I looked out my window through the rain, hail and lightning this weekend and noticed everything was still in place.
It had looked like the last U.S.
election was so close that the US could split up.
But, the fact is, we changed leadership in peace and no part of the country requested the right to leave the union.
People are still dying to get into the U.S.
In Moscow Sunday, they were celebrating the attempted military coup that failed 10 years ago.
The Soviet Union fell apart following that failed coup.
Boris Yeltsin, then president of the Russian Federation, one of the republics, stood on a tank in Moscow and faced down the crowd.
Two days later, the coup plotters gave up.
Four months later Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Soviet Union out of existence.
That was Christmas Day 1991.
Today, President George W.
Bush is taking a lot of flak about not keeping treaties signed with the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
He seems to be the only one who understands the country that signed those treaties, including the ones related to reducing and controlling missiles and atomic weapons, no longer exists!
I went to the atlas to check on my geography of the region.
I was glad I never had to learn the names and their spelling in geography class.
"Soviet Union" or USSR had always been good enough.
Now I find Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan along the southern edge of what was the USSR.
These are now Muslim countries with a neighbor like Afghanistan.
Many of the USSR missiles were located here.
Moscow has had no control of missiles in this area for the past10 years.
Wonder where the missiles are? China? Iran? Iraq? Maybe in the hands of terrorists?
Other countries around the Black Sea no longer part of the USSR include Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
In the north Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are no longer in the USSR.
I counted 12 countries that are now independent of the USSR and separate from Russia.
They no longer answer to the government in Moscow.
Yet, we continue to act like the old treaties cover the entire region.
In those days a wall separated Berlin and there were two Germanys.
The Balkan countries where we have troops were in the Soviet block along with all of Eastern Europe.
That included Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was meant for the defense of Europe with the above Eastern European countries serving as a buffer from attack from the USSR.
Now some of those countries are in NATO and others have applied,
The European Economic Community was mostly talk.
Now the countries have a common currency and seem to form a block to criticize the US.
Finally, we have a president who recognizes the changes in geography in Europe and Asia.
I have wondered for the past ten years when our leaders would wake up and plan for the Post Cold War period.
The other super power in the world has broken into 13 pieces and cannot make the one piece left, Russia, work.
To me, it is simple.
Any treaty left over from the former USSR is, at best, good for starting over.
Certainly, Russia cannot make those dangerous countries to the south be responsible with the missiles they kept.
The USA can hardly talk to those countries, let alone build a good missile treaty.
The USA has a new role in the world, one we have ignored for the past 10 years.
We are the ONE super power.
That brings a need for new thinking.
During the Cold War, we could work with the USSR and make mutual agreements that controlled most of what the world would do.
In fact, the rest of the world was very good at playing the USSR and the USA off each other like a spoiled child plays one parent off the other.
I see the USA during the past 10 years as the giant Gulliver.
I see the rest of the world as the smaller folks who tied Gulliver with thousands of tiny ropes while he lay quietly and allowed them to tie him in knots.
Gulliver was in no position to lead.
Bush at least recognizes the world has changed and the role of the USA must change to meet new conditions and challenges.
He could use some enlightened media and loyal opposition that could recognize the need for change.
They could call it change instead of "isolation."
Maybe I will send a new map to Washington.
It is possible that some of those folks have been in Washington so long they have not noticed the world outside the beltway has changed! The senator from South Dakota hasn't noticed either!
The USSR no longer exists.
The Berlin Wall is gone.
East Germany is gone.
Soon, even Russia will be in NATO.
Thanks "W" for noticing!