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Reagan's Undoing of SALT Treaty

June 22, 1986

Goodwin's column is right on target, for he accurately portrays the mind-set that is guiding our present military policy.

While President Reagan's policies appear to be new, they are not. We in the West have a rather ignoble tradition of vigilantism. California, especially, was known for vigilante actions in the period of 1850-1900, when the respected middle-class businessman, eager for swift justice, bypassed the law and directly pursued the alleged criminal.

I believe we are seeing a repeat of this action today. It is striking what the federal government is saying: The World Court can't be trusted; the Soviets repeatedly violate all treaties; we need to be strong and prevail or else we will be overrun by hostile forces.

Vigilantism eventually died out, and the immoral stance our government is taking today can also pass. However, a change in the mind-set is dependent on the electorate making its will known. We are fortunate to live in a democracy where change can take place. The question is: Will we demand a change?

NICHOLAS R. RAY

Encino

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