To the Editor:
Several weeks ago, the News-Letter published a letter I wrote on the subject of cooperation. Then on Dec. 28, a response from Irving Glater appeared, defending Trump's refusal to cooperate with the rest of the world.
Nuclear proliferation carries the risk of annihilating us all. The immediate threat is that Iran might develop nuclear weaponry. The nations of the world persuaded Iran not to do so, and to permit international inspectors to enforce the agreement. Mr. Glater says that this agreement is "detrimental or harmful to America." How does the agreement harm us? Is Iran less likely to develop nuclear weapons without the inspectors? Will relying on sanctions, as we have done with North Korea, be more effective?
Climate change threatens to result in almost unimaginable damage to us all. Again, the international community got together to take measures to address the problem cooperatively with the Paris Climate Agreement. Mr. Glater finds that the agreement, too, is "detrimental or harmful to America." His hero, Trump, has withdrawn, preferring to encourage more production and use of fossil fuels, the main cause of the problem. What kind of solution is that?
Unfortunately, this same kind of nationalism and authoritarianism is infecting much of the world. Democracy is on the decline. More and more countries are falling prey to the blandishments of dictators appealing to what they represent as the countries' self-interest. The UK is shooting itself in the foot by withdrawing from the EU, the only question being how much that move will reduce its GDP. Similarly, Trump's trade war is damaging our economy. Economists know that trade barriers harm us all, but politicians manage to sell the notion that economic cooperation somehow threatens a country's sovereignty.
Both Trump and Glater believe that cooperation with other nations makes us "the patsy of the world." This sounds more like paranoia than common sense. Refusal to cooperate carries a stiff price.