Starring in the European Theater
One of the most widely discussed plays in Washington these days is the one called ''The More-or-Less Secret Nuclear Strategy of the US'' which is being played at the present time in the famous European Theater.
The word ''theater'' seems to spark a latent nostalgia in leading man President Reagan, so when the curtain rises in the European Theater each day he clears his throat and makes an impressive entrance. In one performance he said he could foresee the possibility of a limited nuclear war in Europe. This, unfortunately, cleared out the first six rows.
Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who himself was once a leading man in the European Theater, now finds himself playing opposite the President in a character role. One of Secretary Haig's finest performances was in describing a sort of nuclear warning shot in Europe, either across Russia's bows, or merely knocking off President Leonid Brezhnev's sable hat. However, it didn't get a laugh and most of the balcony left the theater.
Then Gen. Bernard Rogers, American military commander of NATO, made his entrance in the third act and, thinking the leading men had got their lines wrong, tried unsuccessfully to ring down the curtain. In a stirring oration he concluded, ''It doesn't make much sense to me to tell the other side what we will do.'' But in his closing monologue he did strongly advocate modernizing NATO's long-range theater nuclear weapons.
There is something unconvincing about the play. We came away not having any idea what the US would do in Europe, so we didn't see how Russia would know what it would do. This column has a secret Washington source, which we immediately contacted to find out what the next play in the European Theater was going to be and who would be directing it. The reply may be disappointing to some. Our man in Washington indicated that, according to reliable sources, they were going to do a revival of the same play, with the same cast.
It would be a pity if the audience walked out on the show again as before. Still, it might be better than bringing down the house.