Speakers Urge 'Understanding'

Five speakers agreed that Americans must understand "the 'Soviet threat" and suggested pressuring the U.S. government to halt nuclear arms development and to engage in disarmament talks with Russia in a forum last night.

"There is a lot of mythology in the Soviet threat that must be clarified," Russell Johnson, a member of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) told the audience.

Mark solomon, professor of history at Simmons College and coordinator of the U.S. Peace Conference, said the perceived Soviet threat has less to do with Russia's international behavior than with the American attitude towards Russia that the U.S. government's internal policy has generated.

An example of these internal policies can be seen in the Middle East, Joe Gerson, executive director of the New England AFS, said, adding that the Reagan Administration has "put the conflict into the context of a U.S.-Soviet battle, which just distracts attention from what is most important, the oil."

The speakers emphasized that when the Americans understand that Russia desires world peace and an end to the arms race as much as the U.S., they will force the U.S. government to start disarmament conferences with Russia.

The forum, attended by an audience of 20 in the Science Center, concluded the Radcliffe-Harvard Peace Alliance's "Peace Week."