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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

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almarst-2001 - 07:07pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#132 of 153)

At the end of a tough New York Times piece, titled "Office of Strategic Mendacity," columnist Maureen Dowd applied an oily salve to the PR wounds she'd just inflicted. "Our cause is just," she concluded. "So why not just tell the truth?"

Why not just tell the truth? Because -- whether the issue is support for human-rights abusers or civilian deaths courtesy of U.S. taxpayers -- "the truth" would often indicate that the Pentagon's cause is not just. That's why not. -

rshow55 - 07:13pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#133 of 153) Delete Message

But notice this -- after Dowd's piece, and some other pieces by others at the NYT and elsewhere -- on a story the NYT broke and led -- the "office of strategic mendacity" idea was abandoned.

Not everything in the world one might hope for. But it was something substantial.

The TIMES often achieves substantial things -- and tact helps. The more serious and emotion-laden an issue is - the more tact may be needed.

almarst-2001 - 07:18pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#134 of 153)

"idea was abandoned"

Its hard to know. And even harder to understand why would they need it in a first place, except to make sure the lies are well coordinated, controlled, and do never contradict. Just a "good business practice". The implication is - the propaganda and misinformation will be just a little bit harder to maintain ... or assign it to the less visible department the Pentagon has plenty of.

almarst-2001 - 07:21pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#135 of 153)

How often do you remember the Time questioning the Pentagon "facts" or "conclusions"? It is so unpatriotic... and quite unprofitable.

rshow55 - 07:25pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#136 of 153) Delete Message

Within the format of the news, as that format now is - - the TIMES stands up for the truth as it sees it. But the format very often weakens and diffuses the message.

For getting things done, indignation is sometimes useful -- but often not.

rshow55 - 07:38pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#137 of 153) Delete Message

I'm out for a while -- won't post much until tomorrow. These postings are on my mind. If some technical facts about missile defense were widely understood , I think a number of things might sort out well.

MD84 rshow55 3/2/02 10:52am . . . MD85 almarst-2001 3/2/02 11:01am
MD86 rshow55 3/2/02 11:17am ... MD87 rshow55 3/2/02 11:47am

If some leaders of major countries actually encouraged some fact-finding -- and some discussions to closure in public -- before umpires -- I think a great deal could be done. It would have to rise to a level that could be called "news." And the countries involved might have to face some awkward facts, as well.

One very clear place to start would be missile defense, where the disparity between any reasonable US national interest and the interest of the military-industrial complex is particularly blatant and clear.

Stories are needed, that link to facts, but also touch minds. One story keeps coming to my mind. The story of "The Emperor's New Clothes." Somehow, though it is obvious, people don't "see" that the interest of the military-industrial complex, and the interest of the American nation, are different. And the moral claims of the entities are different. People need to see and feel that difference. NATO, for example, has reason to have some bonds of loyalty to the United States as a nation. Not, reasonably, or morally, to a "military-industrial complex" with its own agenda.

almarst-2001 - 08:22pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#138 of 153)


It makes a good reading to cover the whole article.

rshow55 - 08:37pm Mar 2, 2002 EST (#139 of 153) Delete Message

almarst-2001 3/2/02 8:22pm I'm interested that there is a forum to discuss the article, and related articles, at the end. That's good for feedback. Out for tonight.

lchic - 03:43am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#140 of 153)

The NIXON tapes show civillians to be the target .. the peak bombing time was 4-5pm when children and workers were targeted! 11,000 dead but only 700 weapons captured !

lchic - 08:26am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#141 of 153)

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