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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 - 01:31pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#835 of 862) Delete Message

Were the processes of WAR examined so, the process would also be of interest.

Here's part of an undelivered speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, written shortly before his death:

" Today, we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships --- the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace."

This quote was on the last page of the American Heritage Picture History of World War II , by C.L. Sulzberger and the editors of American Heritage , published in 1966.

President Bush is asking the Arab leaders to consider new "ideas for peace." It seems to me that such ideas are coming into being -- and that attitudes, especially the need to consider proportions and consequences - - are providing new reasons for hope.

We need both better patterns of dialog - better information - less lying -- and, sometimes, carefully adapted force .

David L. Phillips wrote a letter to the Editor today "Action against Iraq" that references Friedman's Pull up a Chair" and includes these words -- I'm making deletions to add generality to the objectives Phillips states.

" Military action against ________ is not intended to take apart _________ . The ideal end-state is a decentralized democratic federation that does not persecute its polity, threaten its neighbors, or seek to develop weapons of mass destruction."

Do we know enough to achieve such an end state -- and even if we do, are we using what we know, or could figure out quickly from where we are?

If all we have to work with is standard military logic, and procedures - these ideal objectives are hopeless.

But without military force, as a subordinated part of a larger effort, they may sometimes be hopeless, too.


Could the words in Text: Draft of Saudi Peace Initiative be part of a realistic peace, that would work for the human beings actually involved, complicated, charged and ugly as the situation is? In Pull Up a Chair http://wwwopinion/ , Friedman has suggested that the US will have to station troops around Israel if there is to be any real hope of a settlement. That seems right to me.

Suppose the US said - we support the Saudi draft -- but there has to be real peace, and during a period of adjustment, we'll support peacekeepers, including some American troops. We'll fund them with money we would otherwise give Israel anyway. Half the peacekeepers would be American, half Russian, under U.N. command. We'd continue the support, with the troops, until Palestine and Israel both agreed to have the peacekeepers leave.

No extra cost to the US. Israel gives up something it ought to be able to afford financially. Both the Americans, and the Russians, have close ties to both sides - - and "speak the same language" in some ways, but not in others. It seems to me that useful complex cooperations would be likely. And the Russians and the Americans would get to know each other better, as well.

Would the Palestinians and the Israelis agree? If they actually wanted a workable peace, I think they should consider something along such lines. Just now, the geometry of the situation, and the passions, are such that a peacekeeping force ought to make great sense for all concerned.

I believe that once this mess stabilizes, the chances for real peace, and real normalization of relations, are quite good.

Japan's Kamikazis didn't all die -- many of them were not used -- and went on to live perfectly ordinary lives thereafter. Sometimes lives that included perfectly workable cooperation with Americans.

almarst-2001 - 05:34pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#836 of 862)

"Do we know enough to achieve such an end state -- and even if we do, are we using what we know, or could figure out quickly from where we are? "

Is not a question.

The question is: "Who gives Mr. Phillips a RIGHT to interfere in a foreign nation affairs, to shape its goverment, and even to break it according to his design?"

Did Mr. Phillips forget that nation-state suverenity is still the most basic norm of international Law?

Did he forget that the biggest crime attributed to the Nazi Germany during the Nurnberg Trial was a crime of unprovoked AGGRESSION against its neighbors. The crime of starting the WAR.

To the "credit" of Mr. Phillips, this norm was very foreign to the US foreign policy since WWII. A complete loss of any sense of shame?

almarst-2001 - 05:40pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#837 of 862)

"Sometimes lives that included perfectly workable cooperation with Americans."

I am not an expert in Japanese mentality. If I would be a Japanese and see the result of hiroshima and Nagasaki ...

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