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Viewing the Cold War

June 13, 1988

How different were the two points of view expressed in columns appearing in Opinion June 5: "A Small Step to a World of Reason" by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and, "It's Premature to Bury the Cold War" by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Yevtushenko: "The first agreement signed by the two biggest superpowers to reduce nuclear weapons rises above mere ideology. This agreement is only a small step, but it was a beginning."

Brzezinski: "The clash of philosophy and geopolitics has not been terminated. The Cold War is not over and the empire is still evil."

Brzezinski implies that all the military threat is on the Soviet side. He talks of waiting for truly significant cuts to be made in Soviet military spending before weapons-reducing agreements are made. He fails to mention the tremendous U.S. buildup in nuclear weaponry that must be threatening to the Soviets. The U.S. military budget went from $129 billion in 1979 to $302 billion in 1988.

Yevtushenko appeals to sanity, to reason, to the human qualities that we share. Brzezinski harps on the old fears and mistrusts that characterized his belligerent hard line toward the Soviets when he was President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser.

The time has indeed come for the world to set aside the nuclear insanity and turn toward reason. Before he died, Albert Einstein implored: "Appeal to human beings as human beings, remember their humanity and forget the rest." Our TV screens during President Reagan's Moscow visit should have convinced us that the Soviet people are, after all, as human as we are.


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