New York Times on the Web Forums
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
(678 previous messages)
- 07:26pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#679
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.
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
"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 . . . http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/29/books/chapters/29-1stmcnam.html
'Wilson's Ghost': An Anti-Machiavellian Handbook by JAMES
"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 .... http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/29/books/review/29CHASET.html
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.
- 07:34pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#680
Should I interpret your silence to my questions and unswers to
your questions as an acceptance of my arguments?
- 07:39pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#681
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
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!
- 07:59pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#682
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
Shouldn't at least fraction of a time spent on seeking the
blemishes on Islam be devoted to a self-examination?
- 08:34pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#683
Extraordinary things are happening, and there's a great and
terrible potential for things as we know, to go very badly wrong.
George Monbiot http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s444173.htm
.... it becomes almost impossible to discuss even serious ideas
unless there's a supermodel fronting them. From: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/index/bbchronoidx.htm
- 10:32pm Mar 18, 2002 EST (#684
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
My daughter was on-line so don't read anything into my not
answering your concerns.
New York Times on the Web Forums