Subject: [IP] Oppenheimer and other unwelcomes
Begin forwarded message:
From: Bob Frankston <Bob19firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: August 4, 2005 4:07:53 PM EDT To: Dave Farber <email@example.com> Subject: Oppenheimer and other unwelcomes
Against the back drop of increased secrecy and the attempts to prevent “foreigners” from coming to the US there’s an interesting interview about Robert Oppenheimerhttp://www.itconversations.com/ shows/detail539.html (it’s not new -- 27-May-2005, I’m just slowly catching up on my podcasts).
The importance of people who would be classified as enemies and traitors in the development of the atomic bomb is very interesting. Germans who were not US Citizens and those who learned organization techniques from participating in Communist activities were essential to the effort. After the war paranoia dominated. Today …
There was an interview with Sergei Khrushchev on C-Span a while ago. He’s the son of Nikita Khrushchev who took over after Stalin. Sergei is now a US citizen. He spoke of traveling with his father and how his father was surprised at how hostile the US was and felt he had to take a most adversarial position. As an aside, I remember watching Khrushchev from Hunter College across the street where my mother taught. In elementary school I was him in a school play banging my shoe on the desk.
I don’t claim to be an expert on all the politics involved nor all of the historic details so don’t want to read too much into this but it is at least worth thinking about the price we pay for viewing others simply as enemies. It’s understandable that we saw Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (strange, having worked so hard to avoid referring to them as Russians Russia is back again but it was indeed the USSR then) as if it were still Stalin’s country.
If anything we seem even more hostile towards the rest of the world than we did in the 1950’s … it was also the same time we added “in God we Trust” to the Pledge of Allegiance.
History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself but we should be aware of echoes.
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