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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 (5711 previous messages)

rshow55 - 11:30am Nov 13, 2002 EST (# 5712 of 5717) 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.

5710 lunarchick 11/13/02 11:07am

"In Iraq the cash from oil flows to Saddam

"In Iran the cash from oil flows to Cleric

In both Iraq and Iran, and in all of the other Islamic countries where oil has been important - there is a major problem - so central and pervasive that it isn't talked about nearly enough. It is historically unprecedented for both the dominant economic flows and dominant power flows to come from the top.

In the usual pattern in human societies - for many 1000s of years - the agricultural system (mainly the peasants) supported government, king, and city - which exercised power.

All the historical usages of the Arab world fit this pattern.

But now - it is the "king" -- the top of government - that is the source not only of power - but of wealth, too.

If you subtract direct oil income, and infrastructure supported in a way almost entirely traceable to oil - most Arab countries have very little - per capita, not much more than in sub-saharan Africa.

There are many, many awkward, historically unprecidented problems that flow from this new situation - and the way it has been grafted (often with elaborate fictions) onto old usages.

These are new problems in socio-technical organization - and need to be coped with and handled better than they are.

The Arab countries face some tough problems. Saddam's responses, ugly as they have been - have been responses to some difficult problems of government and of human relations.

We shouldn't be quick to think "we have all the answers" here. This is terra incognita - - for everybody concerned. It isn't the West's fault - and it isn't a matter of Western exploitation in any sensible sense - but it is a very difficult situation.

How are people to live, and on what basis are they to justify their money and power - when the source of all power is so naturally concentrated right at the top of society?

When we wonder why the Arabs have been so muddled and inefficient from our point of view and theirs - why they are so unhappy - why they are lashing out -- - one thing to see is that they are in a very difficult, new situation - that they don't understand very well and we don't either.

A lot of people are stumped. And acting crazily - as people who are stumped often do.

There are problems (including intellectual problems) that need to be solved here.

The Arab nations have difficulties accomodating modernity. Some of these problems are very tough - historically new - and as yet unsolved.

lunarchick - 11:32am Nov 13, 2002 EST (# 5713 of 5717)

Friedman Security Council

Iraq disarm ?


Iran Iraq - different/similar?

"" Are Iran and Iraq different? Despite their similar sounding names, Iran and Iraq are very different countries. Iraq is much smaller; its population of 23 million people is about a third of Iran's. Iranians consider themselves Persians; Iraqis identify themselves as Arabs. While both countries are Islamic, the government of Iran is of the Shi'a sect while the government of Iraq is Sunni. The Iraqi ruling party is secular while the Iranian government is fundamentalist. Iran and Iraq fought a war from 1980 to 1988 that resulted in the deaths of up to a million people. While the two countries have reestablished diplomatic relations they remain unfriendly rivals for influence in the Islamic world.

rshow55 - 11:44am Nov 13, 2002 EST (# 5714 of 5717) 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.

Iraq Accepts U.N. Resolution on Inspectors Iraqi Diplomat Confirms

This is very good news for the whole world. It is important that we find ways to make it work, for Iraq, for the Arab world - and for all the rest of the world.

If we do - we may come to a new set of international laws and relationships that work, for everybody involved, better than the old.

The Iraqi government, like them or not, faces some hard problems - and has to deal with them, step by step, from where they are.

So do we all.

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