U.S. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick today cited evidence of Nicaraguan attempts to destabilize the governments of Honduras and Costa Rica, and criticized Mexico, Pakistan and other countries as observing a double standard in their statements to the Security Council defending the Sandinista government.
She called the debate--convened by Nicaragua to air charges that rightist rebels are staging attacks across its border at U.S. instigation--"an exercise in intellectual terrorism which mocks the process of reason."
Kirkpatrick charged that "we are witnessing an effort to transform the U.N. into an arena where power, as measured by numbers and volume, defines what is good, what is true, what is peace."
Under this faulty reasoning, she said, "it is legitimate for communist governments to train and arm guerrillas and make war on their noncommunist neighbors. It is illegitimate for noncommunists to attempt to defend themselves or for others to help them do so."
The way the council has handled the Nicaraguan complaints, Kirkpatrick said, debases it and explains why it has failed as a forum for settling disputes.
During three days of debate, in which 30 nations have endorsed the Nicaraguan cause, only Honduras has backed the U.S. view that the fighting in Nicaragua is an internal affair. A few others have limited themselves to calls for restraint and negotiation.
This diplomatic tactic--achieving a de facto majority vote through speeches in situations where a resolution is likely to be vetoed--has become common at the United Nations. But previously it has been aimed at Israel, South Africa or Iran, and rarely has the United States felt the brunt of such an attack.
Kirkpatrick has called the Nicaraguan charges a "myth" but has not denied them in detail, nor has she responded to the central allegation that the rebels in Nicaragua have been aided by the United States.
She criticized Mexico for endorsing Nicaragua's right to freedom from foreign interference while calling for an end to military aid to El Salvador, "which presumably has no right to freedom from foreign intervention."
She cited reports that the Sandinistas had actively aided insurgent forces in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.
Nicaragua's Deputy Foreign Minister Victor Hugo Tinoco read to the council from documents released in Managua charging that Honduran troops had attacked across the border yesterday. This, he warned, shows that the conflict "has taken a dangerous turn and could be part of a global effort to overthrow the Nicaraguan government."
Soviet representative Richard Ovinnikov accused the United States of backing the raids into Nicaragua with CIA funds.
He said the United States "has been suffering from a sickness the name of which is power mania--and intervention mania."
Its motive, he said, is to "overthrow a progressive national regime and set up a puppet pro-American regime."