New York Times on the Web Forums Science
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
(2112 previous messages)
- 01:45am May 9, 2002 EST (#2113
Btw, yor are not being clear with your evasive answer (why am I
So blowing up children with mothers hiding in a house under the
pretense of "liquidating terrorists" is perfectly kosher in your
book. Of course, IDF can do that job in a clean manner (or by the
book using your phrase) from 100 yards away.......and that makes it
so perfectly OK in Lou's book. You really are a sicko.
- 06:17am May 9, 2002 EST (#2114
""Robert Mueller acknowledged that officials largely ignored a
request from a field agent to investigate suspicious
pilot training by Middle Eastern men. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2002/05/item20020509170039_1.htm
A statistical blip !
- 08:33am May 9, 2002 EST (#2115
"" .... the increasing corruption of Indonesia's oligarchy does
not bode well for the future ... http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,712544,00.html
The combination of elite level bribery, gambling, religious
terrorism, Machiavellian politicking and blatant disregard for the
destitute should preferably be consigned to the trashiest of
airport bookshop thrillers. But, unfortunately for Indonesia's 210
million ordinary citizens, they have all combined over the last
few days to starkly reinforce the notion that it is the ruling
oligarchy's unfettered hypocrisy which dominates the world's
fourth largest nation.
At first glance it should be hats off to the police. On Monday
they detained Elza Syarief, the leading lawyer of Tommy Suharto -
the playboy son of the former dictator who is on trial for
masterminding the murder of a judge - for allegedly bribing
witnesses to change their testimony.
Two days earlier they had arrested Ja'afar Umar Thalib, the
leader of Laskar Jihad, the Islamist organisation widely believed
to be responsible for much of the carnage in eastern Indonesia
over the last two years.
But why now and on whose orders? And why pick on Ms Syarief
and not touch the owners of the numerous casinos that operate
openly but illegally across the capital that are also making
headlines at the moment since the Jakarta governor announced he
wants to legalise them so they can be controlled and taxed?
[A curious side note to the casino imbroglio is that most
Islamic leaders were outraged by the plan to legalise gambling but
bizarrely made little fuss when the plan appeared to be dropped
but no effort was made to prevent the entertainment centres from
continuing to operate illegally.]
And why arrest Mr Ja'afar but not evict his hundreds of
subordinates that remain in the sectarian violence-ravaged
Moluccas while banning foreign journalists and NGO workers from
entering the region?
Money, in the form of protection payoffs, is undoubtedly a
large part of the answer. But there are clearly darker and
murkier, forces at work.
This was obviously demonstrated on Tuesday when one of the
first visitors to Mr Ja'afar's cell was the vice-president and
leader of Indonesia's third largest political party, Hamzah Haz.
The Islamic politicians described the 90-minute visit as a
courtesy call, as "one Muslim brother to another".
Mr Hamzah, who saw nothing untoward with his action, was
clearly politicking - courting arguably the most influential
radical Muslim leaders in his hour of need - even though the next
general election is still more than two years away. Whether it
will benefit him remains to be seen as his political opponents
made great capital out of it.
The incident also strengthens the theory that the
three-year-long Moluccas strife, in which well over 5,000 people
have died, is really a Jakarta conflict - members of the elite
playing games with innocent and helpless Indonesians.
Most Moluccans, from both sides, are fed up with the fighting
and just want peace (a deal was signed in February to end the
fighting). But the meddling outsiders refuse to leave and so the
destruction continues. In the latest attack, a raid 10 days ago on
a Christian village, a church was burnt and 13 people were killed.
Suffering and neglect are not confined to the Moluccas. In a
report published on Tuesday, the World Food Programme, revealed
that the more than one million Indonesians displaced by various
conflicts over the last few years are slipping into a permanent
poverty trap as little is done to provide permanent solutions to
New York Times on the Web Forums Science