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Letters to The Crisis Papers


A note to our readers: We're eager to hear from you, and to provide a forum for your words to be read by others. Here are some helpful hints: Short, several paragraph letters have the best chance of being accepted for publication. Sign the letter with your name; we don't want to be giving out your email address to strangers. Unless you instruct us otherwise, we'll assume it's OK with you if we post your letter, or excerpts from it.

Send your letters to us at:

    gadfly@igc.org (Ernest Partridge), or
    yonwax2@comcast.net (Bernard Weiner)

This page has retained letters for the past three uploads.

Thanks. -- The Editors 


Below -- Letters Responding to:

Bungling Toward Oblivion:  A Letter to my Friends in Russia (Partridge).

Cutting Through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in U.S.?  (Weiner) 

Russia -- An Appreciation.  (Partridge)


AUGUST 12, 2014

Responses to Bernard Weiner's essay/play,

"A Successful 'Negotiation' of Israel/Palestine Peace Treaty"


Hi Bernie,

Have you spent time in Israel within the last 10 years? It's a far more arrogant country than decades ago, with the means and powerful inclination to impose "solutions" by extreme violence. Sabras were always tough people, but the settlers today have taken it to another level, as has the right-wing which has seized political power and worked in lockstep with U.S. neocons for the last several decades. Furthermore, most ordinary Jewish Israelis don't want "peace" in the sense that liberal North Americans would imagine. Their concept of peace is far more like the apartheid U.S. South or South Africa -- there are overwhelming economic and structural reasons for them not to want to give up their privileged status.

I'm convinced this is why "defectors" like Miko Peled, Michael Ratner, Max Blumental etc. have renounced previous allegiances to Israel and Zionism, as they have seen the place rapidly go off the deep end. But it's also crucial to understand that Israel's militarized intransigence has greatly intensified since Bush II seized power in America, and the Congress after 9/11 gave carte blanche to perpetual war. This extended to America's client states, Israel among the most enthusiastically to embrace it.

Obama has allowed it to continue unfettered. He should be called Bush III. While the oppressed parties such as Hamas, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans etc. are far from clean or blameless, it's important to view the situation in proportion to the forces arrayed which currently is highly asymmetric -- one side (the Imperial powers or their clients) may be 100 x more powerful than their opponents. "Brushfire" from one is met by depleted plutonium from the other, etc.

Your play is well-written as always and would make a good dramatic production, but its protaganists bear no relation to the real actors on the ground.

Scott Schneider

As of this time I have absolutely no use for Israel’s government and people who overwhelmingly (87%) support the genocide in Gaza and I have lost all respect for the Democratic party in Congress as well. Even Barbara Lee (D-CA Berkeley) voted in favor of unconditional support for Israel. In my view all of these politicians have lost their minds and sense of morality and most have been bought off by AIPAC or fear AIPAC just as much as they fear the NRA. The right wing of the GOP has to deal with their nutty Evangelical base who only supports Israel because they believe the survival of Israel [as opposed to the Jews] is essential to their Rapture. If any solution to this conflict involves the US, which I believe it will because we are Israel’s last enabler, I have little to no hope. And we have lost most of our media to Israel propaganda as well. To understand what is really going on in the world, I watch Democracy Now.

Long term there appears to me to be three realistic solutions to this conflict, none of which seem all that feasible.

1. The U.S. demands a two-state solution and is willing to withhold all support for Israel if they don’t agree to establish a Palestinian state with reasonable borders including making settlers withdraw from lands illegally taken. And by all support I also include all support at the U.N., all monies we send them every year, and a complete embargo of all military aid…

2. The Palestinians agree to be slaughtered en masse and/or move out of the entire region of Palestine leaving everything to Israel.

3. The Israelis are forced or agree to abandon Israel and move somewhere else. There is no way these racist people will ever consent to live in proximity to Palestinians in the foreseeable future and maybe ever. Their majority government and even some of the lesser parties have in their governing mandate NEVER to allow a Palestinian state ANYWHERE. There is no way to deal with Israel because of their attitude of superiority and unwillingness to acknowledge the humanity of peoples who don’t share their religion and/or many of their customs...

I’ve had it with Israel. I consider them a terrorist nation (those public car bombings of civilian Iranian nuclear scientists and in at least one case the death of a wife too) is an act of terrorism. Their deliberate mis-treatment of the Palestinians in general and the prison complex in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Israel was founded on acts of terrorism against Palestinians and it continues to this day.

I consider Gaza to be similar to the WWII death camps. Only instead of gas it’s bombing by air and tanks and other weaponry doing the job...

There are a lot of good Jewish people (both in Israel and many other countries and a lot of good Jewish people went to jail standing up in solidarity with the Palestinians in NYC recently) who don’t support this Israeli government but apparently not enough or else something would have changed by now. I think this most recent conflict could be the tipping point against Israel for many more people and countries [already a bunch of Latin American countries have come out against Israel] and I suspect more resistance to the Israeli government to come from this including an increase in the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movements. Also maybe after Labor Day more people will start paying attention to what is going on in Gaza as the elections heat up and demanding a different response from the candidates.

I see the Middle East in constant and violent turmoil until the Palestinian crisis is resolved. Unfortunately our current government is not up to the task and it doesn’t appear to be moving in the right direction either.

R.J. Crane

Editor, ToppleBush (topplebush.com)

Ah, if only...

Ironically, I've been hired to write a screenplay about a love story in a DP camp right after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. She wants to go to America. He wants to go to Palestine. The deeper I get into it, as complex as that history is, the more I'm convinced of the need for an Israel.

My relationship with "Israel" over the course of my life has been immensely two-faced -- the Liberal in me -- and remains conflicted, as does my relationship with all nations and their acts of aggression. But the question of its existence? That, for me, now, is a no-brainer.

Perhaps Palestine will always be an "unsolvable problem." If only it could be solved so humanely and beautifully as in your one-act play.

Simon Levy

Wow! It's time to stage the play again!

Muniera Kadrie

I enjoyed and appreciated the play a lot!

Lauren Cunningham

Thank you for writing this piece…so clear, such anguish, your last line gave me chills. When o-when-o-when will there be resolution? It’s been 4000 years.

Jane Wattenberg

Thanks so much for sharing your lovely "Negotiation." Like most everyone else, I'm vexed by the conflict in the Middle East. Your play reminded me that human beings are still the "players" in this real-life drama. For better or for worse, your play still has "legs," and will continue to ring true for a long time.

John Levine

...I saw a news story tonight on NBC about a camp for Palestinian and Israeli kids in the Eastern US somewhere. I think we all need to go to camp.

Lee Jenkins

Nice, Bernie. Hope the right people read it!

Doug Goodkin

Sad is the operative word, I’m afraid. Loved your play, but negotiating in good faith seems to be beyond reach. And Congress does not seem inclined to do anything but support Israel.

Ginna Fleming

Your play is a breath of fresh air. I have always felt that the solution is not complicated.

Ed Dierauf

I remember this little scenario from sometime back, and loved the last line, of course -- very provocative. And I like that word "stipulation" -- a useful one, and new to me.

Joan Sadler

Ah, I wish we had a real Moishe and Heshim to do this.

Melinda Price

If only...

This is nicely (and wishfully) balanced. I have only one quarrel with it. Israel was not a "brutal" occupier of Gaza, and after 2005 it was not an occupier of Gaza at all. If not for Hamas, Gazans could have made a decent life for themselves and been an example of peaceful co-existence.

Here is a link to a recent article that says much the same thing as you do in your play.

Jerry Richard

This would work for me, for sure. Thanks for writing it.

David Copelin

Awesome. The world definitely seems in need of The Crisis Papers these days.

David Edeli

Outstanding! And what a punch line at the end!

Mel Frishman

Touching play, Bernie. It holds up well...unfortunately.

Lynne Kaufman

JULY 25, 2014

About Ernest Partridge's Essay:

Bungling Toward Oblivion:  A Letter to my Friends in Russia.


I apologize to our readers for the delay in posting these replies – three weeks after the appearance of “Bungling Toward Oblivion: A Letter to My Friends in Russia.” The delay was due to the abundance of responses and the difficulty in translating many of them from the original Russian.

These responses below are a selection. Many replies from Russia have been excluded, in some cases at the urgent request of the writers. In other instances the Russian writers have asked that their names be withheld. A couple have expressed no reluctance in having their names posted. So I have decided to exclude all names of Russian responders along with identifying personal references.

Some replies from Russian strangers were no doubt prompted by a translation of my essay into Russian, posted on the Russian website “Inosmi.ru.” . That translation generated numerous replies at the website, not included here. Readers of Russian may find them interesting. All the responses below, Russian and American, were received before the Malaysian Airline disaster of July 17.

The Russian responses to this essay have been extraordinary. Many of these responses have not only informed me, they have in some cases changed my mind about Russia today and the Putin regime. I have much to say about this, and expect to do so shortly in a follow-up essay.

Because these are direct and personal accounts by individual Russians, some of whom are friends of long-standing, I take them very seriously. The same cannot be said for the American corporate news media. After all the official lies -- aluminum tubes, uranium ore from Africa, Saddam's WMDs, Al Gore's "inventing the internet," etc., etc. -- I have come to treat the US media with as much skepticism as the astute Russian treated Pravda and Izvestia during the Soviet era. And so, I have been inclined to shrug off the new demonization of Vladimir Putin by the corporate "Ministry of Truth."

But when I read severe criticisms of Putin from my friends in Russia, and still other Russians with whom I am not personally acquainted, I take notice. Especially so when may of them offer their personal opinions at some personal peril.

Sadly, this is not the Russia that I experienced during my last visit in 1999. It seems that Vladimir Putin has not totally renounced the attitudes that he acquired during his years with the KGB. (КГБ: Комитет Государстиенной Безопасности. Translation: "Department of Homeland Security." Really! Check it out).

I am thus reminded of Bertrand Russell's remark during his Nobel Prize speech in 1952. "We hate them [the Communists] because they do not allow liberty. This we believe so strongly that we have decided to imitate them."

Yet Russia today is not the Soviet Union of Stalin, and there remains in Russia numerous intelligent and influential individuals who have briefly tasted personal and political liberty. They will not once again "go gentle into that night."

So here are a few of those responses, beginning with the Russians.



Just received, August 10, 2014.  EP.

Dear Mr Partridge,

 I am writing to you from the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Volga Federal District, Russia.

I've read your letter, entitled "Bungling towards Oblivion". It left me speechless and flabbergasted.

 I work in mass-media and frequently listen to foreign radio stations, skim through what's written in "The Washington Post", "Time', "The Wall Street Journal" and so on. And never, never do I [run] into solid arguments in favor of expelling my country from the international arena. They say, Putin's Russia has annexed Crimea. They say Putin's Russia are to blame for the horrendous Malaysian aircraft disaster in Ukraine. It appears that nobody attempts to put oneself in another one's shoes, to adopt the "mirror image perspective" you wrote about. Firstly, there was a referendum in Crimea. Secondly, NATO's expanding eastward, coming closer to the Russian borders created causes for concern. It would be strange to assume that this area of friction would be left unaddressed by the Russian leader. They themselves provoked Russia and what followed? Did NATO really think Russia won't respond to its "eastern campaign"?

 And then the flight. Are there proofs to Russia's participation in this? No, there are none. Then what for are they - politicians, experts, mass-media - scapegoating my country? Is it propaganda machine or deliberate action of Western militarists or both? Could it be so that people in our modern world are too lazy to get behind the curtain of countless lies? I don't know the answer. Neither I know who is to blame for the flight and I sincerely hope that it wasn't Russian military forces. My heart goes out to the families of those who perished or suffered through this.

 Of course, I'm not the likeliest person to ponder over geopolitical issues, I'm too young and naive...  

Anyway. There's one thing that troubles me more than anything else, the question the answer to which I failed to find. Why should these torrents of abuse, skepticism, aggression and hatred be transferred over to the citizens from both sides? Why should we, Russians and Americans, be mislead into thinking that we are enemies? It pains me to watch the same hostility brew in the mind's of some of my acquaintances here in Nizhny Novgorod. I want to stop this, I don't want war or any other political and economical confrontation.

 I don't want the relations of Russian and American citizens fall hostage to deadlock political disputes, I don't want them to be martyred on the altar of the prosperity for the few.

 You were the only person " from out there", whose thoughts corresponded with my own feelings on the subject. Indeed, it was like a revelation for me to discover, that there are people who think differently in the United States of America. And I thank you for this. Reading your open letter gave me a hope, that together, applying joint efforts we could challenge the ongoing catastrophe.

 Thank you so very much.

Ernest Partridge Replies:

Thank your for your excellent letter.

Your command of English is awesome. How I envy you as I struggle each day to learn Russian. So no apologies on your part are at all necessary.

To begin, I have some encouraging news for you: I am not the only American with the attitude toward Russia that I expressed in my "letter to my friends." There are many more, as noted at the close of this message: Stephen Cohen, Ray McGovern, Lawrence Wilkerson, Walter Uhler, Robert Parry, Noam Chomsky, etc. But their words and opinions are excluded from the corporate mass media here in the US. So it is understandable that one might conclude that such contrarian ideas as mine are virtually absent in the US. But look further and search the independent and progressive media, and you will find much agreement with the sentiments that you and I share.

Unfortunately, in that corporate media you will find a full-scale assault on Vladimir Putin and his government, reminiscent of the previous attack on Saddam Hussein in Iraq, preceding the breakout of the war. Now most Americans will acknowledge that the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld justification for that war was a pack of lies. That fact should seriously damage the credibility of the media as it now turns its attention to the next "villain," Russia. But somehow it hasn't.

On the positive side, the American public for the most part has no taste for another war, as indicated by the abandoned attack on Syria.

Turning next to the points in your letter:

Crimea remains a puzzle to me. Annexing territory of another sovereign country is a very serious matter, even if a large majority of the territory in question approves. Perhaps Crimea should be a part of Russia. But if so, the annexation could have been accomplished more "diplomatically" -- with treaty negotiations, time for resettlement, reparations, etc. The worst part of the annexation, was the excuse it gave to US and western propagandists to demonize Putin and Russia, leading,of course, to sanctions and, God forbid, still worse to come.

There is an interesting parallel in US history. Texas was once a part of Mexico. But then the Texans, largely settlers from the US, declared independence and subsequently joined the US. Then a war ensued and the US grabbed half the territory of Mexico, including the land (California) on which I reside.

Official US and NATO sources scoff at Russian claims that they are trying to protect the lives and property of Russians in Eastern Ukraine. Yet Reagan ordered the invasion of Granada, and Bush (the elder) ordered the invasion of Panama, allegedly to "protect American lives." And yet Putin has not ordered the invasion of Ukraine by organized Russian troops, which shows wise restraint on his part. One rule for the US, another for Russia.

About the Malaysian airliner, I am also bewildered. Given the condition of our media, what am I to believe? My best guess is that the plane went down due to a tragic error, just like the Korean airliner in 1983 (Soviet attack) and the Iranian Airbus in 1986 (US Navy). The contrasting US press reactions were telling. KAL 1983? "Proves how evil the Soviets are." Iran 1988? "Tragic error. Those things happen in war. Get over it." The hypocrisy is stunning.

Of this I am certain: Putin did not order the destruction of a civilian aircraft. Why would he? What possible advantage? And consider the enormous prestige cost to Russia and the propaganda advantage in the west. Say what you will about Putin, he is not stupid.

About your President, I am once again utterly confused. The many emails that I have received from Russia -- from close friends and total strangers -- depict Putin as everything from a villain ("gangster") on the one hand, to a hero on the other. What am I to believe? Not our mass media, to be sure. But who and what? Perhaps you can lead me to some sources that might enlighten me.

Of this much I am confident: the future of our countries, and of the world, lie in the hands of young people such as yourself, in Russia, in the United States and elsewhere. So I urge you to find other Russians like yourself and help form a movement of "peace and friendship," and then reach across the globe to like-minded young people in the United States and Europe. Below you will find names and links that might move you in a useful direction. More contacts will no doubt come to my mind, and when they do I will send them to you.

Don't despair about the United States. You have many potential friends and allies here. Seek them out. With your outstanding language skill, you are well-qualified to do so.

Thank you once again, for your inspiring letter, at a time when inspiration seems all too rare.

С уважением в мире и дружбе,

Ernest Partridge

[Responding to your specific comments:]

"Blame for the current Russo-American conflict, I believe, falls on both sides".

That’s exactly the way I think about current events and I want to prove this statement with one simple example. I admire what Mr. McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, had done to launch the “reboot” conception. Moreover, I understand that he is a diplomatic genius, since he was the author of it, before the mutual relations problems boulder fell off a cliff. But at the same time I realize he, himself, is now completely on the Ukrainian side of the conflict, being loyal to the position of Official Washington and he is a spokesman of propaganda (let me call it “western” one, but only since his views are probably more common than pro-Russian ones in the vast majority of European countries and the U.S.). So, what do we have here? We have smart man (and, again, diplomatic genius!) blame one side and completely trust the other. And, despite living in Russia for a few years, he still tells his audience about “Putin’s Dictatorship” and “neo-Soviet threat”.

I just don’t think it’s fair enough: we have a number of problems, including ones with freedom of speech and mass-media nonsense, but, for instance, me, myself, would only call Russia “dictatorship” if we had no Internet, which is pretty much the most important platform for social and political issues discussions nowadays. I don’t think the Soviet people, something like 30-40 years ago had anything like that. And, looking at China and PRK, I don’t think we should only praise technological progress for it.

“The Role of Foreign NGOs.”

That’s a really sad issue. Once I returned [home] I found that the American Center was closed and I merely can’t get how the celebration of Halloween, Thanksgiving and, even, American Independence Day can do any harm to Russia ... For that I blame the Orthodox fundamentalists and, so-called, “Sober Society”: ultra-patriotic groups of youngsters who seem to want the Middle Ages to come back.

Bad thing, not a single word about politics though, is that for the last few years American Center ... had been dying, since most of alumni either moved to

Moscow, or just didn’t have enough time (wish?) to visit the events. 10-20 participants for nearly one million [in the area] ... is a shame.

“Historical Ignorance” of Americans.

In this part you write a lot about WWII. I want to tell you, my attitude towards the Great War has changed a bit for the last seven years and now I realize how much our Western Allies did to stop the Nazis. I believe such battles as Invasion of Normandy, operation “Market Garden” the Battle of Okinawa and, my favorite one, The Battle Of Leyte Gulf (since that was the largest naval battle in history! Not a single word about it in Russian WWII History books!) are undeservedly forgotten by Russian WWII Historians.

Another thing I should tell you, I guess WWII history is the most important value that should become basis of new Russo-American relations. And, from this point of view, Washington’s support of Bandera and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army neophytes (Ukrainian protesters don’t even hide that: the strongest groups of them support former collaborationists, you can also google such organizations as “Right Sector” and “Spilna Sprava”) would become impossible. As for pro-Russian insurgents, I guess they reconstruct some “White Army” patterns; Strelkov even looks like some “white general”, so when somebody tells me about “The Red Alert”, I can only tell him-or-her not to call The Tzar a Bolshevik commander.

“American policy-makers need an enemy”.

That’s not a problem of the U.S. and Russia only. Such statement seems to be the brightest implementation of Carl Schmitt’s idea of “common foreign enemy”. To tell you the truth, despite his pretty close ties with NSDAP, I appreciate what Carl Schmitt did for political science and regard him among the most influential minds of the century.

Bad thing, for Europe and the U.S. [if] Russia is the enemy. As a Russian, I guess our media impose the idea of “spoiled, but not hostile” Europe and the “man-we-used-to-be-strategic-partners-what’s-wrong-again” the U.S.

Opposite to it, our media tell us China is “probably the only friend of Russia”. That’s only my point of view though, some people might and probably will think differently, but I wouldn’t say that the U.S. in common Russian News is Number One enemy: just a guy that can’t become a bit friendlier towards us, as we are trying to do that. And, for sure, Russian media show bloody and cruel Ukrainian nationalists, but I don’t think such position is far away from the truth: neither side is justified and kind during the war.

“Citizens of both countries must take the initiative toward reconciliation”.

Indeed! And that’s what I’m trying to do every day (and night, talking about the U.S. time) on Facebook. I do believe Americans and Russians should live in peace and I do appreciate I still have many friends in the U.S. Same about deabstractionization process and on the issue of common threats in the changing world. (Direct email)

Just so you know, pals. I haven't met a single person in Russia who wanted a New Cold War to get started. The Iron Curtain and the Arms Race should only be the subject of interest for historians.

I do hope current American-Russian tensions don't affect private relations between the peoples of the U.S. and Russia. Take care, remember good things and smile at bad ones

Your Russian comrade. (Facebook)


I live in the Crimea. I supported the Maidan before it began to gain force of neo-Nazis. I voted for the return of the Crimea to Russia (by the way, none of the people with weapons are not threatened... ).  Read the article in the American ( and European ) media.  I wondered [about the] blindness [of the] correspondents, the reluctance to talk about the situation from different sides (what the media should actually do).

In Crimea, [there are] many refugees from the areas of combat actions.  They accused the Ukrainian government and their stories are horrific! As you know my opinion about the United States steadily sought down.

The article [by] Mr. Ernest, Partridge again raises my opinion about the United States.

Thank You, Mr. Ernest Partridge for the truth. It is a pity that now we will [find it] much harder to believe in the good intentions of America.



(The essay was been translated into Russian at the internet site. inosmii.ru with the title: "Неуклюжая забывчивость: Письмо моим друзьям в Россию."  It can be found here).

See also the long letter from Russia published as a “Guest Essay” currently in The Crisis Papers.

Read a translation of your article, I agree with you - the dialogue is needed, especially among ordinary people. I remember Posner - Donahue, it was a real journalism. As a psychologist, I am reminded of the phenomenon LyaPera, the closer we get to each other the less and less manifest stereotypes about each other.

I remember eight years ago when my friend and I clearly believed that the Cold War was over, and that the time had passed when the US could be regarded as an enemy. We believed then that we could and should be allies with the United States, a country with a developed democracy. We actively argued with fellow students who did not think so.

Yesterday I realized that my attitude toward the United States in recent years, only worse. I did not even notice how your country became perceived as an enemy. Today I read your letter and realized that all is not lost even at the state level.

What changed my opinion? I do not think it was the propaganda, which certainly exists in every country. I am quite smart enough to be able to read alternative views, including those from abroad. I changed my opinion because of the behavior of the U.S. in the international arena. The war in Afghanistan seemed to me to be reasonable. I even thought it was a gift for Russia, close to the border of a developing a terrorist state that could bring big problems in the future. I even thought that the U.S. was completing our work in the Eighties, although the historical background was different. But now that the war is over, the new world did not come. There was damage, but no creation to follow.

Then there was Iraq, the support of the Arab Spring, then Ukraine. And one cannot forget the tragic events earlier in Yugoslavia when inept politicians actually made two enemies of the people - Albanians and Serbs -- which could have been avoided. So more and more it became clear that the U.S. is trying to impose uni-polarity, values (??), democracy, as she understands it. Against this background, the result was a disruption of the country, anarchy, brought about by the major lobbying oligarchs of the United States. I am not well acquainted with the internal problems in your country and I can not on this account make any conclusions. I'm just describing what I saw in the international arena.

I read a book by the creators of Google, which describe the future of technology, but even there a lot of attention is paid to politics including the influence of the United States on other countries. The book discusses how new technologies are helping people fight for their rights, as they are able to support the revolution. It was amazing. Because this issue is such a big concern even for politicians, I want to ask whether, through this aid to other countries, the United States might become a policeman to the entire world.

At the same time I have heard the active criticism that we have not held elections and that we are not a nation of laws. But to my eyes the election system of the USA is also imperfect and more like a show. Yet no one is instructing the United States as to how it should be changed. There is a constant pressure and attempts to dominate the culture and values, and to teach public administration and economics. But Russia in the nineties passed this way with a pseudo-liberalism, when we tried to instill uncorrected attitudes, and established a traditional Western ideal of democracy. In this connection, I recall a book by the first President of Singapore, where he wrote that while he respects the United States and its ideals and even shared some of them, but did not believe that it applies everywhere. And so he pleaded with Americans to consider the opinion of the inhabitants of the country, and not to impose opinions from the outside. Singapore is not a big player in the global political arena. But because Russia is a big player, such impositions from the outside are impermissible.

Yes, we have an imperfect society with a lot of internal problems. here is also in the international arena a perception of increasing Russian ambition. There are no illusions about crime, corruption and economy problems in Russia, although in recent years this is changing for the better. We are waiting still a long road to progress. Our response to the Ukrainian crisis is the result of a defense mechanism. If Russia is perceived as a foe, any misstep will be be blamed on Russia. If civilians are killed, this will be regarded as the fault of Russia. In fact, any escalation of the conflict will result in sanctions against our country no matter who inflames the situation. So what should we do? Sit and wait until the question of Ukraine is decided to the advantage of the United States? This is the impression I have now, I thought quite differently eight years ago.

Refugees come to our city from Ukraine They tell of such horror which does not even appear on official Russian television, nor anywhere else. They talk about the horrors of the National Guard, about the atrocities of official troops, about the tragedy of young Ukrainian soldiers called up for war. And it's not propaganda. These are real people who saw everything with their own eyes. Some of their stories may be exaggerated. Shock and horror can have that effect. But still the overall essence is clear .

Eight years ago, I honestly believed in American justice, but now I see in the U.S. an interest to arrest people all over the world, from third countries be deported to the United States. Your country for some reason felt that its laws apply to other countries, territories, and citizens of other states. Eight years ago I believed that the media was fair. I can see how events are served in the Western media, it is not the ideal of freedom of speech, which I had seen before. Eight years ago I believed the U.S. was a model of democracy. I did not idealize the country, but believed that it was fighting for the opportunity to allow different opinions and to defend of the rights of the people. But now I realized that the multi-polar world does not need the United States. The U.S. believes that it does not need other opinions. But the differences among the world's cultures is beautiful, and the world would be better if throughout the Earth various attitudes, beliefs, norms and principles were tolerated. This variety is primarily the people's choice.

I frequently watch Vladimir Posner on TV. I understand that his view has also changed. He no longer believes that the U.S. is a guarantor of democracy. I could be wrong, but I think he has also begun to see that the United States at this stage acts in its own interests, which means specifically in the selfish interests of the oligarchic elite.

But you know what I'm most afraid of now? I think that because of this tension, it will become clear that the leaders of the United States will have no use for a multi-polar world. Instead, through sanctions and other pressures, your country will seek unconditional world domination, followed by similar objectives by the leaders of Russia -- despite our previous attempts to promote a multi-polar world.

I don't know if there will be a new cold war, but instead of multi-polarity our countries will compete for dominance, trying to impose their values (??) on other countries as multiculturalism is forgotten. In this situation, of course, no one will win. Far better that we work together rather than compete, as we both face very difficult and common environmental problems.

So here is a view from Russia on global issues, addressed to the United States. It my personal opinion, but I think it will be shared by many. In recent years I have come to believe that the American people can not actually change things democratically in their own country. In fact, everything is orchestrated and arranged. And so now, when the world is ruled by the Internet, we have unlimited access to information. Even so, I feel that we profoundly misunderstand each other.

I have written too much about your country and too little about our own. But I wanted to show how things are seen from our perspective, and to say that, indeed, you are right in many ways. So do not consider it as a blanket criticism. This is a look at the U.S. from here in Russia. I would very much like to change these conditions and at least to return them to how they were eight years ago.

I read your article "Bungling Toward Oblivion - A Letter to My Friends in Russia" translated into inosmi.ru.

I am Russian and I love Russia. I clearly remember the humiliating 90-years. Taking into account the promotion of tolerance as a child, interested in politics and not listening only to TV. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1998, I formed a persistent contempt for American politics, culture, film, government, arrogance and contempt for other nations and peoples. Moreover, these findings were not based on our propaganda, but rather were based on the actions of your government. These conclusions [led me to] a website, inosmi.ru, which publishes translations of periodicals from around the world. But this does not apply to the American people who, for the most part, are fooled by the government and the media. The same thing is happening in Russia.

I was surprised to read your article. I wanted to write and express my appreciation for your words. I believe none of us wants war. But believe me, it is hard to understand when a "democracy" moves on NATO bayonets.

Once again thank you for your point of view. It is so rare in the U.S. media to hear a reasonable opinion.

Regards from Russia

Ernest Partridge replies:

I believe that I can offer you some small reassurance. The American public does not want war, and is very suspicious of those among us who seem eager for war. Following the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the outright lies by the US government and media that led to these wars, most Americans are reluctant to start new military adventures. In addition, many Americans have not forgotten the good feelings toward Russia that followed the fall of the Soviet Union -- glasnost and perestroika..

In short, many Americans share the views that I expressed in my essay.

The bad news is that the media propaganda in the US these days is poisonous -- particularly as it regards Vladimir Putin and his government. And this worries me very much.

As I wrote in my essay, peace-loving people of both of our countries must resist this drift toward a new cold war. They must make themselves heard by their governments, and reach across the globe in cooperation with "the other side."

Your letter, and others like it that I recently received, give me hope. The media and our leaders provoke despair. Better to focus our attention on hope.

С уважением в мире и дружбе,


Ernest Partridge



Now and then I will read something that gives me hope in the face of the insane rhetoric of exceptionalism. Such is your recent 'letter to the Russian people.' It articulates a well considered set of thoughts engendering hope that sane heads my prevail.

Then, I consider our imperialist/exceptionalist ideology ... one often masked by rhetoric that appears/sounds pleasing ... stemming from the very first Europeans to come to the Americas. Even the continent was named after a European ... and indigenous peoples faced a holocaust that makes the Hitlerian destruction of Jews appear mere child's play.

And, with that second thought in mind, I go back to rethink what I thought might give me some hope ... and I end up saying: perhaps the best thing for life is for us to annihilate ourselves so the next iteration of life on this blue orb of ours can try again to create a world sans what we call sentient

R Gaylor

(Direct Email)

Rarely a genuine kindly article penetrates the logic-filled, belief-driven pieces re the U.S./Russia/Ukraine/Eu situation that usually comes over cyberspace. This letter to Russian friends by Ernest Partridge is one of those well thought out pieces that delights the soul by addressing the current U.S.-Russia challenges in a quieter and more perspective manner. Even more so this letter calls us to remembrance of the uncanny delight we find in "the other" -- the right-hemispheric music, poetry, and philosophic minds of our Russian friends and the overall Russian experience. Bear with this long piece and read it to the end, it will give you much to ponder and sooth your day. I send it for much-needed relief for us all.

Sharon Tennison, Editor: Russia: Other Points of View

(Direct Email)


From OpEd News

First I would like to mention that it seems to me that you repeat to your Russian friends things that they are already told. I am pretty sure that Russian Television covered all the American sins that you mention.

You mentioned their duty to expose the "Russian mistakes/sins", are you aware of some and could you share them?

In my opinion it is wrong to speak about "strategic interests". The country's interests should end at their border. This basically boils to a militaristic "interest" that ends in meddling in other people's business.

To somehow compare NATO with the "Western Armies" is wrong. What about concerns of Russian neighbors who were all targets of Russian invasions? Should Turkey be worried since "Russian Armies" for centuries pushed the Ottoman Empire in a series of wars? This history, the way you present it, smells "religious" and "ethnic".

I sure hope that Putin is better than I think he is but would like to see some evidence. I would like cooperation with Russia and a better Russia for Russians too. For them to become more authoritarian, militaristic and police controlled is a very serious danger.

B Falcon

Reply to B Falcon:

“What about concerns of Russian neighbors who were all targets of Russian invasions?”

When you talk about the Ottoman Empire, I want to note that she constantly waged wars of conquest. Russia has never waged wars of conquest. However, I would not now became immersed in the study of history. Can be of the same mind.

Let's look at just the past quarter century. When there is no "evil empire", "spiteful" communists and KGB. Who now leads the ongoing war? Who killed more people? Who ever took the sole right to appoint separatists (in Ukraine) and the freedom fighters (in Yugoslavia)?


Reply to rus_programmer:

Don't get into history, you don't seem to understand it.

What "the freedom fighters (in Yugoslavia)"?

As for Ottoman Empire, it waged wars of conquest and then Russia took some of those territories by "never waging wars of conquest"?

I am really wondering how you explain the huge territory of Russia without conquest.

I may not have heard of plebiscite in Siberia to join Russia.

R. B Falcon

Mr. Partridge

If you do not recognize the evil of the Ukrainian govt and Pro- Nazi politics of Obama , your love of your Russian friends means nothing. We all love our friends from afar. It is time to help them. How do you help them? How do you tolerate that your govt. helps the most evil force in History?

Mark Sashine

Absolutely brilliant! A whiff of sanity in an air poisoned by lies and hysteria.

John Rachel

It is ill-considered to criticize such an important article. It should be widely disseminated. I have one niggling thought, however: the suggestion that a reformed NATO should be brought into the UN is correct, but I believe it should actually become the UN's 'army'. And yet, the continuation of military action contradicts the eloquently stated need to save the planet from over-heating. I don't know how much military action contributes to the rise in global temperatures, but it's probably considerable. When European Parliamentarians are criticized for regularly flying from Brussels to Strasbourg instead of taking the train, should we not be thinking about the impact of warfare? It's obviously wishful thinking to imagine that humanity is going to do away with war in order to save the planet, but as all good men and women increasingly campaign for that to happen, I would like to see NATO become, mainly, the UN's emergency task force.

Finally, I cannot resist mentioning that during my previous stay in the US in the seventies, I began a book whose title was U.S.-S.U.: A Mirror Image. The first chapter was devoted to a critique of the US media......

Deena Stryker

Reply to Deena Stryker:

The U.S. Department of Defense is the worst polluter on the planet. This 2010 article at Project Censored details the extensive environmental damage the Pentagon is responsible for.

"Environmental journalist Johanna Peace reports that military activities will continue to be exempt based on an executive order signed by President Barack Obama that calls for other federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Peace states, "The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government's energy demand."

Chris Cook

Outstanding letter. I very much hope this gets the circulation it deserves. Keep it coming.

Jeremy Martin

I agree with Mark's comments. BUT since this saga began, nowhere have I witnessed aggressive action emanating from Russia or Putin, in fact the restraint exhibited by Putin is to be admired. I question why the author has omitted to mention the fact that the U.S. is ENTIRELY to blame for these events, published at RSN, America's Staggering Hypocrisy in Ukraine By Robert Parry, Consortium

And at the Times Published at Information clearing house. Crimea Self-Determination Amid Western Law of the Jungle By Finian Cunningham March 15, 2014 -

And finally, how come it was OK, to split up Yugoslavia and create Bosnia under the exact same conditions ? Are we expected to believe the author of this article is unaware of these discrepancies ?

Eddy Schmid

Reply to Eddy Schmid:

Yes, I think who has a lot has to do a lot. Mr. Partridge claims to have a vision: then he has to show his position on the issues.

BTW I personally think that Putin is too restrained.... But just IMO...

Mark Sashine

Obama is getting us into serious unneeded trouble. I suspect it is for his corporate sponsors to facilitate funneling taxpayer money to the filthy rich and thereby increasing his speaking fees if he leaves office in 2016.

I never thought I would see the day when the Russian leader was the reasonable one.

Obama and Kerry goad Russia and China to war. These countries have the two biggest militaries outside of the USA.

We lost Vietnam, or at least left with our tails between our legs, Iraq has dragged on until we destroyed the country and we left, now we go back, I guess because we left something unrefined At least we got revenge for 911 (What! they didn't do 911.

It was our allies Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Never mind)

Afghanistan seems to be never ending with no successes, no goals and no reason that I can see for being there. Oh, yes, the Taliban! Tell me again why we are at war with the Afghani Taliban. OK, I'll let you have a few hours to ponder this and maybe you will have time to make up a reason.

To protect their freedom, they have weapons of mass destruction, we have to fight them there so we don't have to fight them here and "they hate us for our freedom" have already been used and you can't use them again.

America, what the Hell happened?

Hosea McAdoo


Glad to see that in America there are sane people! In Russia many people read the American press and alas about sanity most authors have great doubts.

The foregoing thoughts have much in common with my thoughts. I just think that no new Cold War is not. In the United States is only the continuation of the old war. Many influential people are not bad feed from.

P.S. Small tip: this long article none of your countrymen will not master. Among the Russians and everything is clear. Write shorter, but with link to confirms the facts.

rus Programmer


From The Smirking Chimp

An Excellent Commentary!

For anyone wishing to understand the mechanics of the seemingly inexorable slide into Cold War II and the reasons why this should be avoided at all costs, the above article is a must-read.

While I am pleased to note that many individual points expressed therein have also been individually expressed here on Smirking Chimp in the past on various threads, this is the first time (to my knowledge), that this particular subject has been so coherently addressed here.

History can only be hindered from repeating itself if we learn from it with empathy and understanding.

This article is a step in that direction.


The core reason for US involvement in the UKRAINE

I did not take the time to carefully read this lengthy article. PARTRIDGE was obviously writing to satisfy the image he has of himself as a writer, not so much to educate the reader about RUSSIA.

And then one reads this quote: “Be assured that no Americans, including the “military-industrial complex,” want a “hot” war.”

Maybe he means a “war with RUSSIA.” he didn’t elaborate. as a generalization it is totally false. perhaps he can’t be as openly cynical as those of us willing to admit to some pretty sad stuff, like the LIHOP version of 9-11. the reason for this new “war on terror” being the ending of the cold war with the soviets that had justified our massive military budgets.

Unlike the cold war, which could not generate new generations of communists as an ongoing threat (we tried best we could with NAM,) the war on terror is designed purposely to spawn terrorists. considering the culture of vengeance in the mideast, so far this has been easy.

PARTRIDGE failed to include perhaps the core reason for American involvement in the UKRAINE, which is, same as in IRAQ, to prevent oil from being traded without benefit of the USD. propping up the dollar at all costs is our strategic military objective.

Limiting RUSSIA’S influence in Eurasia serves this objective, it keeps those ring countries dependent on the dollar, mainly military aid, where a few billion dollars which are pocket change to the US, “butters a lot of bread” in a small country. and prevents them from biting the hand that feeds them. this keeps the dollar in circulation and russia on the ropes.


What a brilliant and well articulated post, thank you.

The first step in a long process is for Americans, of all stripes, to understand this point: "The American news media, once the envy of the world, has recently deteriorated to a condition in which it can no longer be trusted as a source of international news, least of all of news and opinion about Russia. This is because the news media, a vast majority of which is owned by just six corporate conglomerates, has in effect become the propaganda arm of the U.S government and of the oligarchs and corporations which, in effect, own that government."

Propaganda is a very effective tool, and right now it is crushing America - just see all the fools (on both sides of the aisle).

"Obama is a socialist", huh?) who think that there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the perilous direction this country is headed.


Just a Few Comments:

Quote: “I sat next to one of these “free market fundamentalists” on a flight back from Moscow, and I was appalled by his recitation of what he “told” the Russians, with scarcely a word about what he had learned from the Russians.”

And not a thing has changed since then. Now we have the US Secretary of State careening around the globe, arrogantly handing out instructions to other nations on how they should conduct their affairs.

Quote: “ . . . perhaps Crimea should rejoin the Russian Federation. My concern is how this was accomplished. It strikes me that it was too sudden. These things should take time, and should involve diplomatic negotiations and some treaty compensation with Ukraine.”

It would have been nice if the fate of the Crimean people could have been decided in a nice, academically-paced and leisurely process. Unfortunately if that had been attempted, then the people of Crimea would even now be dying under the same Nazi onslaught that is even now attempting to exterminate the Russian-speaking and Jewish populations of Eastern Ukraine. The people of Crimea understood that very well, as the Nazi terrorists who seized power in Kiev made those intentions perfectly clear in numerous public pronouncements.

Quote: “Many Americans are fully aware that they were lied into a disastrous war in Iraq. Today, the same individuals that led us into that war are scorned, even in the corporate media.”

Actually, those same individuals have been brought on board by the corporate media, to make solemn pronouncements about the justifications for the US and EU attempt to destroy what was left of Ukranian democracy and steal everything of value in that desperately impoverished nation.


Everything you say is supported by numerous bits and pieces of the foreign media. I only wish that American bullying of home-made enemies abroad could be handled in a 6-step program. I can see no circumstances where the media will surrender to public interests or their own ethics. The US is widely considered to have the most uninformed citizens on earth, which I seriously doubt will influence the architects of blowback or the categories of their victims.

Cameron Salisbury


Quote: “The US is widely considered to have the most uninformed citizens on earth, which I seriously doubt will influence the architects of blowback or the categories of their victims.”

The U.S. has not even begun to see what the blowback will mean to them. The architects couldn’t care less and the victims, when it occurs, will no longer be around to complain.




MARCH 18, 2014

 About Bernard Weiner's Essay:

Cutting Through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in U.S.?

See Reid Tanaka's long letter, "Shedding Light on Fukushima Fog," which we have included as a Guest Essay, here.


How do we go about getting global attention to the need for more transparency on this (Fukushima/radiation) issue? I want to take action, but don't know where to begin. Writing letters to our local representatives, won't do anything, unless it is done on a national/global level.

Gale M. Audia (PDA/Reno)

Bernard Weiner reponds:

Each person wanting to become more active on this and other issues must start where they feel most comfortable. Letters to local elected representative, urging governmental action (maybe just establishing a radiation monitoring station in the area, or writing to members of Congress urging more stringent national oversight bodies) -- these can't hurt and can only help, especially when the mail starts pouring in on an issue. But doing nothing but expressing nervousness and anxiety and anger to your friends is no longer an option. Action happens when enough citizens demand it. Thanks for your comments.

Dear Mr. Weiner:

One of my correspondents pointed to your recent op-ed titled "Cutting Through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in the U.S.?"

There are good sources of information about the events at Fukushima and the efforts to stabilize and clean up the site. One of the most comprehensive sources gets updated two or three times per week at hiroshimasyndrome.com.

Les Corrice,  the owner of that site, is a retired nuclear professional who spent time as a nuclear plant operator, an environmental monitoring technician, and a health physics design engineer. He has compiled several very readable e-books about the accident and the aftermath.


WOW! Great piece!!!

Thanks for all the effort you have put into this issue pulling together information from so many sources.

I assume you are fine with our re-sending it to others, right?

We all need to work on this topic full strength.

Jean Colvin

Thank you for the update. Obviously, the Northwest states will be the last to let us know if it's safe or not safe, and then we still won't be able to rely on that information. Your push helps us regular citizens to keep abreast.

Mr. Gee

There have also been numerous articles about Fukushima published on ANS Nuclear Cafe, at Atomic Power Review, and on my own site at Atomic Insights.

For the authors at those locations, the terms bequerel, sievert, and millirem are not mysterious code words designed to obfuscate or confuse laypeople; they are terms of art with specific, discoverable definitions that enable accurate communications about risk and effect.

Rod Adams
Publisher, Atomic Insights

Bernard Weiner replies:

I wasn't very clear about my intent. I wasn't suggesting that writers should not use those scientific terms of measurement. Given that most lay readers would not understand those terms, good writing also would require plain-English descriptions that all could comprehend. For example, how many bequerels would equal five mammograms, or whatever? In other words, a nod in the direction of bringing the lay readers into the discussion, so we're all more or less on the same page when talking about radiation. Thanks for writing.


I'm an American living in Japan; age 60, and with a background in security, construction, banking, finance, governance and law. My highly abbreviated (and sanitized) take on this subject:

(Increased radiation) is in the air, the water, the soil, building and street surfaces, and the entire food chain. Even worse, Fukushima-region vegetables and livestock are real cheap for food vendors and restaurants to buy and use - and there's no problem with them doing that, since the Japanese government doesn't restrict it with anything more than rhetoric. Same with fish caught in Japan waters. Doing more than nothing would literally wipe out at least NE Japan's economy, and the Japanese government knows it. As icing on the public threat-cake, there is precious little consumer protection law in Japan, including no requirements to inform consumers where food comes from, or even whether rad-con testing is performed.

I have made several attempts to obtain donated equipment with which I would personally take rad-con measurements, samples, archive them, publish the results, and submit samples to a qualified lab(s). No takers - zero, zip, nada, bupkus: nobody wants to support a direct action which would have sweeping impacts on Japan's economy and even its government in general.

Think about it.

In the meantime: I thought that scientists and scientific instrument companies could be counted on for some integrity, especially when my solicitations for equipment were based on the assumption that I would take on all the measurements - and all the associated risks - "personally," and take those measurements at any location deemed a worthy measurement target, including Fukushima per se. So at this juncture, I think it's safe to say that pretty much "everybody" is full of their own brand of digital-pulpit B.S. - all blow, no go.

But I guess none of this should surprise me, since we live in an era marked by the largest single perpetual case of sweeping global financial frauds in human history; and increasingly despotic police-state governments which bail out fraud-bankrupt money-changers using taxpayer monies.

Strangely, it occurs to me that some guy dressed in a Darth Vader outfit is out there someplace laughing his ass off.

There endeth the short version of my POV. Apply to affected area. Discontinue if rash occurs.

Doc Weston
Toda-shi, Saitama, Japan
Just N/NW of Tokyo

Dr. Weiner,

My comment posted at TruthOut.org to your "Fukushima Fog" article:

Let's go back to square one.

We people born in the 20th century have accepted all our lives that ionizing radiation, the kind emitted by unstable radionuclides changing their status into a different atomic element, is dangerous to cell function and health. Even dangerous to the genetic integrity of species, including our own.

Why have we believed this? Speaking for myself, I believed it because I heard the corporate media and Hollywood telling me so. Why else would I believe it? I certainly didn't have the biomedical expertise to figure it out for myself.

A big event occurred in my mind in March 2011 - the televised debate between Helen Caldicott and George Monbiot. In that debate Monbiot began by accepting the premise of radiation danger, arguing that it would have to be managed in order to leave fossil fuels in the groundin order to preserve earth's biosphere.

But Caldicott's strong assertions during the debate motivated him to follow up with questions in the following days, requesting references for certain statements.

Amazingly, Caldicott was unable to provide legitimate scientific evidence for most of her assertions.

It hit me: "If CALDICOTT doesn't have information about the underpinning of bio-radiation danger, then WHO DOES?"

So I studied up on the Herman Muller research in the 1920-30s regarding genetic mutation of fruit flies, which was the first human attempt to examine bio-effects of radiation. Here's what I learned:

1) Muller had no access to the electron microscope for directly viewing cell chemical structure, let alone DNA strand breaks. That research tool wasn't available until 1939.

2) Muller likewise had no access to a mass spectrometer, the basic biochemical tool for detecting molecular changes in organic material. Even crude spectrometers weren't available until the late 1930s.

3) Muller's MINIMUM dose to the fruit flies was 2700 milliSieverts, in a single burst.

Regarding issues 1) and 2): Without the electron microscope or mass spectrometer, the only biological features that Muller could observe were gross changes in the insects' appearance -- mostly eye color. No cellular variation was observable.

Regarding issue 3): The amount 2700 mSv is a massive dose. It is not indicative of biochemical behavior under doses that occur on earth. Even the Hiroshima /Nagasaki bombs produced an average exposure of 200 mSv among the survivors who were monitored by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, later the Radiation Effects Research Foundation. Muller's minimum dose was 13 times greater.

My take: Muller's research, for which he received the Nobel prize in physiology /medicine in 1946, has nothing to say about cell-level biological effects of low or medium exposures to radiation.

On to the Stewart /Mancuso study of the Hanford nuclear workers, 1946-1978. It was surprising to discover that the Stewart study, which was frequently referenced, had no access to any medical treatment records of the Hanford employees. It relied solely on their individual radiation exposure rates, which were carefully recorded, and entries on local coroners' death certificates regarding cancer as cause of death.

But even relying on notoriously unreliable coroners' statements, the cancer death rate for Hanford workers was not statistically significant at the 90% level of confidence. That is, the recorded cancer death rate was so little different for the nuclear workers that no statistically valid conclusion could be reached.

Later, Stewart and Mancuso were forced to justify their conclusions by asserting that the death rate for Hanford workers should have been even lower than that of the general population in Washington state, the control group, because Hanford workers were initially very healthy due to the stringent hiring practices.  That's where the Stewart /Mancuso study still stands today.  

The recent Yablokov book about Chernobyl has been thoroughly discredited by radiation scientists, not least because it acknowledges that it takes no account of any medical history for the relevant populations. It simply looks at death rates in the affected areas in the decade before 1986, compares that to the death rates in the two decades after 1986, and assumes that ALL excess deaths in that vast area of Europe were caused by Chernobyl.

After this eye-popping experience, here's what occurred to me: "As important as the issue of radiation exposure is, why hasn't anyone done any genuine structured research about it?" (As distinct from just waiting for some accidental discharge, then rushing in to try to gather information about the victims, after the fact, with no well-defined control group.)

It's gratifying to see that we are finally starting to get off our duffs about this matter. A 2012 study published by the US Department of Energy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Environmental Health Sciences and publicized for us lay persons by the MIT news office had a remarkable outcome.

A test population of mice were irradiated with about 400 times the average natural background dose for Americans. The test subjects showed an average increase of 12 damage events per cell per day, out of a base rate of approximately 10,000 damage events per cell per day from normal ongoing biological processes. That is, their damage rate increased by only about 0.1% due to radiation exposure equal to 400 times the background rate.

Note carefully that I am not saying that low and medium levels of ionizing radiation are known to be safe. I am saying that humankind has not done the requisite investigative research to understand anything about such exposure.

We should be asking our political leaders to organize and fund structured, long-term, varied dosage, biological testing of mammals.  That's the only way we will know the truth about the biomedical effects of radiation.

For more information about the MIT study and other radiation research, see


or https://sites.google.com/site/radiationsafetylimits/ or blog

Timothy Maloney


Dear Dr. Weiner --

Your OpEd piece in Crisis Papers raises many questions about TEPCO's dissembling and U.S. corporate media doing next to nothing to inform concerned U.S. citizens about the dangers posed by the continuing leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi solid fuel nuclear power plant operated by the Japanese monopoly utility.

I watch English-language news broadcasts every night originating at NHK television studios in Tokyo. These broadcasts have faithfully followed the stories, almost daily, of TEPCO executives and mouthpieces saying one thing; bowing deeply in regret; then coming back the next day to explain that what was previously said was imprecise; bowing deeply in regret; then coming back the next day to explain.... etc, etc, ad nauseum.

The fact is, you cannot trust Large Corporations or their "press relations" representatives to tell the truth. It requires a free and unfettered press to do the job, despite the smoke screens and barriers to the truth erected by "evil doers" who are protected by "official secrets gag laws" in places like Japan and U.S. Thank you for doing your best to bring "the truth" to a largely apathetic U.S. audience -- one that is so completely familiar with being lied to. It requires a "newspaper (or website) of record" like the one that supports you to get past the self-serving corporatist "press information" that poses as fact.

I urge you to look into the liquid-fuel Thorium Energy Community, of which I am an enthusiastic supporter. Missing in all this reporting on Fukushima is a look at alternative "Liquid Fuel Nuclear Power" science from a chemical-based energy process proven in the 1960's at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee under the direction of Dr. Alvin Weinberg, and scuttled for political reasons by the Nixon Administration.

There would be no discussion about "hydrogen explosions" or "nuclear contaminated cooling water" had the Nuclear Regulatory Commission developed the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor of Dr. Weinberg's design. Developed for "peaceful purposes" because it produces no Plutonium (for weapons), this remarkable design of Dr. Weinberg's was shelved for decades -- until Wired Magazine ran a remarkable article that rekindled interest in this non-solid-fuel source of nuclear power.

I urge you to look into Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (ThMSR) science, many of whose supporters are listed in this e-mail.

Stephen J. Colvin (a concerned citizen who cares about how much cesium is in the sushi that I eat)



My name is Rick Spisak, News Director of PNN.  We are a weekly political journal webcast focusing on Activists.

I have connected with a video journalist who has visited the Fukushima site several times a year with a German Public Television unit. He's based in Asia.  I invite you to listen to his recent interview. [Fukushima Feb 15th].

Unfortunately he points out that all the incentives are against the Commercial Media covering the story. Since the stories of Hanford and New Mexico are also missing from Mainstream media we have little reason to hope that Mainstream Media will perform its duties to inform.

Leaving those responsibilities to Citizen Journalists like us (you, me, other activist lay people).

Rick Spisak, News Director of PNN

Very nice, Bernie! I'm glad you mentioned the diffusion of radiation molecules in both water and air. The Pacific Ocean is vast, as is the ever-moving atmosphere.

…We are all bombarded by radiation by cosmic rays from space (and from radon) all the time. It is known that one experiences more radiation exposure when flying or living at a higher altitude. But how much is too much? There are some official limits on what a person can absorb when working with radioactive materials. But there is no agreement in the scientific community regarding how little radiation is too little to worry about.

This makes it pretty hard to formulate a science-based opinion about how much additional radiation exposure from something like Fukushima is too much. I personally understand why government officials are uneasy making any pronouncements about this.

But, let's assume for the sake of discussion that less radiation exposure is always better. (Although, confusingly, here's some evidence to the contrary):

"Small amounts of radiation are actually beneficial. this was demonstrated by a study done by Johns Hopkins on 88 thousand shipyard workers. Half worked on nuclear subs and were exposed to radiation and the other half did similar work on non radioactive subs. The radiation workers had less cancer and heart disease than the non-radiation workers. The more radiation that the worker got the lower the adverse effects. Another study done in China found the same. A good selection of articles on low level radiation is here."

Let's also assume that the harm to us here on the West Coast that we are primarily worried about is an increase in cancer rates (putting aside for the moment the poor people close enough to the disaster to get a form of radiation poisoning.)

I have recently read the magisterial review of the history of cancer and cancer treatments, "The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. With apologies to Dr. Mukherjee, I think that we can generalize about the cause of cancer. It is when a gene in one of your cells goes off the tracks, due to damage or mutation, and starts a process of uncontrolled growth of cells that do not contribute to the functioning of the body, but rather (eventually) interfere with it.

One of the things that can cause cells to go rogue is damage caused by radiation exposure. If you are unlucky, any given cosmic ray might hit you in the wrong place and cause a cell to start replicating chaotically. Of course, the more radiation you are exposed to in addition to normal background radiation, the more likely one of these "strikes" might happen to you.

For all the reasons you mention in your piece, I have no expectation that the US Government is going to put any economic pressure on Japan to clean up the Fukushima site faster or better than they are doing. (It isn't like they're doing nothing. The PBS Newshour featured several stories about Fukushima yesterday, including one about people testing fish that swim directly in the plume of waste water still escaping (from the leaking reactors):

In sum, I certainly think it's worth being informed about this, but in all humility, I am more worried about population growth and climate change.

Meredith Watts

Bernie, this is powerful. I have to say that it makes me very pessimistic about all aspects of it: willingness to discover, willingness to act, knowledge to act. But you at least have pushed the window open a little more, and I hope you are getting lots of response. This is a conversation that needs to happen. Thanks for doing it.

Ginna Fleming

Dr. Weiner: Thank you for writing and posting this.

Given the massive lobbying power and money of the energy industry, I strongly doubt the U.S. government will make public anything it knows about Fukushima's radiation, unless it's time to issue an evacuation order along the West Coast.

It's in the energy industry's vested interest to keep things quiet for a number of reasons:

1) to prevent opposition to existing plans to build new nuclear power plants;

2) to prevent public outrage over existing nuclear power plants and their potential hazards ;

3) to avoid as long as possible the need to decommission the existing power plants;

4) to continue passing along the costs of decommissioning or upgrading these plants to the ratepayers;

5) to try and decrease the public's demand for wind and solar power, for fear that people or communities will drop off the nation's power grid and cause the utilities to lose customers;

6) to keep their stock prices up.

from DemocraticUnderground.com

Our salmon who come here to spawn, go there to grow up.

It ain't rocket science. I just wonder if those four-year-old salmon just won't show up because they will have died or if they will come with a present and how big that present will be?

from DemocraticUnderground.com

Um, okay.

I should worry about this more than big fucking earthquakes, tidal waves, and volcanoes? (All of which could happen here on the "Left Coast")

Or the greenhouse gases that will destroy this civilization?

Or the crap fossil fuel extraction and use releases into water?

Or maybe a train carrying oil could crash and burn, incinerating people in my city.

What about mercury in fish? That poisonous crap has a half-life of FOREVER.

I hate posts like yours. They seem to be disrespectful of the people who lost everything in the catastrophe. You know, like getting shredded up and drowned by a giant flood of saltwater...

The Fukushima power plants are a huge expensive mess to clean up, and a handful of people may die from the radiation released, but for gods sakes man, 16,000 humans perished and thousands more are missing because of water.

Furthermore, who the hell knows how many non-radioactive toxins were spilled? Things much worse than the stuff leaking out of the nuclear power plant, stuff that's undetectable by Geiger counters, stuff that will only be noticed when the grass won't grow, farm animals don't thrive, and clusters of birth defects and cancer are detected.

from DemocraticUnderground.com

Thank you for your thoughtful article.

Helen Caldicott, MD, has characterized Fukusall as "Random, Compulsory Genetic Engineer for the rest of time." Given the ever increasing frequency of nuclear disasters surely more "accidents" are bound to happen beyond those already here such as Three Mile Island, Cherbonyl and Fukushima. These nuclear power plants and atomic bombs are "Death Machines" and need to be shut down or eliminated. Thousands of tons of nuclear waste continues to pile up from these power plants and nuclear bomb production activities -- further threatening life on the planet for thousands of years. The latest WIIP plutonium accident in NM is a more recent disaster - and it has a half-life of about 25,000 year so it will take about 250,000 years before it decays to background radiation levels.

Polluting the ocean with radionuclides that can be bio-accumulated by up to a factor of 1,000 in animal and sea life should be a huge warning bell. What if something happens to the plankton (a mutation) and it stops producing oxygen?

I have a Ph.D. with a minor in theoretical physics and like this I am aware of Wolfgang Pauli, a Nobel Laureate, comment on fissioning the atom being a BLACK MASS that will cause matter to come against humanity because fissioning produces 1942 toxic radioactive substances in nuclear power plants when they come unglued.

Spraying sea water on the Fukushima cores "weaponized" the radiation by helping it to become airborne over greater distances in the form of fullerenes - - buckyball fullurenees. Further, ocean spray as mist can carry this radiation hundreds of miles inland from shorelines in concentrations 841 times that found in the seawater according to a UK study of nuclear power plant pollution off its coast line.

The ObamaNation of desolation is beholden to nuclear power; see his home state of IL in this regard.

from OpEdNews.com

Bernard Weiner replies:

Dear Morbid: R

Thanks for adding to our knowledge pool -- especially your pointing to the awful ramifications of pouring sea water ("ocean spray as mist") onto the melting cores, and the negative effects by so doing. I hadn't thought of that quite that way before.

Actually, one of the main reasons I wrote this Fukushima piece was precisely to generate an exchange of information, since so much has been hidden for far too long. I'm a mere layman with regard to nuclear power plants, but in just a few days i've heard from nuclear physicists, engineers, navy personnel, etc., all contributing important facts and insights, no doubt with more to come. Thank you for writing

Our world leaders and their corporatist cronies, can no longer be entrusted to tell us the truth. It is only a natural progression, for the trade winds and ocean currents to bring that radiation close to the West Coast if not directly contacting it. The contamination of the food chain in the Pacific itself, threatens our existence on this planet. We live in a very fragile environment, that depends on everything being just right. This obviously has upset the apple cart. Our beautiful planet will never be the same!

Arianna Marie Cigoliini
from OpEdNews.com

Thank you, Dr. Weiner. Most informative and disturbing news, tying a lot of dots together.

When and if humans begin to understand en masse that the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology are essentially unmalleable, there is that outside chance that it won't be too late to use the brains we were born with and act accordingly.

P.S. The only seriously confusing statement in your essay was reference to "respectable U.S. news outlets." I had no idea they existed.

Daniel Geery
from OpEdNews.com

Now there are reports of die-offs of scallops and oysters off the west coast. I did read that the starfish die-off is happening on the east coast as well, which, I suppose, lets Fukushima off the hook.

from smirkingchimp.com

A sampling from more than 200 letters to Truthout.org.

That, by now, so much of our leadership is still rationalizing and defending nuclear energy says what? I mean, about humanity. Perhaps we should be more seriously discussing spiritual existence after the death of humanity on Earth. We're only one generation away from extinction or near extinction. The President just o.k.'d $6.5 billion for a nuclear plant (can't find a dime for one new vocational high school or mass funding for solar and wind energy) and, then, gave the green light to Viet Nam to start building nuclear plants off the coast of the South China Sea.

from Truthout.org

For all concerned,
www.enenews.com has been reporting on Fukushima DAILY for almost 3 years.

Enenews gets its information from the mainstream media, actual released scientific studies and abstracts, and interviews from experts.

Enenews also has a wonderful community of commenters who add a MOUNTAIN of information every day.

Enenews also has a Forum of people with radiation monitors all around the world who post their results.

Enenews also has a Forum of people who watch Fukushima webcams.

Enenews has proven itself to be an above-board, highly respectable source of news on Fukushima.

from Truthout.org

Their cover is that there is nothing to worry about, and hence we don't need monitoring. Which is false and they know it. What the problem seems is that there aren't many people able to read radioactivity and be able to do spectral examination to determine what is causing the radiation they are able to read on their counters except -- wait for it -- the USA military. They do have and are using the equipment and know where and what radioactivity is out there.

There is a paper out in the Asia Pacific Journal titled "Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty." Through the Freedom of Information Act there are some facts in there that make this clear. They knew Tepco was incorrect and that there was major meltdown happening from what they was reading. That the USA is not telling the American people the numbers is wrong, but we should be used to these people using our money to futher themselves and nothing for the people that pay for them to have that knowledge.

This goes along the same line that if the earth was about to be hit by a meteorite, the people would be the last to know, and would only know once the government is safe and secure. And with the way the USA Goverment is covering for Japan is the good ol' boy system at work, and the USA is teaching them how to control their society. Cutting off their internet and controlling what is allowed to get out. Who is the USA loyal to , the American people or the Japanese goverment? The answer is apparent.

As for the nuclear engineers out there, after several conversations with these people, their knowledge is appalling and shows the depth of lack of understanding and just shows that humans shouldn't be messing with anything radioactive. They are either actually stupid or outright misleading people.

I'm old and have lived my life, but the life of those just starting out will be dealing with this. Sad future that we have left. Man Sucks…

Chernobyl taught that entombing (the reactors) in concrete was not the way to go, didn't work and is crumbling. Chernobyl is also only a part melt down of one reactor, and the coruim is confined to the building, Here are three cores melted down and they still haven't found the material. Chernobyl is a good read to attempt to understand what is happening at fukushima.

from Truthout.org

Several years after the Chernobyl disaster, the Russians drilled into the reactor and sent in a camera. The only thing remaining: a few pipes and graphite-moderator blocks. The entire core had melted. And it was a big reactor.

It held 190 tons of fuel. The three melted reactors at Fukushima held 257 tons. Chernobyl was a reactor sitting in a warehouse. It had no containment whatsoever. The steam explosion blew the lid off and destroyed the reactor building. The core was open to the atmosphere. The graphite caught fire. The Fukushima cores melted through the reactor vessel and the containment vessel and ate their way into the basement.

from Truthout.org

Nice article! It sickens me that TEPCO and the Japanese Government really don't care about the people they have contaminated with radiation! The people should know that just after the reactor meltdown started, an American internet company and the factory that makes a natural mineral radiation detox product called Zeolite offered a full shipping container load of Zeolite to both TEPCO and the Japanese Government for FREE! This free shipment of zeolite was enough to safely remove the radiation from thousands and thousands of peoples bodies both in Japan and on the American aircraft carrier called the Ronald Reagan where many sailors are now extremely sick from radiation poisoning! The fact is both TEPCO and the Japanese Government REFUSED THE FREE ZEOLITE! These people should be thrown in prison for crimes against humanity but here we are years later and they are still screwing everything up by poisoning our planet, lying about everything and getting away with it! THIS HAS TO STOP!

from Truthout.org

The meltdown is already complete. Those three cores have already melted down into the earth below the nuclear plant; and if they hit the water table, we're all fracked. But they are already emitting extremely high and dangerous levels of several lethal forms of radiation, which is in turn radiating dust and being blown, and falling out, all over the Northern Hemisphere. There was talk of building a "diaper" underneath them to prevent their further descent, but nothing has been done to accomplish it; and, thus, they continue to descend deeper and deeper underground.

Mr. S. Wolf Britain
from truthout.org

The GE horrible design of the Fukushima reactors that a first-year design student would know better than to do, places all the spent fuel rods on the 4th floor, in an unstable building that has leaked 300 tons of radioactive water daily below the building and in the Pacific since the original 3/11/11 quake. AND there is an underground stream from the mountains behind the site and natural runoff into the sea, with sandy soils--i.e. liquifaction conditions. One more quake and the largest nuke reactor on earth melts down with America's west coast in the direct airstream. Capiche?

Suzanne De Cornelia
from truthout.org

Bad design, absolutely. And that is about all you got right. 300 tons of groundwater passes through the power plant property every day. Some of it leaks into the basements of the reactor buildings and leaks out. If the underground stream were to liquify the soil it would have done it already because the plant was built over 40 years ago. The decay heat is .02% of what it was when the reactors were shut down; the average decay heat in the spent fuel rods in the #4 spent fuel pool is .01%. If the spent fuel pool were to collapse and all the remaining spent fuel rods spilled out onto the ground there wouldn't be enough heat to melt anything.

from truthout.org


It has liquified the soils, the soils are 'mushy' as stated repeatedly by those visiting the site.

Date: Aug 27, 2013: Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer: "The big problem is the nuclear reactors themselves have cracked floors. The buildings in those reactor buildings have cracked floors. And groundwater is getting into those buildings, and becoming contaminated, and then leaking out. So, in addition to what’s in those tanks, the physical plant itself is contaminating the groundwater as well.

So what Tepco tried to do is to build a wall along the water. They injected basically a concrete type of a compound and made the ground less porous....a poor idea — because what happened is the mountain that’s behind Fukushima continues to pour the water into the ground. Now it’s got no place to go. So now the groundwater’s rising and rising and rising and likely over-topping this wall, certainly going around it on the sides. So we’ve got radioactive water that can no longer be stopped from getting in the ocean.

It’s worse than that though. The radioactive water has made the site seismic-response different. The buildings that were on dry land are now on MUSHY land. So that if there were to be another earthquake, the seismic response of these buildings — which was already marginal — is further compromised because the ground that they are now on is wet soggy soil, when before it had been firm.

Suzanne De Cornelia
from truthout.org

Information about Fukushima should be more forthcoming and perhaps it's possible to eventually get various countries and their agencies to collaborate on some sort of long term cleanup and mitigation plan.

But the greater problem in this and many ecologically threatening events and practices is mankind's tendency to think only in terms of borders. Probably the single worst educational tool used for centuries is the Political Map. Such maps define boundaries and instill a sense of ownership over various parts of the planet and with that a a sense that when things happen "on someone else's property" everything will be fine as long as "they" take care of it. And if "they" don't take care of it, then "they're" the ones who will have to live with it.

This kind of thinking has to stop.

It is this worldview that has created a debate about climate change where none ought to exist because of a "can't see it from my house" way of thinking --that if something happens on the far side of the planet, it may be bad for "those people" but the rest of us needn't worry.

Indeed, our current policies of shipping carbon abroad is the very essence of this thinking. We tell ourselves that we will use the so-called "clean fuels" while the "dirty" fuels derived from tar sands and other sources are shipped to places like China, South Asia or Africa where "they" will burn it in "their" backyards so there's no need to worry about what happens here despite the fact that the atmosphere encompasses ALL backyards and whatever is pumped into it will affect us all.

The REAL globalism shouldn't be about commerce or economics but rather about the fact that whatever anyone does to this planet anywhere will have consequences for people everywhere and that environmental threats do not respect political borders and cannot be made to stay in the "backyard" from whence they originated.

Voice of Reason
from truthout.org

Dr. Weiner: Finally, a well written, intelligent article on this disaster. I will look forward to a follow-up article in time. No one in the mainstream seems to take any notice of the precarious and dangerous situation in Japan. I even wonder whether they will ever actually host the Olympics in four years.

from truthout.org


A sampling from more than 250 letters to Facebook

WHY? Isn't it obvious. The 'lies' that we are told act as pacifiers. They (Governments) Have NO solutions!!

Elaine Wilson


Just like the U.S., the free world is lining up in support of censorship. Of course if General Electric was held responsible for their design errors here, Japan wouldn't have to hide anything. Why isn't the U.N. getting involved?

Wyatt Wood

I worked for the Boston Edison Co at Pilgrim Nuclear Plant, spills, accidents no supervision and massive cover ups. I pumped radioactive waste. We'll see more and bigger problems here in the states. I'm sure of that.

Tom Mulcachy


Thank you for a very informative article. The apathetic response internationally from world leaders is seriously unbelievable and alarming.

Suzy Cashmore

from Facebook.com


Well now, isn't that unsettling.....I smell the mighty dollar blocking the appropriate concern and monitoring.

Pam Holt |

Most people I talk to think everything at Fukushima is over and done with. I recently spoke with a group of retirees and asked them and none of them was aware of the leakage into the Pacific Ocean going on everyday. It is because six media giants control almost all of the media in the USA. Fox is controlled by two foreign nationals -- that was unheard of a generation ago.

Roy Gunter

They've had to release 100's of tons of radioactive water into the ocean because they are still trying to find a way to quickly & easily store all that waste water in tanks of which they're running out of - good luck & good night …..One reason: they , nor the world , don't know what exactly to do about this safe , clean energy plant that is in a meltdown situation . As for me , no more Pacific seafood for a few decades or longer.

Ron Stout

And why isn't the US government protesting the secrecy law in Japan? Why aren't the rest of the world governments demanding transparency? Instead, President Obama passed new "guidelines" for the EPA increasing "acceptable" levels o radioactivity OUR water and soil, a move that was denounced by scientists in the U.S. warning of the potential increase of cancer for people exposed to these new levels.

Dolores Bardoneschi

I believe that now we all have Fukushima molecules in our lungs, next to the Chernobyl molecules who were starting to feel lonely. Poor things!

Shiva Layananda Pashstupati

Why isn't' the UN involved in this global catastrophe with an international response in terms of money and work?

Nancy Pitt

Certainly it can't have anything to do with the corporate media in Corporate America!

Enviro Show

I live in Northern California and every time I bring this up I get called a 'chicken little' because they say, there's no scientific proof yet that its a problem for us. Maybe not yet, but how could it not eventually be a problem for us.

Joel Christian Cook

The full story isn't as dramatic as the hysteria being invented by conspiracists. The real story is that the leak is so well-contained that even the emergency workers who were in the damaged reactor and their radioactive cooling water pools haven't come down with any tumors or cancers at all. None of them died.

John T. Steiner

"Experts" often believe that the "non-experts" are too stupid to be involved, while repeating "public-engagement" mantras.

Stanislav Birko

MARCH 18, 2014

About Ernest Partridge's Essay: Russia -- An Appreciation 

Very good, Sir

As a Russian immigrant and an honest America, I salute you.


Mark Sashine

Thank you. Russia is a great country who has suffered much over the years from without and from within. My mother is an escapee from the Bolsheviks.

Hosea McAdoo

Russia is a great country that is unfortunate enough to have dictators with imperial ambitions for most of its history.

Sergey Yesenin: Selected poems

"My heart will rise as throbbing sun,
Then I will say, in whispered shout:
"I'm just like you, O fallen one
I also have now no way out."

On crooked streets in Moscow bright,
My loving dog has fled the rod;
My measly house has stooped in fright:
I am to die, thus deemed my God"


Translation Hadi Deeb"
From theinkbrain.wordpress.com:


Well Said, and Valuable. By valuable, I meant "highly educational." Having lived through the "cold war" and read books designed to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid, in re "Communism," this article ties many dots together for me, and gives me a remarkable glimpse into my own brainwashing. Thanks for posting!

Daniel Geery

If we could get most people to ignore the power mongering politicians and their media echo chamber and just communicate with each other across international boundaries, we could create the kind of world we want.

This essay is but one example of how this can be done.



Bravo. That needed to be said.

McCain's gas station remark is self diagnostic.

Today's evil empire isn't out to get the communists, it's out to get the Russians themselves. In fact, historian A Sutton wrote that Wall Street put the bolshies in power there in order to destabilize Russia. 

It's always been about Russia the Rival power or people. Like Churchill said, WW2 wasn't against Nazism, it was against the German people per se.

Ditto the bankster's war on Russia and its people.

John Paul Leonard

Very interesting. but I suspect that there are several different kinds of RUSSIAN life, some less cultured than this. still in all, this is a remarkable story.

And he covered pretty much everything, except that they alone in the world were willing to give SNOWDEN refuge.

The Smirking Chimp

I don't remember what year it was when some Soviet pilot stole one of their brand-new, top-of-the-line fighter planes and flew it to Japan, where he then sought sanctuary.

As I recall, all the top military brass couldn't wait to dissect the plane and learn something about the then-current state of Soviet arms technology. I also heard that after examining it, they were stunned by how well the Soviets had managed to match the performance of our fighters, but using what we considered outdated, antique technologies. They specifically mentioned the plane's much greater weight than the US counterpart, but noted that the extra horsepower it's' engine provided more than made up for the weight difference. There was a bunch of other stuff, about the Soviets using cast iron for all sorts of things that would be titanium or aluminum in our version. The bottom line being that although it was obvious several of their technologies were years behind ours, they had compensated for them quite amply, and the plane was considered by them to be a damn fine piece of engineering, given what the designers had had to work with, and very much a match for any plane we were fielding at the time.

I guess they were stunned because it had always been assumed that if the Soviets fielded a plane that performed as well as one of ours, they were convinced it could only have been because they stole the technology from us and reverse-engineered it. What they found apparently told them otherwise, that they just had really good, competent designers and engineers who found solutions to some problems that we just hadn't thought of, because we didn't have to deal with the lack of some items and materials we just took for granted. Strength through adversity, indeed.

Anybody who attempts to label Russia as backward doesn't know much about Russia, or Russians. They also usually don't take kindly to being labeled backward, but then again, who would?

Their list of eminent scientists alone is pretty imposing. The fact that most of them were able to match scientific achievements of the West, using at the time what was considered here as substandard equipment, computers, and facilities, might make them BETTER than their western counterparts, all things considered. Certainly it shows their determination and ability to focus, if nothing else. I have nothing but respect for the state of Russian science and technology. They also make extremely good weapons. But since most of those were ostensibly designed to be used for the destruction of our military, it becomes hard for the average American to think of the tech involved in creating them as innovative or clever, due to an inherent bias people seem to have against things designed to kill them.

Who'd have thought


Perhaps it was this guy, very interesting
From wiki;

Belenko was born in Nalchik, Russian SFSR in a Ukrainian family. Lieutenant Belenko was a pilot with the 513th Fighter Regiment, 11th Air Army, Soviet Air Defence Forces based in Chuguyevka, Primorsky Krai. His name became known worldwide on September 6, 1976, when he successfully defected to the West, flying his MiG-25 "Foxbat" jet fighter to Hakodate, Japan. This was the first time that Western experts were able to get a close look at the aircraft, and it revealed many secrets and surprises....

The Smirking Chimp

Putin's tactical genius has allowed Obama to stiff-arm the NeoCons and Russo-phobes twice already, once on Syria and again on Iran. (Too bad the Norwegians on the Nobel Committee hate Russians.) I wish the inveterate Putin-bashing could stop for at least five friggin' minutes.

The USSR fought and largely defeated Hitler along a 2,000-mile front while the US and Brits were gallivanting around in North Africa. Can we at least credit the Soviets with the friggin' win in World War II? If not for that victory, Churchill and his later compatriots might well be speaking German.

Coalition of the Unwilling
The Smirking Chimp

Yeah! But what do they know about the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo, March Madness and the Super Bowl?

Stalin and waiting in line for bread helped sully the Russian mystique you and I are fascinated by, Ernest, and, I have never read a better writer than Fyodor Dostoevsky. See: It was we Russians who invented the world's biggest microchip! This is sour grapes, acknowledging that a country exists whom we could never best in a war.

The T-34 tank together with Adolph's underestimation of it did as much to defeat Germany as Eisenhower or Patton, together with their armies. Its sloping frontal armor was the prototype for all the tanks around the world that followed it, including the incomparably inferior, ramshackle Sherman, our mainstay during the war, the one the German 88mm cannon could shoot right through at point blank range. The T-34 was more dependable than the panzers and its parts were mass produced and easily to replace, it started reliably in sub-zero weather.

It was so successful and such a factor in the Big War that the Russians, dependent on tank warfare, once owned a million of them, to defend the motherland in the Cold War. The Pentagon has been fixated on fighting Russian successors to the T-34 in the Fulda Gap, invading the rest of Europe, discounting the counterinsurgencies we have been fighting and losing since 1945.

The Smirking Chimp

Crisis Papers editors, Partridge & Weiner, are available for public speaking appearances