09-May-88 09:09 EDT Sb: APn 05/05 0214 Reagan-Space Invaders Copyright, 1988. The Associat
09-May-88 09:09 EDT
Sb: APn 05/05 0214 Reagan-Space Invaders
Copyright, 1988. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By TERENCE HUNT AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Reagan says he wonders what would happen if the
Earth were invaded by "a power from outer space," and imagines that it would
unite all nations of the world in a common defense.
He made the comment Wednesday in Chicago during a question-and-answer
session after a speech about human rights and the Soviet Union.
His telling of the story followed one day after the disclosure that Nancy
Reagan has consulted an astrologer about the president's schedule and travel
plans. Several members of Congress chided Reagan about the use of astrology and
a group of scientists complained that it was a discredited practice.
Reagan, asked what he felt was the most vital factor in international
relations, spoke of the importance of frankness and about a desire for peaceful
He went on to say that there had been "about 114 wars" since World War II,
including conflicts between smaller nations.
"But I've often wondered, what if all of us in the world discovered that we
were threatened by an outer -- a power from outer space, from another planet,"
"Wouldn't we all of a sudden find that we didn't have any differences
between us at all, we were all human beings, citizens of the world, and
wouldn't we come together to fight that particular threat?" the president
The president found an analogy in the threat of nuclear destruction.
"In a way, we have something of that kind today, mentioning nuclear power
again. We now have a weapon that can destroy the world, and why don't we
recognize that threat more clearly and then come together with one aim in mind,
how safely, sanely and quickly can we rid the world of this threat to our
civilization and our existence?"
The comment drew applause from the audience, a nonpartisan group that
specializes in foreign policy and national security issues, the National
As his next summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev approaches,
Reagan has been emphasizing the need for arms control in particular and for
cooperation among nations in general.
In light of his past anti-Soviet rhetoric, he offered startling praise for
Gorbachev during his speech Wednesday, saying the Soviet leader's reform
programs are "of tremendous significance."
"It is my belief that there is hope for further change, hope that in the
days ahead the Soviets will grant further recognition to the fundamental civil
and political rights of all," Reagan said.
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