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Looking for a Chaotic Superpower? Try U.S.

October 29, 1989

James Flanigan's column ("The Payoff in Making Soviets Our Customers," Oct. 8) was interesting in a mild sort of way until the very end.

Suddenly, an article pleasantly devoid of the inflammatory language I've come to expect in any article purportedly analyzing the Soviets springs to life. Mr. Flanigan quotes Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard: "Our response . . . should be that of a rational capitalist, calculating what is in our interest. The Soviet economy of today . . . is near chaos, and we've never had a chaotic superpower."

I'm not one for defending the Soviets, but statements like this are too much to bear. Where have we seen a chaotic superpower before? Maybe . . . us?

If this country, with its one-sided emphasis on the best interests of mega-corporations at the expense of individual taxpayers and national resources, is not a chaotic superpower, I have pink elephants sprouting in my back yard. It's precisely that calculation of what's "in our interest" that has led to the war in Nicaragua and uncountable other gross blunders.

The United States, with an unimaginable national debt that threatens never to be resolved, pumps millions of dollars a day out of this country, supporting cockamamie plots to covertly expand and exert the influence of American business interests. At the same time we ignore the bulk of our own citizens, we elect officials who proceed to bilk the public, we have demonstrations in Washington to demand seemingly obvious necessities. . . . The list goes on and on.

What we have is a nation truly feeling out of control, where whole chunks of society are methodically forced out of a system they paid taxes to erect. The depressing reality is that the only "grave danger" American citizens face resides in Congress and the White House.



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