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Lessons of Afghanistan

January 18, 1987

The article by James Adams (Opinion, Jan. 4) about Afghanistan becoming a war laboratory was very insightful. Unlike the multitudes who tend to place a Western personality, or morality in the Soviet leadership, Adams sees the distinct differences in our ways of thinking and in our moralities. Those who write about the similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan are blind to history, and are indeed serving the Soviet propaganda machine.

The historic evidence would demonstrate clearly that the Soviets are on a relentless expansionist trek that is as determined and deceitful as the Nazi government was. Rather than giving in to public demonstrations and the outcry of humanity, the Soviet leadership knows only how to crush its opposition. Indeed, the credo of Marxism is that deceit, murder and torture are justified by their desire for world conquest. All we need do, is look at incidents like: Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

Soviet morality has been demonstrated during World War II, as well as by their allies, the Viet Cong. Even in their training of their own soldiers, losses of 5%-10% of their troops are considered "average." As a veteran, I know that one loss of an American soldier in training is unacceptable. In combat, we still strive not to have any casualties. Indeed, we are very different thinking people.

From their military strategists' point of view, Afghanistan may serve not only as a laboratory, but also as an excellent training area. If the Soviet officers are willing to train their soldiers with real gas and chemical agents, why not add to this "real" enemy?

The free world may not like to think that madmen like this really rule in the Soviet Union; so we'll believe them when they move useless air defense units out of Afghanistan, and talk of withdrawal and peace. We also will believe their peace proposals, and sign treaties they have no intention of keeping. Just as the world once believed a man called Adolf Hitler. Will we never learn?

JAMES RILEY

Los Angeles

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