Questions We Must Ask
On October 17, the New York Times devoted much space to President
Clinton's plan to build a large missile-tracking radar facility
for Russia as inducement to renegotiate the ABM Treaty of 1972.
The AB... what treaty?
Research reveals an Antiballistic Missile Treaty to have been signed
by the United States of America and one Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics. Alas, repeated inquiries addressed to the United Nations
have failed to turn up a country by that name.
Treaties, like contracts, require two sides for their existence.
It appears that this treaty has only one.
But wait - a surrogate, called the Russian Federation, has been
invited to step into the breach. Question One: If the United States
is not happy with the treaty, why pretend it exists at all? Why
deal with a surrogate, instead of leaving well alone?
Now, in case someone comes forward to claim that the Russian Federation
is legal successor to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, here
is Question Two:
In the course of the twentieth century, our nation faced two mortal
enemies, both spawned by socialism: the USSR and the Third Reich.
An all-out war defeated the latter in three-and-a-half years. The
former waged war against America, in one fashion or another, over
six decades. The purpose of the war was "to bury the United
States." Rifle practice for teenagers in the Soviet realm meant
shooting at images of the American president.
The armed forces and secret police organizations of the USSR and
of the Third Reich were engaged in the rape, murder, pillage, colonization
and enslavement of the territories and peoples they invaded, including
each other's. The difference between them was only the length of
time of their respective existence: 12 years for the Third Reich;
for the USSR, 74. The number of millions imprisoned, tortured and
killed reflects the length of time available to each.
The Third Reich was destroyed, its chief villains tried and punished.
Some of them are still hunted. The parts of Germany controlled by
the allied forces of the civilized world were given a workable constitution
and decades of close supervision to see if it will do the job. The
Federal Republic of Germany, as it was called, volunteered to take
responsibility for crimes committed by the Third Reich anywhere,
not merely on its own territory. Reparations are still being paid
to many parties all over the world. Except for monetary matters,
Germans have observed appropriate restraint in discussing world
And what of the USSR?
One day in 1991, its leader - proud and revered because his tanks
rolled over fewer than 100 unarmed civilians at a time - appeared
on television to say that it no longer existed. There were no trials,
no punishment, no acknowledgment of responsibility, no reparations.
We see no newsreels of the Soviet death camps, and Hollywood never
was keen to tell and retell stories about that particular abomination
60 years after, we are still reminded, almost daily, of the Nuremberg
rallies, the SS goose-stepping, the Wehrmacht marching into Paris,
General George S. Patton opening a gas oven with human remains still
in it. But American radio and television celebrate the Red Army
on every anniversary, almost to the point of eclipsing the sacrifice
of our own.
Yet the Red Army's rape of Poland began on September 17, 1939,
only 16 days later than the German invasion that signaled the onset
of World War II. The Soviets then set upon Finland, annexed the
three Baltic Republics, and took large sections of Rumania. All
this had been agreed in a brotherly embrace by Adolf Hitler and
Josef Stalin, joint valedictorians of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's "How
to Rule the World" Academy. It was only in response to the
German invasion of its homeland that the Red Army engaged in the
one and only honorable period of its history, and then in the face
of extreme provocation. Unlike the forces of the United States,
it pursued the enemy on foreign soil not to liberate but to enslave
permanently the peoples in its power. And after World War II, its
exploits resumed to unfold against unarmed civilians, children preferred.
If Russia is legal successor to the USSR, when will it be tried
for crimes against humanity? When will it begin to pay reparations?
If it is not, in what capacity do Russians tell America whether
it may be permitted to provide for its own defense?
What is the reasoning, what is the motivation of America's current
leaders to build a super-radar for the Russians as a bribe?
To this day, the Soviets, or Russians, or whatever they want to
be called just now, have failed to offer the slightest acknowledgment,
much less a "thank-you," for Anglo-American support of
their war effort against Germany. Some numbers: 22,205 aircraft;
12,274 tanks; 375,883 trucks; 51,503 Jeeps; 35,170 motorcycles;
8,075 tractors; 189,000 field telephones with 670,000 miles of wiring;
1,966 locomotives; 11,075 specialty railway cars; 4,478,116 tons
of food; 2,670,371 tons of oil and gasoline; finally, huge quantities
of boots, aluminum, copper, and explosives were delivered between
1941 and 1945.
The untold, and unaccounted-for, billions upon billions of dollars
of our money shipped to Russia since 1991 have been the subject
of many recent articles. Apparently, whatever positive aspirations,
impulses, or forces there may be in Russia, they are just as unable
to acquire traction under the current regime as they have been during
all the centuries before.
If you love Pushkin, Tchaikovsky, or Galina Ulanova as much as
I do, your heart may bleed as you survey the sorry spectacle of
a vast country overflowing with natural resources simply incapable
of putting its act together.
But have we gone stark raving mad to make them arbiter of our own