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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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mazza9 - 02:50pm Mar 16, 2002 EST (#608 of 614)
Louis Mazza


I was in the service during the Viet Nam War. Most of us were confused as to why we were in this war and why we we not trying to "win".

Maybe if we had had the political strength to win this war those millions in Cambodia might not have been killed by Pol Pot.

Remember it was the Vietnamese who would eventually drive out the Khmer Rouge.


manjumicha2001 - 03:31pm Mar 16, 2002 EST (#609 of 614)

Now com'on, Rouis M

Give the vietcong some credit, will you? Despite often repreated cliche among the vet-politico circles, America gave all it got in that campaign short of nukes (which didn't happen only because of the threat of the greater nuclear war with china and soviets) and they won fair and square, I would say.

But, then you people don't even give credit to 300,000 ROK troops who saved your "behind" in Nam for those long 10 what can we the mean time, the "crocodile tears" march of you "brave" vets goes on in the American media-politico circus. So do me a favor, enjoy it while it lasts and save your speech about your "glorious" service, please.

And for those who think that I am being a bit too harsh on Rouis the Vet's sensitive soul, let me just say it is just my bad hair day and I am short on patience for "stink" sugar coated with American flags.

I have known many honorable US soliders who got entangled in that fiasco but they have remained silent during the last 15 years of Rambo-inspired revisionistic parade....good for them.

manjumicha2001 - 03:54pm Mar 16, 2002 EST (#610 of 614)


On the issue of technical merits re: NMD, the latest test shows the insititutional momentum being built into the system. And as Rouis M so eloquently and "unintentionally" demonstrated before, your reputation of NMD's techincial merits won't be easy because of the "fruits of accidental lab" theory that Rouis pointed out before--- i.e. if there is national political will for the forced march on the NMD road, something will come out of it. And such argument is valid as long as you are pointing out the shortcomings of the program that are essentially engineering issues.

Maybe, you should focus on the inherent flaws imposed by the laws of physics (vs. the engineering challenges)?? After all, such limitations aren't gonna be solved simply by throwing money and talents just like e=mc2 wouldn't change into e=mc3 because Bush and Rouis exercise all of their political will and spend all the nation's revenue on it fo rthe next 20 years......just an idea

almarst-2001 - 05:42pm Mar 16, 2002 EST (#611 of 614)


I have very little to add to what manjumicha had to say.

May be, if US would not enter this colonial-turned-anti-communist war at all, not only people of Cambodia could be saved, but also millions of Vietnamese as well as 50,000 Americans?

Just a thought...

almarst-2001 - 05:57pm Mar 16, 2002 EST (#612 of 614)

On "Europe falling behind the US militarely":

This is a good example of turning the problem upside-down.

The real question is not Why the Erope spends too little but rather Why the US spends so much.

One of the reasons may be that the Europe has much less to fear and much fever enemies? The situation the US policy is clearly bend to change. Not by reducing its enemies but by making sure the Europe gets its share of US enemies and rage.

The fear in Washington is that while it tries to keep the whole world on fire on a mission to shape it by its own design and making untol number of people mad and misarable, the Europe may appear with a "clean hands" and pick-up the fruits of economic benefits.

If I would be small child in a position of US, I would probably want to cry in a face of such unfearness...;)

But then again, isn't it an American udupted philisophy to accept the man with all its imperfections?

But, if so, why to go on a mission to remake the world by its own image? As imperfect as it may be?

mazza, please help me!!! I am totaly confused.

rshow55 - 07:48pm Mar 16, 2002 EST (#613 of 614) Delete Message

almarst-2001 3/16/02 5:57pm

Maybe you're not so confused. Especially when you look at the numbers in Erlanger's piece.

Don't be confused if, sometimes, some sneaky journalists put out arguments that would NEVER be printed straight -- backwards. (How easy, in logic, it is to switch all the signs in a string of logic ! A classic crypto trick -- set out such a sign senstitive logic string - and, somewhere spatially or logically removed - an auxiliary string for sign switches. - Then SEE how hard a time your opposite number can have trying to break it. Or how LIKELY he is to draw a wrong conclusion. )

Try this one "backwards": Finding Answers In Secret Plots by Erica Goode

The same facts can often exactly fit exactly opposite conclusions. (A classic example is that the you can have "arguments from design" that look exactly like some "arguments from evolution.) To tell the difference -- add more facts.

manjumicha2001 3/16/02 3:54pm -- I appreciate your suggestion - - could it be that a lot of people in the administration and the armed services are heartily sick of the MD fiasco, and looking for a graceful way to make transitions to something more reasonable? I'm thinking about your suggestion - carefully -- back tomorrow about it.

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