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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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rshow55 - 08:52pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#838 of 842) Delete Message

almarst-2001 3/26/02 5:34pm .... almarst , you're right that nation-state sovereinty is the most basic norm of international Law. But it isn't involate, and can't be. Even nations can be forced to obey rules, and conform, to one degree another, to other norms. For reasons that can sometimes be widely approved of. An absolute prohibition on "interference in a foreign nation's affairs," and absolute prohibitions on efforts to "shape other governments" might be ideals -- but these "absolute prohibitions" --which you can find in international law, have been violated in so many ways, by so many nation states, for so long -- that they can't be the only issues. Even assuming that the current Russian government has been perfect in this respect -- the Soviet Union surely was not. There is a widespread feeling that the US has been a "busybody" in international affairs, and worse -- and sometimes, for some specific reasons, I think so, too. shows a very effective poster which includes this quote:

" Why of course the people don't want war -- but after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship . . Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country. ......... Hermann Goering - Nuremberg Trials. also includes passages from President Bush's State of the Union Adress.

Goering had some basic facts about organizing nations for war straight. He made it clear how national leaders might justify anything -- it they could control information.

But the argument to a nation that "we are being attacked" may or not be true. The reasonableness of the argument depends on both issues of context, and matters of degree. It is important that it be possible to get these issues straight. Even if that means getting unwelcome information presented, so it is actually seen and heard - as you often work to do. Almarst , if this sort of presentation of information were more effectively and completely done, most of what concerns you could be dealt with well -- without absolute, and unworkable, prohibitions, much as I may agree with them.

It is easy to motivate nation states for "defense" -- and after enough threatening - it can be hard to be sure "who started it."

lchic - 08:55pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#839 of 842)

I don't think Japanese mentality was that crash hot before WWII and many prisoners of war still haven't come to forgive the Japanese for their out and out cruelty. Hopefully those days are gone!

    So it's interesting to note that the x and y generation of Japanese are more empathetic. They delight in cartoon characters of movies, have their own disney world, and it is said like to ape/copy things American.
    Racoons have been kept by Japanese as pets ... but ... they are very demanding. Rather than return them to the store they let them into the wild. Adult racoons damage crops and create nusiance, they can turn on water taps.

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