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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 (4338 previous messages)

rshow55 - 09:16am Sep 16, 2002 EST (# 4339 of 4349) Delete Message
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.

Here are Berle's Laws of Power taken from Power by Adolf A. Berle . . . 1969 ... Harcourt, Brace and World, N.Y.

The "0th" rule . . . . "Power is always preferable to chaos. ...To control chaos, people work in frameworks of power. According to Berle, these frameworks are always subject to five rules, which I think are right, and directly relavent to our nuclear peril, and the fixing of it.

" Rule One: Power invariably fills any vacuum in human organization. ........... When presidents neglected to give detailed attention in nuclear policy, other people took power in that area, in a tradition, very isolated from the American mainstream. That group of people, as it has developed, mostly in secret, over fifty years, now holds power. But not unquestionable power.

" Rule Two: Power is invariably personal.

" Rule Three: Power is invariably based on a system of ideas of philosophy. Absent such a system or philosophy, the institutions essential to power cease to be reliable, power ceases to be effective, and the power holder is eventually displaced.

" Rule Four: Power is exercised through, and depends on, institutions. By their existence, they limit, come to control, and eventually confer or withdraw power.

" Rule Five: Power is invariably confronted with, and acts in the presence of, a field of responsibility. The two constantly interact, in hostility or co-operation, in conflict or through some form of dialog, organized or unorganized, made part of, or perhaps intruding into, the institutions on which power depends.

These things are very important constraints - - considering them simplifies things, by ruling out a good deal. Consideration also gives a sense of what can reasonably be done. ( What can be done at reasonable cost is a subset of what can be explained to the world community. )

We may have to use the force we have - sometimes persuasive force, or instititional relatins - sometimes lethal force - - but ideas also matter. i Rule three can't long be broken without consequences.

Our ideas and ideals, when we live up to them , are vigorous. To the extent that we're not living up to them, we have some work to do --- not very difficult work, if faced. The system of "ideas" that the terrorists and , Iraq have are contradictory and fragile. Pressure points at the level of ideas can be powerful -- they'd be overwhelmingly powerful if we had most of the world behind us. As a nation we need to understand, more clearly than we do, why so many in the world are not behind us.

We are looking for stable solutions, with acceptable (minimal) risks to ourselves and others. We can't minimize our risks without considering the needs of other people, long term -- because other people are dangerous animals, as we are ourselves.

Stability conditions:
4251 rshow55 9/10/02 7:16am

If the US negotiates reasonably, and tells the truth (at least when it matters enough) on key things, and expects the same from others - - things can be worked out in the reasonable interests of all concerned. Unilateral military action won't be necessary. Saddam's regime, already, is taking steps and making statements that very much reduce the practical threats that it can pose, and its own legitimacy, internally, as well as externally - if it does not do away with the weapons of mass destruction that it has agreed to dispose of - and that it denies it has.

bbbuck - 12:31pm Sep 16, 2002 EST (# 4340 of 4349)

To anyone other than l(ooney)chic and r(lost-my-mind)show55;
Do these idiots ever go away?

lchic - 02:35pm Sep 16, 2002 EST (# 4341 of 4349)

Why George .... thought you must have run to enlist for the 'next war' ....

The 80|20 rule .... what's that ... throw away that 80% chaff ... concentrate on the 20.

20% of Americans think 'war with Iraq' isn't such a good idea -

were 'conscription' a lottery ....

how many of the remaining 80% would be so enthusiastic ?

The world noted how skewed the USA press was wrt the Middle East ..... is that same law of propaganda in operation once again ?

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