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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 - 03:17pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1603 of 1609) Delete Message

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 things.

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 to be.

rshow55 - 03:17pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1604 of 1609) Delete Message

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 super-Mediterranean region.

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 possible.

And the controls we have on them are unstable, to boot.

We should get rid of the damned things. We could do it this year.

rshow55 - 03:18pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1605 of 1609) Delete Message

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 danger.

rshowalt - 05:17pm Sep 25, 2000 EDT (#303 of 396)

If you don't pause here, and think about what you're doing, you ought to.

rshow55 - 03:22pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1606 of 1609) Delete Message

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 was clear.

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.

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    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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