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Re: USA's politics and ideologies suck! (was: Re:finally!)

On Sep 12, 2001 MikeG <mikeg@mikeg.net> wrote
   in <tq04giqlf8rs7e@corp.supernews.com>:

> Well, if you're going to get all legalistic about it, we could point out
> that the Russian party to that treaty no longer exists.

Russia as the successor state is bound by treaties of the USSR.

This is routine when you have a massive change in constitution.  For
example, my marriage certificate is from the People's Republic of Hungary,
but when that country ceased to exist and was replaced with the Hungarian
Republic all such obligations remain, as do state assests, depts, etc.

> Anyway, after Mr Bush had a nice chat with Mr Putin about it, a deal
> was done.

A bad vague deal which appears to have been open to various
interpertations by the different parties at different times.

> Of course, Bush might have got more out of Putin had the Euro cowards
> have played along

Indeed, it is Europe that has the most to gain from a US missle defense
system.  (Yes, really.  But it is a long and complicated story.)

But despite all this I oppose the proposals for the missle defense system.
First I consider the ABM treaty extremely relevant.  What is important is
for Russia to be assured that the US will not seek nor gain "first strike
capability".  It would be possible (to the extent that an effective missle
defense system is possible) to build one that doesn't move the US toward
first strike capability.  It is important for Bush to repeatedly,
emphatically and unambigously state that there is no intention to move
toward first stike capability.  He has not done that.  Second, it is just
not a good use of money.

Considering that a possible action to unseat the Taliban will require
substantial Russian cooperation, Bush may have to abandon the missle
defense system altoghether.

> [...] Don't believe everything you read in the paper about Bush not
> being bright. When you consider him along with his team, you'll find
> you've got one of the stronget cabinets for quite some time.

Bush isn't all that bright[1].  But you are right that he has an
absolutely outstanding team.  Particularly Rice as national security
advisor.  While I don't always take the same position as the Bush foreign
policy team, I can't criticize them on intellectual capacity score.  As
someone who voted against Bush, I was pleased and relieved when I saw the
top foreign policy appointments.

Look, we already know what is going to happen.  Among all the things that
Bush had to say, the crucial information in his Tuesday speech was "we
will not distinguish between the terrorists and those who harbor the
terrorists".  That was the one bit of information in that speech.  And
that says that should this turn out to be bin Laden, then the Taliban will
be attacked.

The only question is the nature of that attack.  My view is that it is
counter-productive to attack them, but leave them in place.[2] But I have
to confess that I simply don't see many options for actually removing them
either.  Particularly without enthusiastic Russian support.  And here is
where we will pay for Bush's infatuation with missle defense schemes.



  [1] What was the joke that diplomats told about former foreign minister,
      "Madelain `Not At' Albright"?  (Actually, I liked her too).

  [2] Assuming that Bush Senior is informally part of the foreign policy
      team, I think that the President will be hearing exactly the
      right advice on that, too.

Jeffrey Goldberg
 I have recently moved, see http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/contact.html
 Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice
 From line IS valid, but use reply-to.