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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 - 03:16pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1085 of 1088) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

We also can't imagine (I don't pretend that this is logical, but at the level of our emotions it is real) that you feel we are threatening you with first strikes with nuclear weapons. This essential fact about Russia is not understood by most Americans, and is not even understood by most Americans in our military forces. I believe that, for peace, we Americans need to understand that for basic, unchangeable reasons, Russia does fear first strike threats from us.

If Americans, as people, understood these things (and I grant you in a more perfect world, these would be easy things to show) the other barriers to nuclear safety and a balanced peace would be relatively easy and certain to be surmounted.

These things, in my view, are the most BASIC things that Americans need to understand, in order for us to step back from nuclear peril, and from unnecessary wars.

Now, let me talk about your 1083, and only then of hope, of a legacy. I'll be discussing hope that I can only imagine easily if Americans do come to understand these basic things.

rshowalter - 03:31pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1086 of 1088) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

It is worth remembering that animals, including especially human animals, are opportunistic, and that misunderstanding can produce niches where groups of people can make a lot of money without anybody knowing. And then, these people will have both motive and power to see that the misunderstanding continues. I'm afraid that this may have happened.

But the conspiracy part may have other explanations.

The misunderstanding part is real beyond question.

almarst-2001 - 03:46pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1087 of 1088)


You may have missed what I mentioned before, I am not Russian. While being born there and educated there, I spent more then half of my life in Israel and US. I am not sure what average Russian thinks today about US. But back then, in 60s and 70s, there was almost unquestionable admiration, despite the intense negative propaganda (some of what I can now see as very justified).

We grew up used to question the Soviet media and always tried to read between the lines. My expectations of Western media, particularelly the US, was very different. The more was I disappointed. Sorry for using the dreadful words to describe my extream disappointment.

Regardless, it is my deep belief, the West, the US, and the Russia lost a great opportunity in the last 10 years. If it was an intent to bring the Cold War back, the NATO actions make perfect sence.

Instead of practically unhided policy to marginalize, insult and diminish Russia (why no one remembers history lessons of Germany after WWI?), the West should have concentrate on integrating the Russia. Particularely, to buy and use its excelent aviation, missiles and military technology, instead of requiring the new NATO members to discard it and use US arms. When Europe needed the heavy military transport plane, it could cooperate with Russia which have very good machines in service. That could give Russia a much needed confidence as well as cash. Same applies to all other aspects of technology and scines, Russia traditionally exelled thanks to great educational system.

Even if motives where good, the consequences could hardly be worst. It is just a miracle, Russia did not embrace the ultra-nazionalism and militarism. Despite all the actions of NATO and US.

rshowalter - 04:08pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1088 of 1088) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I wrote this before reading almarst-2001 3/16/01 3:46pm . Now I have two very important, hard to face posts to repond to. Posts which raise essential issues.

While I work on my responses, which I find challenging, can I recall a story of two peasants? Their conversation and argument went far afield. And then one asked that they remember that they were talking about "one loaf of bread." Something finite, relatively small, not gradiloquently vast. Something that could be accomplished, and that would have value.

Let me cite again rshowalter 3/15/01 7:52pm and passages before it.

Then I'll go back to responding to your very well taken but, for an American, hard to face points.

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