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Two Views on Arms Control

September 30, 1987

In his article Simes aligned himself with another false god, "traditional power politics." He failed to recognize that the U.S. is facing a brand new conflict which seems to be totally ignored--the war for men's minds. The world has grown extremely weary of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear annihilation and power politics.

America's biggest challenge right now is propaganda, not specifically arms control. Whether he is really sincere or not, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is winning world favor with his appealing rhetoric. It seems so totally logical, and yet unbelievable to most Americans, that Gorbachev and the Russian people may have come to the realization that modern warfare is completely unrealistic and a waste of resources desperately needed to improve their standard of living.

Cautious optimism along with acute circumspection are the intelligent and morally sound reactions to Gorbachev's overtures that Americans should be practicing. To remain bound up in close-minded skepticism and to continue to abide by Simes' "nasty rules of traditional power politics" is to risk alienation from the rest of the world, a very large portion of which, along with the Russians, desperately yearn to improve their standard of living.

The U.S. is at the crossroads of critical decision-making. Grass-roots input from its citizens is vitally needed.

ROBERT L. JORDAN

Los Angeles

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