[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 (2638 previous messages)

rshow55 - 12:57pm Jun 20, 2002 EST (#2639 of 2644) Delete Message

I'd like to repost some writings from this thread, prior to March 1:

rshow55 - 11:29am Feb 13, 2002 EST (#11526 of 11552)

Defense is a matter of life and death. Justified trust is so essential to long-term cooperation, and long term prosperity. Everyone who is sensible, and not corrupt, has to care about right answers. In the Enron case, a question question was and is "did people get the securities they paid for in good faith, or were they misled, in ways that were always dangerous, and turned out to be disastrously wasteful?"

That's an important question. Because money is important. Resources are limited. Trust is essential to the workings of our markets and our cooperative enterprises.

We may also ask, of the government and of contractors --- "are we getting the security that we're paying for in good faith, or are we being misled in ways that are both wasteful and dangerous."

Accounting may seem a "mundane" exercise. But on both money, and matters of technical fact, it is essential in our world. One need not ask for perfection. As Robert Bork said . . .

" The young are naturally romantic, and given to moral absolutes that necessarily make the real world of compromise, half-measures, and self-seeking appear corrupt."

...Chapter 1 .... Robert H. Bork, SLOUCHING TOWARDS GOMORRAH: Modern Liberalism and American Decline

But all decent human beings are "romantic" to some extent, and need to be. Not only the young. The "appearance" of corruption can become real corruption, without the disciplining of fact, and openness.

We all live in a real world of compromise, half-measures, and an avoidance of too-harsh realities. People couldn't live any other way - and it ought to be no surprise when muddles and messes happen. But there need to be limits, and when things are important enough, and we are paying attention, there is a great deal of agreement on what is important. I was very interested in the following are excerpts from a hearing yesterday of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee into the collapse of the Enron Corporation. . . . 21 U. S. Senators spoke, and very interesting excerpts are set out in from

John McCain, Republican of Arizona;

Peter G. Fitzgerald, Republican of Illinois;

John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts;

John B. Breaux, Democrat of Louisiana;

Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon;

Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine;

Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California;

Jean Carnahan, Democrat of Missouri;

George F. Allen, Republican of Virginia; and

Ernest F. Hollings, Democrat of South Carolina.

Every one of these excerpts is worth reading, and a credit to its authors, and to America.

I think these were important statements -- statements of principles and common ground that really matter in America . Common ground very widely held, and cherished, when people are speaking in public, or talking to each other -- or acting where honor counts.

The reasons that accounting and openness matter in corporate life also apply to government action, including our decisions on defense.

Were still living with consequences of the Cold War that were not properly accounted and resolved, and with new and vitally important challenges. Our relations with NATO, that have been central to our security interests for fifty years, are under great stress. Were in battles of ideas, where the results matter. We have to re-establish effective, proportionate, stable patterns of deterrance in a new world, with new dangers. Our crediblility, as a nation, is vital, and it cannot be taken for granted. Crazier Than Thou By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

rshow55 - 12:58pm Jun 20, 2002 EST (#2640 of 2644) Delete Message

We need some sensible accounting on issues of national and international importance, that can bear examination when Americans, and people of other nations, are paying attention.

Missile defense is a key example.

Some basic issues of functionality are an important place to start. MD11502 rshow55 2/12/02 11:17am

gisterme - 07:20pm Feb 13, 2002 EST (#11528 of 11552)

lchic 2/13/02 2:56am

"...Gisterme - if you decide to begin embracing ... Robert

Things might move along with curtesy and speed :)"

Somehow the truth seems much more embraceable to me than Robert, lchic. ;-)

I'm in no hurry. Are you? Things seem to be moving along just fine to me.

(24 following

Gisterme , I think you were right, that things were going well. I think we've made progress. I feel we may be close to getting some things resolved that may make the world safer - and move us in directions we both hope for, and can be proud of.

rshow55 - 01:00pm Jun 20, 2002 EST (#2641 of 2644) Delete Message

To repeat - I think that my concerns, and the reasonable concerns of the other parties in interest could be well served if the U.S. government agreed to do what Bill Casey promised me and the AEA investors, or something equivalent in the ways that matter. I personally think that's true, whether the government is willing to admit the truth of my story or not. If that were discussed, and not a workable resolution -- perhaps discussions would lead to a workable resolution. One consistent with the terms dictated to me by CIA last week, and in the national interest otherwise.

. . . .

If this was OK, at least as a basis of discussion - I should, after a few phone calls to people around the Madison area, be ready to talk to people involved in the Crusader matter.

Comments, gisterme?

More Messages Recent Messages (3 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

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

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company