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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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(993 previous messages)
- 03:05pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#994
Islamic extremists attack Hindu temple in Kashmir. Would you care
to link this barbarity to the United States?
Still didn't answer the question.
- 03:22pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#995
Mazza , not all the barbarity in the world comes from the
United States -- nor most of it. Who on this thread has ever denied
that? But some barbarity does, and has. Almarst ,
especially, has made the point that given all the facts, the US has
room for improvement, and takes "moral" positions it can't
reasonably justify. Including ones that do the whole world great
harm -- and stand in the way of much progress that might otherwise
occur. I think he's right, though we're not always angry in the same
way, about exactly the same things.
There are some points about basic morality that almost everybody
I didn't write this, but I was impressed by it, and so I quote
"Hanumanji - 07:45pm Feb 11, 2002 GMT (#42 of 1330)
"If you got together some tribespeople from south america and
some african tribes people, some trailer trash yanks. and some
harvard graduates. some liberals and some monarchist. some taliban
and some devout christians. and various people all throuout history
and you ask them all in a language that they could understand.
" Do you want to be hurt, either physically or
emotionally, do you want to be lied to, do you want to be cheated,
do you want your property stolen?
"You know what you would get. One resounding No.
"These are some of the basic ethical universal values, that
everyone knows with out being taught."
By the time people start using weapons on each other - every one
of these moral principles has been violated. Nobody's asking for
perfection -- but a sense of proportion is important.
On missile defense, the quesion about being lied to is
particularly important -- for its own sake, and because of waste.
Also the question about things stolen.
- 03:25pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#996
It seems to me that for all the tragedy and back-and-forth, there
are good possibilities coming into focus . .
Yesterday, Lchic and I spent some time on a Guardian board,
"Anything on Anything" talking about issues involving the ME, and
deterrance. Some pretty connected to Friedman's article today, and
current doings. Here are some of the links, and some of the things
To transform the ME conflict -- and this is something that is in
progress - - legitimize suicide bombing -- - something that is in
the process of happening, over much of the world. Just for the sake
of argument, suppose you accept that suicide bombing of civilians,
in this situation, is a legitimate kind of military action.
(As for me, I'd like to outlaw ALL bombing - - but just this
time, let's look at the situation as it now looks to almost all
Arabs, and to many elsewhere -- who can't see any reason that
suicide bombing is any worse than other bombing, if it kills the
same number and classification of people.)
If you assume suicide bombing is legitimate -- then there is a
"fight about definitions and legitimacy" matched with what is,
essentially - a military-political stand-off.
Israel confronting the Palestinians in such a standoff - without
third parties -- no solution.
With third parties, willing to use reasonable force, and
reasonable persuasion - there are good solutions, it seems to me.
- 03:26pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#997
suicide attacks aren't lightly done - - there have to be
compelling reasons for them. Anybody willing to kill themselves for
their country is dying for ideas.
And so ideas matter.
Is a willingness to face death in war ugly? In some ways - but
very common, too -- and if you look at military history - there is
plenty of substantially suicidal behavior -- a lot more militarily
wasteful than the Palestinian.
But ugly as suicide attacks may be -- they aren't indiscriminant
- and they are done to achieve objectives.
That's a comfort.
Because suicide attacks are not irrational, there is some
stability. Bin Laden's attack on the WTC was morally terrible -- but
I also think it was a miscalculation - I wonder how many who
actually support Bin Laden's cause are glad it happened? Given the
consequences? I'm not sure they'd try it again.
"Successful attacks" that are only parts of a sequence of
conflict can be very unsuccessful indeed.
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