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Chemical Arms and Survival

October 17, 1988

Your excellent and exhaustive article "Chemical Arms: Old and Deadly Scourge Returns" (Part I, Oct. 9) sets forth another threat to the survival of mankind, and describes the possible futility of a worldwide treaty banning the manufacture and use of chemical weapons. Thus, in addition to nuclear and biological, we must contend with a third weapon capable of mass destruction.

To bring an end to the kind of thinking that diverts the genius of man to the creation of the means for his annihilation, we might heed the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "If we assume that life is worth living and that man has a right to survival, then we must find an alternative to war."

The alternative is a world beyond war, a world which rejects war as a means of resolving inevitable conflicts. We must adopt a new way of thinking, the kind of thinking which recognizes that the world is, indeed, a single interconnected, interdependent and fragile life-support system shared by all people. We must break through the age-old mind-set that war leads to survival. Only after we reject war as an option can we discover how to build a world beyond war.

BENNETT L. NEWMAN

Pacific Palisades

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