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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?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(1602 previous messages)
- 03:17pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1603
rshowalt - 10:56am Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#273 of 396)
Another thing. Nuclear weapons are morally and logically
corrosive to individuals and systems. They've done terrible things
to William Jefferson Clinton, who tried to think coherently and
messed up his (very impressive, admirable) mind in ways that have
been expensive to him and the rest of us. If you say "it
is all right to use nuclear weapons first sometimes" and keep
thinking that, every moral judgement in your head is subject to
logical collapse. It is like a fatal bug in a computer program.
The LOGICAL and MORAL costs of nuclear weapons are higher than
anybody seems to appreciate.
Not only that, they're a lot less stable than people think, and
could easily destroy the human race, pretty soon, if we don't get
rid of them. Which would be easy to do, and the best thing that ever
happened to the defense of the United States, and the
political-military stability of the world.
The only REALLY TOUGH part is that some American policy makers
would have to admit to some confusions, and some missteps. Guys who
haven't been thinking of themselves as ordinary fallible human being
would have to admit that they were. And maybe apologize for a few
That's the hard part. The only hard part.
The rest of the problems involved in getting rid of nuclear
weapons are pretty easy. We could do it this year. The Russians
could make that schedule, and we could, too. If it happened like
that, Bill Clinton would be remembered, for 100's of years, as one
of the greatest Presidents the United States ever had - and deserve
- 03:17pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1604
demiourgos - 11:52am Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#274 of 396) . .
.Smalltalk developer, Web developer
beckq, well noone uses sarissas any longer. They are the weapon
that Philip of Macedon developed along with innovations in the
standard Greek phalanx which permitted him to conquer much of the
rshowalt - 12:11pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#275 of 396)
And Philip's son was one of the monsters of all time. Trained by
Aristotle, so he could out-talk anybody. Had a sure-enough, fail
safe pattern for getting any army at all to panic, and attack him in
uncoordinated dissarray, so he could slaughter them, one after
another, after another, after another, ad nauseum .... all the way
to India. Or China, I suppose, if his troops hadn't finally stopped
him. Alexander totally lost his sense of proportion, and any vestige
of humanity that mattered in military politics, and butchered tens
of thousands more people than he had the tiniest reason to. He
NEVER learned that the purpose of military action is establishment
of a workable CIVIL SOCIETY.
Alexander the Great was a monster, like Hitler, who only knew how
to agress, never to make a stable peace.
Now we have nuclear weapons, that absolutely guarantee that,
after they are used, no peace can be made. Only extermination is
And the controls we have on them are unstable, to boot.
We should get rid of the damned things. We could do it this
- 03:18pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1605
beckq - 05:03pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#301 of 396)
"American foreign policy would work better if we
could be clearer in our internal and external signals"
. Quite true thats why America makes it quite
clear and indicates that it will use nuclear weapons if it feels
it needs to.
rshowalt - 05:15pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#302 of 396)
If anybody has any evidence at all that a "graded" use of nuclear
power actually works, I'd like to hear it. I think you're toying
with tactics that would destroy the world.
Have you ever checked? Could you check? Do you know anybody who
might conveivably check? How?
Unless you have answers here, you're in a morally indefensible,
logically indefensible position, and you've put the United
States, and the world, in grave danger.
It would be safer, to remove nuclear weapons, and remove that
rshowalt - 05:17pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#303 of 396)
If you don't pause here, and think about what you're doing, you
- 03:22pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1606
rshowalt - 05:28pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#304 of 396)
I'd be grateful for a chance to come before you, or one or more
of your representatives, and explain, in detail, with documentation
and ways to check, how dangerous this situation is. Especially if a
good reporter, and a videotape record, were there so what was said
Some mistakes have been made, and you and I weren't very old when
they were made. They can be fixed. A lot of things would improve if
this were done. They are American mistakes, and Americans, and
American leaders, have to fix them.
* * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * *
A lot has happened since September 25, 2000 - - and I believe
that some of it has been good. We're more aware of the
reality and dangers of weapons of mass destruction now. People are
looking for solutions. The desire for missile defense is
based on very real fears and concerns -- that need to be adressed
effectively. I was therefore very grateful to see Mazza's question,
which I'm reposting now.
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