January 18, 1991, Friday, FINAL EDITION


LENGTH: 402 words

HEADLINE: Cut off favors to the Soviet regime

BYLINE: James Bovard, Guest columnist


BODY: James Bovard is author of The Farm Fiasco and the forthcoming The Myth of Fair Trade.

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Once again, the Red Army has proven that tanks and paratroopers can rout unarmed civilians. Once again, the West is bank-rolling a Soviet leader's efforts to enslave the people of the Soviet Union.

Mikhail Gorbachev has denounced the Lithuanian government as a ''bourgeois dictatorship'' and justified sending in troops to ''prevent bloodshed.'' As usual, the Soviet media are blaming the violence on the unarmed men, women and children who got in the path of Soviet bullets. Gorbachev is clearly intent on crushing the democratically elected governments in the Baltics.

What does the Bush administration, the scourge of the Persian Gulf, do? President Bush admits he is ''disturbed,'' Secretary of State James Baker confesses he is ''concerned,'' and the administration is reportedly considering ''temporarily suspending technical exchanges.'' There are no plans to stop forcing U.S. taxpayers to provide $ 1 billion to feed the Red Army via grain export subsidies or to stop other pending credit subsidies.

Yet, it is obvious that Gorbachev is using U.S. food aid to force Soviet republics to sign a treaty to surrender their independence and submit to Moscow. As Sen. Bob Dole said, ''Gorbachev has offered the people of these republics two options: sign or starve.''

The USA should cease all economic aid and all economic credits to the Soviet regime. All sales of military-related technology should be prohibited. All arms control negotiations should be suspended - especially since the Soviets already admit to violating the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty signed in November.

(c) 1991 USA TODAY, January 18, 1991

We should send and accept ambassadors to the Baltic republics. We should offer duty-free entry into the USA for all goods produced in and exported from the Baltics. This would provide a great stimulus to their economic development and independence and would counteract the economic blockade imposed on these states by Moscow.

The CIA did an excellent job in bank-rolling and aiding the Solidarity union in Poland during the dark days of the early to mid-'80s. The CIA should provide massive covert aid to democratic groups in break-away Soviet republics.

Just because there are no oil fields in the Baltics does not mean that the USA should continue feeding the tank crews that crush Baltic citizens.