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Survival is only determined by might and not by right

Regarding the letter ["Deny CIA recruiters access to MIT," Oct. 8] signed by Katherine Macgraw G and others seeking to stop the CIA from recruiting at MIT:

Do Macgraw and her colleagues seriously expect the United States to operate without intelligence gathering capacity? In the international arena, survival is determined by might, not right. This is unfortunate, but to deny this is to close one's eyes to reality.

Intelligence gathering is indispensible to our ability to react to world events. We must know what our enemies are up to in order to counteract their moves. It is too late to respond effectively after the arrival of a new weapon is announced, or after a coup is executed, or after a troup buildup has been completed, or after our military and technical secrets are stolen.

The writers of the letter complain that the CIA does not represent respect for democracy and universal human rights. Who stands for human rights, then, the KGB? America stands for democracy and human rights, and the CIA is indispensible to our survival.

The letter complains that CIA operations are not a matter of public information. How can an intelligence agency operate if everyone knows what it is doing? Secrecy is an absolute requirement for such an organization.

Where are all these people when it comes to protesting the actions of the Soviet Union? I don't see any booths in Lobby 10 keeping people informed about the invasion of Afghanistan. The latest Soviet tactics there include dropping brightly colored toys filled with explosives into rebel villages, where children pick them up, leaving them without hands. Many are rightly angered that the oppression of blacks in South Africa, but what about the oppression of the Poles? The Czechs? The Hungarians?

Those who blind themselves to the reality of the world situation represent, as I believe Winston Chruchill names them, a "fifth column" residing among us. Whether due to naivity, ignorance, or actual malevolence to America, these people serve the purposes of the Soviet Union. Their actions weaken America's will and ability to survive.

Everyone agrees that war is terrible. Why don't we throw our weapons into the sea today and declare world peace? Idealism is nice, but you can't be idealistic when you're dead. Ideals rot in the prison of totalitarian society. Let us not delude ourselves as to what keeps us free and safe.

Paul Sherer '87->