]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]   BOB POOLE REPLIES TO HANK PHILIPS   [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[    
          [Robert W. Poole is the publisher of REASON,        
       whose book review was criticized on the floor below.] 

January 27, 1989

     I am very disappointed in Hank Philips's "Unreason" piece, which 
I thank you for sending me.  He attacks REASON for publishing a book 
review by Ted Carpenter--not by taking issue with the substance of the 
review but by citing a half-dozen excerpts from a Cato Institute 
report by Carpenter on an entirely different subject!  Didn't this 
used to be called guilt by association?  
     Given his previous criticisms of REASON's defense and foreign 
policy coverage, I would have thought Philips would be pleased to see 
a book review that (1) opposes the policy of Mutual Assured 
Destruction (2) supports the principle of homeland defense, and (3) 
argues that it is time to scrap the ABM Treaty and get on with 
building an ABM system. (And this also represents a welcome step in 
the right direction for a representative of the Cato Institute, I 
might add.)
     Indeed, the only bone Philips has to pick with the entire review, 
apparently, is the point which he does "wrench out of context" from 
Carpenter's review--namely, that the present US commitment to NATO 
inherently involves the threat of a US nuclear first strike.  This is 
a fact, which all knowledgeable participants in defense-policy debates 
must address.  A growing number of us--including such conservatives as 
Irving Kristol, Melvyn Krauss, William Safire, Sam Cohen, Russell 
Kirk, and the late Larry Beilenson--have concluded that it is time for 
Europe to begin defending itself, with its own nuclear weapons.  The 
United States should build defenses against a Soviet nuclear attack, 
while phasing out its commitment to defend a Europe which is quite 
capable of doing the job for itself.
     If Hank Philips would like to take issue with this proposition, 
well and good--we can debate it.  But his cheap shots at Carpenter and 
REASON do not increase anyone's understanding of these issues.

     Robert W. Poole, Jr.

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