Letter FromnWashingtonnby William L. ArmstrongnBirds Fly, Fish SwimnWe Americans are optimists. As peoplenof goodwill and great intentions,nwe find it difficult to comprehend ansystem of government or a politicalnphilosophy that has no place for decencynor compassion.nFrom time to time, however, somethingnhappens that makes us face thenfacts of international life. Solzhenitsvnnwrites The Gulag Archipelago. KoreannAirlines’ flight 007 is shot from thenskies. For former President Carter,nwho had belittled “an inordinate fearnof Communism,'” the Soviet imasionnof Afghanistan put things back intonfocus. And for all of us, the behaviornof the current government of Ethiopianshould be a similar lesson.nBack in February, when Congressnwas considering a measure to add S175nmillion to our already generous emergencynaid to that country, it was timento commit candor on the Senate floor.n.And so, I observed that “this greatnfamine has become merely anothernweapon in an inhuman campaign tonmake slaves of the Ethiopian people.”nIt may not have been diplomatic tondescribe Ethiopia’s ruler, Mengistu, asn”a home-grown barbarian with a foreignnCommunist ideology,” “a Marxistnversion of Idi Amin.” But it wasncertainly accurate, and subsequentnevents have vindicated my assessment.nIn the last days of April, some of thenthugs who currently control Ethiopiandecided to disperse more than 50,000nrefugees, including thousands of infants,nfrom the Ibnet famine reliefncamp. Western reporters and reliefnworkers have described what happenednnext. Without warning, the patheticnstarers were driven from their huts,nwhich were then set aflame. Twonwomen miscarried while fleeing thentroops. Nurses said that hundreds ofnseriously ill children simply disap­n40/ CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnCORRESPONDENCEnpeared. Relief officials feared that halfnthe refugees would perish in theirndesperate trek to food and water. Bynthe second day of the “evacuation.”nrelief workers were counting the deadnalong the dirt pathways through thenmountains.nThe United Nations assistant secretaryngeneral in charge of emergencynoperations in Ethiopia reacted predictably.nKurt Jansson faulted “the hastiness”nof the operation and hoped thatn”in the future Ethiopia will handle thisnmore efficiently.”nPerhaps it will. For a model ofnefficiency. Mengistu can turn to hisnideological brothers in Cambodia, thenKhmer Rouge, whose efficiency wasnfatal to three million of their countrymen.n. But this is a matter that willnnever be. debated by the UN in its newnS73 million conference center underwaynin Addis Ababa, where the diplomats’nrestaurants will never lack foodnand their treasury will never lackndollars.nThe wonder is that anyone can stillnbe surprised by all this. It is not in thenleast remarkable. Birds fly, fish swim,nCommunists commit atrocities. Thatn. is not accidental: it is essential to whatnthey are.nt the risk of becoming “Cold Warriors,”nwe should make the point clear.nAll Marxists, whether in Addis Ababanor Moscow or Managua, are absolutenmaterialists. That is, they insist thatnhuman life is nothing but matter, likena stone or an insect. If a mountain is innthe way, blast it. If women a,nd childrennare in the way, blast them. Thenonly difference between their killing ofnU.S. Army Major Nicholson in Germanynthis year and their massacre ofnthousands of Polish military men innKatyn Forest during the Soviet-Nazinalliance is that the earlier operationnrequired a larger grave.nThat is not anti-Communist propaganda.nIt is, and always has been, thenbottom line of Marxism. Individualsnhave no meaning, no rights, no identity.nThey are clods of earth to benplowed into productivity for the state.nnnWhy are we surprised. I^’ien. whennthousands of .African chiicien are setnoft on a death march across the Ethiopiannhighland? Haven’t we read aboutnthe .fghan voungsters whose arms arenblown away by gaily colored toysnbooby-trapped by the Soviets to maimntoddlers? Haven’t we .heard about thenJewish and Christian boys and girls innthe Soviet Union who are treated liken• criminals for their family’s faith? Yes,nthere are infants in those Siberiannprison camps, and their jailors are thenmen with whom we are trying tonnegotiate arms agreements and tradendeals.nThese people are, after all, true tontheir school. Their first teachers, backnin 1918, were riot content to kill thenCzar. They had to murder his childrennas well. They are now in their seventhndecade of systematic annihilation: andnthere are still those in the Westn— indeed, in our Congress—who professnshock when it happens-again, thisnhme in Ethiopia. .nJust as the Ethiopian tragedy is in ancontinuum with the past of Communism,nso too it is surely but a preludento its equally ghastly future. It is just anquestion of where this happens ne.xt.nIn little Benin? In Leninist Congo? Innwhat used to be called Upper ‘oltanbefore its latest “people’s revolution”?nIt could well occur in Mozambique,nwhere S28 million in emergency foodnaid from the United States is proppingnup a Communist regime even morenincompetent than the one in Ethiopia.nIt is naive not to expect more suchncalamities. They have been a part ofnCommunism’s genetic code since itsn•• birth, and they will remain so until itsndeath. For yes, even monsters are mortal;nand this monstrous distortion ofnthe mind and spirit need be no exception.nIn the meantime, though we maynbe repulsed by the Ethiopian government,nwe should not be paralyzed bynit. We could not make it rain innEthiopia; so with the rest of the freenworld we poured in hundreds of millionsnof dollars ih food and medicaln