By Martin Goldstein
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Before long, Ivan and Sam find themselves in an extremely touchy situation, not unlike that between the United States and the Soviet Union today. Each one prefers to stay alive. Ideally, each would like to do so and at the same time establish his superiority over the other, but not in a shootout, because that would be too risky. Also, each has taken a number of measures, basically though not totally for defensive purposes, such as arming himself and forming a gang. In Sam's eyes, these measures only confirm his suspicion that Ivan is out to bushwhack him; Ivan feels the same way.
The Soviet Union never claimed to accept human rights in the Western sense of the term. According to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, the Communist party knows what is best for the populace, and whatever the party ordains advances the human rights of everyone in the society. Carter and his aides fired especially loud verbal salvos against the Kremlin's treatment of dissidents, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Andrei Sakharov, and restrictions placed on Jews who wanted to leave Russia. The Soviet Union reacted to Carter's criticism with mounting fury.
It is, rather, a problem of choosing between alternatives. I do not oppose the objective of those who wish to use trade policy to affect the evolution of Soviet society; it does seem to me, however, that they have chosen the wrong vehicle and the wrong context. We cannot accept the 'principle that our entire foreign policyor even an essential component of that policy such as a normalization of our trade relationsshould be made dependent on the transformation of the Soviet domestic structure. .
Americas Foreign Policy: Drift or Decision by Martin Goldstein