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Author Topic: Missile Defence Questions
fatal ruminate
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posted 26 August 2004 03:00 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
OK, what exactly is the problem with the US proposal for a missile defense system?

I realize that it might cost billions of dollars but what would the cost be if someone did attack the US with a ballistic missile? I mean what was cost of the damage done by the non-nuclear attack of 9/11 ?

I understand that there is some concern over the 'weaponization of space', but from what I've seen the of the proposed interception system, it seems the weapons are all ground-based. There are satellite sensors systems in space but no real weapons.

I've also heard that this could lead an arms race as nuclear powers increase their arsenals in order to be able to swamp the defences. That doesn't make sense. The current estimates show that the system might be able to stop 20-100 incoming missiles. Don't the major nuclear powers already have more missiles than that?

It seems to me, that this proposed system is more likely intended to prevent a minor power (North Korea, Iran for example) from being able to hold a nuclear sword over the US.

What is wrong with that?

So, at the risk of being considered one of the 'coalition of idiots' what is the real issue with the proposed missile defense system?


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Kinetix
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posted 26 August 2004 03:09 PM      Profile for Kinetix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The problem is that the proposed system doesn't work.

At all.

It never did.


From: Montréal, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 26 August 2004 03:16 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok, if it doesn't work, then how does it cause an arms race?

Even if it is just a waste of cash, would you rather the US armed forces spend the money on something more effective?

If this system, ineffective or not, keeps someone from launching a nuclear attack against the US, wouldn't that be worth quite a few billion dollars?

And won't there be some benefits from the expenditures, either new technology or at least some well-paying jobs?


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 26 August 2004 03:22 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Ok, if it doesn't work, then how does it cause an arms race?

Anyone who fears an attack from the US -- say, North Korea -- could reason thus:

The Pentagon says it doesn't work. But we know they're a bunch of liars. Perhaps it does work, and their aim is to attack us without the possibility of retaliation. In which case, the claim that it doesn't work is just smoke designed to make us dismiss this possibility. Guess we'd better build us a bunch more warheads and missiles, since even if the thing does work, it can't stop more than a very few.

quote:
Even if it is just a waste of cash, would you rather the US armed forces spend the money on something more effective?

It's up to the US really. Were I a USian, I'd be outraged by the bloated size of the military budget -- and the fact that much of it is secret -- when the country has social problems that could be eased by the proper infusion of cash.

quote:
And won't there be some benefits from the expenditures, either new technology or at least some well-paying jobs?

Possibly, but modern weapons research/spending is the most inefficient way of producing desirable side benefits ever devised.

[ 26 August 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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jrootham
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posted 26 August 2004 03:26 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The problem is that it would not work reliably.

On the other hand, in the MAD system any opponent would have to assume effectiveness and construct countermeasures.

The other threat to peace is that the US believes it works and launches a strike against another power, relying on the system to prevent retaliation, thus destabilizing MAD.

Most of the objections are centred around the utter dishonesty of the project and its proponents. Aside from the waste, people that dishonest are not who you want in control of anything, let alone a nuclear arms system.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 26 August 2004 10:04 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

It seems to me, that this proposed system is more likely intended to prevent a minor power (North Korea, Iran for example) from being able to hold a nuclear sword over the US.

Perhaps, though not really in the sense that the US fears a sudden, unprovoked attack from Iran against one of its cities. The mullahs in Teheran aren't that crazy.

It's more likely the shield-favorers in the US see it as an enabler of more conventional military action: *if* the shield worked, Iran couldn't brandish its nuclear sword to ward off a potential invasion.

Canadian military planners have told our own government that BMD is "arguably more in order to preserve US/NATO freedom of action than because US really fears a North Korean or Iranian threat."


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Malek
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posted 26 August 2004 10:39 PM      Profile for Malek     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Canadian airspace would provide the northern buffer that the US needs. A missle defence system would need operating space to allow time for inteceptors to engage a rogue missle attack. It would have to tie into NORAD because the radar system has already been in place in the north for decades. Opting out for Canada would come at a very heavy political price. That would mean that the US would have to base it's radar and inteceptors in Alaska and Thule, Greenland. In the highly unlikely event of a rogue missle coming in over the north heading for a US destination, there should be no doubt that they would attempt to intercept it and likely it would penetrate far into Canada before it could be engaged. As for reality though, the entire BMD program represents another fleecing of the North American taxpayer, as billions are funneled into the coffers of politically friendly defence industrial conglomerates.
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fatal ruminate
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posted 26 August 2004 11:01 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As far as it beiing a waste of money, aren't the funds we spend on National Defence a waste when we aren't at war? I prefer to consider that it is cheaper to spend some money on National defence rather than the many more times the cost to actually be involved in a war.

Since no one believes that any Missile shield is going to be 100% effective, it won't make sense for the US to become more aggressive thinking that they are immune to a massive nuclear attack.

For example:

Let us suppose that the missile defense shield is 90% effective. If an attacking country were to launch just 3 missiles at the US, there is only a 72.9% percent chance that all three would be stopped. If the number were 6 missiles, the chance of stopping all 6 would be just 53.14%. Considering the potential damage even 1 nuje would do to the US, I can't imagine that any president would take the chance.

As far as military spending being an ineffective way to increase technolgy research spending; yes it is. However, it seems more likely that Congress will approve increased defence spending than it does that they would increase pure R&D spending.

So far, no one has espoused the charge that the proposed system would result in 'weaponization of space'.


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 26 August 2004 11:17 PM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It will lead to the the weaponization of space...haha I said it....To know why you can read any Paul Hellyer books oe "The Project for a new american century" Written by pearle cheney et al
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 26 August 2004 11:23 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
As far as it beiing a waste of money, aren't the funds we spend on National Defence a waste when we aren't at war?

But supposedly we are at a war. There's a War on Terror™ going on, don't you know. And on any realistic threat assessment I've seen, a rogue ICBM isn't anywhere near the top of the list of dangers we should be concerned about. But neither the American nor the Canadian administrations have done anywhere near what they could do to harden ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities, etc. Why aren't we spending money to defend against the more likely threats?


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 26 August 2004 11:25 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by thorin_bane:
It will lead to the the weaponization of space...haha I said it....To know why you can read any Paul Hellyer books oe "The Project for a new american century" Written by pearle cheney et al

Well, gosh, anybody can SAY it, but I haven't seen any evidence that the current plan puts any weapons, anywhere.

I'm just trying to find out what are reasoins for the current objections to the proposed American Missile Defence Shield.


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 26 August 2004 11:35 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:

So far, no one has espoused the charge that the proposed system would result in 'weaponization of space'.

Someone has.

U.S. planning space weapons, Russian envoy says

quote:
Canadian politicians are badly mistaken if they believe Washington's plans to defend North America from ballistic missiles will not inevitably lead to weapons in space, Russia's ambassador in Ottawa says.

Georgiy Mamedov, who was Moscow's chief arms-control negotiator before his posting to Canada last year, said he has received briefings by Pentagon officials that make it clear the current ballistic missile-defence program ultimately involves space weapons.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
f1 dad
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posted 26 August 2004 11:50 PM      Profile for f1 dad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But neither the American nor the Canadian administrations have done anywhere near what they could do to harden ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities, etc. Why aren't we spending money to defend against the more likely threats?

I don't know if you meant for it to be rhetorical or not, but that's a really good question.

The easy cynical answer is that missile defense lines the pockets of Bush's contractor cronies. The need to secure chemical plants and nuclear facilites, however, gives rise to the opportunity to throw tons of cash towards corporations like Titan and Wackenhut. It's curious that Bush chooses not to do this.


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Malek
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posted 26 August 2004 11:56 PM      Profile for Malek     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
I'm just trying to find out what are reasoins for the current objections to the proposed American Missile Defence Shield.

Perhaps it's all the research and testing done to date on BMD that's got the tongues wagging. Companies like Raytheon and Boeing are already receiving billions for research and development of BMD systems. Mostly it involves inteceptor missiles but chemical lasers have been contemplated. Some objections would stem from the US breaking of an international treaty that bans such research and development. Or perhaps its the massive billions spent on such projects when social programs are near non existant in the US and increasingly under strain in Canada. Or perhaps it's the fact that the space around the earth is already littered with the garbage and junk from 40 years of human contamination, and now they have plans on the drawing board for a sky full of floating weapons over our heads. Perhaps it's millionaire politicians working for billionaire weapons peddlers. The point is that the voices of weaponization have just come from a successful multi-billion dollar campaign of lies and deceipt over Iraq as they sponge off the labour of workers and their families to fund it while improving their own fortunes, and now the new bogeyman is rogue terrorist missles which will serve their cause to expropriate additional involuntary taxes to fund more lucrative and nefarious schemes.


From: Upper Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Malek
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posted 27 August 2004 12:01 AM      Profile for Malek     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by f1 dad:
The need to secure chemical plants and nuclear facilites, however, gives rise to the opportunity to throw tons of cash towards corporations like Titan and Wackenhut. It's curious that Bush chooses not to do this.

All in good time. Tackling too many issues at once would be too hard to chew on while trying to keep focus on that all important second term. This would involve even larger spikes in the national debt and deficit. Even the moron Bush must maintain at least the facade of political astuteness for the sake of his supporters.


From: Upper Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jughead
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posted 27 August 2004 12:04 AM      Profile for Jughead     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
Ok, if it doesn't work, then how does it cause an arms race?

Even if it is just a waste of cash, would you rather the US armed forces spend the money on something more effective?

If this system, ineffective or not, keeps someone from launching a nuclear attack against the US, wouldn't that be worth quite a few billion dollars?

And won't there be some benefits from the expenditures, either new technology or at least some well-paying jobs?


You hit one point right on the nose, and it is your last one. There are two major realisable objectives to the missile defense shield. One is to generate profits for defense contracters. The other is to continue, as has been the practice in the US for at least 50 years, to gain technological advantage by funneling public money into scientific research. (Think NASA - velcro, NORAD - internet. Yes, I know these are banal examples, but they are ONLY examples.)

As for your point about rathering that the US spend money on a defense shield that doesn't work than on a technology that does work, I assume you mean in preference to an effective OFFENSIVE technology? Either way, it's an odd way of looking at it. I doubt that anyone on this forum sincerely wishes to see the United States struck by any sort of attack. On the other hand, many might wish the US to recognize that it is VULNERABLE to an attack (without the attack actually taking place that is) and perhaps choose a non-military solution to the problem. (Which, if we look back over time, has better chances of being successful.)

There is a brief discussion of missile defense on Quebec NDP candidate Annick Bergeron's website.

One point that is not mentioned is that the history of arms is one of continual obselecence (sp?). That is, Thor and Thag have an argument and yell at each other. At first Thor yells loudly, which scares Thag. Eventually, Thag realizes that he, too can yell. He scares Thor. Thor is not happy with his new-found inferiority, so he picks up a stick and beats the tar our of Thag. When he recovers, Thag looks around for a stick, but instead finds a rock and how far do I have to go on with this?

Point being that, despite the fact that the missile defense system won't stop ALL KINDS of other attacks, and won't even stop the current generation of missiles, it certainly would fail against any simple technology to evade the system, such as Russia's recently announced superfast missiles (probably a fiction, certainly a response to the missile defense) or multiple warheads, which any country that can develop a three-stage rocket certainly could deploy.

I'll leave you with this thought: Reagan is given credit by some for winning the cold war by pushing the arms race, since he bankrupted the Soviet Union as they tried to compete. As we know, in war there are no winners. Is it not becoming clear that the US, too, was bankrupted by the cold war? All of the hope and potential of the 50s and 60s has gone up in so much smoke. How many space shuttles have to explode, how many mars probes have to crash into the planet, how many trillions have to accumulate in the US debt, how many children have to live in poverty (they're closing in on 20%) before the world realizes that the US lost, too?



From: uhuh | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 27 August 2004 12:08 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by f1 dad:

I don't know if you meant for it to be rhetorical or not, but that's a really good question.

It wasn't just a rhetorical question, but it only scratches the surface. I don't just oppose Canadian participation in missile defense, I oppose missile defense. It involves billions to protect against the most unlikely of threats at time when the US simply can't afford it.

It was in the news today that more and more Americans are slipping below the poverty line at the rate of over a million a year. There are now 45 million Americans without health insurance and that number looks to increase. They have a record budget deficit and a record trade deficit. The American economy looks to go boom very soon and instead of doing something about it, they're investing billions in a system that doesn't work to defend against a threat that's unlikely to materialize.

I say let's be nice to Americans, rather than America, and tell George Bush to put missile defense where the sun don't shine.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jughead
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posted 27 August 2004 12:25 AM      Profile for Jughead     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One other point. The NDP's constant blathering about the militarization of space really bothers me. By any reasonable measure, Space is militarized to the hilt already. The US would be nowhere without satellites for spying and communications, which is why other countries are hard at work developing antisatellite weapons.

So it would really make me feel a lot better if the NDP stopped yammering about weaponization of space and just said that missile defense doesn't work, won't work, serves only to enhance US power projection, is a scam to transfer wealth to powerful republicans, etc, etc, etc.

All true, all easy to understand, all good reasons to stay the fuck away.


From: uhuh | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
f1 dad
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posted 27 August 2004 12:29 AM      Profile for f1 dad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Tackling too many issues at once would be too hard to chew on while trying to keep focus on that all important second term. This would involve even larger spikes in the national debt and deficit. Even the moron Bush must maintain at least the facade of political astuteness for the sake of his supporters.

But is there that big a difference in the perception of a $470 billion defecit versus the $450 billion one he has now?

Furthermore, the fact that such facilities are poorly defended gives Kerry a foothold on looking stronger on national security issues. If you check out the position papers on "homeland security" on Kerry's website, he hammers this hard. I expect we'll be hearing a lot on this issue during the debates.


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f1 dad
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posted 27 August 2004 12:52 AM      Profile for f1 dad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pogge, I agree completely. Of all Bush's programs that don't directly involve killing people, I think missile defense is by far the most ridiculous. (And that's saying a lot.)

It's just that upon reflection it seems strange that Dubya is using missile defense to funnel money to his cronies and look like he's boosting national security, when he could achieve the same objectives by diverting that money towards programs aimed at securing potential terrorist targets. Unlike missile defense, such programs would arguably be reasonable policy.


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Cougyr
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posted 27 August 2004 01:27 AM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The favorite weapon for both sides of the American civil war was the Colt 45. Yes, Samuel colt sold his guns to both the North and South. Arms manufacturers and sellers have always loved chaos. Bush and Co. would love to start another arms race. What scared them was the end of the Cold War and the prospect of a Peace Dividend. Missile defense has nothing to do with protecting the American people. It has everything to do with starting another arms race. It is all about profit for the arms industry.
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fuslim
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posted 27 August 2004 02:45 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Everybody within the Bush administration, the scientific community, the military community, and most intelligence communities around the world know that so-called missile defence is a hoax.

It has never worked, and never will. The universe imposes limits on what is possible without regard for money or purposes.

Inevitably the missile defence system will be used as the platform for nuclear weapons in space.

If you want a better understanding of the beginnings of missile defence, read Bob Park's Voodoo Science. A great book on science and non-science.

Bob Park is a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and was the head of the American Physical Society, as well as the head of their Washington office.

He also takes a look at the other Reagan folly, the space shuttle program and the space station.


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sgm
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posted 27 August 2004 03:07 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

So it would really make me feel a lot better if the NDP stopped yammering about weaponization of space and just said that missile defense doesn't work, won't work, serves only to enhance US power projection, is a scam to transfer wealth to powerful republicans, etc, etc, etc.

You've listed some good reasons to oppose NMD, but isn't the NDP warning about weaponization simply articulating current Canadian policy? Space is militarized, but hasn't yet been weaponized.

Canada's current policy, based on a bright line between militarization and weaponization, is that we should keep space weapon-free by negotiating some agreement to that effect. If we get in on the ground floor of a layered, integrated missile defence programme, we'll have a harder time maintaining that bright line between militarization and weaponization. We'll be locked in.

That the United States has long resisted international efforts to negotiate a treaty reserving space for peaceful uses only (including at the UN Conference on Disarmament) leads me to believe that Canada's being "in the tent" or "at the table," as some Liberal defence ministers have put it, will give us no leverage in directing the eventual course of this NMD project. If the US won't listen to the world community as a whole on keeping space weapon-free, why would it listen to a single nation (Canada) willing to compromise its principles--blur that "bright line"--in the name of maintaining NORAD and getting a few lucrative hi-tech contracts thrown its way?

BTW, some interesting things on Canada and space weaponization are here.

[ 27 August 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 27 August 2004 10:59 AM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As I've stated elsewhere, it would seem to me that the objective of the currently proposed Missile Defence System is NOT to protect North America from an Alpha-strike of 300 warheads launched by Russia or China or Britain or France. It looks to be designed to act as a protection against a low number of missiles 20-100 without decoys or advanced evasion technology. In other words the quantity and quality of ICBMs a country like iran or North Korea could launch.

While the proposed defence system wouldn't protect against other A-Bomb delivery systems, it would act as a deterrent to a hostile power seeking rapid redress.

For example:

Suppose the US does something to upset a minor nuclear power. Without the Missile defence system, the minor power could launch a few missiles, hoping to inflict major damage to the US. However, if they choose to use another delivery system the inherent delay gives the hostile power a chance to reconsider.

Some have claimed that the proposed system doesn't protect against aircraft delivered bombs. Isn't that the role of interceptor fighters and SAMs?


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 27 August 2004 11:08 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It looks to be designed to act as a protection against a low number of missiles 20-100 without decoys or advanced evasion technology. In other words the quantity and quality of ICBMs a country like iran or North Korea could launch.

And as Fred Kaplan of Slate argues, the system will be useless even for that limited purpose.

quote:
A look at history is useful. In 1972, Richard Nixon signed the ABM Treaty, which severely restricted—and, in a subsequent addendum signed by Gerald Ford, banned—the deployment of ballistic-missile defenses. Why? Contrary to right-wing myth, it was not because of some doctrinal aversion to defenses. True, the theory of "Mutual Assured Destruction" held that the two superpowers should remain vulnerable to nuclear attack so that neither leader would launch a first strike knowing his own country would be destroyed in a retaliatory second strike. But MAD—as the theory was often called—was more theory than policy.

The real reasoning behind the treaty was purely practical. If the United States deployed, say, 50 defensive missiles—and assuming they all worked perfectly—the USSR could outwit the system and break through the defenses simply by deploying 51 offensive missiles. And the cost of those 51 offensive missiles would be a lot cheaper than the cost of the 50 defensive missiles. Finally, the USSR could stay ahead of this game much more cheaply still, because—even under the most optimistic projections—not all of our 50 defensive missiles would work. (For more about the reasoning, click here.)

In short, American, and eventually Soviet, decision-makers realized that missile defenses would trigger a costly offense-defense arms race, which the offense would inevitably win. Moreover, if nuclear war did break out in the middle of this arms race, the damage inflicted would be far greater. Each side would fire many more offensive missiles than it might have otherwise, calculating the need to saturate the other side's defenses. If the defenses turned out not to work so well (as many scientists predicted, back then as well as now), then those extra offensive missiles would simply blow up more territory, spread more radioactive fallout, and kill more people.



From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 27 August 2004 11:10 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:

Suppose the US does something to upset a minor nuclear power. Without the Missile defence system, the minor power could launch a few missiles, hoping to inflict major damage to the US...

... and be turned to glass within hours at most.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 27 August 2004 11:27 AM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by pogge:

... and be turned to glass within hours at most.


I don't know. Suppose North Korea decided to attack the United States with nuclear missiles. Would the US launch a counterattack knowing that both China and Russia could take offense?

While I agree that any practical Missile Defense Shield would be less than 100% effective, I think the possibility that incoming missiles might be shot down would cause any minor nuclear power to have second thoughts.


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
wedge_oli
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posted 27 August 2004 11:38 AM      Profile for wedge_oli     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Are you kidding?? Any country that attempted to launch any type of nuclear attack would be instantly destroyed, regardless of human costs, without so much as a whimper of protest from the U.N. or anyone else for that matter.

Entire nations don't commit suicide attacks.


From: Montreal, QC and St. Catharines Ontario | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 27 August 2004 12:21 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I do. The US already has an unparalleled ability to wipe out any other nation on earth. How much more of a second thought does North Korea need?


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 27 August 2004 03:34 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by pogge:

I'm pretty sure I do. The US already has an unparalleled ability to wipe out any other nation on earth. How much more of a second thought does North Korea need?

Well, I'm afraid that the US is sending the wrong signals by pulling their troops out of South Korea. When you consider that one of the causes of the last Korean war was that North Korea thought the US wouldn't oppose the North's invasion of the south. A similar case occurred when Saddam Hussein thought the US wouldn't object to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
If the North Koreans have atomic weapons, they may use them in a preemptive strike to destroy the South Korean's army reserve and lines of communication.
They might even target Japan to dissuade that country from coming to the South's aid.

North Korea may feel they are immune to a US nuclear attack due to their proximity to China, Russia and Japan any of which would likely be perturbed by the fallout from an atomic strike against North Korea.


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 27 August 2004 03:58 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:

North Korea may feel they are immune to a US nuclear attack due to their proximity to China, Russia and Japan any of which would likely be perturbed by the fallout from an atomic strike against North Korea.

Why would China, Russia and Japan be any less perturbed with a North Korean strike on South Korea? And what does any of that have to do with a ballistic missile defense system designed to protect North America?


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'lance
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posted 27 August 2004 04:11 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If the North Koreans have atomic weapons, they may use them in a preemptive strike to destroy the South Korean's army reserve and lines of communication.

I don't see why they'd bother, considering they have thousands of conventional rockets and artillery pieces already aimed at Seoul, all of which they could use without the risk of fallout drifting over their borders.

But as pogge says, this is all irrelevant to the defence of North America. I think the likeliest explanation for North Korea developing nuclear weapons is to use them as a bargaining chip and a means of being taken seriously by powerful nations. A strategy which has been conspicuously effective when used by other countries, by the way.


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fatal ruminate
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posted 27 August 2004 04:43 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by pogge:

1)Why would China, Russia and Japan be any less perturbed with a North Korean strike on South Korea?

2)And what does any of that have to do with a ballistic missile defense system designed to protect North America?


1) They would be, but I'm guessing that if North Korea is willing to attack the South they aren't going to be too concerned about what other countries think.

2) There are some who feel North Korea wouldn't attack the US since they would face a devastating counterattack. My point was that the US might not want to counterattack North Korea with atomic weapons since the neighbouring countries might object.


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'lance
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posted 27 August 2004 04:59 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
However that may be, the US could still destroy North Korea from the air without using nuclear weapons, and Kim Jong-Il knows it. The Seventh Fleet is still, I believe, patrolling the Straits of Taiwan, not very far at all from North Korea.

No, insofar as anyone can tell what he's thinking, Kim must know that an attack on the US would be suicidal.


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pogge
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posted 27 August 2004 05:17 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
fatal ruminate: see 'lance's post above.
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sgm
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posted 27 August 2004 05:25 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Today's Globe editorial favours missile defence.

No surprise there.

The editorial tries to debunk what it calls "myths" spread by missile-defence opponents: some of its arguments have been addressed in this thread.

This paragraph looks really wrongheaded to me:

quote:

Would it cause an arms race? The Russian Ambassador to Canada, Georgiy Mamedov, would have us believe so. The truth is that both Russia and other great powers, such as China, will develop their own missile defences as soon as they can afford to, regardless of what the United States does. Once the technology exists, it's a matter of time until it becomes generally available, just as nuclear technology did.

If their analogy between nuclear proliferation and the spread of missile defence technology were, in fact, to play out, I wouldn't be calm about the prospects at all. Imagine, for example, a race between India and Pakistan to neutralize the other's nuclear missile threat. That could be quite destabilizing.

As for the other point, about Russia and China eventually matching the US, official US policy is, "Oh no you don't" if the 2002 National Security Strategy or US Space Command's Vision for 2020 are to be believed.


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fatal ruminate
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posted 27 August 2004 10:31 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
If their analogy between nuclear proliferation and the spread of missile defence technology were, in fact, to play out, I wouldn't be calm about the prospects at all. Imagine, for example, a race between India and Pakistan to neutralize the other's nuclear missile threat. That could be quite destabilizing.

Actually, would there be any point for India to develop a ballistic missile defense system? Given the proximity of the two nations, I would imagine that medium range missiles would be used. A system like the Patriot system would be adequate.


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Cougyr
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posted 28 August 2004 02:50 AM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
A system like the Patriot system would be adequate.

The Patriots didn't work at all during Gulf War I. Do they work any better now? Most American sources are unreliable. What's their real hit rate?


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sgm
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posted 28 August 2004 03:37 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Posted by fatal ruminate:
quote:

Actually, would there be any point for India to develop a ballistic missile defense system?

According to our own Department of Foreign Affairs, they're already interested:

quote:

India has expressed interest in BMD cooperation with the United States, cooperation which could have implications for the stability of the region. India has recently proposed to buy PAC-3 anti-missile systems.

I guess I should have been more careful in my use of terms. Generically, "Ballistic Missile Defence" refers to any system designed to defend against a ballistic missile of any range with any kind of warhead at any stage in its flight path (e.g. Arrow, Aegis, etc.).

"National Missile Defence" is the name of the programme Canada's been asked to sign on to by fall 2004, its operational date. This programme got the go-ahead from Clinton in 1999 and received fresh impetus from Bush in December of 2002. Its purpose is to fend off a limited ballistic missile launch--deliberate or accidental--against the "homeland." Presumably, that would be an ICBM launch--if we are to believe Iran or North Korea could suddenly launch--but NMD is but part of the overall BMD strategy and, indeed, part of the attempt to gain "full spectrum dominance" across all potential fields of conflict, including space.

Finally, FWIW, yesterday's test of the Arrow missile defence system--designed to protect Israel against attacks from regional enemies better than the Patriot system did--failed to intercept its target: A SCUD-D missile. This failure follows a July 29th successful intercept of an out-of-date SCUD-B missile.

Northrop-Grumman, makers of a laser weapon, weren't all that upset at the Arrow's failure. They recently tested their laser-weapon against some mortar rounds. Their website says this:

quote:

The success of the [Tactical High Energy Laser] against such smaller threats should point, however, to the potential against larger missiles. Whether based in the air, on land, or in space, the potential for high energy defenses which operate at the speed of light is unmatched by any countermeasure technology.

Friday's Globe editorial claims that if we opt out of NMD, we'll be blind partners in North America's defence. IMHO, we're being wilfully blind to NMD's potential to weaponize space--with all its attendant dangers--if we sign on.


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fuslim
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posted 28 August 2004 05:01 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The success of the [Tactical High Energy Laser] against such smaller threats should point, however, to the potential against larger missiles. Whether based in the air, on land, or in space, the potential for high energy defenses which operate at the speed of light is unmatched by any countermeasure technology.

What success is this?

The Reagan administration spent US$40 billion on laser weapons and achieved precisely nothing.


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caoimhin
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posted 28 August 2004 12:59 PM      Profile for caoimhin        Edit/Delete Post
I believe that the U.S. Air Force has had the ability to shoot down anything coming at it for some time. Probably since the mid sixties. From what I remember, tests of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere and in space were conducted to knock the shit out of anything inbound by detonating a large weapon in the path of whatever was zooming in. Technology advanced to the point where huge missles carried multiple weapon payloads. These included dummies as well. The U.S. would send an equally huge missile (or missles) to intercept and knock out the arming or detonating system or altering its trajectory. However, this practice was very environmentally unfriendly and, in the case of the cold war, would likely have occured over Canada (the DEW Line). Who knows who will have what in, say, 10 or fifteen years. As an aside commentary, I was unaware Luddites still had a following.
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'lance
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posted 28 August 2004 01:02 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
As an aside commentary, I was unaware Luddites still had a following.

Me, I was unaware there was any connection between Luddism, and opposition to arms races.


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caoimhin
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posted 28 August 2004 01:24 PM      Profile for caoimhin        Edit/Delete Post
Lance,
rejection of advancing technology.

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Cougyr
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posted 28 August 2004 01:36 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't see us rejecting advanced technology. We are, at least most of us are, rejecting military idiocy. The missile defense does not meke me feel one iota safer. To the reverse, it scares me. Why? Because sabre rattling always escalates.

As you pointed out, US (NORAD) plans have always involved shooting down enemy missiles over Canada. Doesn't that bother you?


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Agent 204
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posted 28 August 2004 01:36 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Opposition to arms races isn't opposition to advancing technology, just opposition to certain applications of it.
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'lance
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posted 28 August 2004 01:36 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Lance,
rejection of advancing technology.

Most invocations of the Luddites are automatic (i.e., lazy), content-free, purely polemical, and therefore utterly irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

And ahistorical besides. They depend on the idea that because the Luddites were defeated, they were wrong -- and because they were wrong, they were defeated (the reasoning is usually circular). This is false.

Your invocation fits the usual pattern.

[ 28 August 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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beluga2
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posted 28 August 2004 01:57 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
caoimhin makes the usual slur against the Luddites: that they were knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing morons who were opposed to technology out of a dimwitted fear of change itself. They were not. They opposed the introduction of technology (automation) in a way that obliterated their livelihoods and left them with no way to survive. They were a political movement, not an anti-technology movement.

Their message: you ignore the human impact of technological change at your peril. Had anyone listened to the Luddites and tried to address their grievances, rather than crushing and hanging them, we might have been spared two centuries of withering, brutal socio-economic conflict (Marxism, fascism, etc.).

Of course, ignoring the "Luddites" who oppose the self-destructive idiocy of "missile defense" will not lead to two centuries of conflict, as there will be nobody left alive to care.


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Fidel
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posted 28 August 2004 02:10 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by caoimhin:
Technology advanced to the point where huge missles carried multiple weapon payloads. These included dummies as well. The U.S. would send an equally huge missile (or missles) to intercept and knock out the arming or detonating system or altering its trajectory. However, this practice was very environmentally unfriendly and, in the case of the cold war, would likely have occured over Canada (the DEW Line). Who knows who will have what in, say, 10 or fifteen years. As an aside commentary, I was unaware Luddites still had a following.

I think it was conservative PM Diefenbaker who bought BOMARk missiles from Uncle Sam in the 1950's. They were a little more than "environmentally unfriendly." The darned things only had a range of 300-500 miles and would have mushroom clouded over Canada had they been used. I think Dief's bunch got a bargain for Canadian taxpayers. They were only about $25 million a piece in the 1950's. Shrewd!.

Old Diefenbaker scrapped a project that would have produced the world's most advanced fighter jet at the time - Avro Arrow. Brilliant. The designers and engineers apparently left for the States, and later, helped design the American F-15 Eagle.

The Yanks have poured billions of dollars into militaristic make-work projects of various kinds over the decades. It's essentially corporate welfare handouts by the taxpayers to prop-up wealthy corporate friends of the Republican party. Some of their best engineering talent have been paid to design missile deflection equipment for the Navy. One such multi-billion dollar project was tested for real while patrolling the Persian Gulf over ten years ago. Instead of deflecting an incoming Iraqi surface to air missile, the destroyer's defense equipment transformed the ship into a homing device for the darned thing. back to the drawing board and several billion dollars was poured into the project, and the same private contractor was chosen to correct the long list of deficiencies.

The very high tech missile deflection system never did come close to working properly. The Navy's reccomendations were eventually to scrap the whole deal. Some projects like that just never die though. I think they're still at it.

[ 28 August 2004: Message edited by: Fidel ]


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caoimhin
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posted 28 August 2004 02:15 PM      Profile for caoimhin        Edit/Delete Post
Truth be told, 'the' arms race, or any arms race, is going to steam ahead whether we like it or not. Whats gonna stop it?
Last month I was climbing to Lake Oesa from Lake O'Hara. I brought bear spray but did not encounter a bear. Was it foolish of me to think I might meet up with a bear?

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Fidel
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posted 28 August 2004 02:30 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The bear was a perfect analogy.

"You can't fight in here. This is the war room." - Peter Sellers

"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration , Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids... "
- General Jack Ripper


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No Yards
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posted 28 August 2004 02:31 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, but it would be foolish to build a "bear spray proof bear", then build a "bear spray proof bear bear spray", then build a "bear spray proof bear bear spray proof bear", and then build . . . well you get the picture (or maybe, being a typical neo-con, you don't??)
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caoimhin
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posted 28 August 2004 02:54 PM      Profile for caoimhin        Edit/Delete Post
So, NY, I guess what you are saying is that I ought to take my chances that I won't meet up with the bear, right? Or, rather, that I shouldn't be on that mountain in the first place?
Neo-con? Ease up on the dosage, pal.

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Cougyr
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posted 28 August 2004 03:05 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by caoimhin:
I brought bear spray but did not encounter a bear.

I've encountered several bears in the woods. I never carry any kind of bear repellant, lead or otherwise. They would just escalate a confrontation. Bear spray? You've got to be kidding. Bears aren't mosquitos. Don't put your faith in that stuff.


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caoimhin
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posted 28 August 2004 03:11 PM      Profile for caoimhin        Edit/Delete Post
It works (worked) just fine.
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arborman
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posted 28 August 2004 03:23 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Humans aren't bears. Countries aren't wild animals.
I carry bear spray too. There is no chance a bear will up the ante and carry human spray. There is also no chance I will go looking for a bear to spray, because he has a resource I want. End of foolish analogy.

However, when states and people get involved, we have to deal with human motivation. I don't have much respect for the motiviations of George Bush, or whoever he dances for. Nor do I have much respect for his ability to value the lives of other humans.

Build a missile sheild, and North Korea will put a nuke into the bottom of a container going onto a cargo ship. No doubt they could sneak a small bomb into Seoul if they wanted to, and load it on a ship that was travelling to LA.

Iran could put a self contained nuke at the bottom of an oil tanker. You know where most of them go.

As a bonus, they wouldn't be as traceable (for starters, it wouldn't necessarily be carrying an Iranian or Korean flag. It could be an American ship. Remember the coke that was strapped to the bottom of one of Paul Martin's ships without the knowledge of the crew?

If they were motivated and crafty, they could stick it to the bottom of a US Navy ship, maybe with scuba divers.

Those ideas are off the top of my head. If I was hostile to the US (which I am not), and motivated, and had access to the materials, and the time, I could probably come up with something better. I'm sure the North Koreans and Iranians, and anyone else who might want to, already has.

How rational do you think someone with the intellect of George Bush would be if a nuke went off in an American harbour? He'd have to pick someone to blame, fast, and zap them. Then we'd have a world of trouble on our hands.

None of that would be helped or hindered by a missile shield. All it would do is motivate every nuclear power to explore new ways to deliver weapons.

Millions of people have snuck into the US. How hard would it be for Koreans to sneak a few weapons parts in?

It would be a much more intelligent, and far more rational approach to address the problems at the roots. Why does Iran harbour hostility to the US? Not because 'they just do'. Why is there widespread hostility to the US in the middle east? Not because 'they hate our freedoms.' Most of them don't give a rat's ass about the freedom of Joe Bloggs in Cleveland. Why is North Korea such a basket case?

Missile shield, and the whole war on terror, are fools errands. They could spend 1/10th of the money and remove the causes of the problem. Find the terrorists and arrest them. Remove the reasons people become terrorists. Stop supporting despotic corrput regimes that fund terrorists and create the alienation and hostility the motivates terrorists.

Fucking stupidity, and it exhausts me.

[ 28 August 2004: Message edited by: arborman ]


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 28 August 2004 04:51 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Last month I was climbing to Lake Oesa from Lake O'Hara. I brought bear spray but did not encounter a bear. Was it foolish of me to think I might meet up with a bear?

Christ, not this again.


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sgm
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posted 29 August 2004 03:30 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

What success is this?

The Reagan administration spent US$40 billion on laser weapons and achieved precisely nothing.


fuslim:

Here is a link to N-G's press release on their test of a directed-energy weapon. The bit I quoted above is from another part of their website.

For anyone else who's interested,
here's John Polanyi's refutation of yesterday's Globe editorial.

This seems a particularly good point by Polanyi:

quote:

Will missile defence lead to the weaponization of space? The Globe's answer is, who cares? "No one has yet explained why a space-based weapon is worse than a land-based one. They all have the potential to kill." With this, the editorial dispenses with decades of effort, unfailingly supported by Canada, to control the proliferation of armaments in the hope of preventing weapons anarchy.

Also, here's Tom Walkom refuting claims that failing to sign on to NMD will make NORAD less "relevant."

[ 29 August 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 29 August 2004 05:51 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here'a a quote from Walkom's article:

When terrorists struck New York and Washington in 2001, NORAD was out of the picture, failing to even scramble jets until it was far too late.

As an official U.S. government investigation this year pointed out, this wasn't NORAD's fault. The joint body simply hadn't been designed to deal with problems originating in North America.

This is not true.

According to an interview with Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie - in an interview in Calgary prior to a presentation to the Canadian Club

- NORAD tracks all civil aviation in North America on a minute to minute basis.

- NORAD practises hi-jacking drills

- NORAD fly alongside domestic flights for practice

- Within minutes of the attacks (of 2001) NORAD took over civil aviation in North America.

I doubt NORAD could take over civil aviation without having a detailed idea of what was in the sky, and where it was.

This goes along with the comment about tracking civil aviation on a minute to minute basis.

Also in Walkom's article he glosses over the fact the the US has relegated NORAD in terms of command.

It used to be a split command, with always an American top dog, and a Canadian second in command.

That's still true, but now there's another command structure over NORAD, so the Canadian half of the equation has pretty much been discontinued.


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sgm
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posted 29 August 2004 06:20 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
fuslim wrote:
quote:

This is not true.

I realize the thread is drifting but I'm not sure Walkom's statements are untrue. I didn't hear the talk you mention, fuslim, but the 9/11 Commission would appear to agree with Walkom on NORAD's preparedness for 9/11:

quote:

NORAD and the FAA were unprepared for the type of attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001. They struggled, under difficult circumstances, to improvise a homeland defense against an unprecedented challenge they had never before encountered and never trained to meet.

They also conclude that existing FAA/NORAD protocols were "unsuited in every respect" for the 9/11 attacks and that NORAD had essentially focused its mission on the possibility of an outside threat, not a threat coming from hijacked airplanes used as missiles. It thus failed to adjust to intelligence warning that such an attack might happen, at least according to the findings of the commission.

quote:

That's still true, but now there's another command structure over NORAD, so the Canadian half of the equation has pretty much been discontinued.

Isn't this the NORTHCOM Walkom mentions? Or is there some other structure?

Anyway, for me, the real issue regarding NORAD isn't what they could/should have done to prevent 9/11, but it's to counter the argument that a refusal to participate in NMD will make Canada's airspace less safe.

[edited to add Northcom question and to change "wrong" to "untrue."]

[ 29 August 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 29 August 2004 07:31 PM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I realize the thread is drifting but I'm not sure Walkom's statements are untrue. I didn't hear the talk you mention, fuslim, but the 9/11 Commission would appear to agree with Walkom on NORAD's preparedness for 9/11:

The 9/11 commission is totally out to lunch on this particular issue.

As I pointed out in the earlier post, how is it possible for NORAD to take over civil aviation if they don't keep an eye on the sky.

Another example is Payne Stewart. Remember him? the golfer that left Florida on a private flight to Dallas when his Lear jet lost cabin pressure and all aboard died.

That happened in 1999, yet the Air Force was able to have fighters close enough to see the frosted windows in something like 18 1/2 mins.

There was also an interview in both the G&M and the Nat Post with a CIA spokesperson who said the CIA was actually running scenarios of hijackers flying into buildings on the actual day!

So they certainly thought about it.

A comment from a NORAD spokesperson in a G&M interview should give pause to anyone thinking about 9/11. This person said they, "couldn't see anything" and "didn't know where it was coming from next."

I am sorry i don't have the particulars of those interviews, but it was all printed in the G&M and the National Post. The report of Payne Stewart's flight is available on the NTSB web site.

In fact NORAD and the FAA refused to turn over documentation of communcations between the flights and ATC to the 9/11 commission.

However, the radar tracks for the four flights are available, and very interesting.

Flight "a" left Boston and almost immediately headed north, even though it was enroute to LAX.

Flight "b" left Boston and headed straight for NY, even though it too was headed for LAX.

Flight "c" (Pentagon) left Dulles (also headed for LAX)and travelled west for roughly 45 minutes before turning around and coming back.

Flight "d" (to San Fransico) wandered around the midwest for about an hour before heading to Washington after refiling a flight plan!

The idea that somehow NORAD couldn't pick up an aircraft that was outside it's flight path for almost an hour is just fantasy.

The records would show almost to the minute when the planes were hijacked.

It seems obvious to me that NORAD was blinded by person or persons who had access to both ATC and NORAD and knew the procedures they used.

Refiling flight plans for aircraft that are in the air and under the control of hijackers after NY and the Pentagon have been hit seems a bit much.

Now I've drifted this thread way too far.

Perhaps there should be a separate thread for 9/11 theories.


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sgm
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posted 31 August 2004 02:52 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Apologies in advance if this post is redundant, but you can send an e-mail to oppose Canadian participation in NMD if you go to this page.

[ 31 August 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 02 September 2004 03:33 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Apologies in advance if the points made here are redundant. I sent this (as yet unpublished) letter to my local paper in response to someone else's letter:

quote:

In a September 1st letter to the Leader-Post E.J. Adams understandably expressed unhappiness with Ontario MP Carolyn Parrish's "coalition of the idiots" remark--a thoughtless jest which added nothing to the missile-defence debate that faces our country.

Adams is wrong, however, if s/he believes that the missile defence system currently supported by the Bush administration is about "protection" against a sudden, unprovoked attack from a state such as Iran or North Korea, or even against a terrorist launch of an ICBM. Canada's own defence analysts have said as much. They are on record as saying that the true purpose of the proposed missile defence system is arguably not to defend against any such unprovoked attack, but rather to guarantee "freedom of action" to American-led military forces in various places around the world.

Many people believe, based on the Americans' own policy documents and the publicly available plans of the corporations now developing space-based weapons systems, that the National Missile Defence programme now contemplated by Canada's Liberal government is a "Trojan Horse" for the weaponization of space, a position Canada has opposed for many years.

Prime Minister Paul Martin has promised that Parliament will have some input into Canada's national debate on missile defence. Canadians who oppose our participation in Bush's National Missile Defence programme and the weaponization of space that will likely follow should make their views known to their local MP by phone, letter or e-mail. Those who wish to send an e-mail on the subject to Prime Minister Martin can point their web browsers to http://www.ceasefire.ca.


[ 02 September 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 02 September 2004 11:16 AM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
Adams is wrong, however, if s/he believes that the missile defence system currently supported by the Bush administration is about "protection" against a sudden, unprovoked attack from a state such as Iran or North Korea, or even against a terrorist launch of an ICBM. Canada's own defence analysts have said as much. They are on record as saying that the true purpose of the proposed missile defence system is arguably not to defend against any such unprovoked attack, but rather to guarantee "freedom of action" to American-led military forces in various places around the world.

I've heard this suggestion from other sources; basically that the US is seeking an invulnerable shield to hide behind while they conduct imperialistic wars of conquest with immunity.

Since no reasonable person believes that any practical anti-missile system will offer 100% protection from ballistic missiles and none whatsoever from atomic bombs delivered by other means, how can any reasonable person believe that after the US activates any form of missile defense that they will feel empowered to start a campaign of global conquest?

Frankly, I'm begining to suspect that most of those who are protesting the missile defense system either don't like anything the US does or are afraid of Skynet.

[ 02 September 2004: Message edited by: fatal ruminate ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 02 September 2004 11:31 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
Frankly, I'm begining to suspect that most of those who are protesting the missile defense system either don't like anything the US does or are afraid of Skynet.

When you started this thread by asking for people's opinions, were you always intending to spin whatever answers you got as knee-jerk anti-Americanism? I know a lot of Americans who oppose the system too. They must be those self-hating Americans I hear so much about.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 02 September 2004 03:01 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:

Since no reasonable person believes that any practical anti-missile system will offer 100% protection from ballistic missiles and none whatsoever from atomic bombs delivered by other means, how can any reasonable person believe that after the US activates any form of missile defense that they will feel empowered to start a campaign of global conquest?

Cuz most reasonable people believe that the Bushites and other neocons *aren't* reasonable people?
For that matter, an arms race doesn't even need *reasonable* people to think the US (administration) will feel so empowered. It needs the kind of people who make national security plans, which is to say paranoid people, to believe that the possibility of the US feeling so empowered is significantly greater than zero.
Which is why the Russians are already developing weapons they say are specifically designed to get around missile defense systems, and the Chinese are already pushing their aerospace development. The missile-defense arms race has already begun and the damn thing hasn't even been deployed yet.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 02 September 2004 05:40 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:

Since no reasonable person believes that any practical anti-missile system will offer 100% protection from ballistic missiles and none whatsoever from atomic bombs delivered by other means, how can any reasonable person believe that after the US activates any form of missile defense that they will feel empowered to start a campaign of global conquest?
Frankly, I'm begining to suspect that most of those who are protesting the missile defense system either don't like anything the US does or are afraid of Skynet.


I didn't say "campaign of global conquest," but the Rand Corporation, a Think Tank that produced a report generally favorable to BMD says this:

quote:

So ballistic missile defense is not simply a shield but an enabler of U.S. action. Although the United States presumably would not be deterred by a rogue's missile threat from intervening abroad to protect literally vital U.S. interests, the inability to act in defense of less-than-vital interests would severely undermine the U.S. international role and the peace and security that depend on that role.

So, BMD is about enabling the US to act with conventional forces against the interests of so-called "rogues" to defend its interests. (In saying "so-called," I'm not white-washing the records of Iran or North Korea, just pointing to issue of who defines what a "rogue" state is.) You can find the Rand study here.

As for not being 100% effective, some supporters of BMD and its enabling effects admit it won't shoot down every threat. A writer named Andrew Bacevich in the _National Interest_ says, "by insulating the homeland from reprisal--even in a limited way--missile defense will underwrite the capacity and willingness of the United States to 'shape' the environment elsewhere."

As I think the language of the Rand excerpt makes clear, it doesn't have to be 100% effective to enable action. Even a partially effective shield could shift the balance significantly in a calculation about just how vital a particular interest has to be before you risk retaliation.

Admittedly, "enabling action" and "shaping environments" don't read like "a campaign of global conquest," but then that wasn't my language. I think these sources back up my point that the US is much less afraid of a sudden, unprovoked or accidental missile launch than it is about preserving its freedom to act conventionally--and, given recent developments, pre-emptively and unilaterally--against "rogue" nations who might otherwise be able to deter such action by means of ballistic missiles.

As for the language of imperialism and conquest, it is interesting that the US Space Command's policy document Vision for 2020 draws an analogy between the emergence of space power and those expansive movements:

quote:

Historically, military forces have evolved to protect national interests and investments--both military and economic. During the rise of sea commerce, nations built navies to protect and enhance their commercial interests. During the westward expansion of the continental US, military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements, and railroads. . . . Likewise, space forces will emerge to protect military and commercial interests and investments in the space medium due to their increasing importance.

The military's own analogy, not one I invented.

I thought my chiding of Carolyn Parrish's words in the opening paragraph of my letter might help insulate me against the charge of mindless anti-Americanism, but I guess not. I don't think it's anti-American to oppose this bad plan: as pogge points out, lots of Americans oppose it, including, I might add, a group of distinguished generals. Opposing certain aspects of American foreign policy and its military instruments doesn't mean not liking anything the US does.

[ 02 September 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
britchestoobig
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posted 02 September 2004 06:20 PM      Profile for britchestoobig     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok, I'll admit right now that I have yet to read all the posts here...but I did a quick scan looking to see if anyone had posted the open letter that 49 former U.S. military top brass sent to Bush this last March...

I had it printed out at the time, couldn't find the original link...

on a quick read, this transcript of their letter appears accurate.

Worth a look. Admiral Crowe is a former chairman of the Joints Cheifs of Staff...


From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 23 September 2004 03:55 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Unsurprisingly, Bill Graham has come out in support of NMD:

Link to story.

quote:

Mr. Graham said the government hasn't made a final decision and that negotiations continue with the U.S.

Canada wants assurances from the U.S. that the system will not lead to weapons in outer space, a condition that Mr. Graham said the government is not wavering on.


If a meaningless assurance is what it takes to seal the deal, then that's what we'll get.

quote:

The Bloc Quebecois and NDP oppose Canada's participation, evoking comparisons with a 20-year-old plan by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan -- known as Star Wars -- that envisioned weapons in outer space, but the Conservatives support Canada's joining the program.

It's amazing that the Bloc and the NDP are said to be "evoking comparisons" with Star Wars when it's clear from the American policy documents that Star Wars never really went away and that NMD is a step towards the weaponization of space and "full-spectrum dominance."

Here's the Vision for 2020 from US Space Command (1998):

quote:

"The proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction requires an NMD. NMD will evolve into a mix of ground and space sensors and weapons.

Just yesterday, it was reported that Air Force Underscretary Peter Teets took the occasion of the anniversary of a Soviet Lunar Probe launch to call for US military domination of space:

quote:

"Even though we have superiority in many aspects of space capability, we don't have space dominance, and we don't have space supremacy," he said.

"The fact is, we need to reach for that goal. It is the ultimate high ground."


Here's a link.

It's understandable why, politically speaking, Graham would try to frame this debate in terms of sovereignty and defence, but those are not the true terms.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 23 September 2004 04:00 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
... the government hasn't made a final decision...

I'd like to know just how they define "final decision".

sgm, do you have a link/source for the third of your four quotes?


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 23 September 2004 04:06 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And we are sharing intelligence on people entering North America from other countries who may pose a risk to the security of our citizens.

Many decades ago, during the Cold War, we jointly developed NORAD to enhance continental security, and it retains its relevance. Canadians and Americans still work side by side at NORAD Headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain to warn of missile threats to North America originating anywhere in the world — of increasing importance as North Korea develops its missile capabilities.

And now Canada and the U.S. have begun exploring the potential for partnering on missile defence to enhance continental security.



http://www.canadianembassy.org/ambassador/031001-en.asp

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 23 September 2004 04:11 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Scott,

You can find the full pdf file for the "Vision for 2020" at

http://www.gsinstitute.org/gsi/docs/vision_2020.pdf


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 23 September 2004 04:13 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks. I just sent another letter to PM protesting Canadian involvement in MD.
From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 23 September 2004 04:16 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks sgm. You're a really useful engine.
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
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posted 23 September 2004 05:00 PM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am going to apologize for my crudeness:

But this is complete utter fucking bullshit.

Why do we have to appease American military endevours?

Its like helping the bully of the park hammar some nails into his stick.

Has the Liberal party become this unprincipled that it they do not have a concept of something greater then "if the US is doing it, we might as well as tag along"?

Ask Canadians - do we want to throw money at this? But no, there is no talks in parliament, there is no consultation of the people. Yet they are agreeing to put a weapons shield up over our heads, that does not likely work.

And no weapons in space, that is bullshit. This program only has one absolute target, and we know where its leading. Paul Martin is a liar. Bill Graham is an opportunist snivelling rat. This government is headed by a liar and those that fead from the liar's trail.

If we want to work with Americans, we don't have to follow along with things that we do not want, we can find programs that we can share in the common goal that we both agree to.

Canadians do not agree with an aggressive military stance, offensive or defensive. We do not agree with blowing money on frivilous projects (sponsership scandal!?!! this time its not for Quebec, but for the United States... conservatives take note: hypocracy!)

I am disguisted.


From: Burlington Ont | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 23 September 2004 08:30 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Hawkins:
Why do we have to appease American military endevours? . . .
Its like helping the bully of the park hammar some nails into his stick.

Yes, it is. I suspect that the Yanks are doing some mighty arm twisting behind the scenes.

quote:
Has the Liberal party become this unprincipled that it they do not have a concept of something greater then "if the US is doing it, we might as well as tag along"?

The Liberal Party has always been unprincipled. They just try to appease the middle, leaning sometimes left, sometimes right, whichever way the wind blows.

quote:
Canadians do not agree with an aggressive military stance, offensive or defensive.

Unfortunately, some do. At the moment, the Harper-Cons support the US in everything military, so the Libs are getting pressured from both the Yanks and the Canadian right.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 28 September 2004 11:51 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Toronto Star story.

Layton calls for parliamentary vote:

quote:

Layton condemned the suggestion that the federal cabinet can approve or reject the proposal without parliamentary backing.

"Parliament must vote on whether to join Star Wars missile defence," he said. "Parliament will vote on whether to join Star Wars missile defence."


I think they *can* approve the proposal without parliamentary backing, but perhaps the opposition parties can band together to bring an opposition motion on the issue. The Conservatives favour joining NMD, but they might want a vote just to embarrass and/or divide the Liberals.

[ 28 September 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bernard W
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posted 29 September 2004 12:08 AM      Profile for Bernard W        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The Conservatives favour joining NMD, but they might want a vote just to embarrass and/or divide the Liberals.

This is exactly why Harper asked for this to be debated in the Commons. The Liberals will end up shooting at each other (will Carolyn call Paul an idiot?) while the opposition parties just sit back and enjoy the fireworks.


From: Algonquin Park, Ontario | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 29 September 2004 12:25 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Carolyn did call Martin an idiot, her remarks were non discriminatory between USA idiots and Canadian idiots who support this. They are all idiots.

When Bush loses in November's 2004 election, hopefully the USA will drop it, as they certainly cannot afford it, anymore than we can. And seeing as how it will not work anyway it should be a no brainer. If they go forward Canadians should freak largely.

It is just another ploy for Haliburton to access our tax payers money too,IMHO.

However, here is an interesting paper thats really current on what is being told to those in Yellowknife.

Security in the North


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 29 September 2004 01:02 AM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by remind:

It is just another ploy for Haliburton to access our tax payers money too,IMHO.

Don't overlook our own Halliburtons. They're members of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and I suspect they're salivating at the mere thought of this.

[ 29 September 2004: Message edited by: pogge ]


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 01 October 2004 06:52 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From the National Post Online:

quote:

OTTAWA (CP) - The United States is using subtle pressure and threats to push Canada into joining its missile defence system, a leading American opponent of the plan said Friday. Ted Postol, a physicist and MIT professor said Washington wants Canada on board and isn't reluctant to push.

Here's the link.

This bit is from last night's debate between Bush and Kerry:

quote:

Bush:
I'll tell you another way to help protect America in the long run is to continue with missile defenses. And we've got a robust research and development program that has been ongoing during my administration. We'll be implementing a missile-defense system relatively quickly.

And that is another way to help deal with the threats that we face in the 21st century.

My opponent opposed the missile defenses.


I wish we could say the same thing about Bill Graham that Bush said about Kerry.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Action against Missile Defence, BTW.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 01 October 2004 06:54 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The story doesn't mention it, but Postol happens to be the person who demonstrated, by a careful examination of the evidence, that Patriot missiles were completely useless in intercepting Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 01 October 2004 07:02 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's Postol, quoted by the Centre for Defense Information:

quote:

"The results of these studies are disturbing. They suggest that the Patriot's intercept rate during the Gulf War was very low. The evidence from these preliminary studies indicates that Patriot's intercept rate could be much lower than ten percent, possibly even zero." (Statement of Theodore A. Postol before the U.S. House Of Representatives Committee on Government Operations, April 7, 1992)

Link to full document.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 01 October 2004 08:13 PM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There was a good article in the Vancouver Sun yesterday re the so-called missile shield.

Again, Theodore Postol was the person quoted, and his statement was pretty strong.

Postol, a professor of science, technology, and national secuity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said,

"This is one of the biggest engineering jokes in the history of humankind. It's a fake."

The story originally appeared in the Ottawa Citizen


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 02 October 2004 02:57 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
pogge and remind mention "Halliburtons" and their Canadian equivalents.

Obviously, the corporate connection is real. Companies like Raytheon, TRW, Northrup-Grumman and Lockheed-Martin stand to make further millions on missile defence.

In making his recent call for "space supremacy," Peter B. Teets, US Airforce Undersecretary said this:

quote:

“We need a strong and consistently funded industrial base able to produce quality space systems and products,” Mr. Teets said. “We can’t have a rollercoaster effect where we’re asking our industrial partners to build up one year only to crater the next year. We can’t have them developing the talented work force necessary for production of high-tech space systems, and … the following year ask them to lay those same people off.

“It’s important for us to have a certain amount of consistency and constancy in our investments in important space systems,” he said.


That's also a call for stable and predictable funding--for the makers of space weapons, that is.

Link.

Not surprisingly, these companies have political connections. Karl Grossman reports in his book Weapons in Space that Dick Cheney was a former board member at TRW and Lynn Cheney, his wife, used to be on the board of Lockheed-Martin. Bruce Jackson, a VP at Lockheed-Martin, chaired the Foreign Policy Platform Committee at the RNC in 2000 (Grossman, 58-59).

Many of the members of Rumsfeld's 2000-2001 Commission on Space Management and Organization (which called for space weapons) have numerous corporate connections.

On the Canadian side, David Pratt's January 2004 Memorandum of Understanding with Donald Rumsfeld on Canadian participation in missile defence twice mentions benefits to industry of Canadian participation in NMD. As Alexa pointed out in the House, however, it does not once mention Canada's opposition to weapons in space.

No surprise that Pratt should favour NMD, by the way: he had the same position on the Iraq war as Stockwell Day and General Dynamics is right in his backyard.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 03 October 2004 07:34 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's a CP story re-printed in the Post.

quote:

What once seemed little more than a handy issue for NDP Leader Jack Layton to attack the governing Liberals appears to be striking a chord with a wider audience. Scientists, Liberal backbench MPs and international studies experts have all taken up the fight.

Here's the full story.

The author lays out the different positions of two critics of BMD in the article--Mel Hurtig and Postol, mentioned above.

This story also mentions an--eep!--Open Letter from Canadian Physicists to Paul Martin on missile defence. You can find the pdf file here.

CanWest papers are also running a story on US Airforce plans to wage war in space. An August 2004 document on Counterspace Operations foresees action in space to deny other countries' use of space assets. The story is subscriber only, but here's one point about the Canadian angle:

quote:

But analysts note that American military space systems are interconnected and the U.S. air force obtains key information about activities from space from Norad. That may make it difficult in the future to keep Canadian military officers out of a U.S.-led space war.

You can read a story from the UK's Register on this here.

Lord Vader's, I mean General John Jumper's plans may be found here.

(No Bothans died to provide this information.)


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
ggs
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posted 03 October 2004 11:07 PM      Profile for ggs        Edit/Delete Post
What is wrong with missile defence?

Lets assume for a minute that they can somehow make it very effective and reliable. How does 95% grab you? (Those who say it won't work need not get on their high horses, this is purely hypothetical)

Well now; what happens to the other 5%. Less than perfect is catastrophic. Do you want hawks making aggressive decisions because; hey we can stop 95% of what's thrown at us?

Who's going to argue that they can make it perfect? If so, it would be quite amazing to imagine that one of the most technologically complex and challenging systems ever created would be the first perfect system ever developed by man.

Moving on to the other 95%. Forget about mercator projections. They distort perceptions about relative distance. The simple reality is that the shortest route from almost anywhere in the northern hemisphere to the American heartland goes over Canada. If those missiles were to be shotdown, they would be shotdown over Canada. The debris would be strewn across the Canadian landscape potentially contaminating huge swaths of Canadian real estate for centuries and killing many thousands of Canadians.

And that's the rosy scenario that assumes it will work. You don't even want to contemplate what would happen if it didn't.


From: Ontario | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 04 October 2004 01:12 AM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
the post is redicules...they imply all sorts of things in that article. Like the psychiatrist who says it won't lead to weapons in space. IT IS A MILITARY DIRECTIVE not an objective a dirictive. They are to be the only people who have or will have weopons in space. No the missle shield isn't about putting weapons in space, it is a backdoor to put weapons in space. First you test the public about interceptors on the ground than maybe interceptors in space then lasers or masers(microwave as opposed to light)on satalite etc etc etc. But the post says suppose this for the left and suppose that and for the right winger...this is a fact(while it is a lie) that is a fact(also lies). You don't have to read between the lines to know they want to weaponize space. If you can just read it will do. They have it documented!! BUt nope not enough proof that they want weapons in space(I am saying WIS from now on) the americans can WIS on the world.
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 05 October 2004 03:56 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Today's Post has a story from Robert Fife on a Pollara poll which claims to show

quote:

"Canadians accept the Liberal government's assertions that failure to join the contentious missile project could jeopardize Canada's role in the new U.S. Northern Command military structure, known as Northcom."

Robert Fife's story does not quote the text of any of the questions asked.

A suspicious person might believe that, in fact, Mr. Marzolini's poll is not so much neutrally recording the effect of a persuasive case already made by the Liberal government, as it is actively making that case over the phone to the people being surveyed, thus providing the "evidence" of public opinion for Mr. Fife's story.

Here is the link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 05 October 2004 04:04 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's a classic example of a push poll.
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 05 October 2004 04:09 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Yeah. I mean if the question is put to me:

quote:
Do you accept the Liberal government's assertions that failure to join the contentious missile project could jeopardize Canada's role in the new U.S. Northern Command military structure, known as Northcom.

I'd have to say "yes", because the whole stupid initiative is to participate in Northcom, and by not participating, that would jeopardize our role, which would be to reduce it to "no role at all". Now, if the follow-up question is "Do you give a flying fuck?", the added context that my answer would provide would a paint a more insightful picture of what I really thought, rather than what The Putz (or the poll) is claiming.


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 06 October 2004 12:43 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is from Murray Dobbin. He distributes this widely and encourages forwarding, so I don't think there are any copyright issues with reposting it in full (minus the original National Post article, which is protected)

quote:
Word warrior # 24 - Phony poll/story says we support missile defence

The National Post/CanWest and the Liberal's former pollster, Pollara, have teamed up to deliberately distort Canadians views re: Canada joining the US ballistic missile defence (BMD) program. Pollara did a poll but based it on
several factual errors; the CanWest then further distorted the results. At least 10 of the major dailies of the Asper-CanWest chain also printed the story and probably many of the smaller papers in the chain.

It's the old "if you can't beat 'em, lie about 'em" strategy and we really need to respond.

I have included, below, the CanWest story by Robert Fyfe and a news release response by Earnie Regehr of Project Ploughshares (PP), a highly respected Canadian peace research institute. The bullet points I have used below come from these two sources and from an Ipsos-poll last March contradicting Pollara's phony results.

In addition to writing a short letters, it would be very useful to send Project Ploughshare's news release to all your email lists so people have the information.

Once again....

1) WRITE A SHORT LETTER AND
2) DO IT RIGHT NOW OR YOU CHANCE OF WRITING IT DECREASES BY 75%.

Key messages:

1) Canadians clearly oppose Canada joining the totally discredited and dangerous missile defence system being built by George Bush.
2) The Pollara Company (which has long ties to the Liberal party and government) poll is full of errors in its assumptions and facts and cannot
be trusted

Key points:

* according to Project Ploughshares: "This [CanWest] story includes several errors, the headline is not borne out in the text, and it never discloses the actual polling questions on which it's various conclusions are based."

* While the [CanWest] headline says Canadian support BMD, the actual story and the poll say 49% of Canadians are opposed and 44% in favour. [PP news release]

* The story and apparently the polling questions then mistakenly link BMD to Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Sixty percent of Canadians are said to "want Canada to be a full partner in NORTHCOM." The question is irrelevant because
Canada is not part of NORTHCOM, and won't become part of it because NORTHCOM is a strictly US national command. [PP news release]

* The story is also in error when it says BMD "would require upgrading existing U.S. early warning radar stations in Canada." There are no
ballistic missile warning radars in Canada, nor are there any planned for Canada. The radars of the North Warning System in Northern Canada are there to detect aircraft and have no capacity to identify ballistic missiles. [PP news release]

* While we cannot trust a poll that contains so many errors, done by a pollster who for years was a paid consultant for the Liberal Party, we can trust Ipsos-Reid, a truly independent pollster who last March published the following results:

"77% agree that Canada's limited military spending should be used to enhance our abilities in peacekeeping and conflict resolution rather than trying to maintain multi-purpose forces intended for heavy combat alongside U.S.
military forces." (Ipsos-Reid, March 2004).

69% disagreed that "Canada should actively support the Bush administration's missile defence system even if it may require dedicating military spending to the program or allowing US missile launchers in Canada"(69%)." (Ipsos-Reid, March 2004).

Also...

"7 in 10 Canadians want the government's spending priority to be healthcare or education, and less than 1 in 10 thinks it should be defence." ( Compas, April 2002).

********************************************

HERE'S A SAMPLE LETTER:

I think the public is being badly served when a professional polling firm, and the country's biggest newspaper chain promote polling results based on false assumptions and incorrect data that distorts Canadians' real beliefs.

This is what happened on Tuesday when CanWest newspapers (including the National Post) carried a headline that said Canadian supported the US
ballistic missile defence program. Even the story itself contradicted the headline - telling us that 49% were actually OPPOSED and 44% in favour. But the polling questions weren't even included.

Furthermore, the story and poll mistakenly linked BMD to NORTHCOM - the US Northern Command claiming 60% of Canadians are said to "want Canada to be a full partner in NORTHCOM." But according to the peace group Project Ploughshares, Canada is not part of NORTHCOM, and will never be part of it because NORTHCOM is a strictly US national command.

Canadians know this is an expensive and dangerous boondoggle - denounced by 49 US generals and hundreds of knowledgeable US scientists. In an Ipsos-Reid poll last March 77% agreed that Canada's limited military spending should be used to enhance our peacekeeping and 69% opposed our participation in missile defence.

Sincerely,

**************************************************

New Release: Project Ploughshares, Oct 5, 2004

Re Robert Fife, "Majority of Canadians back missile shield" (Oct 5/04)

This story includes several errors, the headline is not borne out in the text, and it never discloses the actual polling questions on which it's various conclusions are based. What little hard information there is suggests results that are contradicted by the headline. It reports that when the question of support for ballistic missile defence (BMD)is considered on its own, 49% of Canadians are opposed and 44% in favour.

The story and apparently the polling questions then mistakenly link BMD to Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Sixty percent of Canadians are said to "want Canada to be a full partner in NORTHCOM. The question is irrelevant because
Canada is not part of NORTHCOM, and won't become part of it because NORTHCOM is a strictly US national command. Canada and the US are linked through NORAD, and NORAD has a missile detection and tracking role that is now to be related to BMD, but Canada has no part in NORTHCOM.

Having established that Canadians, inexplicably, want to be part of NORTHCOM (the actual polling question on which this conclusion is based is not
reported), the poll then apparently links ballistic missile defence to Canada becoming part of NORTHCOM. Despite the fact that Canada is not and will not be part of the US national command, NORTHCOM, the poll nevertheless
concludes that "the slimmest majority you ever saw" of Canadians favours BMD if it brings us into NORTHCOM.

How does any of the above justify a headline that trumpets Canadian backing of BMD? The story is also in error when it says BMD "would require upgrading existing U.S. early warning radar stations in Canada." There are no ballistic missile warning radars in Canada, nor are there any planned for Canada. The radars of the North Warning System in Northern Canada are there to detect aircraft and have no capacity to identify ballistic missiles.

Finally, the story refers to Bill Graham, the Defence Minister, as "the Foreign Affairs Minister."

Given the absence of any explanation of the polling questions, and given the presence of serious factual errors, there is little in this story that is credible.

Ernie Regehr
Executive Director
Project Ploughshares



From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 06 October 2004 03:26 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks, Scott P, that's very useful information.

I'm sending my e-mailed letters to the Post and to my local Can-West rag--er, outlet--now.

My push-poll antennae went off when I read this story because I felt sure that hardly any Canadians would have had any idea what NORTHCOM was when they got the call from Pollara. (Heck, if my experience is anything to go by, "missile defence" is hardly a top-of-mind issue for many Canadians, let alone the shell-games that saw US Space Command folded into STRATCOM and NORAD put under NORTHCOM and the like.) Most Canadians would, therefore, have to have had terms like NORTHCOM "defined" for them by the helpful pollster. Hence the result, in my view.

This part of your post caught my eye:

quote:

The story and apparently the polling questions then mistakenly link BMD to Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Sixty percent of Canadians are said to "want Canada to be a full partner in NORTHCOM. The question is irrelevant because
Canada is not part of NORTHCOM, and won't become part of it because NORTHCOM is a strictly US national command. Canada and the US are linked through NORAD, and NORAD has a missile detection and tracking role that is now to be related to BMD, but Canada has no part in NORTHCOM.

This fits in a way with what I've been reading in Loring Wirbel's book Star Wars: US Tools for Space Supremacy. In talking about the merger that created NORTHCOM Wirbel says this:

quote:

In fact, NORAD was supposed to fall under Northern Command, though the Air Force could not quite specify how the Canadian government would feel about suddenly being frozen out of effective control of homeland defense for the North American continent (Wirbel, 128)

In fact, we're already frozen out.

On a more disturbing note, Wirbel has more to say about NORTHCOM, which is a "unified command for homeland defense."

He explains that Ralph Eberhart, NORTHCOM's head, said in a 2003 speech to the National Space Symposium that his command should [quoting Wirbel] "as early as possible, share intelleigence with state and local law-enforcement agencies promptly" (Wirbel, 129).

So, as I understand things, whatever NORTHCOM's intelligence network knows, Tom Ridge knows.

(I apologize for providing no link to back up Wirbel's quote. I was able to find the 18th and 20th Space Symposia online, but not the 19th, from which the quote is taken. Perhaps someone else will be able to provide it.)

The thrust of Wirbel's point seems to be that NORTHCOM's creation not only effectively excludes any Canadian contol of North American homeland defense, but also that it normalizes military monitoring of civilian activity within North America.

The civil liberties threat posed by the military-civilian sharing of info, made easier by the existence of NORTHCOM, is increased, according to Wirbel, because so many military-space contractors also have contracts with civilian agencies, including the INS (Wirbel, 128). (This point reminded me of the NDP's obections to Lockheed-Martin's acquisition of census data.)

To come back to the original Post story, my sense is that NORTHCOM was not defined for Mr. Marzolini's subjects as "an organization whose existence helps formalize US military surveillance of Canadian citizens."

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
yankcanuck
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posted 06 October 2004 05:53 AM      Profile for yankcanuck     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why space defense is irrelevant:
Suitcase bombs.

From: What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 06 October 2004 06:06 PM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The story and apparently the polling questions then mistakenly link BMD to Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Sixty percent of Canadians are said to "want Canada to be a full partner in NORTHCOM." The question is irrelevant because
Canada is not part of NORTHCOM, and won't become part of it because NORTHCOM is a strictly US national command. [PP news release]

Just a little note on NORTHCOM.

NORTHCOM was the command structure put in place post 9/11. The command structure of NORAD was placed under the NORTHCOM command, thus effectively ending the dual command structure (Canada/US) of NORAD.

Since then, NORAD retains the dual command, but another level of command has been place over NORAD which us totally US.

Any questions about Canada 'losing' it's position in NORAD are moot. That has already happened.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 07 October 2004 03:52 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Fife story on the Pollara poll looks even more dodgy to me after a visit to Pollara's site turned up another Fife story, from February of this year. Here's an excerpt:

quote:

"Many politicians will likely be surprised by this, [almost] seven out of 10 Canadians believe that we should fully participate in the new [missile defence] NORTHCOM military command structure, to look after the security of all North Americans," Mr. Marzolini told a Carleton University seminar on Canada-U.S. relations.

"And just as importantly, we are also strongly in favour of harmonizing our security policies with the United States. These are clearly two of the few policies that we approve of."

The survey, conducted in November but only released yesterday, shows 64% of Canadians favour missile defence and 60% want Canada to harmonize its security policies with the United States.


The full story can be found here:

Pollara link.

It's worth pointing out that this February story also does not include the questions asked respondents.

Now check out these excerpts from the October story (also by Fife, also on Pollara's website):

quote:

A solid majority of 60% want Canada to be a full partner in Northcom, which was established after the 9/11 attacks to protect the continent from global terrorist threats including nuclear or biological strikes from rogue states. A small minority of 30% are opposed to Northcom, according to the Sept. 27-30 poll of 1,688 Canadians.

And this:

quote:

Canadians will only embrace missile defence if it is linked to the overall security of North America. Asked if they would support Canada's involvement in missile defence if it meant being part of Northcom, 48% said yes while 44% were opposed

Pollara's own numbers, then, show that support for missile defence and participation in NORTHCOM is now lower than in the previous poll.

I think a more honest headline would have been "Liberal Pollster finds steep drop in support for NMD."

[ 07 October 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard MacKinnon
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posted 11 October 2004 09:16 AM      Profile for Richard MacKinnon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Joining NMD will increase our likelihood of ever needing it. The cost of appeasement with the U.S. will negatively impact our diplomatic relations with everyone except Tony Blair and John Howard.
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sgm
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posted 16 October 2004 07:49 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Liberals have agreed to hold a vote on missile defence in the commons:

quote:

“Liberal House leader Tony Valeri announced yesterday the Grits will agree to a Conservative amendment to the throne speech to hold a Commons vote on Canada 's participation in the U.S. ballistic missile defence program.

The Liberals had previously stated they were only willing to go so far as to hold a "take note debate" in the Commons, in which MPs would be able to discuss the pros and cons of missile defence, but without a vote. They said if opposition parties wanted to force a vote on a missile defence motion during an opposition day, that was up to them.


Norman Spector has more of the Ottawa Citizen story here.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 October 2004 12:32 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for the link, Norm always has a bunch of good links from his site. This tim ws no different.

Do you think it will pass if there is a free vote? Not that it matters as Valeri says the gov will still decide itself basically.

What difference has Northcom made to NORAD's operations now that they are redundant?


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 17 October 2004 02:54 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What difference has Northcom made to NORAD's operations now that they are redundant?

NORAD is not redundant. The command structure has changed.

NORAD is a defence agreement between Canada and the US. At the time it was made, Canada split the command structure with the US with the US always having the commander, and Canada always having the deputy commander.

Wthin NORAD itself, duties were rotated between Canadian military and US military personnel.

Interestingly, on 9/11, Canadian personnel were in control at the command centre.

In anycase, the function and operation of NORAD doesn't change that much, but it is now fully under US control.

The Canadian deputy commander has been effectively relieved of responsibility.


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sgm
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posted 17 October 2004 08:24 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by remind:

Do you think it will pass if there is a free vote? Not that it matters as Valeri says the gov will still decide itself basically.


I think it would pass a free vote. In June 2003, there was a vote on an Alliance motion to situate any NMD system within NORAD. The Alliance was for it, naturally, and all but about 35 Liberals voted for it as well. The NDP, Bloc and the small Liberal group were opposed.

My understanding is that there are now even fewer Liberals opposed to NMD. So, if there were a free vote on whether or not to participate NMD, I think the NMD supporters would win, with the Bloc, NDP and perhaps a handful of Liberals voting against and with Harper's Conservatives and the vast bulk of the Liberal party supporting NMD participation.

Interestingly, Jane Taber had a piece on Lib MP Carolyn Parrish's opposition to NMD. Here's a bit of it:

quote:

In a scrum this week, Ms. Parrish also spoke out against voting on the issue in the Commons. (The Tories have asked for a vote as part of a series of amendments to the Throne Speech, to be voted for on Monday.) She says the vote is "rigged" because Mr. Martin will whip his cabinet and parliamentary secretaries to support the initiative.

". . . Let it [the decision] rest on his shoulders. I don't want him to get the moral certitude out of a rigged vote in the House of Commons, I'm sorry," she said.


So, Parrish thinks there won't be a truly "free vote" because cabinet and other officers will be required to vote for NMD. Andy Scott, for example, who's been identified as a Liberal opposed to NMD, would then be voting for it as a member of cabinet. I suppose the Martinites will justify enforcing cabinet discipline since cabinet has the ultimate decision on participation.

She's probably also right that Martin will spin a parliamentary vote for NMD as a sign Canadians support participating in the programme.

I'd link to the Parrish piece, but it's behind the Globe's subscriber wall.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 18 October 2004 05:43 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Defence Minister Bill Graham say he thinks it's "extremely dangerous" for Canada to turn its back on signing on to the U.S. Missile Defence Shield, denied Canada is being bullied into it, and warned Canada will suffer the consequences if it doesn't support its powerful neighbour.

Not being bullied, but we'll have to "suffer the consequences" if we don't provide the political cover "our powerful neigbour" is looking for.

This is equally ridiculous:

quote:

Mr. Graham said the estimated $130-billion U.S. Defence Missile Shield is not about the weaponization of space and said Canada will go to the United Nations along with other countries to get an international treaty against the weaponization of space.

The shield is absolutely part of a plan to weaponize space, and the Americans have been saying so for years.

As for the UN resolution, in November of 2000, Canada and 162 other nations voted on a resolution on "The Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space." Three nations abstained: Israel, Micronesia and the non-bullying nation to our south.

Furthermore, a Rumsfeld commission report from 2001 calls for "shaping the international legal and regulatory environment," and the clear intent of the shaping is to permit the deployment of space-based weapons; the report specifically targets the frequent UN general assembly resolutions on space arms races and calls the kind of treaty Graham is talking about an agreement "that would restrict the use of space," and says that other states pursue these "to counter US advantages in space." The report calls instead for maintaining the "traditional" (i.e. US) interpretation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967's "peaceful purposes" language to include "anticipatory self-defense."

US policy is to continue to militarize and further weaponize space. NMD is part of that policy. Bill Graham knows there isn't a chance in hell the Americans will ever agree to the kind of treaty he says Canada will pursue at the UN: it is their policy to oppose such a treaty. Getting us to participate in NMD is part of the "shaping" of the international environment to make space weaponization more, not less likely.

Shameful conduct from Bill Graham.

Chapter of Rumsfeld Report.

Hill Times story on Graham's comments.

[ 18 October 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 19 October 2004 03:13 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Carolyn Parrish's prediction for a missile defence vote in the Commons:

quote:

The Liberals will likely have about double the votes needed - 56 - to join the Conservatives and send a symbolic message internationally that the Canadian Parliament supports missile defence.

Parrish estimated the vote will end up about 200 to 100 in the 308-seat Parliament. But she said that's only because many Liberals fear breaking rank.

"The game and the rules are stacked against my position," said Parrish, who called for a national referendum on the issue.

"If the prime minister wants it, cabinet solidarity would indicate the whole cabinet votes for it. Parliamentary secretaries vote the way the cabinet does.

"A lot of the new guys are finding their way around the Hill; they'll vote the way the prime minister suggests."


CP story Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 30 October 2004 09:26 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Carolyn Parrish comments in Thursday’s Star on a plan to use this Wednesday’s Liberal caucus meeting to quell dissension in Liberal ranks about missile defence (particularly among women MPs like herself and Bonnie Brown:

quote:

Brown and Parrish say the meeting is a "sales pitch" to win over MPs opposed.

"Mr. Graham must have decided he needs to do something to pull some of these little female sheep in ... to soothe our fevered brows," said Parrish.

Brown said Martin risks running roughshod over the views of MPs — and turning away Liberal voters — if he pushes ahead with the program, estimated to cost $53 billion (U.S.).

"I can't imagine that the Prime Minister would want to go against the wishes of a sufficient number of members who are opposed," she said. "The other question is how does it fly with usual Liberal voters when we know there's an election in the next few years."


On the same day in the same paper, James Travers makes the same point about opposition among Liberal women, and further says Martin is hoping for a Kerry victory on Tuesday (the day before the caucus meeting), so he can more easily sell missile defence to the country:

quote:

Instead, Paul Martin and his key advisers have their fingers crossed that a moderate Democrat in the White House, particularly one roughly aligned with this country on nuclear proliferation, will make it easier for Canadians to support the missile plan.

Their optimism is rooted in pessimism. A government wary of the implications of not joining the program is having little luck convincing the country, let alone a recalcitrant Liberal caucus, to shelter under the missile umbrella.

One measure of Martin's troubles is the acid bath given Defence Minister Bill Graham when he made the administration's argument to the ruling party's most influential women. Those who attended last week's closed-door session say the minister never had a chance.


Also on Thursday, the Globe published a piece by, among others, Raymond Chretien, under the title “We can’t beat it, so let’s join it,” arguing that Canada should sign on to NMD. They admit that NMD violates our principles on multilateralism and space weaponization, but still say we should sign on for reasons of preserving a role in continental air defence (guarantees our sovereignty), keeping channels of communication open on defence matters to express concerns, and maintaining close defence ties to help protect North America. Here’s the conclusion:

quote:

For these reasons, Canada should accept participation in the NMD project -- but certain limits must be negotiated. Above all, Canada must maintain the non-weaponization of space as a core interest. Ottawa must have full access to information from Washington, and a guarantee that Canada will be informed before any modifications are made to NMD.

The details of our participation must also be clearly laid out so that Canadians can make an informed decision. Participation would ideally not entail large costs to the Canadian taxpayer.
Finally, our government should ensure that a mechanism exists to withdraw from NMD in the event that it becomes too dangerous or moves in an unacceptable direction.

Canadian participation in NMD does not mean that Ottawa shares Washington's vision of the world. It is more about playing an active, and moderating, role in a project that is both contentious and unavoidable. Should we refuse to take part and continue to denounce U.S. unilateralism, we'd only give support to the unilateralist elements in Washington. By associating ourselves with the project, we can protect national interests, and those of the international community, from within Washington's decision-making framework.


If we take these suggestions seriously, there is no way, even under the authors’ own conditions, we could sign on to NMD. What “moderating role” could we possibly expect to play? Someone needs to tell Raymond Chretien and the others that “moderating role”=”global test”=”bad.”

Fortunately, Globe letter writers have seen through the incoherencies in the argument. I liked this bit from a letter published on the weekend:

quote:

Had the article on the necessity of joining the U.S. missile-defence project been titled Peace In Our Time and signed by Neville Chamberlain, the message of appeasement could not have been clearer (We Can't Beat It, So Let's Join It -- Oct. 28). If Canada had followed this specious reasoning when we were importuned to join the war in Iraq, our international reputation would be in tatters.

Joining the United States in this Cold War-style initiative would mark a radical shift in Canada's foreign policy, calling into question our long-standing commitments to peace-building and diplomacy.

As for the moderating-force-at-the-table argument, it's hard to think even the authors believe this silliness in the era of the American hegemon.


The Liberal government is selling, but lots of people aren't buying.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 05 November 2004 02:12 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Most Canadians oppose missile defence: poll

quote:
OTTAWA - A new survey suggests 52 per cent of Canadians don't want Prime Minister Paul Martin to sign on to the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence System.

...

On this side of the border, Martin has repeatedly said Canada must do its part in defending North America as long as there's a guarantee it won't lead to putting weapons in space.

A poll released Thursday suggests a decision to join the American system poses a major political risk for Martin's minority government, however.

The poll, conducted by the Centre for Research and Information on Canada and called "Portraits of Canada," questioned more than 3,000 people between mid-September and mid-October.

It showed more than half of Canadians don't want any part of the plan, though 46 per cent support this country's involvement.

...

"The passion is on the side of not participating. That's where the voices are going to be strongest in saying, 'This country shouldn't be doing this.'"

Members of the Liberal caucus are also deeply divided over whether Canada should join in the missile defence system.

Defence Minister Bill Graham said he has long thought the government needs to do a better job of explaining what's at stake.

"This is an issue of some complexity, but very important to our U.S. relations," he said.

The poll also found that most Canadians want good relations with the United States, but are increasingly wary of getting too close to their southern neighbour.



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sgm
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posted 05 November 2004 10:13 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That same poll showed, I think, 65% opposition to missile defence in Quebec, which helps explain this:

quote:

“Prime Minister Paul Martin faces increasing pressure to reject President George Bush's proposal for Canada to join in a new missile defence shield - from members of his own party in the province he calls home.

Members of the Quebec wing's dynamic youth commission, which controls one-third of the votes at party conventions, have launched a multi-pronged campaign against the project. The latest volley, an online petition, is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

The missile defence shield - which some call Son of Star Wars - also faces opposition from the Quebec wing's women's commission, which has adopted a resolution calling on Canada to reject it.

Caroline Savic said her commission doesn't even want the government to discuss the project with the Americans. "If we sit down, it means we are in favour."


Gazette Story.

In yesterday's scrums, Martin, Harper, Layton, Pettigrew and Graham all had to field questions on this issue.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Right Tory
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posted 05 November 2004 10:17 AM      Profile for Right Tory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The fact of the matter is that Prime Minister Dithers will sign on to Missile Defence because he does not want to be seen to be like Cretin.

He won't give one damn about what the party with the least number of seats ala your party says.


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sgm
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posted 05 November 2004 10:23 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, but he doesn't just have to care about what the NDP's 19 members say. He has to care about what all those Bloc members say, as well as about what a significant number of his own caucus members think, as well as people in the provincial sections, a la Quebec.

As well, PM Dithers has to consider the opinion of the Canadian public, many of whom are strongly against this plan, and--I would guess--very few of whom are strongly for it.

Also, I agree with you that Martin does not want to look like Chretien. He needn't worry: when he signs on, he'll look a good deal like Harper.

[ 05 November 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Right Tory
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posted 05 November 2004 10:31 AM      Profile for Right Tory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
No, but he doesn't just have to care about what the NDP's 19 members say. He has to care about what all those Bloc members say, as well as about what a significant number of his own caucus members think, as well as people in the provincial sections, a la Quebec.

As well, PM Dithers has to consider the opinion of the Canadian public, many of whom are strongly against this plan, and--I would guess--very few of whom are strongly for it.

Also, I agree with you that Martin does not want to look like Chretien. He needn't worry: when he signs on, he'll look a good deal like Harper.

[ 05 November 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


The number of seats the liberals have plus the number the NDP has is not enough to a majority in the house, he will have to care only about what either the Bloq or the Conservatives because Jack Layton and the NDP is irrelevant.


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sgm
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posted 05 November 2004 10:41 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I can count.

"Caring" is not the same thing as "worrying he will lose the vote" when the time comes. There will indeed be enough Conservatives to back up the Liberals who wish to suppport Canadian participation in NMD.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 05 November 2004 12:51 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I tracked down the question asked in the CRIC poll Scott Piatkowski posted above: it's interesting.

quote:

Currently the United States is developing a missile defence system intended to shield them from possible nuclear attacks. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or stongly oppose Canada's participation in this system.

This makes NMD sound pretty good--none of the negatives are mentioned--and still more people opposed it than supported it.

I noticed as well that in the question on border security, the respondent is prompted with both pros and cons on common border policy. I wonder what kind of missile defence answer they'd have gotten if they'd formatted the question in a similar way.

You can find the whole poll in detail here.

[ 05 November 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 06 November 2004 06:27 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Harper is now saying that the Conservative stance on Missile Defence is "neutral" and that "we need to hear more" before deciding how to vote.

First Iraq, now this climb down.

Here's a hint, Stephen: Reporters keep notes.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 06 November 2004 08:58 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So does Hansard. Here's the text of an Alliance motion put forward by Cheryl Gallant with a full-throated defence of Canadian participation in NMD. On June 3, 2003, Harper voted for it, along with the Alliance and most Liberals:

quote:

That this House affirm its strong support for NORAD as a viable defence organisation to counter threats to North America, including the threat of ballistic missile attack; and support giving NORAD responsibility for the command of any system developed to defend North America against ballistic missiles.

Note "any" system. In the debate that followed, Clifford Lincoln noted that "any" could refer to a space-based system.

(As far as I can tell, BTW, the member for Lasalle-Emard was not in the chamber for the vote.)

Note also these paragraphs from an op-ed piece in the Ottawa Citizen back in September from Con Defence Critic Gordon O'Connor (it's still on the Cons' website):

quote:

The Canadian public is also justifiably concerned about the sudden policy change that links the North America Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) to ballistic missile defence. Canadian Forces personnel, through Norad, will apparently play a role in identifying the targets for Washington's ballistic missile defence. Incredibly, however, the government is pretending that this does not mean Canada will participate in ballistic missile defence.

...

The Conservatives agree that there are many issues to be addressed before we would support full Canadian participation. Is missile defence technically feasible? Exactly what role would Canada play? What is the connection, if any, between missile defence and the "weaponization of space?" Should Canada have an exit strategy in case at some point we decide to pull out?

Although we are the Official Opposition in a minority government situation, our party has not been provided with any substantial details in these areas.

The Conservative party, at this time, neither supports nor rejects Canada's involvement in a future ballistic missile defence system. Our emphasis now is urging the government to provide Parliament with the details of the pending ballistic missile defence agreement and the foreign and defence policy context, so we can have a proper parliamentary assessment, debate, and vote.

The Liberals have failed to provide Parliament with sufficient information about Canada's potential participation, while secretly entrenching Canada's role. This should be alarming to all Canadians regardless of their position on missile defence.


Note the "sudden" and concerning change is one his own leader and predecessor party had called for in the spring of 2003.

Why weren't the Alliance--the official opposition in 2003--asking the hard questions Harper and O'Connor now say need asking?

O'Connor's calls for more information are fine, but I wonder why only parliament and parliamentarians like him should be informed and involved in the debate. Why did the Conservatives vote against the public hearings suggested by Alexa to the Foreign Affairs Committee, which might have gotten some answers on just these questions?

[ 07 November 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 08 November 2004 06:47 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Missile Defence Agency of the US, the agency charged with developing an integrated BMD system, is conducting an environmental review of the impacts of its systems, qith a view towards producing a report in Jan/Feb 2005.

The alternatives they are considering are:

1) Missile defence with no space-based weapons, along with space-based sensors and land, sea, and air-based weapons;

2) Missile defence with space-based weapons (along with all the other elements)

3) Taking no action (i.e. not developing an integrated BMD system).

The pdf the MDA uses at its public hearings on the environmental review is here.

The Centre for Defense Information points out some problems with the draft report here.

Anyway, the MDA is soliciting public input on its draft environmental impact report and the folks at Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (www.space4peace.org) are asking people from around the world to submit their comments by e-mail to:

mda.bmds.peis@icfconsulting.com

The deadline for public input is November 17th. Since most of Canada falls under the potential area of environmental impact, it might be worth e-mailing, though I seriously doubt the current administration would allow concern for the environment to stand in the way of anything.

BTW, I think this is my favorite bit from the draft environmental assessment:

quote:

Health and Safety:

Launching an interceptor from space rather than from land, air, or sea would result in a reduction in the number of individuals that would be exposed to health and safety risks associated with launch activities.


Though this is funny, too:

quote:

Biological Resources:

Most interceptor and platform debris would be destroyed upon reentry. The debris would fall to the Earth’s surface and likely terminate in open ocean waters, where impact would be limited to animals in the immediate surface waters near the impact point. Fish and marine mammals at lower depths of the ocean would have more time to react
to the sound and would be able to avoid the impact area. Therefore, no significant biological resource impacts would be expected.



From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 08 November 2004 08:20 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US ready to put weapons in space

quote:
America has begun preparing its next military objective - space. Documents reveal that the US Air Force has for the first time adopted a doctrine to establish 'space superiority'.

The new doctrine means that pre-emptive strikes against enemy satellites would become 'crucial steps in any military operation'. This week defence experts will attend a conference in London amid warnings that President Bush's re-election will pave the way to the arming of space.

Internal USAF documents reveal that seizing control of the 'final frontier' is deemed essential for modern warfare. Counterspace Operations reveals that destroying enemy satellites would improve the chance of victory. It states: 'Space superiority provides freedom to attack as well as freedom from attack. Space and air superiority are crucial first steps in any military operation.'

Theresa Hitchens, vice-president of a Washington-based independent think-tank, the Centre for Defence Information, said: 'These documents show that they are taking space control seriously.'
...
Of equal concern to some UK defence experts is Britain's agreement in principle to station US interceptor missiles at RAF Fylingdales, North Yorkshire. Participation in the missile defence programme means that Britain is already 'locked into' a programme that could ultimately include space warfare, say those who are monitoring developments.

'If the UK government tries to argue that it is participating in missile defence, but not in the weaponisation of space, either officials have been duped or they are being disingenuous,' said Hitchens.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 09 November 2004 12:24 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
Though this is funny, too

Funny, yes, but not funny ha ha...


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 09 November 2004 02:08 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Liberal selling job on missile defence will soon move into high gear, according to the Globe's Brian Laghi:

quote:

George W. Bush will not insist during his prospective visit to Canada that he come away with Paul Martin's signature on a deal for a continental missile-defence shield, leaving the federal government time it badly needs to sell the deal to Canadians.

quote:

Liberals are also concerned that the general voting public is offside on the deal, and need to begin selling it. One Liberal said the government might consider reframing the debate so that Canadians see missile defence as a plan to defend Canadian soil as well as that of the United States.

I noticed yesterday that some interested party had made an Access to Information request to DND on polling and missile defence:

quote:

A-2004-00341 All briefing notes, discussion papers, correspondence and other written communication from October 15, 2003 to August 10, 2004 between the DND and any polling or research company regarding Canadian public opinion relating to Ballistic Missile Defence.

I wonder what the bill will be between August 10 and the time a deal is finally struck.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 12 November 2004 12:47 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
Harper is now saying that the Conservative stance on Missile Defence is "neutral" and that "we need to hear more" before deciding how to vote.

First Iraq, now this climb down.

Here's a hint, Stephen: Reporters keep notes.


It seems the Globe and Mail should take this hint as well, because Mel Hurtig keeps some pretty good notes himself:

On Wednesday, the Globe editorialists said this:

quote:

Enough. The Prime Minister has been wedged on the fence for months. He should decide. The arguments in favour are compelling, as they have been from the outset. They are also blazingly simple, not devilishly complex as Foreign Minister Bill Graham would have Canadians believe. The Hamlet routine is wearing thin.

In today's Globe, there's a good letter from Mel Hurtig in which he answers the "What's he waiting for?" question:

quote:

Let me guess. Perhaps he's waiting for more time to consider the insightful Globe and Mail editorial of Feb. 3, 2001, that I recently e mailed to him. You know, the one that said "missile defence is a bad idea. . . . It's dangerous because it could start a whole new missile race. . . . It's fiscally irresponsible because it could cost tens of billions of dollars. . . . It's technologically unsound because not even the best radar and most accurate interceptors can reliably shoot down an incoming ballistic missile."

And concludes:

quote:

How wise you were then. How out of touch with most Canadians (according to two recent national public-opinion polls) you are now.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 12 November 2004 01:01 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yay, Mel.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 12 November 2004 01:05 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
Harper is now saying that the Conservative stance on Missile Defence is "neutral" and that "we need to hear more" before deciding how to vote.

And he's being lambasted by the National Post's editorial board for it, too.

Does Canada have a conservative party?

quote:
The Conservative leader now appears to be sacrificing one of his party's top priorities -- assisting the United States in promoting continental security. Yesterday, it was reported the party is backing away from its support for Canadian participation in a missile defence shield. "The goal posts are moving on this," a party insider told CanWest News Services, "because there's a recognition that missile defence just doesn't sell in Quebec or among urban voters in Ontario."
...
Canada has little use for a pandering, anti-ideological opposition party that bases its positions on the polling numbers and spends more time sowing regional divides than putting forward serious policy proposals. What it needs instead is a principled right-of-centre alternative to the governing Liberals.

From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 12 November 2004 01:28 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes! Keep Harper honest, Nazional Post! We (being the sane, non-Conservative side of Canada) need him to stay attached to unpopular, stupid positions such as supporting the US on this waste of time and money.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Paladin
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posted 12 November 2004 03:22 PM      Profile for Paladin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Canada has little use for a pandering, anti-ideological opposition party that bases its positions on the polling numbers and spends more time sowing regional divides than putting forward serious policy proposals. What it needs instead is a principled right-of-centre alternative to the governing Liberals."

There we have it folks. A politician who might be in any way responsive to public opinion is accused of "pandering".

[ 12 November 2004: Message edited by: Paladin ]


From: Jugular knotch | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 13 November 2004 06:09 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gwynne Dyer jumped into the fray today with an article in which he says missile defence won't work anyway, so we should sign on.

By itself, this must be the dumbest excuse to join ballistic miss-defence I've ever heard.

Another thing he said is that we don't have to worry about space based weapons because they're just technological 'wet dreams'.

Fact is, the technology already exists for space based weapons.

It's a hell of a lot easier to put a nuclear weapon into orbit, then have it come down on command, than it is to shoot a launched ballistic down.

Of course, Gwynne Dyer suffers from a serious case of 'professional naivety'.

That's a syndrome exhibited by commentators who write really stupid stuff for money (when they know better).

Gwynne Dyer, propaganda for sale....

[ 13 November 2004: Message edited by: fuslim ]


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 13 November 2004 10:35 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, I heard about Dyer's point too. What he seemed to think is that, since missile defense won't work, signing on won't do any harm, and will give us some wiggle room to avoid signing onto more unpleasant things like America's next imperial project. It's ridiculous, of course- if anything, it might get the Americans' expectations up, and thus make it harder for us to avoid getting involved.
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 14 November 2004 01:38 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's a link to the Dyer story.

I was also surprised by his comments. Not so much by his skepticism about whether space-based BMD is possible (fuslim is right that there are other space-based weapons systems conceivable that aren't BMD-related), but by his suggestion we should work out some kind of "escape clause" from NMD in case things go bad: how likely is that?

Also, I watched the local cable broadcaster's tape of Dyer's recent public talk here in Regina, and he seemed in that talk quite concerned about the threat posed to any possible international legal order by the current American administration's unilateralism. In his book on Star Wars and space weapons (it deals with more than just BMD), Loring Wirbel talks about the "professional treaty busters" in the current administration, the ABM treaty being the first they busted. 1967's Outer Space Treaty may be next. I'm not sure why Dyer would view with equanimity the "to-hell-with-international-law" attitude animating many of NMD/BMD's boosters.

Two other quick stories: The labs developing the Airborne laser (a future BMD component), announced a successful test this week. They got to what they call "first light," creating a COIL laser beam for a fraction of a second in a ground-based lab. (BTW, did anyone else see the show on Space this weekend that listed the airborne laser as one of the "Top Ten" sci-fi-like weapons? The show made it sound as though the thing were operational already.)

Second: The NYT's Tim Weiner today reports on US plans for a "military internet":

quote:

The Pentagon is building its own Internet, the military's world wide web for the wars of the future.

The goal is to give all American commanders and troops a moving picture of all foreign enemies and threats - "a God's-eye view" of battle.

This "Internet in the sky," Peter Teets, under secretary of the Air Force, told Congress, would allow "marines in a Humvee, in a faraway land, in the middle of a rainstorm, to open up their laptops, request imagery" from a spy satellite, and "get it downloaded within seconds."

The Pentagon calls the secure network the Global Information Grid, or GIG. Conceived six years ago, its first connections were laid six weeks ago. It
may take two decades and hundreds of billions of dollars to build the new war net and its components.


The plan faces obvious technological, financial and bureaucratic obstacles, of course. One interesting evaluation of its potential is this:

quote:

Over all, Pentagon documents suggest, $200 billion or more may go for the war net's hardware and software in the next decade or so. "The question is one of cost and technology," said John Hamre, a former deputy secretary of defense, now president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"We want to know all things at all times everywhere in the world? Fine," Mr. Hamre said. "Do we know what this staring, all-seeing eye is that we're going to put in space is? Hell, no."


God's eye view? That eye on the top of the pyramid on the 1 dollar bill? Or Someone Else's?

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

[ 14 November 2004: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 14 November 2004 01:43 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So how long will it take someone to figure out how to jam spy satellite output?
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 15 November 2004 12:12 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Paladin:
"Canada has little use for a pandering, anti-ideological opposition party that bases its positions on the polling numbers and spends more time sowing regional divides than putting forward serious policy proposals. What it needs instead is a principled right-of-centre alternative to the governing Liberals."

There we have it folks. A politician who might be in any way responsive to public opinion is accused of "pandering".


Actually, I agree with whoever said that. The job of political parties is to put forward a principled package of ideas and policies that hang together in some coherent way. Then the voters are in a position to choose between such alternatives. Political parties that just follow polls issue by issue are useless to the country and the public, especially if political discourse is dominated by such non-parties. They leave the public nothing to choose between but irrelevant feel-good phrases and personalities, furthering the dumbing-down and increasing the deceptiveness of political discourse.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 15 November 2004 12:19 AM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Like the clarity bill in quebec. We need people to have clear views on where each party stands on as many issues as possible. Mr Sit-On-The-Fence martin has done noting but dither on most issues. While I think you should respond to your constituants, I think it is also important that your con. knows who and what agenda the party they voted to elect stands for.
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 15 November 2004 06:43 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by pogge:
And he's being lambasted by the National Post's editorial board for it, too.

Does Canada have a conservative party?


At one time, Harper felt the same way. This is what he wrote in The National Post in December 2000 (around the time of the infamous "firewall letter"):

quote:
Neither should Albertans shun federal politics, but we must carefully guard our interests. Much about the Canadian Alliance is worthy of support, and a large number of Canadians do support it. But the CA will be under considerable pressure to rid itself of any tinge of a Western agenda or Alberta control. This we must fight. If the Alliance is ever to become a party that could be lead by a Paul Martin or a Joe Clark, it must do so without us. We don't need a second Liberal party.

[ 15 November 2004: Message edited by: Scott Piatkowski ]


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 15 November 2004 11:01 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Yeah, I heard about Dyer's point too. What he seemed to think is that, since missile defense won't work, signing on won't do any harm, and will give us some wiggle room to avoid signing onto more unpleasant things like America's next imperial project. It's ridiculous, of course- if anything, it might get the Americans' expectations up, and thus make it harder for us to avoid getting involved.

Dyer must be completely ignorant of the Dew Line, and the environmental damage caused by this American project in Canada's north.

Come to think of it, Dyer is ignorant on a lot of subjects he writes about. Ignorance is almost a necessity when one holds the views he holds.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 15 November 2004 09:39 PM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I like a lot of his articles. He makes a lot of valid arguements. http://tinyurl.com/4wmbl Tell me this is a bad article ? Yes he seems like a pompus ass at times but compare against the other gwyn...richard gwyn...urgh this guy nosiates me with his pro americanism. It's not about being anti american....but why is anything wrong in canada that we have to look to the states.
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 16 November 2004 04:53 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Come to think of it, Dyer is ignorant on a lot of subjects he writes about. Ignorance is almost a necessity when one holds the views he holds.

Absolutely...the only thing is I believe his is professional ignorance.

That is, selective ignorance based on who's willing to pay more.

A bit like the old accountant joke where the prospective accountant is asked by the head of the department what 2+2 was...

"What would you like it to be," was the reply.

[ 16 November 2004: Message edited by: fuslim ]


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 20 November 2004 05:34 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There's a neat animation on missile defence countermeasures available on this page.

It was produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Runs about 4 minutes in Real Player.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 06 December 2004 02:49 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've asked Audra to add this thread to The Best of Babble, largely do to the high volume of actual useful information per post (credit: sgm, pogge, and a few others). Someone asked a question and got it thoroughly answered in several ways.
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 07 December 2004 02:02 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This long thread has probably reached the end of its useful life, and the missile defence discussion has moved elsewhere.

Thanks to Scott P for his suggestion and to everyone else who contributed to this thread, which made me--for one--see what a great place babble could be.

My last post here will include this comment, from Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, reflecting on his recent speaking tour of western Canada:

quote:

And so I think I'd sum up my experience in Canada this way. I was in a country that was not fooled by the fool on the hill. Bush did not succeed with his mental manipulations and in the end he put "missile defense" on the front page of every newspaper in the country. He invigorated the debate in Canada on national sovereignty and ensured that our friends in the peace movement there will have a more receptive national audience in the coming days. It was a great honor to be a small part of their resistance to Star Wars. Canada is the one country in the world today taking on the issue front and center. We all wish them the best.

Gagnon's spoken all over the world on this issue--before coming to the west in November/December, he was in France and China earlier this fall. He tells us ours is a country where--thanks to the alignment of the political stars--we have a chance to have a public debate on this issue, and that could help raise consciousness worldwide.

Wasting our time on this issue? Not on your life.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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