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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 - 04:31pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1875 of 1888) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I'll be gone for a couple of hours. I was grateful for some of the beauty that the NYT brought into the world in the Sunday TIMES.

lunarchick - 06:44pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1876 of 1888)

An interesting segment on our media while you were gone. 'RESPECT' is now taught in Baltimore. The value of respect/ettiquette/behaviour is that young people will have the tools they need to function in more complex situations.

There has for too long been an assumption that young people 'automatically know' how to function under varied cirucmstance - they don't!

lunarchick - 07:31pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1877 of 1888)

Showalter, what do you think to the 'left' v 'right' aspects of politics?

Why not Tomorrow v Yesterday?

All nations have a 'mixed' economy, that's what taxation does, it collects and re-delivers. All nations do this, and the provision of services for the people are important. The Scandinavian countries most often are in advance of others with regards to catering to the real needs of people.

If a ban was placed on the use of 'left' and 'right' ..... and these change in meaning daily in political framing .. then there would have to be an 'evaluation' of ideas and a determination of the 'quality' of the same.

Don't all Governments have a checklists of the needs and wants of their populations. Perhaps a fairer and more logical way of looking and evaluating needs to be developed.

rshowalt - 07:39pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1878 of 1888)

It seems that Secretaries of Defense could use some instruction, as well. The NYT reported that Rumsfeld gave a speech on missile defense, at a conference with a VERY senior Russian present and waiting to make a speech, and neither mentioned Russia in his remarks, nor stayed to listen to the Russian's speech, nor socialized, nor showed respect for the Russian in any way.

It was if he was working to ASSURE breakdown of communications. A lot of rapper music shows that sort of "attitude" but it ill becomes a high official -- and ESPECIALLY one responsible for military conduct.

Even SAC says "Peace is Our Profession" and claims to mean it. Well, peaceful relations are polite.

( Speaking for myself, there are times when, on balance, one needs to meet bad manners with worse manners -- especially when one is standing for oneself alone, and not compromising others, as a high state official would do. )

Rumsfeld fell short -- and he also went out and hired an number of people whose writings were contemptious of Russia, and counter factual or counterlogical to a degree that simply cannot stand detailed crossexamination, and that repells and appalls our allies, who are losing respect for the United States, at a great rate, for very good reasons.

It is important for the Russians, at every level, to show SPECIAL respect for Rumsfeld and company -- perhaps to set him an example, but at least to make sure that, if the US leaders act to marginalize their nation, the Russian leaders do not act to marginalize theirs.

almarst-2001 - 07:43pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1879 of 1888)

lunarchick 4/1/01 7:31pm

The propaganda amd mass-media thrive on simplifications.

Without "left" - "right", "black" - "white", "good" - "evil" symbols there will be need for much more in-depth and complex analisys. Will there be any interest in the general public?

rshowalt - 07:50pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1880 of 1888)

lunarchick 4/1/01 7:31pm makes great sense. We ALL have values that could be called "right wing" or "left wing" -- and they are often related. To be "liberal" about one sort of thing - you may have to be "careful and conservative" about other things -- lest chaos descend.

Nations are composed of people, who live together, in a common, complicated culture and sociotechnical system, who have wants and needs. What makes sense is to find ways so that "team leaders" -- the leaders of nations -- can do those things that keep their teams safe, and comfortable, and prosperous by the standards of their team.

Always, that will involve strictness, about some things, to allow freedom about others. Quite often, Russians and Americans are strict and free about different things. Both are very free, in some ways, and very rigid in other ways. Quite often, different ways.

But the test for a leader ought to be

" What is good for the nation I lead, as it is, and as the people in it want to be, in the complicated world as it is?

The answers to that complicated question will involve a lot of detail, and the need for a lot of feedback, and simple ideas like "left wing" or "right wing" -- WHICH ARE STRUCTURALLY MISLEADING IN THE COMPLICATED CASES INVOLVED don't help much.

rshowalt - 07:51pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1881 of 1888)

A: I think the public would be very interested, if the complexities were well presented. Popular drama, in both our countries, is simplified from real life, but MUCH more complex than the over-simplicities of our political discourse.

Now, I'll finish the last posting.

rshowalt - 07:52pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1882 of 1888)

A much better question is:

" What is beautiful, in context, for circumstances as they are, everything considered?

Beautiful solutions to Russians are often ugly to Americans (in applied math and a lot of other things) but that ought to be all right. And the two groups should be able to cooperate perfectly well, even though they will always remain very different.

Dosoyevski was a distinctly un-American figure.

Mark Twain could never have been who he was in Russia, either.

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