Back on Speaking Terms

In nature, when masses of ice begin to melt, then fissure, they can make a sort of thunder, a great bass popping that echoes for miles. It is a startling noise. In Washington and Moscow last week there was a similarly surprising noise that sounded, just maybe, like the first tremors of a thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations. It came Thanksgiving Day, with officials in each country reading identical statements to reporters. At the White House, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane delivered the tidings deadpan. "The United States and the Soviet Union have agreed...

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