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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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lunarchick - 03:31pm Jul 28, 2001 EST (#7541 of 7543)

Showalter, noted on the Political Thread that the Bwsh-MD concepts were likened to a white elephant ... but didn't manage to find one ... although one notes that they were thought to have mystical powers ..

The Royal White Elephant

The white elephant was something above an ordinary elephant. It had sacred power. It was the mount of the war god. It brought fertility. For the kings of Burma and Siam, the possession of these sacred beasts became very important. A king who had many, fine white elephants would be successful - his kingdom would prosper and his reign be long. If his white elephants died, it foretold disaster for king and kingdom

... which gave their owners STATUS and mystical religious power ....

I got to wondering about the 'values' associated with ye olde Southern Baptists .. how many white elephants would be required to carry the golden commissions Carlye might 'take' were the defense budget increased to 'Shield' proportions ?

rshowalter - 04:21pm Jul 28, 2001 EST (#7542 of 7543) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The economic incentives to avoid clarity on the missile shield are huge but concentrated in a relatively few groups, and, basically, in only one country -- the United States. The interest of perhaps 99%+ of Americans (if they knew it) and essentially ALL other people in the world is for right answers, and reasonable choices, on matters of life and death -- not expensive, dangerous delusions.

The 1% or fewer who are FOR the fraud, however, have very large stakes, and are strategically placed. And if they care more than anyone else, and have some politicians bought -- they may look invincible.

But they aren't. When powerful salesmen, with all sorts of negotiating power, consistently fail to make a sale - - that in itself begins to become persuasive.

For very basic reasons, some but not all discussed on this thread already, "missile defense" is not only bad strategy - - ill motivated -- but also a technical fraud. (Years ago, it might have been fair to say "unfortunate mistake" -and that would still be fair as far as some people are concerned -- but for the military officers and contractors with close responsiblity to the project fraud is the operative word.)

That can be shown in public - once there are enough "stakeholders" to insist that, at lieast on this issue, checking is morally forcing.

We're not there yet, but we're getting closer.

rshowalter - 04:22pm Jul 28, 2001 EST (#7543 of 7543) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I wish I were faster responding to some very good points by almarst -- and I've gone through some drafts - - hope to respond in ways that might interest him.

Chances of meeting the objectives almarst has expressed on this thread over the months are beginning to look good to me -- though far from certain. On a few questions of fact - - there will have to be a fight, with real stakes.

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