[F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (678 previous messages)

rshow55 - 07:26pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#679 of 715) Delete Message

I can imagine myself willing to fight. People, when threatened or injured, do fight. That's why the quote from George Bush Sr represent such a grisly, ugly pattern.

MD662 rshow55 3/18/02 8:55am

In the 1988 presidential election campaign, George Bush Sr. was asked about "an American naval blunder in the Persian Gulf (the shooting down of an Iranian airliner and the abrupt murder of its 242 passangers) . . . . He refused to answer on the ground that he would "never, never apologize for the United States of America . . . I don't care what the facts are."

Source: Lapham's Rules of Influence by Lewis Lapham, Random House 1999 Introduction,xxvii

George Bush Sr, president and father of the current president, former head of the CIA and diplomat, was expressing some de facto United States "establishment" doctrine. That pattern denies wrong, and avoids correction, and is tailor-made for the generation of bitter conflict.

And the costs of conflict are VERY high:

'Wilson's Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century' by ROBERT S. McNAMARA and JAMES G. BLIGHT

"As we look back from the 21st century on the events of the 20th, we cannot help being struck by the enormity of the human carnage . . .

'Wilson's Ghost': An Anti-Machiavellian Handbook by JAMES CHACE

"Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight's new book embraces the Wilsonian notion that American foreign policy must be grounded on the bedrock of morality ....

McNamara and Blight are clearly, inescapably right that morality should be involved in American foreign policy decisions.

That isn't the way it is now. People ought to be outraged, and insist on getting facts straight, and proportions staight. Some power is going to be required, because the positions Mazza takes, justifying the US position, and justifying military action - no matter what -- can justify anything.

Reason helps here, but beyond a point, world leaders are going to have to ask for, and insist on, clear and correct answers, involving matters of fact and proportion.

almarst-2001 - 07:34pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#680 of 715)


Should I interpret your silence to my questions and unswers to your questions as an acceptance of my arguments?

lchic - 07:39pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#681 of 715)

The point with America that has to be understood, is that the Congress isn't the place to find, the Foreign Minister (equivalent). It isn't the place to find the leader of the people. It isn't the place where a cabinet draws up policy with direct reference to the people.

This is where America has gone severely out of whack. It has an elite power base centered around a President who does those things that should continually be referenced against the way the people think, act, believe - or ought to believe.

The 'rare-ification' of the inner sanctum is, i believe, why, the people have no association with foreign policy.
Is why the people have been shocked to learn that their ... excuse me while i unfurl the flag, put the needle in the old 78 groove and salute ... wow that feels better .... that their wonderful AMERICA isn't loved abroad in quite the way they'd believed it to be!

almarst-2001 - 07:59pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#682 of 715)

It was ugly...

Does anyone remember the Davician compound?

Do you know how many Linch vitnesses and, probably executioners are still alive in this country?

What is a proper name for the extermination and forceful deportation to reservations of Native Americans just a couple of generations ago?

Shouldn't at least fraction of a time spent on seeking the blemishes on Islam be devoted to a self-examination?

lchic - 08:34pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#683 of 715)

    Extraordinary things are happening, and there's a great and terrible potential for things as we know, to go very badly wrong. George Monbiot .... it becomes almost impossible to discuss even serious ideas unless there's a supermodel fronting them.

mazza9 - 10:32pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#684 of 715)
Louis Mazza


The Iranian airliner did not follow international rules regarding flying through a declared war zone. They took off from an airfield in Iran and proceeded south while failing to broadcast IFF/SIF codes that are broadcast by all aircraft. The Vincennes attempted to identify the track but since it was not broadcasting the internationally required identification codes it was characterized as an unknown track which is a threat. Why did the pilot of that Iranian airliner fail to follow international procedure?

When KAL 700 was shot down by the Russians over the Sea of Japan, they insisted that they had the right under international law of "defending" themselves since they mistook the 747 for a US Air Force RC-135 that was conducting Elint missions off the Kamchatka Peninsula. Indeed the Korean airline was "off track" and the passengers paid the price.

There never was an apology in that instant either. I believe the phrase is "Poop happens".

These accidents are not new or are they all the results of innocents. After the end of WWII there were proscribed air cooriders leading from West Germany to Berlin. The Russian Air Force was very provacative and would "buzz" commerical airliners to make the point that Russian didn't want the west in Berlin. One one such occassion a Russian fighter performed an ill advised maneuver, collided with a commerical airliner and caused the death of many civilians.(Just like last year's incident with the Navy Patrol arcraft which was rammed by a Chinese fighter over international waters!!) Yep, no apology.

My daughter was on-line so don't read anything into my not answering your concerns.


More Messages Recent Messages (31 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company