Barnes' article makes the point that the Reagan White House, rightly in Barnes' view, regards the Reagan-Mikhail Gorbachev meeting as a "no-win summit" because, with arms control the issue, "the President can't get any pluses out of the summit." A "senior White House adviser," he tells us, has concluded that what's really important is that, "above all," Reagan has to to "capture the agenda public affairs-wise." And, it is not only the White House, Barnes says, but also the National Security Council, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the State Department as well, of course, the hard-liners in the Defense Department, who "view the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in Geneva with fear and loathing."
That certainly tells it like it is. And, who can quarrel with the deep intelligence, insight, understanding, imagination and hard-headed grasp of the realities and necessities of the nuclear world we all live in that shines through these thought-processes? How fortunate we are to have elected and received a leader of the Free World who has gathered together such wise counselors and sincere seekers of a better world. Surely, the Soviets must be reassured, too.
There is, perhaps, one small loose end that may have been overlooked. What will the President's "pulses, public affairs-wise" matter to anyone if this increasing enmity lets loose 50,000 nuclear warheads to burn down the house?
ALAN R. GORDON