Scraps of paper do matter, although Thomas Powers seems to agonize about the INF treaty's true value since it is just a scrap of paper.
Bits of paper with text have been powerful documents since the invention of paper and writing. The Magna Carta and the United States Constitution come to mind as magnificent examples for the past few centuries. And even the lowly deed to property-- "another scrap of paper"-- seems important for many people.
Powers notes that, "The nuclear age, . . . has been one long episode of psychological denial--a plain refusal to admit the danger posed by nuclear weapons." The INF treaty has historical importance because it signals a change for brain-numbed humanity that denies the possibility of its extinction by nuclear weapons. The treaty is a start in the right direction; the first reduction in nuclear bombs, a clue to new thinking, a recognition that nuclear war can't work and a sign that given a choice, mankind will avoid war and chose non-violent negotiations.
This scrap of paper is the first solid support for the survival of generations, present and future, in the nuclear age. It's fragile. Let's not let it blow away before its job is done.
Rancho Palos Verdes