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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 - 11:20am Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1546 of 1548) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Whatever solutions are going to be possible, the American people are going to have to come to understand them, and find them fair.

Maybe the world shouldn't be this way, but, for now, this is a fact about how the world is.

rshowalter - 12:14pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1547 of 1548) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Disciplined Beauty rshowalter 2/9/01 1:53pm

solutions are "beautiful" IN A CONTEXT

The difference between a "beautiful" solution, and an ugly one, may be fit to facts. An essential fact, in dealing with nuclear weapons, and related impasses, is rshowalter 2/22/01 4:48am

The Golden Rule requires that we treat people as the human beings that they are even when cultures and circumstances are different, and avoidance of dehumanization takes much detailed information, in addition to good will.

Sometimes things are so complicated that redemptive solutions, that reframe problems, are necessary:

Sometimes, with a reframing, impasses can be avoided, and solutions can be reached which are as beautiful as they can be under the real circumstances, for all concerned.

rshowalter - 12:45pm Mar 26, 2001 EST (#1548 of 1548) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

We have to recall how much consensus exists, on matters of feeling and law, already. Many feel, and have long felt that the threat of first useof nuclear weapons is a war crime. Sentiment, and group discussion, for the elimination of nuclear weapons has been ongoing, at the UN and elsewhere, for many years.

rshowalt 9/29/00 12:12pm Here is Mohammed Bedjaoui , President of the World Court , para. 20 of the appended Declaration, 8th July 1996.

" Nuclear weapons, the ultimate evil, destabilise humanitarian law which is the law of the lesser evil. The existence of nuclear weapons is therefore a challenge to the very existence of humanitarian law, not to mention their long-term effects of damage to the human environment, in respect to which the right to life must be exercised.....Atomic warfare and humanitarian law therefore appear mutually exclusive, the existence of the one automatically implies the non-existence of the other" -

We ought to get ourselves out of the bind above, by getting rid of nuclear weapons. It is technically easy, it is militarily safe, it is prohibitively dangerous for us if we do not, but, alas, it is hard.

The U.S. has to recognize some history, and have a change of heart.

There is persuasion problem here. One that can be, and must be, dealt with practically, on a logically incremental basis.

The essence of practical policy is that it must permit one to do something that can actually be done (cannot be stopped by others.) The US has an essentially unlimited ability to evade and postpone action in world courts, and in UN tribunals.

It is not, however, immune, or even well defended against, patterns of persuasion that are now available.

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