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Soviets Leave Afghanistan

May 26, 1988

The comment by the departing Soviet soldier as he was leaving Afghanistan intrigued me.

"What was it all for?" he wanted to know (Part I, May 16). I know that the invasion of a smaller country by a larger one--whether is is Afghanistan or Grenada or Vietnam--is supposed to be very "complex." Sometimes though it seems simple.

Today great powers invade smaller nations with impunity and the reason is simple--to demonstrate that they are great powers.

I know it sounds cynical but all that other stuff about helping the people of Afghanistan or Vietnam or Grenada is just moron to moron--from the ministry of propaganda to the citizen who then scratches his head telling himself, "This Vietnam thing is really complicated but the men at the White House and the Pentagon have all the facts and must know what they are doing."

But they don't and because they don't tens of thousands of formerly living people are dead in places like Vietnam and Afghanistan.

HARVEY PULLIAM-KRAGER

South Pasadena

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