Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 4, 2014

MAUREEN HAYDEN: Lugar's legacy: Cooperation to save the world

Global leaders, including Congress, have obligation to humanity.

In October 2012, at a dinner with friends, I found myself sitting next to woman who’d grown up in Russia. Finding out I was a reporter, she demanded to know why Indiana Republicans had months earlier cast aside longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.

She couldn’t understand why Lugar’s decades of reaching across the aisle had led to his vilification by the tea party in the Republican primary, ending his long political career.

“He saved my life,” she said, and the lives of millions of others.

Growing up as the Soviet Union collapsed, her childhood fears were the stuff of nightmares. The forces protecting chemical and nuclear weapons were disintegrating into chaos and corruption, and she feared every day could be her last.

That conversation came back to me last week as I listened to Lugar and his longtime Democratic ally in disarmament, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, expound on the virtues of compromise.

Lugar, 81, and Nunn, 75, were guests of the University of Indianapolis at a public event titled “Diplomacy in a Dangerous World.” Moderator Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio deftly guided them through a recounting of the origins of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

Created in the early 1990s, that program has been credited with eliminating 10,000 weapons of mass destruction — including 7,600 nuclear warheads — before the disarmament agreement with Russia expired last year.

Lugar and Nunn spoke of a chilling conversation they once had with Russian officials they’d come to know. As the Cold War was ending, those officials told the senators, “You Americans must know that the security is breaking down around the nuclear weapons pointed at you.”

Lugar remembered asking, “What do you want?”

The response: “We’re going to need a lot of money.”

It was a hard sell for the men to make to their colleagues in Congress: Give aid to a longtime enemy who’d amassed enough weaponry to destroy the world several times over.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

  • FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Learning from others' mistakes through literature If you’ve ever been locked out of somewhere — your home, your car, your workplace — I expect you could tell me all the details of the incident, even if it was years or decades ago. Why? Our brains remember major events, and it’s a big deal to be stra

    July 20, 2014

  • RAY DAY: We need to get tough Last year I said I was going to quit trying to do anything about the shooting off of fireworks in the neighborhoods. But as anyone who knows me can say, I don't give up on things that are of utmost danger. Here it was, a week before the Fourth of Jul

    July 19, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Is this country doomed to ceaseless polarization? We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don't much like the way it's performing. The reason for this dissatisfaction is clear. Polls in recent years detail a polarized nation, divided both ideolog

    July 18, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller