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Defanging Hussein

January 09, 1991

In response to Alvin and Heidi Toffler's "Defang the Future Saddam Husseins" (Commentary, Dec. 29):

The Tofflers argue that Saddam Hussein must be "defanged" and "denuclearized." This is so because "he is a test-case for how the world will--or will not--deal with proliferation nuclear, chemical and biological in the post-Cold War era."

But just how is "denuclearizing" Hussein casually related to preventing what they term "break-away Soviet republics" from using nuclear weapons in the future? And just why will "defanging" him have the effect of stopping future civil wars in nuclear nations? The Tofflers never say. These are matters to be taken on faith.

Assuming that the estimates of 100,000 human deaths in a Mideast war are correct, the Tofflers apparently see certain mass death today as preferable to a possible mass death toll of tomorrow. Why else would they call for war? In other words, they would, no doubt regretfully, accept the deaths of thousands now as part of the price for a possible higher good, that of stopping the proliferation of weapons in the future.

Since we are offered neither logic nor evidence that such a higher good can be achieved, we have been presented with an argument that is both shallow and immoral.

KEITH F. SHIREY

Pasadena

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