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Castro, Brezhnev, and other US campaigners

For the American presidential election to politicize the United States is one thing; to politicize the world is another. Surely every nice word or deed by any leader anywhere should not be interpreted as an effort to swing the campaign toward the Incumbent. Incumbent who? To avoid any complicity in the matter we are not even going to name him.

But look at the speculation. Why is Castro freeing American prisoners now? It must be to boost the Incumbent. Why is Khomeini letting Iranians say conciliatory things? It must be a vote for the Incumbent. Why is Brezhnev behaving circumspectly in regard to the Gulf war? Obviously to give a lift to the Incumbent. Why is the Abominable Snowman staying out of sight? You know the answer.

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Of course, sometimes it isn't funny.

Prime Minister Mugabe of Zimbabwe, After all, did tell that boyhood anecdote about wanting to replace an unsatisfactory dog -- and hearing his grandfather say, yes, but how could he know the new one would be any better?

And an American businessman returning from Moscow laid it on pretty thick about Mr. Brezhnev's "high regard" and "warm feelings" for the Incumbent who boycotted the Moscow Olympics, imposed the Soviet grain embargo, and said the Russians had turned out even worse than he expected. Wouldn't Mr. Brezhnev have waited until after the election if he did notm want to interfere in American internal affairs? (Think of the impact on Brezhnev's own image if the Politburo were told the American President was saying sweet nothings about him!m )

One thing is certain, that the Incumbent would never use his office to dispense any favors in return for support from such nonvoting precincts.

You can depend on it.

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