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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 - 06:57pm Apr 4, 2001 EST (#1977 of 1980) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

In a world where all the "mechanical" barriers to communication are becoming trivial, some cultural accomodations are going to have to be made - for prosperity and for peace. They wouldn't require Russians to be any "less Russian" or moslems to be any "less moslem" -- but they need to be made. The changes needed don't look difficult to me.

Transparency, the ability to communicate correct information to each other, and to people of other cultures with whom they want to trade, is essential.

Russia made astonishing technical and material progress, overall, under communist regimes -- but did so, in large measure, on the basis of deeply coercive techniques. She doesn't, as a culture, know how to do business effectively as a more free nation. It seems to me that the Putin team is conscious of this, and working hard teaching Russia what it needs to know, insofar as the Putin team itself knows what is to be done. It is to the advantage of the whole world to help with this learning process - for economic reasons and to make peace possible.

The United States developed a set of militarily agressive policies, designed so that, over the long term, the Soviet system in Russian, with its particular limitations and anxieties, would collapse. Unfortunately, that policy, over time, degenerated into a set of reflexes, rationalizations, and corruptions -- and when the time came to turn the program off, as the people who crafted it under Truman and Eisenhower would have known to do, it was not turned off.

The damage has been immense, and the risks the world faces now because of this American failure are grave.

If Russia can play her part in fixing this situation, she will have done herself and the whole world a great favor, and will, in the process, learn much of what she needs, and gain the status she needs, to gain her proper place as an important, glorious, free, peaceful nation.

rshowalter - 06:58pm Apr 4, 2001 EST (#1978 of 1980) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Russia needs to LEAD public opinion here, and establish facts. Doing so, she can lead and strengthen her relation with China, which has been hostile too long. She needs to show the entire third world how they can, separately and together, avoid avoidable disadvantages in trade and negotiation with the US and other nations.

Russia, doing so, could save the world. She's now blessed with a situation where she has a leader both more responsible, and more honest, than the leader of America. The nations that have been following the US's lead on matters of military and cultural policy will hesitate to do so with Bush leading America incompently, dishonestly, and recklessly. This is a great chance for Russia to serve herself, and the whole world, honorably, and as a free nation setting a good example to others.

She'll be prouder, richer, and more respected for doing so.

lunarchick - 07:20pm Apr 4, 2001 EST (#1979 of 1980)

I hear that Ted Turner will be in Moscow soon to talk with the 'gas-board' about MTV.

Interestingly, a leader who knows how to court the public and the media can steer the ship - we have such a guy leading my State - and this is how the Russian leader ought to be thinking.

The advantage of a 'free' media is that it can 'know the rules', transmit the 'how to' rules to the people ... who in return can respond looking for a proper and decent way of existing and wanting standards. That media is then in a position to invite the leader into the studio to discuss with the people their findings and shortcomings of the system (thinking here of mobsters in office who inflict endemic corruption), and the wrong doers can be ousted with both the blessings of the people and the leader guy has a mandate from the people to investigate and to fix.

The media can also push home achievements and report back as a country moves towards targets and goals.

A free press is a tool for both citizens and leadership. Additionally it can offer models from elsewhere regarding the ways and manner and approaches to finding solutions to public needs.

Solutions can either grow from the current system, or, people can comparatively look around the world, review models and from them develop a hybrid that they are happy to implement. All models will need to be refreshed as circumstances and relative wealth of a nation improves.


I note that Bill CLINTON is in India working for the peoples who suffered extensively in the recent massive earthquake ... and had a popular hero's reception. Bill, as a Statesman, might well be invited to countries with development needs and be able to offer them the advantage of his 'think-tank' experiences of Presidency.

Actually if he spent 7 out of 8 days out of America he'd be doing the world a favor .. for whereas the American home crowd find every occasion to belittle him - he does have considerable world standing - which he earned.

rshowalter - 07:37pm Apr 4, 2001 EST (#1980 of 1980) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Re usages of a free press: this lady knows.

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