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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 - 08:44am Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1067 of 1075) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

almarst-2001 3/15/01 10:35pm makes very important points about resistances. But the resistances are vulnerable under circumstances of openness. Open dialogs are not easy to sabotage.

Even when they look like they are.

This thread is itself an example. Anyone opposing views expressed on this thread could easiy post here. But to do so would be to subject any ideas expressed to examination.

That's a "deterrance" in and of itself.

Have you noticed how concerned Presidents are about press conferences? To have to answer a question is to be subjected to power that even the President of the United States cannot completely control. Sometimes power that the president cannot control at all.

Paradigm conflicts often DO resolve -- after key questions of fact are established. This time, that will take some staff work.

Circumstances are ripe for a resolution in the interest of everyone on earth. Or in the interest of almost everyone on earth.

lunarchick - 10:06am Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1068 of 1075)

Greens and Environmentalist movements have increasing respectability. Perhaps they have the initiative and energetic resource to put the MD questions 'in front of the international public' .. i note today that their protests didn't stop a nuclear cargo exiting Australia (medical waste) but a court action in France stopped it landing. Third world PNG determined to take the waste ... how can third world countries take and control this sort of waste that requires secure guardianship ... they can't ... but probably do so for a bunch of dollars in the hand to some decision maker.

almarst-2001 - 10:53am Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1069 of 1075)

There is another very importand (if not the most importand) aspect in conflicts prevention and resolution - the cultural interaction and absorbtion.

The invariable filling one one gets from US mass media is almost total absorbtion in local and internal matters. Americans on average, know little and even more troublesome, have little intererest in other cultures. Which is particularelly ironic and wrong in an age of Globalisation, so widely embraced in US. It seems for many, the notion of American absolute superiority in all aspects of life, is very deep. In large part thanks to mass-media and Holliwood. They may wiew the Globalisation as a one way street of the influence - We will teach and They must learn. No wonder, such approach creates a strong resentement in other nations who see it as just another form of Colonialism. This must change. If Americans new more about say Iraq history, culture and traditions, if they would understand that there is no absolute evil and the present is the result of the past, they probably would not burry thousends of them alive with buldosers or "burn on the road of death" like it happend during the Golf War. It would be much harder for US administration to create an image of Iraqi people similar in a similar way, the Jews were portreted by Nazis. Same applies to events in Yugoslavia in relation to Serbs. I was amaised how easy it was to create such a mass histeria and hatered against a small and basically, non-aggressive nation (some of whome may indeed commited attrocities which is in no way unique), most Americans know absolutly nothing about. And, may be intentionally so - it is much easier to kill the "absolute evil" like the cocroches, when you now nothing about them.

US has its military spread all over the glob. Frequently to the great resentement of local people, this military supposely sent to protect. If it could be shown, it is indeed for the declared reasons and not to serve strictly the so-called "american interests", so vagely defined they can accomodate practically anything, at least an effort should be made to immerse those servicemen into the cuture, language and habbits of the host nation. The special cources have to be conducted for several month to teach those matters to those who are sincerelly interested to serve abroad not as masters and colonial power, but as friendly guests. That would hopefully prevent such "accidents" as cutting the ski gondole in Italy by US jet, or apaling behavier of some servicemen in Japan. As a bonus, it will help to spread the mutual respect and understanding among nations and within US, and trully serve the real American interests. Given the need of foreign experience by the US multinationals, this may create a pool of available employees. How can we convince them to finance such an initiative on part of the military?

Once there is enough interest, the mass media and Holliwood may find it profitable to turn their attention more to the rest of the world. It will also make impossible this kind of Gebbelish propaganda and black-white simplifications by the mass media. But you always need this first "snowball" to start the lavine.

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