New York Times on the Web Forums Science
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?
(1438 previous messages)
- 01:33pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1439
" I think if Russians actually understood how the
paradigm shift in boundary layer theory between 1956 and 1975
actually happened (in all its ugly, culture-bound details) they'd
know most of the things they'd need to deal with other impasses
they have to deal with.
"I'm involved with another impasse, on an academic
subject, with a first rate University that is dealing, within
American usages, with tact, sophistication and much good will.
Even so, you'd have much to learn if you actually studied, at the
level of personal interaction and administrative function, how
things are being done. And how AFRAID the players are. And how the
"defenses" in the system work. Every kind of impasse you're ever
likely to see between American and Russians would be there to see,
if people looked. My reasonably educated guess is that if Russians
asked for a chance to see this administrative interaction, for the
purpose of learning about negotiating usages and difficulties, the
details might well be revealed.
"And the academics involved would be likely to
work very hard, to show how things really work -- because
sentiments for peace, and especially for nuclear safety, are very
widely held, and passionately felt, just below the surface of
peoples' emotional lives.
This is another logically incremental approach. An approach to a
larger objective: getting some FACTS about the Cold War nailed
down ---- because once they are established, the justification for
continuing the horror loses legitimacy - and this could be widely
- 01:40pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1440
" We are different since each of us hold the
genetic memory of past generations, each one of them. And that is
good. . . . . . . But it MUST be recognised that some aspects wich
may be advantagious in particular environment can be useless in
others. We all can adapt . . . .
" Some of the most striking differences I
noticed between Americans and Russians relates to Competitiveness
vs. Cooperation, tolerance to Inequality and Achievement vs.
Sacrifice. In more general terms it is Practicizm vs. Misticizm
and Fatalizm. Interestingly, many Americans know and read
Dostoyevsky who, in my view, clearly opens up those aspects of
Russian nature. I wonder how many of them really understand
" We may not like each other and always will
have a personal prefferences and differences which, as I mentioned
above, is essential and positive thing.
" But what we absolutly have to have is respect
. . .
Learning this respect, learning how we may interact effectively
(increasing a ) must happen incrementally, a step at a time,
as well as through acts of high leadership.
- 02:01pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1441
3/12/01 2:17pm #956
It seems that nobody has anwers to our most basic questions about
nuclear weapons, then the world needs them.
Answers can be FORCED -- and this is especially true with the new
Particularly in a case like this, where the stakes are such that
right answers are morally forcing.
And from answers, actions should flow.
I have two things in mind.
. Establishing FACTS beyond reasonable doubt -
and explaining these facts very broadly.
. Crafting a fully workable, fully complete,
fully explained "draft treaty proposal" for nuclear disarmament
and a more militarily stable world. Such drafting would, at the
least, make for stunningly good journalism -- that could be widely
syndicated among papers. Useful as that would be, I think the
drafting would serve a much more useful purpose. That purpose
would be actually getting the points that need to be worked out
for nuclear disarmament set out coherently - - to a level where
closure actually occurs. That would involve a great deal of staff
work done coherently, quickly, and in coordinated fashion.
I wonder how much might be done IN PUBLIC --- say if some Moscow
Times staff, and people from a couple of US papers, some Guardian
staff, and people from some interested governments, started an
OPEN dialog together.
With all the government involvement possible, from all the
nations concerned, and with "shadow" governments set up when the
government in power did not participate.
. For instance, a "shadow US government" for
this purpose might have an ex President, an ex Secretary of State,
ex head of the CIA, and several former chairmen of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, in addition to other distinguished people.
rhowalter 3/1/01 4:27pm
If this involved "secret talks" it would be unworkable. But if
everything was open, it would be workable.
3/12/01 2:36pm A central point is to see how much staff work
this would take -- and take in a short time, so that closure
could actually occur.
New York Times on the Web Forums Science