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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 (5094 previous messages)

rshow55 - 10:41pm Oct 20, 2002 EST (# 5095 of 5113) 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.

When Dr. Rice wrote this, I believe she wrote something profound and hopeful.

" Today, the international community has the best chance since the rise of the nation-state in the seventeenth century to build a world where great powers compete in peace instead of continually prepare for war. . . . . . The United States will build on these common interests to promote global security. "

" The National Security Strategy of the United States ," . page 2.

The whole world hopes for that. But if hopes are to solidify into reality - we need to communicate effectively - - work enough things out between people and powers so that they know enough to compete in peace.

That takes a lot of talking - negotiation of a shared space - - communication good enough so that - when it matters for practical affairs intended meanings and percieved meanings match well enough to be safe.
A communication model

For us to find that shared space - and maintain it - and know we have it -- - we need empathy.

Even for those we hate and fear.

Because we have things we have to communicate about.

And so "warm feelings" - at some levels - even if they are just "conventional" or "polite" - - are very practical -- matters of life and death.

rshow55 - 11:20pm Oct 20, 2002 EST (# 5096 of 5113) 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.

Perhaps things are going very well, and international discussions are going well. If you take Iraq at its word, subject to checking that if offers - - we are a long way from a justification for war:

Iraq States Its Case By MOHAMMED ALDOURI

"After so many years of fear from war, the threat of war and suffering, the people of Iraq and their government in Baghdad are eager for peace. We have no intention of attacking anyone, now or in the future, with weapons of any kind. If we are attacked, we will surely defend ourselves with all means possible. But bear in mind that we have no nuclear or biological or chemical weapons, and we have no intention of acquiring them.

"We are not asking the people of the United States or of any member state of the United Nations to trust in our word, but to send the weapons inspectors to our country to look wherever they wish unconditionally.

They're saying "you don't have to trust us - - you can check us." We shouldn't be reluctant to do that - and to remember how many different ways there are to check and cross-check. If the UN gets something like active cooperation from Iraq - there may be some hidden residual capacities - but there won't be much - and Iraq will not be in a good position to use anything it has left in any militarily sane way.

Iraq has made a major concession - both moral and practical - in its amnesty.

Iraq Announces Amnesty for Its Prisoners By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- "The Iraqi government announced an amnesty Sunday for all Iraqi prisoners . . "

One need not trust Saddam, nor like him, to think that Hussein and Mobs Virtually Empty Iraq's Prisons By JOHN F. BURNS reports an act of great consequence.

If Iraq can effectively reintegrate those prisoners, it will show a distinct "regime change" in the ways that matter to many, many people.

. . .

Iraq has offered to be checked and tested. That testing is coming. It started today. Perhaps this is a time, not only for care, but also for hope. Secular Redemption will be hard, this time - - but it is interesting that the leaders of Iraq are standing up to the challenge - not sitting passively by.

. . . .

The North Koreans are not sitting passively by either. This is a time for hope - and good judgement. Perhaps a good time for a sermon.

. When the foundations are shaking.

I like the whole of James Slatton's sermon - but after the first nine minutes - it is mostly secular.

The last thirty seconds - are particularly memorable - and the last word - which resonates for me. . . . Judgement.

We could use some judgement. Some care. Some luck, too.

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