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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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rshow55 - 06:54pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1762 of 1805) Delete Message

That's extermination language in mazza9 4/25/02 6:16pm . . .

Were not dealing with angels, on either side, but with hateful, brutal, dangerous, human beings. On both sides. You can get plenty of ugly pictures of dead, some much worse than that, from many conflicts. People killed by knives and guns look ugly. But we are much too prone to focus on what we see, and ignore the gravity of what we do not. We need to weigh, and count.

The 20th century has been the most gruesome in history -- in part because of acts by the United States. In Korea, we killed more than two million people, the vast majority civilians, by dam and fire bombing. Many of the corpses must have been uglier than those in Many of the people we killed must have died more agonizing deaths than the dead shown in your picture.

The Bush administration continues to be committed to, an advocate of, nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, pilots routinely practiced for missions that, if they actually had happened, would have killed too many people to count -- one admiral recalled an assignment where destroying a fairly marginal supply site would have killed 600,000 people. Nuclear weapons may easily end the world. These weapons are built to reduce huge numbers of people, too many for a person to count, to rotting unburied corpses.

No doubt this is a reason to want missile defenses, considered in isolation. But it is also a reason to be careful about everything - in the full context where responsible nation states must act. That means that no one can morally afford to turn away from negotiations at the sight of the first bloody picture, or hateful sight. Otherwise, the logic always reduces to a logic of endless fighting, a logic of extermination.

We're much to sensitive to pictures (though there's good in that - with pictures so much more common, war is harder to wage). Without pictures, our minds sometimes seem almost paralyzed. In ARMED TO EXCESS ... Bob Kerrey shows that even the most essential facts about our nuclear deployments have been denied members of the House and Senate. US nuclear policy has been controlled, to a decisive extent, for decades - by a largely non-accountable group of people.

And the history involved is ugly - - - unimaginably ugly - in terms of what the US has done, and what it has condoned, and permitted. THREATS TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS: The Sixteen Known Nuclear Crises of the Cold War, 1946-1985 by David R. Morgan ought to give pause to anyone who argues that we can't "negotiate with monsters."

The occasional suicide bombing, ugly as it is, is not worse than things we've done, and continue to threaten to do.

We aren't angels. I think the first few pages of Mankind's Inhumanity to Man and Woman - As natural as human goodness? make a key point.

We have to learn to make peace. If it came naturally, we wouldn't be in some of the messes we're in.

mazza9 - 07:43pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1763 of 1805)
Louis Mazza


You continually hark back to WWII Korea, Viet Nam and other Cold War skirmishes/actions and "wars". Since the end of the Cold War along with it's polarization and control by the super powers, there has been unleashed the aspirations of the dictators and despots of the world.

They are the problem not US!


rshow55 - 07:48pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1764 of 1805) Delete Message

Recommended: Media Whores Online . . . "The site that set out to bring the media to their knees - but found they were already there."

rshow55 - 07:57pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1765 of 1805) Delete Message

mazza9 4/25/02 7:43pm

we haven't yet done anything close to a thorough job of ending the Cold War, or cleaning up the messes it left.

MD1030-1035 rshow55 4/3/02 4:06pm . . . excerpts from the first chapter of 'Wilson's Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century' by ROBERT S. McNAMARA and JAMES G. BLIGHT

MD1035 rshow55 4/3/02 4:40pm . . . Comment: From the wide perspective McNamara and Blight offer, though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a small proportion of the agony of the last 100 years (about .13% of the deaths) is is not small. The agony and ugliness is wrenching and beyond an individuals full capacity to understand. . . .

The U.S. is part of the problem of war, and risk, and needs to be part of the solution. Being honest about "missile defense" and much else, is important.

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