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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?
(7857 previous messages)
- 12:29pm Aug 13, 2001 EST (#7858
Lead Editorial, NYT, August 13, 2001
The Senate and the World http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/13/opinion/13MON1.html
" Americans concerned about the direction of President Bush's
foreign policy are looking to the Senate for relief. Last week, the
Democratic majority leader, Tom Daschle, outlined an alternative,
more internationally minded view of America's role in the
21st-century world. If Mr. Daschle and his colleagues in the
Democratic majority have the gumption to follow the example of J.
William Fulbright, the Arkansas senator who used the Foreign
Relations Committee as a battering ram against the Vietnam War, they
can make White House policy more accountable to public opinion and
more in line with America's broader national interests.
"No foreign war now inflames domestic politics. But the Bush
administration's haste to erect a missile shield before the
technology is perfected, its shortsighted hostility to important
international treaties and its scorn for the environment threaten to
undermine American influence and damage relations with Russia, China
and European allies.
"The modern presidency has come to dominate American foreign
policy by taking maximum advantage of the constitutional authority
vested in the office, especially that of commander in chief. In a
dangerous and complex world, the management of American diplomacy
and military forces should rest primarily with the president.
"But the founders wisely provided for close Senate involvement
in foreign affairs, through the Congressional power to declare war
and review financial requests, and the Senate's mandate to ratify
treaties and confirm ambassadorial and other appointments. Through a
deft use of these and other prerogatives, Mr. Daschle and committee
chairmen like Joseph Biden at Foreign Relations and Carl Levin at
Armed Services can help steer the government toward more enlightened
"The Democrats, with the help of Republican moderates, need to
lay out the clear philosophical differences that distinguish them
from the administration. Mr. Daschle's speech pointed the way,
emphasizing the importance of working closely with allies, helping
Russia and China build market democracies and leading efforts to
fight infectious diseases, fend off environmental threats and reduce
dangers from nuclear and biological weapons.
- 12:30pm Aug 13, 2001 EST (#7859
"Senators should use public hearings to challenge
administration policies, propose alternatives and present them to
the country for debate. To that end, Mr. Daschle is working to
coordinate the efforts of Mr. Biden, Mr. Levin and chairmen like Bob
Graham at the Intelligence Committee and Patrick Leahy at the
Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. He
needs to hold the Democrats to a clear set of priorities. Senators
will not play a constructive role if they intervene in day-to-day
diplomatic issues that must be left to the president and the
secretary of state.
"Arms control is particularly urgent, with the White House
prepared to cast aside the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty without
adequate public debate or consultation with Russia. The
administration's discussions with Moscow may eventually yield an
agreement to modify or set aside the treaty. The Senate can
encourage that outcome by denying the Pentagon money for activities
that clearly violate the ABM Treaty while approving a robust program
of research and flight tests.
"Under Senator Biden's direction, the Foreign Relations
Committee should hold extensive public hearings on the foreign
policy implications of rushing to build an antimissile system,
including the risk of igniting a new arms race with Russia and
China. At Armed Services, Senator Levin should direct an exacting
examination of Pentagon weapons and strategy plans and budget
"At Appropriations, Senator Leahy will have increased power to
press for the vital causes he has championed over the years, like
increasing spending to combat H.I.V. and AIDS in Africa, attaching
strong human rights conditions to American military cooperation with
Colombia and Indonesia, and lifting the gag rule the White House has
imposed on recipients of American family planning aid that use their
own money to advocate abortion.
"House Democrats also plan to challenge administration
policies and to try to build bipartisan coalitions to block the
abandonment of the ABM Treaty. But the main arena for foreign policy
debate will be the Senate, as the new Democratic leadership seeks to
reclaim that institution's historic role in helping to guide
It seems to me that the TIMES is right, and that
we are dealing with an evolving process where right answers
that are widely understood are in the public interest of the
United States, and the entire world.
- 01:45pm Aug 13, 2001 EST (#7860
Right you are, and nothing is done in isolation in today's world.
If the US stops following Bush's theocracy, behaving like a loose
cannon, and instead works within the framework of existing treaty,
the dollar would fall to a more rational level, business would be
able to "translate profits", and sell US goods abraod. In short US
corporations would once more be able to compete and be profitable,
and thus to increase capital spending, and we might start moving out
of this economic downturn.
If the Democrats accomplish this reversal of the Bush
Administration's destructive policies and yet let Bush take yet
another photo-op credit, it will be the greatest tragedy, as the
most important thing is to oust this theocracy and not let it gain
I see nothing in the TV news media, but Bush Photo Ops.
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