I read your (May 2) Postscript: "America's Young Hearts and Minds Search for Peace a World Away." I hope that the teen-agers who went to the Soviet Union, under the pretext of promoting world peace, take this whole thing with a grain of salt. These so-called youth exchanges in the interest of peace can be very dangerous because they do not deal with reality.
Some of the kids truly think that their Soviet counterparts are just kids randomly selected for the purpose of meeting and interacting with foreigners. In reality, young people who participate in televised events and events dealing with peace-type activities that are heavily publicized are carefully selected and screened to meet the image the Soviets are trying to promote at the moment.
This is by no means a cross-section of the general young population. These are young and dedicated people, mostly the former or current Young Pioneers who truly believe in the Soviet system. The peace they seek is at the expense of Western ideals.
How do I know this? I was raised in the Soviet Union and, believe me, I know how the system works. I'm just out of my teens so I know how vulnerable people that age can be.