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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 - 08:41am Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1907 of 1927) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Some decry the backwardness of newspapers other than the NYT. I believe they do so with reason.

But some of the difficulties may be of the NYT's own making.

Often, though not always, the most important truths are nonpolitical, but have, together, the effect of constraining political deception. Sometimes NYT stories are not followed because other journalists (not just editors) don't like the TIMES, and other stories are not followed up by other papers because the reporters on those papers simply never read them. Not all journalism academics love the TIMES, either.

If TIMES beat reporters notified their opposite numbers by e-mail when they posted stories, and asked for the same courtesy, the coordination of the press in the USA might be materially increased. And the NYT would stand alone and isolated on stories less often. Such communications would also tend to increase the chance that the TIMES would catch good journalistic initiatives in other papers. There are plenty of them.

Among journalists, the TIMES, and TIMES reporters, both have reputations for haughtiness that produce real resentments, some justified, some not. As a consequence, articles in the TIMES are often not only not followed, but not even read, by the reporters on other papers who might be expected to know of them. (No one can read the whole NYT corpus -- it is simply too big for that -- though because of the complexity of the world, the word count is fully justified.) These patterns of isolation and mutual hostility do the paper no good, nor do they serve the nation.

I believe that some easy changes here would somewhat reduce the "isolation" of the rest of the press from the "truth" as the NYT sees it. In addition, the "truth" the NYT sees might, from time to time, be augmented and refocused by contact with other minds.

almarst-2001 - 11:07am Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1908 of 1927)

NYT: -

"The Bush administration should make the case to Moscow that NATO enlargement to the Baltic states would advance Russia's own interests as well as ours. Russia wants stability along its Western borders, neighbors who treat their Russian minorities with respect and prosperous trading partners. NATO enlargement promotes such developments. Aspirants know that strong democratic structures, respect for minority rights and free markets are necessary for inclusion in the club; just as important, they are necessary to remain members in good standing."

Let's revive the history just a bit. after the fall of a Berlin's Wall, the West explicitely promised that there will be no NATO expansion. Than, in exchange to financial help to Russia in general and Eltzin's "family" in particular they convinced then already corrupted Kremlin to allow the conditional NATO expansion. The Russians where too occupied with their internal troubles to notice or pay attention. The West was still seen as a "friend". Russia cooperated with NATO in peacekeeping missions, hold joined exercises end even rolled the idea of Russian inclusion into NATO. The NATO was still percieved as a strictly defensive (by its charter) organisation, rather symbolic militarely after the desintegration of USSR, and as a potential customer for Russian industry. The main idea was to facilitate the Russian integration into the Europe and the rest of developed World using all roads available. And if some Russian olligarhs could get rich on the way (the "family" in particular) - the better.

Untill 1999. The bombing of Yugoslavia dramatically changed the situation. Not only the NATO commited the military aggression against its own charter, it did so without UN Security Council Resolution and International Law, in openly arrogant disregard to Russia's and China's objections. The 78 days and nights of methodical devastation of civilian infrastructure of the non-aggresive European country, the first since WWII, caused such a dramatic effect within Russia that resulted even in fall of the Eltzin and the "family".

The thousend words can't change the single action.

Today, even the NATO existance, not expansion, can't be justified in the eyes of Russian public.

It also became clear that NATO's collegiality is a fiction due to its total dependence on US intelligence, command and control. The NATO is viewed today as an extention of the Pentagon.

If the West really would see the NATO as an effective tool to promote stability and prosperity of the member-nations, there would be a very strong incentive to include the Russia. The arguments about not-readiness and insufficient democratisation of Russia to become a NATO member just don't hold water after the invitation of other ex-Soviet republics including Gorgia which have a far less democratic and modern societies.

Today there can be no explanation for NATO's expansion other then an attempt to isolate and threaten the Russia.

almarst-2001 - 11:27am Apr 2, 2001 EST (#1909 of 1927)

NYT: -

" ... respect for minority rights ... are necessary for inclusion in the club ... "

I can't help but the Turkey comes to my mind as an example.

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