ARGENTINA: Hanging from the Cliff

Twice last week Argentine President Isabel Perón went on television to tell her people how she had saved them from near disaster. In the first address, she claimed to have ended, without a single casualty, an abortive four-day coup by a faction of air force officers. Then on Christmas Eve she was on the TV screen again, praising the valor of troops who had crushed a massive guerrilla attack on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, and giving the impression that she had the country well in hand.

Both speeches were little more than...