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Point and Click

The Cold War is starting to look really good to me. Remember the good old days when the biggest threat to our national security and safety was Brezhnev barking into the infamous red phone, “Nuke ’em!” (in Russian, naturally)?

Ah, for some of that post-World War II, 20th century instability.

I got to thinking about this as I pulled out some summer clothes last weekend, including a T-shirt I’ve had almost 20 years.



“Project Raft” it says on the front in English ” and below that, the same thing in the Cyrillic letters of Russian. In the middle of the shirt is a picture of the globe, and two paddles ” one with an American flag on it, and the other, the blood red flag of the former U.S.S.R., with hammer, sickle and star in the upper left corner.

On the back, in blue lettering, it says, “Whitewater Diplomacy: Russians and Americans for Teamwork” in both English and Russian.



I got the shirt in Moscow in 1987, where I was part of a local group that traveled to the then Soviet Union for an international environmental conference.

That summer, Gorbachev was in the midst of his perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) campaigns. I got that shirt from a free enterprising teenage boy.

I traded my bright blue Patagonia anorak for the Project Raft shirt, a Soviet watch, a bunch of Lenin pins, and a sweatshirt with a portrait of Stalin on it ” his mustached profile X-ed out in red, with the words “Never Again!” printed in Russian across the top.

He got the Project Raft T-shirt from a bunch of Americans in Moscow. They were in the Soviet Union on a mission of glasnost, running Russian rivers with Soviets ” symbolic river trips to show cooperation between the world’s superpowers.

Wasn’t life easier when all we had to worry about was the big Red Menace? Of course, that’s a wildly simplistic view, but pre-9-11, the chances that massive war would kick in seemed sort of far off and removed.

Terrorism is a whole different deal. We know that terror can strike at any time and any place because a scattered collection of people have a deep, fundamental hatred of those who are not like them ” and in turn, threaten them.

Since the dawn of human beings’ time on Earth, people have fought with people over territory and goods. We’re not immune ” as we all know, that’s how the West was “won.” And before we won the West, those before us fought their own battles amongst themselves.

Maybe it’s just a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but looking back, I’d sure prefer fretting over one identifiable group, rather than a secretive, diffused faction whose main purpose is to rid the world of all who don’t think, look and act like them.

Or would I?

” Carrie Click is a Post Independent staff writer who realizes some people may agree with her and some may not ” which is totally OK with her. You can reach Carrie at 945-8515 ext. 518, or cclick@postindependent.com.


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