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'Dropping Out of War System'

September 27, 1988

John Mueller ("Dropping Out of the War System," Op-Ed Page, Sept. 12) is to be commended for reminding us that wars between or among most of the developed nations have not occurred since 1945. Making major wars, he says, could become obsolescent.

All of this seems exciting to contemplate until serious questions begin to gnaw: What about all of the U.S. and Soviet Union surrogate wars fought since 1945?

As long as the major powers continue to support, supply, and incite war activity in other countries such as Afghanistan and Nicaragua, is no direct confrontation really a sign of great progress?

Is killing off other people elsewhere in huge numbers OK just as long as Americans, Russians, French, and all the other participants don't notice any drastic changes in their personal life styles? For example, our government's condemning the Iraqis for using poison gas to destroy the Kurdish people makes one ask: Exactly who manufactures this horror and who ships it to Iraq (and perhaps to other countries willing to pay for it)?

Perhaps pay is the key word. Lots of money is being made by making war. Those governments and industries which do so kill to make money; and, of course, they risk the lives of all as they nurture the threat of a nuclear holocaust in proliferating weapons sales.

MARJORIE BRUNK-FIELD

Manhattan Beach

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