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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 06:18pm Feb 27, 2001 EST (#795 of 797) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Here, for technical reasons, the risks are very great - great enough so that right answers need to be gotten, so that the world can go on.

My own view, for technical reasons that I've asked repeatedly to have checked, is that the world is LIKELY to end unless current nuclear weapons systems are much better controlled. That the system is much less well engineered and much less well defended than it looks. In fact degenerate.

It seems to me that he only reasonable solution is to take the nuclear weapons down and EFFECTIVELY prohibit them.

The answer to the following question, I believe, would clarify the risks for nontechnical people familiar with human organizations, and how they can go wrong.

Q: How long has it been since an American president could actually CHECK anything that really counted about nuclear weapons well enough to get an informed judgement of their risks, or of the actions he was being asked to take?

I think the answer is "not since the Eisenhower administration."

I have reason to believe that some of the most basic controls have not been changed since the early Kennedy administration, and that some of these controls involve risks that were terrifying then, and that are far more terrifying now.

rshowalter - 06:21pm Feb 27, 2001 EST (#796 of 797) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

A narrow wish for "justice" rules resolution and right answers out, where a search for secular redemption permits resolution.


I'm dreaming of redemption,
not denial, not agony,
not lies told or
amorphous deceptions
amorphously defended,
but redemption.

Redemption for all concerned,
with a decent concern for all,
with feelings felt and not denied,
weights weighed, and not forgotten,
needs of flesh, nerves, guts and mind
all remembered, and workably in place
with neither lies nor torture.

I'm dreaming of redemption,
where all concerned
can know the same stories,
and live with that,
and look back and go on comfortably,
not unreasonably proud,
or unreasonably ashamed,
in ways that work
in private and in public.

I'm dreaming of redemption,
for myself, for the evil I've done,
and the good I've tried to do and failed,
and the limits and narrownesses that are
unchangeably a part of me.

And I'm dreaming of redemption for others,
in similar ways, without pretense,
with real, vital, feeling futures
not closed off.

There is too much good here,
too much reaching for the good,
too much hard, disciplined work
in the face of pain and fear,
too much to hope for.

Too much to hope for the world, too,
too much hope for primal needs of peace,
too much of interest,
too much condensed and seeming right,
too much, from too many, that seems good,
and moves me and others.

No checkmate.
No closing off of hope,
no wallowing in agonies that might be,
with more wisdom, and clean negotiation,
assuaged and replaced
by honest joy and comfort.

No checkmate.
I'm dreaming of redemption,
and a world that goes on, safer and richer,
and knowing more about redemption,
because we've struggled.

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