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Seeking Sanity in the Nuclear Age

June 05, 2002

Re "One Misstep Away From Nuclear War," June 2: Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf insists that "any sane individual" cannot contemplate fighting a nuclear war. I agree. What then does this say about his current deployment of nuclear weapons and about India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee doing the same, or about the military policies of Russia, France, Britain, China or the United States? Sanity appears to be in short supply.

Dennis Castanares

Los Angeles


Your headline could have just as easily been printed anytime in the last 50 years. As long as nuclear weapons exist, the world will always be "one misstep away." To a sane person their use is unthinkable, and the only security from a nuclear holocaust is to get rid of all nuclear weapons--and that doesn't mean stockpiling them.

William McCall



Teddy Roosevelt based his foreign policy, at the beginning of the last century, on the concept "speak softly and carry a big stick." With President Bush's administration, as this century begins, identifying numerous "evil" potentially enemy nations and justifying the possible use of nuclear weapons, including tactical and even first-strike scenarios, the admonition is unfortunately changing to "speak loudly and threaten nuclear destruction."

India and Pakistan are approaching that option. For all of us, may more sane thinking prevail.

Bill Hessell

Culver City


Evidently the nations of India and Pakistan, poised on the brink of nuclear war, have not learned from the tragic consequences of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan; my aunt died there. Man is the most dangerous animal on Earth because we are self-destructive, irrational, emotional and unpredictable.

A nuclear war will have global consequences. The potential environmental damage, in addition to untold millions of lives lost, is a lesson we don't need. Nuclear radiation from fallout will threaten the Middle East, which supplies the West with much-needed oil.

Why aren't the environmentalists and peace activists from the West making a beeline for India and Pakistan to protest? Their silence is deafening!

Henry Sakaida

Temple City

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