Gorbachev & Co.

By focusing on Mikhail Gorbachev's alleged authority as a ``strategist,'' Paul Quinn-Judge overlooks the type of advice that Gorbachev is apparently receiving from the Yakovlevs, Dobrynins, Gromykos, and Chernyayevs [``Gorbachev's counselors,'' Oct. 27]. This advice appears to reflect a blend of psychological warfare/propaganda tactics combined with a rich experience in Amerikanologiya, or American expertise. It is fallacious, in some analysts' view, to regard latter-day general secretaries as though they had the status of General Secretary Stalin. They are, in a sense, ``prisoners in the Kremlin'' because of the way they carry out the consensus decisions arrived at by a Politburo kitchen cabinet - whose average age exceeds Gorbachev's. Albert L. Weeks New York

Ever since the ABM In the column ``Breaking out of the ABM stalemate, '' Oct. 23, James P. Rubin asserts, ``The ABM Treaty is almost universally regarded as the foundation of arms control.'' If true, then the ABM foundation supports an enormous burden of arms control failure.

The 1972 ABM regime intended to provide the incentive to arrest the need to build strategic armaments and actually reduce strategic inventories. The 1979 SALT II Treaty formalized the failure of the ABM's original mission. SALT II simply codified the significant increase of superpower strategic weapons from 1972. If progress is defined by the ABM Treaty's effectiveness as an obstacle to the strategic nuclear arms spiral, then the world cannot afford much more progress.

It has taken a severe challenge to the ABM Treaty, in the form of SDI, to seriously advance the cause of nuclear disarmament that the treaty could not previously inspire. David R. Ormsby President Foreign Policy Foundation Chicago

Adman Wagner A recent review of PBS's ``Wagner'' made me feel almost ashamed of my upbringing in Germany [``Opulent TV drama traces Wagner's career and personal life,'' Oct. 23]. Richard Wagner helped make anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism respectable in Germany's intellectual circles - more than Hitler and his minions, who simply exploited what Wagner had sowed.

You can't list Wagner as a ``German'' composer in the same breath with Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, who was his contemporary and did not like him or his music, either. Wagner was just a clever advertising man, the effect of which still endures. Juergen Tonndorf Bronx, N.Y.

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