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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 05:11pm Mar 15, 2001 EST (#1046 of 1049) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

If you look at this Missile Defense thread, you can tell that the NYT has had a passing, subordinatae, tentative, interest in me since rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am , and lunarchick and I have been corresponding for longer than that. Now, lunarchick and I had discussed what would have to happen to move nuclear disarmament along, and the idea came up that a special section in the Sunday New York TIMES, if such a thing were possible, might do great good, and might also be really great journalism. It was just an idea - nothing anyone had committed to. Well, I contacted the Global Security Institute, and was referred one of their people -- who did, I believe, a certain amount of work. He was apalled that I was doing something so low status as talking on a forum board, and that was made clear. There were some other problems -- perhaps the main one the idea that I had no credibility. Another problem was that Alan Cranston, the head of GSI, was failing - he's now dead. But I had no doubt that Tyler Stevenson, and his bosses, would be glad indeed to get involved with the project, if they thought it had any material chance of being real. After some backing and forthing - I got this -- and if I could have responded, at the time, I believe, on the basis of what I heard over the phone, that the project would have had major support from GSI .

Here is the letter:

rshowalter - 05:12pm Mar 15, 2001 EST (#1047 of 1049) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

1 November 2000

Mr. Bob Showalter 7205B Old Sauk Rd. Madison Wi. 53717

Dear Mr. Showalter:

I am in receipt of the materials you sent regarding a proposal for a special in The New York Times Sunday magazine.

For the Global Security Institute to proceed with such a proposal it would need to originate from the Times. If the Times is indeed interested in creating a special section on disarmament, their representatives should contact us directly at our office.

Without this I am sorry to say that there is no possibility for GSI participation in what you propose. Thank you for your concern and time.


Tyler Stevenson Project Director

  • *****

    I simply didn't have enough credibility for them to go forward - or even enough credibility for them to be particularly polite. - And the fact is, lunarchick , for reasons I understand well now, didn't feel she could raise the matter at that time in November. though she was working her heart out trying to advance the project, in her world as it was. .

    rshowalter - 05:14pm Mar 15, 2001 EST (#1048 of 1049) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    Now, if somebody who DID have status made a phone call, these people would probably work hard, and have something to contribute. (For a hypolthetical example, Putin could call Gorbechev, who might call Goodall, and something might be worked out.) And if GSS didn't get interested, other organizations would.

    In stages, according to a sort of "logical incrementalism" -- and the same could be said, I believe for news organizations -- including Ted Turner's CNN. Turner just pledged $250 million dollars of his personal money to nuclear control efforts, and he'd do what he could, if he had any hope that a workable relation could be put together. The NYT would at least look at such a proposal, and so would the Guardian, and so would some other distinguished newspapers in the US and other places.

    With the internet, the proposal of #956 rshowalter 3/12/01 2:17pm would be entirely practical. Something better might be practical as well.

    With the internet, we are in a new world.

    rshowalter - 05:17pm Mar 15, 2001 EST (#1049 of 1049) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    # 374, Signatories of the Global Security Institute appeal as of October 2, 2000 seem well worth listing, because I find the list hopeful: rshowalt 10/4/00 5:08am

    This list could be much augmented -- there are enough people who want peace, and nuclear disarmament, for superb journalism and, I believe, concrete progress.

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