I read The Post's Feb. 3 editorial supporting President Reagan's request for further contra aid, and I found the analysis extremely limited. What I find most surprising is that the editorial fails to mention the views of those most affected by the success or the failure of the peace process -- the Central American presidents.

The Central American presidents (except Daniel Ortega) give, at best, limited support of aid to the contras, while Oscar Arias, the architect of the peace plan, asks for its cessation. If the Sandinista regime is as committed to domination of the region as the Reagan administration claims, it would seem to me that the Central American presidents would be leading the call for more contra aid. They do not, and one has to wonder how much support would be forthcoming without arm twisting and threats of aid cutoff by the Reagan administration.

What I find myopic about the administration's policy approach to Central America is its disregard for the opinions of other countries in the region. These countries are treated as if they were children who do not understand that the bad-tasting medicine is for their own good. The Post, in failing to even mention, much less account for, the opinions of President Arias and the other Central American presidents, continues this myopic and condescending approach, which ultimately results in failed policy.



I am astounded by the incredible interpretation The Post has made of Daniel Ortega's response to the House vote against President Reagan's most recent contra aid request. The Post coverage in the three days following the vote suggests that Mr. Ortega reacted in a warmongering, rather than conciliatory, fashion.

But when Mr. Ortega makes statements to the effect that "the war will go on anyway," he is clearly not saying that the Nicaraguan government wants the war to continue. He is saying that the Nicaraguan government realizes that just because the House voted against the aid package, it does not follow that our government, the CIA and the contras will automatically cease fighting. In fact, according to a Feb. 5 cable from the Spanish news agency EFE and datelined Miami (which appeared in the Miami daily Diario las Ame'ricas), CIA supply flights to the contras are now being stepped up to ensure that the rest of the $100 million in contra aid approved in 1986 is delivered by a Feb. 29 deadline.

The Sandinistas did not initiate the contra war. As The Post and The New York Times, among others, reported as far back as March 10, 1982, it was the CIA that in 1981 began to recruit what at the time was described as a 500-man paramilitary force. It was the Republican Party that included in its 1980 platform the objective of "rolling back" the Nicaraguan revolution. And as early as 1982 it was Daniel Ortega and his government that sought bilateral negotiations with the Reagan administration to discuss each country's legitimate national security concerns. And it was the Reagan administration that broke off a six-month round of bilateral talks in January 1985.

No, the House vote does not put the ball into Daniel Ortega's court. Mr. Ortega can't stop the war, for the decision to keep it going has always been made in the Oval Office, in Langley, in Miami and in Tegucigalpa. It is up to the Reagan administration to respect international law and the will of the American people. The ball is squarely in President Reagan's court.