It was interesting reading Vladimir Petrovsky's article (Editorial Pages, May 29) calling for a Middle East conference for the purpose of resolving conflict in that troubled region. However, before accepting the deputy foreign minister of the Soviet Union's call for "peace," let us stop to examine such claims in light of past Soviet actions.
If, as he says, the Soviet Union believes that, "Israel . . . like any other state has the right to peace and a safe existence . . .," why not dispense these same blessings on the peoples of occupied Eastern Europe and Afghanistan?
He asks, "Why not also try to ensure the safety of air routes over the Indian Ocean, to agree on ways to combat terrorism in the air and sea lanes?" Might I suggest that the Soviet state, for whom Petrovsky formulates policy, first make the air space over its territory safe by strictly avoiding the shooting down of unarmed civilian aircraft--such as Korean flight KAL 007.
Petrovsky cynically calls for the United Nations Security Council to supervise such talks. If peace is the intended goal, why should this meeting include the Palestine Liberation Organization? Has the PLO ever, in its long history of bloodletting, displayed intentions toward Israel other than that of violence and total destruction? Is it any wonder that the Soviet Union should desire a United Nations settlement, as this organization would be (as it has in the past) unable to guarantee strict compliance if an agreement were reached. It is one of history's cruelest ironies that the world places so much currency in U.N. "peacekeeping" abilities.
Petrovsky's call for a negotiated settlement of the Iran-Iraq war rings hollow, considering it was launched by Iraq, a Soviet proxy.
It is understandable why, at the end of his commentary, Petrovsky takes comfort in past U.S. foreign policy decisions. By praising what he sees as, "qualities . . . " that " . . . have always been stressed by outstanding U.S. politicians and thinkers at other crucial moments," he means U.S. impotence in preventing the enslavement of: Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iran, and now Nicaragua.