If The Post gives front-page prominence to Rebecca Johnson's criticisms of the U.S. Senate decision on the test-ban treaty, it ought to describe her more fully [Oct. 14].

In the 1980s Ms. Johnson was prominent among the Greenham Common Women, a group that campaigned in Britain for the rejection of President Ronald Reagan's proposed "zero option," or elimination, and tried to stop NATO's deployment of cruise missiles to counter the Soviet SS-20 threat. Later she was vice chairman of the British campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Fortunately, one-sided disarmers such as Ms. Johnson were defeated by 1985; and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) deal, getting rid of Soviet as well as NATO intermediate-range missiles, was agreed to in 1987 -- largely on the basis of the original Reagan offer.

If the Greenham Women had had their way, NATO would have been undermined, the Soviet hardliners would have been strengthened and the INF deal would have been impossible. Americans need no lessons from Ms. Johnson on the best way to limit the nuclear danger.


Member of Parliament

Cadnam, Hampshire

United Kingdom

In his Oct. 15 op-ed column, Jim Hoagland wrote of the Senate rejection of the test-ban treaty that "a handful of Republican extremists . . . bear[s] primary responsibility for a hideous legislative veto." But the real culprits were the so-called moderates.

No one expects extremists to change their minds; it is how the moderate majority acts that counts. In this case, moderates failed to stand up to the destructive bullying of the Senate extremists.

Democracy will not work properly until moderates put aside partisan interests and stand up for the public interest -- and until the public holds them accountable.