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Two Views on Arms Control

September 30, 1987

I am puzzled by Simes. What does he want? He seems to severely criticize the arms limitation talks because they will still leave vast armaments in place by both sides. He seems to want a full disarmament and social changes or nothing. But steps toward that goal can't be wrong. As the Chinese adage goes: A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

If no start is made, what will cause a growing confidence in the reduction of arms and stop the meaningless and outdated Cold War? Indeed, what becomes of the near future for all humankind if the world's resources continue to be wasted on stockpiles of arms and more arms--arms that will not and cannot be used?

What's wrong with a careful and verifiable beginning to the tortuous climb down from mutual destruction? What's wrong with the turning of our economy towards peaceful production--rebuilding our cities, our roads and bridges, and putting our scientists back into peaceful pursuit of knowledge for humanity?

And then, what's wrong with convincing the Russians to continue to bring more real openness into their society, including the democratic right to leave--and to come back?

JOSEPH SIMON

Malibu

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