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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 (5764 previous messages)

rshow55 - 04:06pm Nov 14, 2002 EST (# 5765 of 5777) 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.

Looking at things that have been said and done since the 10th, I can't help but feel moderately optimistic - everything considered. A lot of interesting things have happened - some of them pretty good. The Iraqi government has shown some real competence and coherence about some things - and paperwork, though it may be imperfect in spots, is even ahead of schedule.

5571 rshow55 11/10/02 7:52am includes this:

"Could Saddm be stumped?"

. . . .

"If Iraq can disarm, as it has agreed to do - and do it gracefully, credibly - smoothly -- there will have been a regime change in a lot of ways that matter. Given real options - just now - it seems to me that regime improvement might be better than regime overthrow.

"There are some issues of status exchange that are going to be very important if the UN disarmament is to succeed - and they need to be considered carefully enough for workable results.

Saddam's letter the the UN had the status exchange parts almost exactly backwards - almost every sign wrong for his purpose. That's something to fix - because it guarantees instability where there should be stability.

5572 rshow55 11/10/02 8:37am quotes some things about stability that might interest specialists - and ends with this:

" . . . There's plenty of time, with the schedules now agreed to.

That still seems right. So far, it seems that things have been working out fairly well, considering. There's still plenty of time to avoid war, and sort out some big things in the interest of everybody involved. Things may be going just as well as could reasonably be expected.

A key thing is that Iraq and other Arab nations have to figure out decent solutions for themselves - - in Arab terms --- they have to do that, no matter what happens.

Now, they don't have solutions to the most fundamental problems they face - or even recognize their core problems. They'd fight better if they did, and if they did, there might be much, much less to fight about.

From everything I hear, Saddam is, speaking in American vernacular, a sonof_bitch in a lot of ways - but also maybe one of the best administrators in any Arab government. He might be able to sort out a lot - not only for himself and Iraq, but for the whole Arab world. A lot of American general officers would root for him if he did. Occupying Iraq, if it has to happen, will be a tragedy and a mess.

Saddam's shown a cool head and a lot of intelligence before - and if he showed it now - and acted in his own real interest, the interest of Iraq, and in the interest of honor and success for the Arab world - he could sort out a lot. If he does that - he'll have honored a lot of promises that he's made to his own people - and justified a lot. If he blows it - I don't see how he can survive, or why anybody would want him to.

If Saddam denies that he's told some lies - that people all around him have done plenty of lying - and that some key things in his regime have involved deceptions and misjudgements - - - then he's classified hope out of existence.

He doesn't have to defer to the Bush administration's claims of virtue or wisdom. In fact, if he'd set an example of real honesty - he could serve the whole world by insisting on getting some facts sorted out that Americans now conceal.

But is seesm to me that Saddam does have to be able to straighten enough out so that peace is possible - and reasonable from an American point of view. The UN has worked very hard to give him that chance - and to do it - he's got to do some intellectually and politically difficult things. He's done some intellectually and politically difficult things successfully before.

Russians, and others, have every incentive to help with this

mmuskin - 04:22pm Nov 14, 2002 EST (# 5766 of 5777)

almarst2002 - 05:10pm Nov 14, 2002 EST (# 5767 of 5777)

mmuskin 11/14/02 4:22pm

Possible but unlikely. Why whould one disclose such plan other then in attempt to cause a panic and turn the attention to the wrong direction?

almarst2002 - 05:13pm Nov 14, 2002 EST (# 5768 of 5777)

On Iraq.


Can you justify a war where possibly hundreds of thousends of people will die and the country destroyed because their leader is a lier?

If that's a criteria, not too many nations would gave a right to exist. Including the US.

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