though the Reagan “revolution” was successful in implementing a good deal of its economic agenda within the first year in office, one deep-seated item begged greater development. Defense Secretary Weinberger stated it succinctly to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 1, 1984: “If we can get a system which is effective and which we know can render their weapons impotent, we would be back in a situation we were in, for example, when we were the only nation with the nuclear weapon and we did not threaten others with it.” Not since the early Eisenhower era has the U.S. been able to claim unchallenged global supremacy—Pax Americana. But this was short-lived, as the U.S.S.R. suddenly unveiled its own atomic force. Since that time, each power’s nuclear and technological breakthroughs have been hastily echoed by the other’s. Recent arms control agreements were designed to bring about a perpetual impasse—Pax Atomica. Conceived as though such agreements are unnecessary encumber- ances, Star Wars offers the potential of “once-and-for-all” overpowering Russia both technologically and economically. It is a race that promises visions of grandeur to our President—obsessed with being number one. The Star Wars proposal isn’t completely novel. Our space program has been largely a defense operation from its inception. Hundreds of satellites with military missions currently circle our globe. The Administration has plans to deploy 112 ASAT’s (anti-satellites weapons) beginning in 1987. Even this fledgling ASAT program skirts perilously close to violating the existing ABM treaties between the two nations, while offering an opening wedge for further space program development. But the Reagan Star Wars’ announcement portends a much greater leap forward. The Pentagon’s top scientist, Richard DeLauer, stated that the prospects for ultimate success with Star Wars are dependent on breakthroughs in eight key technologies, each “equivalent to or greater than the Manhattan Project.” An early version of Star Wars encouraged us to imagine an “Astrodome” of protection over our entire population, or at least over our major cities, while later announcements have indicated the protection might be designed solely for hardened silos. No version discounts the expense of the project, all intended to intimidate and bankrupt our opponent while offering a bonanza of spending for defense-minded scientists and companies. Each nations has nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads targeted against the other or major allies. A single warhead is sufficient to destroy Nagasaki several times over. And given the history of U.S.-Soviet confrontation, for each Star Wars’ advance, there would be concomitant response, in increased numbers of warheads, decoys or related technological developments. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently published The Fallacy of Star Wars, a book which outlines the large array of obstacles any space technology would have to confront: “To defend U.S. society totally, then, attacking missiles must be intercepted soon after they leave their launch sites or while they are traversing space. Interception means the delivery of a blow to the enemy powerful enough to disrupt it in some way. This is precisely where the constraints of geometry and physics enter, for it is only in science fiction that unlimited amounts of energy can be transmitted over arbitrarily large distances against a tiny target moving at great speed.” In summary, to be successful, Star Wars must supercede several immutable laws of nature and basic scientific principles—the force of gravity, the earth’s rotation and the den sity of the atmosphere—and must devise TABLE OF CONTENTS Cover Matt Wuerker Guatemala—Inside the Ixil Triangle Arun Nevader (with Michael Richards).......................4 Lorenzo Valencia’s Salon Politique Catherine Lord ..............................8 The Day After WWIII (an excerpt) Edward Zuckerman ........................ 13 It's the Thought that Counts Christina V. Pacosz ......................18 1976—Soon I Shall Be Released Sharon Doubiago ..........................20 Garfish, Chili Dogs and the Human Torch— A Remembrance of Richard Brautigan Keith Abbott ................................. 24 Recapturing Real Experience Penny Allen...................................29 That Pale, Hollow Rush Leanne Grabel................................32 Dress in a Peculiar Fashion! Jim Blashfield................................35 Keith Scales- Portrait of the Artist as Activist Margot Buetler ................................. 37 Broken English—Three Stories Jason Patt.....................................40 Me, Buckminster Fuller, Big Jim and the Verbalife Perfection Oasis Gary Stallings...................................44 Ad Index .............................................47 a way to make lasers and X rays effectively penetrate hardened missile shields, moving at great speeds, all within such extremely brief periods and against such great numbers that the advantage would still lie with the attacker. As proposed, this defense would not be able to detect or intercept Cruise missiles, which fly low enough to escape even radar detection for up to several thousand miles, thus leaving our European and Asian allies completely exposed. Submarine- launched missiles would be exceedingly difficult to intercept. Star Wars can also be seen as a bluff, a terrifying chip which thoroughly destabilizes already strained relations. As the only nation that has to date employed atomic weapons, the U.S. cannot pass itself off as innocuous. And the Soviet Union, encircled by adversaries, finds itself feeling backed into a corner, despite the fact we are far from implementation of any part of the Strategic Defense Initiative. U.S. allies have little reason to be overjoyed, for Star Wars appears to offer them little or no protection. Hamburg’s Die Zeit stated in January that “if no steps are taken to prevent the militarization of space, any hope for an end to the arms race is unrealistic.” Many commentators have suggested that Star Wars is likely to bring about the effective end of the NATO alliance. The struggle for us here is even graver, for the Reagan forces have effectively tapped into the fears and fantasies of the American people—to be at once safe and in control of world events—this nation of “manifest destiny.” The Reagan “revolution” is playing live on small and large screens, in video parlors, classrooms, homes and offices, across the nation. Though perhaps it will be possible to curtail or eliminate Star Wars through traditional political means, the problem is much larger. We need to reach the American people on the same turf—live and in color—with images of an alternative that offers visions of peace and partnership on the world scene. May the force be with us. DM Clinton St. Quarterly 3