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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 - 12:31pm Jul 15, 2001 EST (#7054 of 7057) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

MD6613 rshowalter 7/4/01 11:46pm ... MD6614 rshowalter 7/4/01 11:48pm

I was glad, on our Independence Day , to have a chance to post some of the things I feel are important for the welfare of the United States, and the world, in eight postings, many of which include other links.

" When the Soviet Union fell, and everyone, on all sides, had so much hope, we didn't have an end game -- and the United States was so tied up with lies, that it could not sort out problems before it -- or help the Russians sort out their problems."

We should work to fix things now -- not go on making them worse.

rshowalter - 12:47pm Jul 15, 2001 EST (#7055 of 7057) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

In MD7053, I put a ">" where I should have bolded, and inadvertently conveyed a wrong impression of who said what.

Martin did say that American is becoming very unpopular very fast, and to an unprecedented degree. I provided my sense of the reason -- not Martin's. I meant the following passage to read:

"...I think Peter Martin ... is badly twisted, but he is right about this. America is becoming unpopular -- in ways it hasn't been before.

"It is happening because the Bush administration is throwing away its claims on the respect of the world at a rate few could have believed before Bush's inaugaration. "

rshowalter - 01:14pm Jul 15, 2001 EST (#7056 of 7057) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

But perhaps the Bush administration can find a way to do better.

MD6554 rshowalter 7/4/01 3:46pm .... Enormous stakes , and things that could be done: (ten links beginning with an important point by gisterme) .

MD6555 rshowalter 7/4/01 4:19pm ... links to postings of NYT articles cited on this thread as of June 14th, about 1/3 of total citations on the thread up to that time.

I believe that the postings make a point about the extent of information related, in various ways, to ordinary human argument. . . . .

" People "make sense" of their world in a kind of statistical way -- and it matters very much, whether the "information" they condense generalizations from is right or wrong. The only way to see is by crossmatching, and a good deal of intellectual work. This is work that all people, everywhere do, and have to do to be human. We make sense of the world, by a lot of talking, and a lot of thinking -- and bring patterns into focus. Often those patterns are wrong -- but when we look at the same information -- organized in a certain way, most of us, most of the time, make the same patterns.

Cited articles, linked to postings on this thread, are set out in MD5074-5087 rshowalter 6/14/01 7:46am ... and in MD5377-5383 rshowalter 6/18/01 3:14pm

rshowalter - 01:18pm Jul 15, 2001 EST (#7057 of 7057) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

MD5383 rshowalter 6/18/01 3:45pm ... MD5384 rshowalter 6/18/01 3:49pm
includes this:

Matters of war and peace, and international cooperation between the US and Russia, in the world as it is, are intractably complicated, for similar reasons, and some of the interactions will take staffs to comb out and master.

This thread is built as an example of what would be required to meet the needs of this staffed communication.

When two cultures that are very different and have systematic misunderstandings have to make real peace, and learn to interact, that will take staffing, too.

We are different enough that we can't "take for granted" each other's minds -- minds that have been formed by "swimming" in very different "seas" of information.

Contact, and confident cooperation -- will take work, accomodation -- and, at a number of levels, i a lot of straight talking.

This thread has clarified concerns, objective and emotional, between the Russian and American sides at a level of detail that does not seem to have happened before -- supplying some foundations of common ground that are going to be necessary parts of any real peace.

MD6539 lunarchick 7/4/01 9:29am . . . MD6540 rshowalter 7/4/01 9:32am

Both gisterme and I have agreed that "missile defense" -- even as a "potempkin village" never deployed, would be worthwhile if it decentered a previously frozen situation, and led to a workable , big reduction of world risks and military problems.

That's still true - but for results to be peaceful -- rather than force a new arms race -- the Bush administration has to act in ways that make real peace possible, for the real people involved, in the situation as it is.

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