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    Missile Defense

Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor Wernher Von Braun helped give us rocket science. Today, the legacy of military aeronautics has many manifestations from SDI to advanced ballistic missiles. Now there is a controversial push for a new missile defense system. What will be the role of missile defense in the new geopolitical climate and in the new scientific era?

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rshowalt - 03:53pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#280 of 396)

the following passage, I believe, contains the seeds of a really gripping piece of theater.

"If Clinton were put on a witness stand, with videotape, and a competent lawyer (Gerry Spence might be best) were to walk through the word usages in this passage in context, it would be chilling. The passage is one of the scariest things I've seen, and it is standard, classic U.S. military doctrine."

People would leave the theater really wrenched, and anxious to have our country fix this system of world-paralyzing, dangerous mistakes. So that we could sing our countries' proud, powerful songs, with renewed pride.

beckq - 04:08pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#281 of 396)

rshowalt - 03:50pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#279 of 280)

Your presentation fails to note that Clinton could not use such weapons on another without the political fallout that it would create thereafter. In addition if used against another nuclear power-it would put into question the very survival of the country he was placed into office to protect.

beckq - 04:10pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#282 of 396)

The utilization of a first strike option allows for the extended detterence options. less we follow the Indians view-and let people get knocked off each month because their 'no first use' has left them with a hand tied behind its back.

rshowalt - 04:12pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#283 of 396)

In the Guardian TALK forum, a variously pseudonymed Lunarchick (Dawn Riley) and I discuss paradigm conflict

- a major thing is that we discuss the way groups of people can systematically misrepresent basic aspects of reality, for long times, and not see truth right in front of them. I think anyone trusting any analyst's judgement about anything (my judgement or anybody elses') should know what's in it. People make serious mistakes in judgement and logic all the time. We shouldn't bet our lives, and the life of the world, on the ideas of a bunch of unchecked analysts. We shouldn't bet on our ideas that much. We aren't smart enough for that. Nuclear weapon doctrine is a wrenching example of hubris, and it is full of basic mistakes. And WHEN RIGHT ANSWERS ACTUALLY MATTER, THE OBLIGATION TO CHECK MUST BE MORALLY FORCING - Instead "You can't check ME" is the watchword today. I bet not even President Clinton can get straight answers out of the CIA. Or DOD, if he's "rocking a boat." These operations, as now constituted, are built to avoid straight, checkable answers. Want documentation supporting this assertion? How much do you want?

We need to get scared, take a good look, and fix this. We can. Then we need to explain what was done, so "everybody is reading off the same page" about what happened (not necessarily how they feel about it, but what happened.) When that's done, we'll all feel better, I think, and our economies will run better, too. And the good in America will be clearer to us, and to the rest of the world as well.

Getting rid of nuclear weapons can be done quickly, and we should get on with it.

beckq - 04:22pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#284 of 396)

rshowalt - 04:12pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#283 of 283)

Your view of morality indicates that all war must be viewed from such a lens. Any weapon from sword and sligshot to atomic bomb are all the same. They kill.

Thus morality and nuclear weapons are no more then an examination of morality and weapons.

beckq - 04:24pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#285 of 396)

"everybody is reading off the same page"

You would have no difference in opinion.

rshowalt - 04:24pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#286 of 396)

becq has two contradictory posts just above - one saying we can't use first strikes, the next saying that we can, and can do so advantageously, to avoid a few casualties.

Well, no American, after all these years, has ever actually made a first strike, thank God. But we use the "option" of a first strike routinely in our patterns of discussion, in our patterns of deception, in the lies that we tell other countries when we threaten them. We should come up with safer lies.

Ridiculous, outrageous lies can be very effective in psychological warfare. They disorient. There's no response to their absurdity.

In the movie Casablanca , Captain Renault, the corrupt prefect of police, is ordered by a Nazi to shut RICK's down. He has no reason, and he's told to find one. He finds a good one - good because it is so absurd.

"I'm SHOCKED, SHOCKED, to find gambling going on here."

Well, Renault gambles at Ricks many nights, and all know it. In this scene, Renault recieves some gambling winnings as he's delivering his line. Others have no response to the absurdity.

We use threats of first strikes, or discussion of first strikes in our systems of operations, to disorient minds. It is very effective psychological warfare. A good deal of the history of the Cold War turns on this psychological warfare. The Cold War is over, and we should stop fighting it, and get rid of the dangerous props we use for lies we've grown fond of.

We have plenty of other ways that we can threaten other nation states.

beckq - 04:25pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#287 of 396)

Getting rid of nuclear weapons can be done quickly, and we should get on with.

Again, provide a weapons that was 'rid' of in human history.

On the contrary history suggest that weapons are only 'rid' of when another more advanced weapon comes along and makes the former obsolete.

rshowalt - 04:26pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#288 of 396)

becq asks "I would have no differences of opinion."

Good point. People are entitled to different opinions BUT NOT DIFFERENT FACTS. On issues that matter, facts can be established, and should be. That's especially important, now, about our dealings with the Russians, where deception has been so historically important to what has happened to them, and to us.

beckq - 04:27pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#289 of 396)

"becq has two contradictory posts just above - one saying we can't use first strikes"

  • Really? I believe your mistaken. Care to tell me where that is so indicated?

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