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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?

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rshow55 - 12:08pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#239 of 246) Delete Message

The Core of Muslim Rage by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

This is a profound piece, and though it doesn't speak of missile defense, it does speak about how decisive patterns of emotion and ideas, including fictions, can be in matters of conflict.

To make peace, people have to understand how natural and powerful rage is, how natural it is for people to fight when they are threatened, how difficult, awkward, and "unnatural" it is to back out of fights - - and how easily escalatory sequences can careen toward escalation to the point of extermination.

We've seen case after case, and are seeing many cases now, where people are acting "irrationally" and "illogically."

We need, I think, to be clearer about some basic things about how human rationality and logic work.

When pressed, people fight -- and when in fights, they seldom run if they are decently motivated and led at all. "Logic", in times of conflict, often seems like a machine for moving people to violence. Moreover, suicidal bravery is absolutely natural human behavior, and something to be expected.

Ideas are key. And exits, that permit people to survive -- are essential, and take work and care to arrange.

lchic - 12:17pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#240 of 246)

in this program:

The question is - when does the futility of a situation dawn? There's a feeling abroad that the USA should do more to bring this matter to a close.

lchic - 12:28pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#241 of 246)

That the USA should do more is also within F's piece >

The hell downward spiral is just beginning in the ME, as various warLords devise their own logic-criteras away from Palestinian official leadership constraints.

It all comes back to the need to develop modern economies in the Arab world .. which in turn would enable education, training, and higher living standards ... with which follow smaller family size enabling populations to increase their average age and weight towards stability and wisdom.

rshow55 - 12:30pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#242 of 246) Delete Message

I very much agree - - but they need to understand how - - much too often, they've proceeded, in the middle east and elsewhere, as if they had a sign switched - they've done exactly the wrong things, or made exactly the wrong assumptions.

The Palestinians and the Israelis both need "peace with honor."

For that to be possible, a lot has to be understood - - some "sentimentally" -- some not sentimentally at all.

People are "rational" up to a point -- but they are also fighting animals - - and that needs to be remembered.

Some of the wars, and the peacemaking, that occurred from Aristotle's time to about fifty years after the death of Alexander the Great is instructive -- both in terms of the worst that human beings (including Americans) can do - - and in terms of some very rational peacemaking that worked in its own terms.

rshow55 - 12:32pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#243 of 246) Delete Message

We, as a nation, need to learn how to make peace, so that it is stable - - with people as they actually are, and with history as unchangeable as it is.

The stunt of "missile defense" will never offer us much protection. But if we learned how to make peace, and keep peace -- that would.

lchic - 12:33pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#244 of 246)

Didn't these wars often involve an objective/purpose? rshow55 3/6/02 12:30pm

Is there such in the current ME crisis?

lchic - 12:34pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#245 of 246)

<out> tomorrow - the small hours downUnder.

rshow55 - 12:35pm Mar 6, 2002 EST (#246 of 246) Delete Message

Lchic , rationality is part of it. But not all of it.

If rationality had been sufficient, or even dominant, Clinton would have succeeded. You may notice that he didn't.

Everything he worried about was essential.

But to try to solve things on the basis of mutual trust, or "making friends" - - left out a lot that is also essential.

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