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Czechoslovakia's Vaclav Havel

March 04, 1990

Havel told Congress that the best way the U.S. can help Eastern Europe is to help the Soviet Union on its "immensely complicated road to democracy."

But at the same time, Jeffrey Garten (Op-Ed Page, Feb. 20) claimed that "our national mood could become defensive, protectionist, even xenophobic" and that "the pace of change may have outstripped the ability of our leaders to deal with it." If this is true, then we could lose the chance of the century to heal the wounds of a 45-year-old Cold War! Suddenly the Soviets and East Europeans admit that communism is a miserable failure, and what do we do? We sit on our hands when we should be busy encouraging every conceivable kind of interaction: tourism, business, religious, cultural, scientific, medical, sister city, etc.

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand . . . " (Romans 13:12). It's time to wake up, America!

MARK C. BIEDEBACH

Seal Beach

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