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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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lunarchick - 06:47am Oct 9, 2000 EDT (#394 of 400)
Barrier Reef - not the place4 - NUKE SUBs !

lunarchick - 07:13am Oct 9, 2000 EDT (#395 of 400)
Barrier Reef - not the place4 - NUKE SUBs !


1. Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World - the need for a new Agenda, which will be submitted for the third year running.

2. The Nuclear-Weapon-Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas resolution.

3. Convention on the prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons.

4. Follow-up to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.

5. Preservation an Compliance with the treaty on the Limitation of Anti Ballistic Missile System.

6. Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space.

7. Reducing the Nuclear Danger.

lunarchick - 02:21am Oct 10, 2000 EDT (#396 of 400)
Barrier Reef - not the place4 - NUKE SUBs !

TAIWAN PREMIER RESIGNS: After just 4-1/2 months in office, Taiwan Premier Tang Fei has resigned, saying health problems made it necesary. Observers said a controversy over an unfinished $5.4 billion nuclear power plant was also a factor in Tang's decision.

kalter.rauch - 09:16am Oct 10, 2000 EDT (#397 of 400)
Earth vs <^> <^> <^>

When you say "get rid of" nuclear weapons do you mean the last batch of smallpox......or "catagorically" (whatever that means?!?!?)

rshowalter - 11:57am Oct 10, 2000 EDT (#398 of 400) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Literally (and, as with smallpox, one may never be perfectly sure) AND "categorically" (I might have chosen another word.)

Nuclear weapons are extermination weapons, and although they may have been necessary in some inescapable sense during the Cold War, the use of them, by any reasonable accounting, is a war crime comparable (or, with current instabilities, worse) than anything Hitler did.

A cultural change needs to occur, where people look straight at what these weapons are, and reject the making or use of these weapons so thoroughly that they aren't made again. I think the poets, artists, literary people, and feminists ought to be up to this. Especially if the history of the 20th century, starting with World War I (not WWII) was more completely understood in moral terms. We need to regain some kinds of decency that, as Bertrand Russell explained, were forfeit in the tragedy-crime of World War I.

There are so many different ways, in an technological society as sophisticated as ours. to destroy the world (any competent industrial chemist knows more than a few.) They aren't done, because people aren't inclined to do them, and if a madman tried, too many people, understanding the stakes, would keep the crime from happening. Nuclear weapons should be unacceptable in this same sense. I think this is something practical to hope for.

rshowalter - 12:04pm Oct 10, 2000 EDT (#399 of 400) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I'm in a hurry, because I think the controls on these things are far, far less stable than people have thought. I think the chances of the world ending SOON are entirely real.

Nuclear weapons are noxious, they are unusable, they are morally unacceptable, they exist on a hair trigger, and they should be taken down.

To do this, the main thing required is that people have to recognize how afraid we are of these weapons, and how well we really know them, and respond to our rational and animal fears with a take down strategy based on rational distrust. If that change of heart occurred, the take down could occur quickly. (I STILL think it could happen by Christmas, with really good luck.)

We DO have to think about these weapons, not only intellectually, but also emotionally. If intellectual argument and elitist appeals could have solved this problem, it would have been solved long ago. Ordinary people, a wide sector of the population, have to feel, not only "know" what's involved, and become properly afraid.

Then we could all become much less afraid in short order.

rshowalter - 01:34pm Oct 10, 2000 EDT (#400 of 400) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

In today's NYT, Barry Bearak's Lahore Journal: A Jehad Leader Finds the U.S. Perplexingly Fickle

offers a clear example of how the U.S. nuclear policy increases danger, and offers excuses for horror, all over the world. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed justifies all sorts of terrorist activity, all sorts of random, hateful destruction, on the argument that "since the U.S. uses nuclear weapons, and claims the right to use them on first strikes, I can do anything."

His terrorism is horrific, but his argument is widely accepted.

Too often, people do argue that "two wrongs make a right."

Everything decent or useful that the United States wants to do, everything effective that we'd like to do to control terrorism, and raise moral standards in the world, would be much easier if WE renounced first strikes with nuclear weapons, and got rid of the weapons, along with Russia and the other powers who have them.

Our moral position in the world, for all our good intentions elsewhere, is besmirtched by our nuclear policy. So far as I've been able to find out, that policy has nothing coherent to be said in its favor, now. We'd all be safer, and cleaner, if we got rid of nuclear weapons. Much safer. And if we do not, the world might end.

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