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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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mazza9 - 03:05pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#994 of 1001)
Louis Mazza


Islamic extremists attack Hindu temple in Kashmir. Would you care to link this barbarity to the United States?

Still didn't answer the question.


rshow55 - 03:22pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#995 of 1001) Delete Message

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 agrees on.

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.

rshow55 - 03:25pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#996 of 1001) Delete Message

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 said.

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.

rshow55 - 03:26pm Mar 31, 2002 EST (#997 of 1001) Delete Message

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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