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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
(250 previous messages)
- 07:00pm Mar 7, 2002 EST (#251
"not to talk of the world's "duty to intervene" but rather of
a country's "responsibility to protect" all people within its
Sweet talk... Thats the specialty of Annan. Stright talk would
pop someone else from the seat he occupies thanks to the nod from
Washington. And he knows too well the masters are watching.
Try and represent the "unbiased" interest in ALL nation's
- 07:56pm Mar 7, 2002 EST (#252
A consideration of what is "unbiased" depends on facts and
weighting of facts that depend on persuasion.
Secretary General Annan is a politician - his job is a
politician's job -- and a lot of people feel he's a gifted diplomat.
In a world full of conflict, he seeks common ground. - - That may
seem "inelegant" but is nevertheless essential.
Politicians have to find common ground. It is their job.
So do other people and organizations, within limits, trying to do
the best they can. Organizations, with time, often find ways to
improve on past performances. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/14/specials/onefifty/20FRAN.html
Secretary Annan was looking for a way around reistance to the
fact that "most countries did not want to hear from outsiders
about potentially serious problems within their borders."
And found it in "sweet words" that I found constructive, and well
fit to the persuasive problems at hand.
Progress sometimes gets made. Change occurs. Status positions
change. Ideas do change. For instance, Putin's international
position and Russia's position, is far higher than it was a year
ago, when Muddle In Moscow http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=533129
Progress, in a world which is very complicated, where consent is
required, depends on persuasion . Diplomacy often helps.
"Sweet words" can be precious things - - and for those words to be
connected to more forceful action -- enough people and groups have
to be persuaded.
If only more countries, including the United States, could be
effectively persuaded to "hear from outsiders about potential
problems within their borders."
If that were more possible, there would be fewer dangerous,
expensive fictions -- and better chances for peace and prosperity. I
think the arguments for missile defense are mostly wrong - on
technical and other grounds. But the motivations for missile defense
would be less, if kinds of communication that Annan strives for were
more often effective.
- 08:10pm Mar 7, 2002 EST (#253
"if kinds of communication that Annan strives for were more
His job definition clearly states "Be INEFFECTIVE"! And he
is not about to jeopadise his job.
- 08:13pm Mar 7, 2002 EST (#254
"Organizations (NYT), with time, often find ways to improve on
I suggest you go back and read the coverage of a "humanitarian"
bombing. Sorry, Not much of difference after 60 years.
- 08:40pm Mar 7, 2002 EST (#255
There was a certain media bias against Serbians --due to some
imperfect public relations. Some that many might find
understandable, if unfortunate.
As you may recall from posting last year, I had a conversation,
some years ago, with a female journalist who covered Serbia. She was
raped punitivily on four occasions, to discourage her from covering
She was a resiliant and spirited lady, and by many standards a
dedicated journalist. All the same, I suspect that her reporting had
From a Olympian perspective - - such things may not make so much
difference. All the same, in the world we live in - - some things
are very bad public relations.
Although my sympathies with the Russians in WWII is extreme, and
my sympathy with the Germans very attenutated - - it remains true
that the rapes of German women that were routine Soviet practice at
the end of the war -- whatever their justice from an overall
perspective -- were very bad public relations indeed - - and the
Cold War might have been less ugly had they not occurred.
Sometimes, your selective moralizing seems to me to be
For peace , real people, with real faults, who hate each
other, often for good reasons - and who cannot completely forgive -
have to make shift to live in peace anyway.
My own view -- after looking at a lot of NYT text - some 60 years
old, some more recent -- is that there's a lot of difference
after sixty years - and that the techniques of persuasion have much
For public spiritedness, it would be hard to find a more
committed organization - - that is also an effective organization -
- than The New York Times. Shortcomings from particular points of
- 09:16pm Mar 7, 2002 EST (#256
"She was raped punitivily on four occasions, to discourage her
from covering certain things. "
For someone involved in dealing with a "wearpons of mass
affection and public judgement" which is media, one shoud exclude
himself from a case when unable to be honest or impartial. Imagine a
US president who was raped as child by some catholic priest, for
example and eager to "repay" back to the church. Yor argument
CAN'T be accepted. Sorry.
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