Pfaff naively assumes that the "Cold War could be called off--if Moscow wanted to call it off." All the United States and Western Europe want, he says, is for the Soviet Union "to leave them and the rest of the world alone"--i.e., stop making trouble.
If leaving everyone alone would mean that there would be no more revolutions, then Pfaff would be right. However, so long as there are repressive regimes (many of them subsidized by us), there will be unrest, and people will revolt. And even if Moscow scrupulously withheld support for all foreign insurgencies, would we ever believe that a "home-grown" guerrilla got his ideology from, say, the Managua Public Library? No, we have a history of assuming that if "Communist conspiracy" is there, the Soviet Union is the culprit. Even when Marxist ideology is clearly irrelevant, as with the Iranian revolution, we still find it hard to believe that, somehow, the Soviets are not in bed with the mullahs.
Thus, Soviet leaders are in a classic "Catch-22" situation. Of course they will always be much lower than the angels, but they would never be able to convince us that they have ceased being the devils we see. If the Soviet Union did not exist, we should have to invent it in order to explain to ourselves why oppressed people persist in threatening the status quo.