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'Talking Down Arms'

September 15, 1985

I applaud Kissinger's desire to reverse the accumulation of nuclear warheads and specific suggestions on the elimination of multiple warhead missiles and reduction of the number of launchers!

I am surprised at this belief that the Soviet population is largely ignorant of the consequences of nuclear war--especially in light of the outstanding educational efforts of Dr. Evgueni Chazov, co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and Dr. Sergei Kapitsa, who works with a worldwide group of scientists studying the atmospheric consequences of a nuclear war. Both of these men have achieved international recognition, but more importantly, have freedom within their own country to publicize their findings.

Most of all I take issue with the overall theme of Kissinger's article. While it is true there is an increasing understanding that the offensive weaponry we have can destroy us all, it seems to me there is a growing reliance, Kissinger included, on the myth that technology can save us--if only we develop the ultimate defensive weapon, the Strategic Defense Initiative.

This is a system in orders of magnitude more complex than any technology the world has ever developed, yet it cannot be tested under operational conditions. However it must work perfectly the very first time, if mankind is to survive. Even if developed, it is not designed to protect against weapons traveling within the earth's atmosphere, such as cruise missiles and bombers.

Science and technology cannot guarantee our survival. We've got to think new, think whole. Kissinger acknowledges the growing global yearning to banish nuclear apocalypse. We need to be involved on every level, in every community, in a dialogue that looks for and calls for solutions. Today global survival is the issue. War, as a means of resolving conflict, is obsolete. We share a life support system with those who are like us--and those who are not like us--but, somehow, we must learn to work together to build a world beyond war.

RITA WEIL

Woodland Hills

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