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Pre-Summit Atmosphere

September 25, 1985

Why is it that at the very time during the Geneva conferences, and before the summit talks, the atmosphere between the United States and the Soviet Union becomes so poisoned? Allegations and counterallegations, spies and counterspies, threats and insults are creating a veritable miasma of intrigue and distrust.

Could it be that negotiators on both sides are childish, each trying to force the other to give up something without themselves doing so in return, the media on both sides being used to stir up appropriate tensions? Or could it be that neither side really wants agreements to come out of the meetings, but each is using them as a screen behind which lie the brainless policies of the pre-atomic past?

It does appear that the Soviets want to stop testing, as they have offered a moratorium, to last as long as it is mutual. Testing can be accurately monitored, and stopping testing would of course stop production and deployment, so it's a crucial issue. Why, then, did President Reagan proceed with an anti-satellite test in space--at the worst possible psychological moment? What is the relation between that test and his getting money out of John Q. Public for the "Star Wars" pipe dream?

Instead of the eternal belligerent responses, why can't these fellows come up with some mutually beneficial projects, in space or on Earth, where participants from both sides might learn to practice common-sense manners and mutual respect and cooperation? (I can think of at least 10). Does it strain the imagination of these great men to look ahead beyond the end of their noses toward a world free from the menace of this insane race?

No adjectives suffice. Nor can one describe--let alone accept--such incredibly silly behavior going on and on.

JEAN GERARD

Temple City

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