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Showing posts from December, 2016

There were times when the US and Russia were not totally paranoid

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President Gorbachev's Last Phone Call
By SVETLANA SAVRANSKAYA and THOMAS BLANTON
Calm and intelligent leadership may not always be appreciated (Obama, Gorbachev) but it is necessary to keep the world in check when erratic leaders take over in Russia or America (Yeltsin, Trump). On this Christmas Eve as an unabashed Christian, I pray for the soon-to-be President of the US and for the President of the Russian Republic. There is no room here to turn stupid rhetoric into ill-advised action.

Absolute must reading from the New York Times.

Civil Wars are hideous and all moral judgments about Syria are on shaky ground

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Take U.S. history. In the American Civil War about 700,000 men in uniform and 50,000 civilians were killed on both sides. The destruction off Atlanta by Northern troops reminds one of the destruction of Aleppo without the slaughter of civilians. Assad has been brutal but the various opposition forces (among them ISIS) also committed crimes. It is difficult to make absolute moral judgments. As a footnote US population right before the Civil War was 31.5 million. Syrian population before the present conflict was 22 million - comparable figures.

A revered American president ordered the destruction of Southern cities. Thousands died. He had his reasons, but there was no United Nations to condemn his actions.
In the South the government was begging France and Britain to intervene on the Confederate side. It came to nothing except for some economic support and the construction of some naval assets. If a modern-day Turkey had intervened on the side of the South in this conflict or if France …