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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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almarst-2001 - 09:34am Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1367 of 1372)

rshowalter 3/23/01 7:35am

"judge not, lest ye be not judged."

I also disagree with direct interpretention of this statement - that is the last part of it - "lest ye be not judged."

I think the real reason one should not judge is for not to position yourself ABOVE others and to recognise ones limitations to understand.

rshowalter - 10:52am Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1368 of 1372) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I agree. One reason is because, in a complex sociotechnical system, roles shift depending on who happens to know the information that counts in a praticular case -- and even in a strict rank order organization -- that person may be a long way down the line.

So we ALL ought to deal with each other with respect.

I am trying to take small, calculated, but real risks for peace.

I haven't checked email, and some other sources, and so don't know whether the copying help, or the interest in a detailed negotiation (either at my University, or Condaleeza Rice's own Stanford University) would be possible. But they would be redemptive !

People would see, one, that a great deal of deception is going on, at all levels, often according to entirely accepted usages. And the deceptions make systems inflexible, and impossibly complicated.

Last year, on September 25, after conversing with the President of the United States for most of a day on this forum, I offered to come forward, and present some information in ways that could be checked. My guess is that Clinton did not respond, because he did not know how to.

Our sociotechnical systems are now impoverished, and dangerously inflexible, especially with regard to nuclear weapons and other military matters because we have told so many lies, at so many levels, that the truth is difficult to handle.

We can do better than this. !

almarst-2001 - 11:03am Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1369 of 1372)

rshowalter 3/23/01 10:52am

One must recognise that we never will have the COMPLETE information and we, as the human being, can never be ABSOLUTLY IMPARTIAL.

rshowalter - 11:12am Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1370 of 1372) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

So, when it really counts, you have a mixture of trust AND checking together. If checking is impossible, on anything really important, trust is impossible, too.

People don't need to tell each other everything - and couldn't --- but for practical cooperation, each side needs to know whatever they need to know for cooperation -- and that can be a lot -- and it is difficult or impossible to predict exactly what will be needed. So the practical needs for openness are great.

Now, for all kinds of reasons, the reflex is to hide things. It gets in the way.

The hiding is also getting pathetically ineffective. Clear is safer. And MUCH more efficient when things get complicated.

And mistakes and misunderstanding are inevitable! When they produce problems that can be linked to checkable fact they can usually be worked out well, so long as everybody remembers that everybody involved is fallible, and "puts their pants on one leg at a time."

rshowalter - 11:15am Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1371 of 1372) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

When you ask

"why is nuclear disarmament difficult?"

-- it helps to ask

"why would it be difficult, in practice, for representatives of one nation state to copy the email box of a national of another nation state, at that national's request -- with all the information involved also going to that national's government?"

we're so tied up with rules and lies that even "easy" things are hard. And vitally necessary things are impossible.

We need a reframing, on some basic things.

rshowalter - 11:35am Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1372 of 1372) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The situation is so complicated that it needs a reframing -- logically, socially, and morally, too. Secular Redemption is needed.

Lies, self deceptions, and mistakes that are left unfaced are Chain Breakers that keep necessary things from happening. They can be deadly. In our current military circumstances, especially with respect to nuclear weapons, they are.

Whats needed is a way to eliminate chain breakers by substituting grace for fear.

We need to keep necessary decisions from having a human price, for human actors, that is just too high - in a way that can produce human agonies and social tragedies like the one Ive been going through, set out in LEARNING TO STAND WE need for TRUTH to work. There have to be ways past obstruction, including the obstruction of intimidation, and the obstruction of lies.

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