Our reader Steven M. Robinson: An open letter to President Putin

Dear President Putin, This coming weekend you will be meeting in Shanghai with George W. Bush. Mr. Bush will try to convince you that the American people support his proposal to violate the ABM treaty and install a missile defense shield over North America. Please know that a huge number of Americans do NOT support this position, and wish to honor the treaty. Recently, an independent research body, the PEW Research Center, did a survey that showed 42% of Americans are AGAINST the United States violating the ABM treaty. Even in the face of these overwhelming numbers, Mr. Bush ignores our pleas and pushes ahead with his missile defense plan.

In a recent press conference, Mr.Bush said that he would justify the violation of the ABM treaty by explaining to you how the American people want him to protect America from “rogue terrorists” that may somehow gain control of a nuclear weapon and fire it at the U.S. If he actually attempts this tactic when you meet him this weekend, please explain to him that we Americans are not as ignorant as he thinks we are, and we do not believe him when he says these things. Evidence backs up this disbelief. Canadian Security Intelligence Service briefing documents, released through the Canadian Access to Information Act, showed that the U.S. and its allies are only feigning concern about these “rogues.” His true goal is control without reprisal.

If he does not back off on his position to violate the ABM treaty, try another tactic, such as suggesting total nuclear disarmament. If he feels that it is unworkable, show him that there already is a precedent - many nations on a quest for peace have eagerly signed the recent Land Mine Ban Treaty. In fact, if Mr. Bush were to change his position and sign it, there would be no land mines left anywhere in North, Central, or South America. The movement for global disarmament is real.

It is sad that an American citizen, born and raised in a country that professes to have the freest, most open society in the world, has to resort to using independent underground or foreign news agencies in order to get a clear picture of the events that are occurring in the world today. It is even worse that a loyal American citizen has to resort to pleading to the head of a foreign state in order to have any hope that his voice will be heard at home.

It is my sincere hope that Russia and the U.S. will form a lasting friendship and put the Cold War and its rhetoric to rest. Please, when you meet with Mr. Bush this weekend, remember that his term in office will only be for three more years and hopefully the relationship between our two nations will last for much longer than this. Try, as best you can, to plan for a long and fruitful relationship between our two nations - and hold fast to your convictions.

Sincerely Yours, Steven M. Robinson

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