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A political point?

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:Your headline on the front page of the Monday July 12 edition (“Bush vitriol flows forth”) was neither an accurate representation of the State of the World Conference I attended, nor of the article below the banner. You did a disservice to the stellar lineup of speakers at this world-class event and to the spirit and enthusiasm of most of the 450 participants.The article chose to focus on two speakers who are critics of the current administrations policies but, after the opening paragraphs, the article itself was fairly balanced. These speakers, national authorities on Iraq and terrorism, expressed their criticism in strong terms, but others had different points of view. In my speech to the conference, I specifically praised several initiatives of the Bush administration’s effort to counter the spread of nuclear weapons. I had additional policy prescriptions, but none of my comments were “vitriol,” nor were those of the majority of the speakers. In fact, most of the speakers addressed global policy issues such as global warming and energy policy. The spirit of the gathering was one of good humor, excitement and positive recommendations for change. Most participants praised the event and left, as one told me, “smarter and more hopeful than when I came.”I am sorry that your reporter and, most clearly, your editor saw this only in partisan political terms. It seems your paper had a political point to make.Joseph CirincioneDirector for Non-ProliferationCarnegie Endowment for International PeaceWashington, D.C.


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