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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 - 04:25pm Mar 1, 2001 EST (#816 of 818) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Summary of postings since #266 (4)

#714-715: "The big picture." : How do our military arrangements look, in terms of what our military is supposed to do for our country, and for the world? .......And in terms of the totality of United States interests, and values, in the world? .......Beauty in context. rshowalter 2/19/01 12:22pm

#734_737: CHECKING FACTS: We aren't set up well to check facts. And the most basic fact, that we are ignoring, is this: The most basic fact is this. Distrust and nuclear weapons go together. That's an inescapable fact. Fear levels, and human nature dictate that "in general." The historical facts reinforce the general tendency with irresistable force. rshowalter 2/21/01 1:49pm

#740-742: Key references, hotkeyed to sources elsewhere on the internet: There are reasons to doubt the usefulness of Missile Defense as currently possible, and beckvaa , who I believe is W.J. Clinton, set up discussion of some of them rshowalter 2/21/01 3:34pm in

We need an international missle system now - Why son of Star Wars is a good idea. Psychwarfare, Casablanca -- and terror

Mankinds Inhumanity to Man and Woman -


The problems of "paradigm conflict" - systematically different views of the same facts, from different human groups, seems evident in nuclear defense. We and the Russians do not see eye to eye -- and the differences can be garish and dangerous. rshowalter 2/21/01 3:44pm

Paradigm Shift .... whose getting there? .... Summary

Paradigm Shift#300

......... and especially A Lost Cause ..... by John Kay

CHECKING is an essential, difficult issue in paradigm conflicts: Especially where power relations are involved, checking must be MORALLY FORCING .....If some basic facts could be checked, especially about the existence and dynamics of mistrust between our nation states, the problems of nuclear terror find solutions of disciplined beauty.

I believe that everybody concerned about matters of defense, and especially nuclear deployments, should consider carefully the concerns about the “military-industrial complex” set out in the FAREWELL ADDRESS of President Dwight D. Eisenhower January 17, 1961. rshowalter 2/21/01 4:02pm With circumstances that appear to show a disproportion and operational mismatch between means and ends, the speech seems to me to raise issues of crucial importance today.

rshowalter - 04:27pm Mar 1, 2001 EST (#817 of 818) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Summary of postings since #266 (5)

KEY QUOTE: #748: To reduce threats, one needs to apply assurances that, in limited ways, for limited times, weapons are not going to be used. It is a FACT that the Russians, as a nation, feel that they have been, and still are, subject to an active first strike threat from the United States, and this fact can be checked. If one thinks about the Golden Rule, and applies it to the Russians, one has to remember this. If one asks how US actions are regarded in Russia, one has to remember this. rshowalter 2/22/01 4:48am

#757: I feel that issues of morality deserve special emphasis in a discussion of nuclear costs. Moral damage has all sorts of costs, in quality of life and straight economic terms, because the complex cooperations of productive business are, so often, based on predictablity and trust. Therefore, moral inconsistency can be expensive. I suspect that a major problem, in most underdeveloped countries, involves such inconsistencies. I don't see how anyone, or any nation, can adopt a "first use of nucear weapons" policy, and maintain a moral consistency - it seems to me that our nuclear policies are corrosive to our whole moral and intellectual life. rshowalter 2/22/01 6:55pm

rshowalter - 04:32pm Mar 1, 2001 EST (#818 of 818) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Summary of postings since #266 (6)

People interested in religion and ethics may be particularly interested in #792-797. rshowalter 2/27/01 6:03pm It begins: ..... Tina Rosenberg represents one of the most admirable flowerings of a tradition, admirable in many ways, that , taken no further than she takes it, makes an effective nuclear disarmament impossible.

Rosenberg believes .... People need to know what was actually done. ...That's surely right.

But what was to be done with the facts? . .. . .

Something was missing from the book, and the situations it described.

In the complex, conflicted situations described, beautiful justice is impossible. There are multiple contexts, each inescapable and in a fundamental sense valid.

An aesthetically satisfying justice can be defined for each and every set of assumptions and perspectives that can be defined. But there are too many sets of assumptions and perspectives that cannot be escaped in the complex circumstances that are actually there. . . .. .. . .

The situations Rosenberg describes, where she hungers for justice, do not admit of satisfactory justice. They are too complicated. . . . . . What is needed, for logical reasons that are fundamentally secular rather than religious, is redemption. rshowalter 2/27/01 6:03pm

  • *****

    Postings thereafter include some explict TECHNICAL reasons why we need to be afraid, and need to do the hopeful, practical thing -- which is to GET RID OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

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