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Gorbachev's Peace Proposals

March 05, 1987

In William Pfaff's column (Editorial Pages, Feb. 19), he expressed disappointment at the Reagan Administration's lack of interest in "peace proposals" advanced by Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a recent Moscow "Peace Congress." I feel that the President's skepticism is healthy, given the Soviets' use of treaties, and "arms control talks" to lull the West into complacency, while the Soviet Union continues building arms (including strategic defense systems).

How is it that anyone, with even a meager sense of history, could take the word of a totalitarian dictator as seriously as Pfaff seems to?

That Gorbachev "is already more trusted on arms control by the West European public than is President Reagan," all too clearly illustrates how the nations of Europe blundered their way into World War II--all because they hinged the security of their nations on "peace proposals" issued from the mouth of another totalitarian dictator, Adolf Hitler. Is it prudent for the United States to follow the same path that plunged the world into war and Holocaust?

Pfaff wonders why the Soviet Union invited "show-biz celebrities and writers" to the "Peace Congress" instead of "intellectuals" as in the past. The answer, it seems, is that the Kremlin feels "celebrities and writers" will serve just as well in our time as did the "intellectuals" of the past--they chose to look the other way while Stalin murdered millions.

"Peace activists" of today look the other way while genocide is committed against the people of Afghanistan by the Soviet Red Army. Are we to consider the pleas for peace, from such people, as moral, correct or believable?

It is unsettling that there are so many who take the words of Gorbachev so seriously; for in so doing, they fill the position once defined by Lenin as that of "useful idiots."

STEVEN LOPEZ

Laguna Hills

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