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What should Western policy be? In conversations with TIME correspondents, East European liberal intellectuals unanimously urged Washington not to overreact to the Communists' new ideological offensive, for that might only serve to prolong it. At the same time, they argued that the West should use every bit of its considerable bargaining power in Helsinki to force a genuine liberalization along Europe's old cold war frontiers. "Why don't Brandt and Nixon take a little more time when they play poker with Brezhnev?" a young East-bloc scientist asked Talbott. "Why don't they do a bit more bluffing, raise the stakes, play their stronger cards? After all, remember: We [the East] need more from you than you need from us." The West may indeed have to gamble if Richard Nixon's era of negotiations is to add up in the end to something more than increased trade and an armed truce. But the West could also overplay its cards, endangering the larger stakes in the changing East-West relationship.