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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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.


Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (16615 previous messages)

rshow55 - 06:46am Nov 6, 2003 EST (# 16616 of 16633)
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

" but where oh where can that Showalter be? " Partly looking at this:

Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War By JAMES RISEN http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/06/politics/06INTE.html

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 As American soldiers massed on the Iraqi border in March and diplomats argued about war, an influential adviser to the Pentagon received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman: Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal.

Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search. The businessman said in an interview that the Iraqis also offered to hand over a man accused of being involved in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 who was being held in Baghdad. At one point, he said, the Iraqis pledged to hold elections.

. . . .

No meetings took place, and the invasion began on March 20. Mr. Hage wonders what might have happened if the Americans had pursued the back channel to Baghdad.

"At least they could have talked to them," he said.

This news should be part of a collecting and connecting of "dots."

Including what was said here:

Text of News Conference on Iraq Azores, March 16, 2003 with U.S. President Bush, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, Prime Minister of Portugal, Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain and Jose Maria Aznar, Prime Minister of Spain http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/16/international/16IRAQ-TEXT.html

Here is Berle: ( Power - Chapter II )

In the hands or mind of an individual, the impulse toward power is not inherently limited. Limits are imposed by extraneous fact and usually also by conscience and intellectual restraint. Capacity to make others do what you wish knows only those limitations.

That's plain and straight. Power holders want to limit the ability of others to determine facts because that extends their power. It is in the overwhelming collective interest to see that facts that matter enough are determined - both so that power can be reasonably limited - and because human beings have to make decisions on what they believe to be true.

If leaders of nation states had the wisdom, fortitude and courage to face the fact that there have to be limits on the right of people in power to decieve themselves and others, we'd live in a much more hopeful world. Limits that put some limits on personal political power and on sovereignty.

Maybe not severe limits. Maybe not limits applied with great consistency. But some limits. Enforced sometimes. When it matters enough.

If that were faced, the US would have to deal with some embarrassments. But an index of how much is screwed up, misunderstood, and deceptive is how well national groups treat their own citizens - and get along in the worldr - how well their cooperation works in human terms.

10076 http://forums.nytimes.com/webin/WebX?8@13.34Q0bsYfVMV.1770957@.f28e622/11621

This thread has been about a lot more than missile defense - and from Nov 2002 to March there was a lot of discussion about Iraq.

Iraq States Its Case is an interesting search on this thread. http://www.mrshowalter.net/Iraq%20States%20Its%20Case.htm

The question "what did they know - and when did they know it" is an important one.

rshow55 - 06:53am Nov 6, 2003 EST (# 16617 of 16633)
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War by JAMES RISEN http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/06/politics/06INTE.html

is extremely interesting - and a point that interests me is technical . In communication between people who distrust each other - communication is inherently unstable - and it is tough to find enough channels ( and enough word count ) and enough triangulation so that messages are effective and so that deceptions can be effectively enough and quickly enough constrained.

If the facts in Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War by JAMES RISEN http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/06/politics/06INTE.html had been known on March 16th - and checked by credible sources - ( and enough of them ) - a war that could not be stopped by massive demonstrations in the streets might have been stopped. In part because the demonstrations might have been bigger. In part because, whatever might have happened in the US - the press in the UK would have rebelled.

Technique matters. And the question is truth morally forcing is an important one - not yet faced clearly enough when technical issues of communication and decision making are complicated.

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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense