5 JUNE 1982, Page 20


America's sacrifice

Sir: I cannot agree with Christopher Hit- chens's conclusion that the alliance between Great Britain and the USA is a one-way street in which Great Britain is exploited (1 May). President Reagan has sacrificed both the Monroe Doctrine and his basic Latin American policy on behalf of the Thatcher Administration. If cries of 'Yankee No!' and 'Brits Out!' resound from Argentina to Venezuela, Whitehall will care a lot less than Washington. The vision of a grand US-Argentinian alliance against leftist in- surgency in Central America is fading, and a new surge of Latin American hostility to the USA is in the offing.

Granted Reagan, Haig, Kirkpatrick et al. were unduly cosy with the junta and thus inadvertently encouraged Galtieri's aggres- sion. Granted Reagan's people should have sensed what was coming and were almost as short-sighted as Lord Carrington. Granted there is something ugly about a vision of Argentinian forces policing Central America. The fact remains that when the- crisis-that-could-have-been-avoided actually materialised, Washington sacrificed its Latin American policy, and good will throughout South America, for Thatcherite chauvinism. With Reagan in her pocket- book, Mrs Thatcher has remained adamant in the face of some softening of Argenti- nian insistence on British concession of sovereignty prior to negotiations.

Thomas Robbins 1816 Carleton Street,

Berkeley, California, USA