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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 (4362 previous messages)

lchic - 06:46am Sep 18, 2002 EST (# 4363 of 4365)

"" History of Oppression

Since the founding of the modern Turkish republic, in 1923, the authorities have tried to wipe out the distinct identity of the Kurds, Turkey's largest minority. Until a change in legislation, in 1991, the use of Kurdish was totally banned in numerous situations, such as speaking or singing in public, and publishing.

Kurds live in neighboring parts of Iran, Iraq, and Syria, where they have also suffered repression, with the exception of a portion of Iraq that Kurds control with the help of the United Nations. Yet only Turkey, home to the largest Kurdish population, has gone to great lengths to eradicate the Kurds' culture.

Today officials sometimes try to justify the ban on the use of Kurdish in education by claiming the language is too primitive. According to Nurset Aras, a professor of medicine and rector of the University of Ankara, "Kurdish is not a true language. It is not adequate for academic education."

Linguists dismiss the notion. Indeed, Kurdish has a literary tradition that goes back at least three and a half centuries. Mem Zn, the names of two lovers, is an epic story of tragic love written by the Kurdish poet and Muslim scholar Ehmed Xan at the end of the 17th century. It is considered one of the greatest classics of Kurdish literature. ..... According to Amnesty International, Mrsel Sargut, a 19-year-old literature student at Istanbul University who was arrested last November 30, was tortured while in police custody. He was allegedly stripped and sprayed with pressurized water and then raped with a nightstick by police after he refused to "confess" ....
Before the European Union will invite Turkey to join, it is demanding "respect and protection of minorities, including the right to have education and broadcasting in their own language," says Jean-Christophe Filori, the spokesman on enlargement issues for the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union. But Turkey has shown "no flexibility on the education issue," he says.

rshow55 - 07:42am Sep 18, 2002 EST (# 4364 of 4365) 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.

A Road Map for Iraq

If Washington is serious about working with other nations to restrain Iraq, it can't expect to dictate every move to the U.N.

Lemon Fizzes on the Banks of the Euphrates By MAUREEN DOWD

In just a few days, the Iraq crisis went from Saddam having a noose around his neck to W. being bound by multilateral macram.

Iraq, Upside Down By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

If we don't find some way to help Arab nations, their young, angry radicals will blow us up long before Saddam ever does.

We have to find ways to understand, and better control, human craziness - and a lot of ugliness that goes with it. To help Arab nations, as Friedman suggests - we've got to understand much better what they're stumped about - and what we're stumped about, too.

We're falling short as human beings - and it is partly a moral failing - but partly a logical failing, too. We're not facing some obvious facts. Whether we're all children of God, or only part of nature - we're built as we are, and have the strengths and weaknesses we have - for better and for worse.

We're human beings - and in fact, we're animals - special animals. If we acknowledged that - a lot could sort out. We aren't "blank slates." And we have to do the best we can. If we had better hearts, we'd do better. But often, we'd do a lot better if we just faced facts more often.

We have a lot to be proud of, some things to be ashamed of - and a lot where we'd do better if we'd just be a little bit more discipined and more careful. When facts can be established beyond any reasonable doubt -- and plenty of facts can be - - we should face them - and our cultures should accomodate them.

Not to do so paralyzes us. Doing so would cost comparatively little.

The technical problems with establishing facts are a lot less difficult than they used to be.

The moral problems ought not be so hard, either, with a little courage. We're not blank slates. If we acknowledged that - we could preserve and accentuate everything we have that is good - and screw up less often and less severely.

- - -

Messes like the current problems in Iraq would be far less likely to happen if we did so - and would resolve more easily.

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