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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 (5809 previous messages)

rshow55 - 09:35am Nov 16, 2002 EST (# 5810 of 5812) 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.

5805 almarst2002 11/15/02 7:49pm cites lines that are important - but only part of a reasonable, livable set of accomodations.

The habit of drawing lines on maps from comfortable offices thousands of kilometres away is like spitting in the wind: sooner or later, the monster knocks at the door of the inventor. It is important that states do not make the same mistake today by interfering in the internal affairs of others, intruding in alien cultures and judging peoples by their own limited standards of ethics and behaviour. -

Sometimes, at some levels, that interference, going both ways, is going to be inescapable - even if there have to be fights. Some fights are unavoidable - at least at the level of ideas - and if the fights can't be decently resolved at the level of ideas - at the level of rending of flesh, and ripping apart of social systems - after which resolution at the level of ideas - in some practical sense - has to occur.

There have to be limits to what people do, and say - to the extent that these thing have effects beyond them. Even if the effects are beyond borders. Some consistency relationships - not perfect - but good enough to live with - are necessary - and, if necessary, worth fighting about.

Yesterday I made a simple suggestion - and in 2 hours of careful work, Saddam really could avoid war, and the loss of his place. If he chooses not to do so - the consequences - the tragedy and death - are being risked - will happen - in defense of a system of ideas.

Are his ideas worth fighting for?

Is that the best option available in this case this time?

Ideas can be worth fighting for. People need to look carefully at particular cases.

There are wars that are justified. Sometimes, from the point of view of the combattants - justified on both sides. When that "justification" exists - somebody has some very rigid attachments to some ideas, to some standards.

Maybe justified. But the question of justification needs to be faced. Defined. Understood.

Once that happens, there may be new possibilities of hope.

rshow55 - 09:44am Nov 16, 2002 EST (# 5811 of 5812) 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.

If Saddam "plays games" - - tries to give the inspectors the run-around - keeps lying, manipulating - threatening - though the United States has many faults as well - I think that it will be right to take Iraq down, to the extent that Iraq backs Saddam.

I say that, and it is absolutely consistent with all the arguments in favor of peaceful accomodation - which ought to be possible - - that I've been making on this board.

Not that my opinion on this particular matter counts for all that much. But enough Americans share it - and enough other people share it - that Saddam is doomed, and his closes followers are doomed - if Saddam refuses to really disarm.

We're at a point of clear-enough definition - a point where clear decisions have to be made. If Saddam refuses to really disarm as he has often said he would do - and said he has done -- there will be a fight.

And in my view, the fight will be entirely justified - though I'll hope the carnage can be kept reasonably low. Odds are it won't be - and several hundred thousand people - almost all Iraqis - will die. Though that will be a terrible tragedy - at this point I believe it will be worth it - if Saddam refuses to disarm.

There are fights that have to be fought - and some of the stances Saddam has taken cannot be permitted in people who hold the weapons that we are afraid he holds.

Of course I can be entirely wrong thinking so. But I'm not alone in thinking so.

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