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Trading With the Soviets

November 13, 1988

You would think we'd have figured it out by now. "The Carrot-and-Stick Approach" (by Ernest Conine, Op-Ed Page, Oct. 27) has never significantly modified Soviet behavior.

Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman tried to influence Stalin with economic leverage after World War II when cold war lines were being drawn. If lend-lease, the Marshall Plan and other loan offers weren't enough to save Poland when Russia was bleeding, what makes politicians think such offers will be persuasive now?

The Soviets will never alter their behavior simply because we want them to, no matter how much they need U.S. capital and technology. Besides, Conine correctly points out, what they cannot get from us, they can always get elsewhere.

JOHN HILDEBURN

San Diego

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