THE FORD administration's insistence on continuing military and diplomatic intervention in Angola despite Senate opposition represents a deplorable refusal to submit foreign policy to properly informed public opinion. The covert character of early U.S. aid in Angola was a deliberate effort to present the American public with a fait accompli. Although American intervention has now been made public, Ford and Kissinger continue to repudiate any notion of democratic participation in foreign policy decision making by their use of discretionary funds to aid anti-MPLA factions. The House should reaffirm the Senate's opposition to such aid in its upcoming session, and Congress should take severe measures to prevent American interference in Angola. Such steps would be a key move toward recapturing control over foreign policy from administrators not responsible to the American public.
Kissinger's justification for intervention in Angola rests on a series of lies. He claims the United States is not opposed to an MPLA regime in Angola, but only to a Soviet satellite which he says would endanger American strategic interests and prevent the Angolan people from determining their own government. In fact, escalated aid to MPLA from the Soviet Union came as a response to massive American and NATO military aid to FNLA/UNITA, filtered since last spring through Zaire. The result of American aid has been only to increase MPLA's dependence on the Soviet Union. But the MPLA is by no means a Soviet puppet, and its leader, Agostinho Neto, has explicitly declared his opposition to a Soviet base in Angola.
American calls for a withdrawal of all Soviet aid to MPLA are thus hypocritical, since it was American aid that originally precipitated major foreign intervention. Furthermore, American intervention legitimates the South African invasion of Angola, which poses a still more serious threat to Angolan self-determination. Calls for non-intervention ignore the reality of the situation--which has already been modified by foreign aid to Angolan factions--and the impact of Western financial aid which is not likely to cease with a non-intervention pact. South Africa--the major threat to Angolan sovereignty--has already shown a flagrant disregard for international agreements in its refusal to relinquish its U.N. trusteeship of Namibia. U.S. aid to Angolan factions has been CIA-controlled, and thus is no more likely than South African interference to cease as a result of an international agreement.
Ford and Kissinger's attempts to force African nations to vote against recognition of the MPLA at this week's meeting of the Organization for African Unity exposes the self-serving nature of American aid to Third World countries. African resistance to the U.S. administration's threats to withdraw humanitarian and financial aid from MPLA supporters shows the isolation resulting from high-handed American diplomatic coercion. American foreign policy in the Third World must be reoriented toward a recognition of these countries' sovereignty and from attempts at domination. The United States can no longer play the role of a global policeman to protect its strategic and economic interests. Accordingly, the U.S. must renounce its offensive against the MPLA, whose support among the Angolan people would bring it victory in the real absence of foreign intervention.