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(BBC)   Star Wars interceptor test successful. President celebrates by buying new GI Joe figure.   ( news.bbc.co.uk) divider line
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2114 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2001 at 9:24 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2001-07-15 09:48:06 AM  
Gore hugs a tree.
2001-07-15 09:50:51 AM  
Look guys, we're your friends and we have no intention of shooting you... but we reserve the right to do so at any time so don't even THINK about deploying a defense against our rain of death.

Hmm. I'm having a hard time pinning down what I have against not developing a defense system just because our potential enemies don't want us to.
2001-07-15 10:11:51 AM  
Oh, let's count the ways that this is a moronic plan...
1. It's pissing of folks that have nuclear weapons. Whereas they weren't thinking of using them before...
2. This system can't shoot down a bomb in a briefcase.
3. Look guys, we're YOUR friends, but if our president decides that he doesn't like mis-pronouncing the name of your country, he can nuke you into oblivion and there's not a damn thing you'll be able to do about it.

Destabilizing the world is always a bad idea.
2001-07-15 10:38:09 AM  
Personally I'd go with a limited system. Maybe 10 interceptors? Enough to stop an 'accidental' attack, or if some crazy general somewhere gets hold of a few missiles and launches against orders. Would also act as somewhat of a deterrent. But at the same time a system small enough that it wouldn't offset the balance of power too much. In all honesty shooting down 10 missiles out of a couple hundred doesnt make much of a difference to the balance of power in an all out attack.
2001-07-15 10:44:25 AM  
This is yet another race to the number one spot, much like the space race was. Basically, we want to have almost total security from balistic warheads fired from our enemies, and keep our allies safe whilst doing it.

If we are pissing off folks that have nuclear weapons, thats too bad. If they had no intentions of using them they should have no problem with what we are doing. Unless, of course, they were planning to strike us at any given moment.

I don't really see how wanting to defend our country without hurting other nations, is "destabilizing the world," unless you count the fact that people will have to think twice before making snide comments and then launching a few warheads.

Don't worry, in a few months China will have their spies (in peace time), steal our starwars project technology, and they will have their own soon. Just like with the nuke.
2001-07-15 10:51:22 AM  
Janus, look at it from their point of view. A country with a history of unilateral decisions has decided that it will not only have the ability to eradicate your country, but it'll take away your ability to retaliate.
Go look up the definition of "Mutual Assured Destruction." It's been one of the best peacekeepers out there.
I think YOU'D be jumping up and down if, say, China had a defense shield in the works.
Also, have you noticed that the more bone-headed things our President does, the closer our "enemies" are coming together? China and the Russians are starting to make nice so they have allies against Dubya...
2001-07-15 10:51:23 AM  
But doesn't our ability to "successfully" (25% success rate so far) defend ourselves from nuclear attack decrease the trepidation that would normally be shown by a potential aggressor? And while I know little about the actual details, it doesn't seem that the intentions of this missle shield are to protect our allies (who seem to be showing more and more dissatisfaction with US policies), rather only our part of our continent.
2001-07-15 10:54:53 AM  
Blah, just develop the system, and give the technology to every nation. No offset balance of power, and all will have the power to defend, making nukes even less useful.
2001-07-15 10:55:01 AM  
As I said before, this system can't stop a bomb in a briefcase. There's no way to trace this delivery system, and very little a defense shield can do about it.
2001-07-15 11:12:11 AM  
The fact is that we don't need this. Its breaking treaties and relationships with other countries that were very valuable. Oh hell, what does it matter. At least we can shoot down their missles!
2001-07-15 11:12:16 AM  
Two words: FORCE FIELD!!
2001-07-15 11:23:50 AM  
This is total bullshiat! After everything that has gone down through negotiations during and after the cold war, the farking americans are at it again, of course!

What would all you gung-ho americans say if it were the russians that came fourth with this missle plan?
I bet if they had, then we would be at war right now.

America is acting as if they have no missles or military and this is needed for defence, bullshiat! If it is for defence then all countries should be able to "defend" themselves with balistic missles.

Myself, as a canadian would feel much better if america would stop trying to create propaganda in the effort to keep an arms race solely for the purpose of profit, is there no end to americas greed, or is that capatalism? Do we need another Nam to fund the god like economy of america?
2001-07-15 11:40:59 AM  
"The Pentagon is reporting" yeah, I believe that. Bush wants Star Wars. Bush tells his puppets in the Pentagon to say its working. Joy de freakin joy.
2001-07-15 11:42:53 AM  
What is up with all of these people saying "If they say they aren't going to bomb us, why do they care?" Because they WILL bomb us if we bomb them. That's the only thing that really keeps everyone with nukes from blowing up everyone else. If they think we can bomb them with no consequences, it throws everything off. Anyway, the only reason this test worked was because the government keeps dumbing down the tests. They only do tests on old technology (they can't do anything about nukes that shoot out hundreds of decoy balloons for example) that nobody would actually use. All of this crap is completely unnecessary, useless, and dangerous.
2001-07-15 11:45:28 AM  
you know, the only missile defense system the U.S. ever had actually running worked like this (wish i could remember the name of it, it was in the mid 70s i think):

If Russia launched nukes over the pole at us, we in turn would launch a bunch of nukes back over Canada. Once reaching the Russian missiles, ours would detonate, wiping both sides missiles out of the sky.

Needless to say, Canada wasnt too happy about having large stretches of land irradiated, and the system was taken out of service after about a year.
2001-07-15 11:50:18 AM  
Very good BURN. I was going to say something along those lines. This technology is a complete waste of money. Bush needs to stop his game. If someone has a lot more power that someone else, it is intimidating. All COUNTRIES should have equal rights as well. It also seems like Bush could very easily try to conquer the world. Don't put it below him. It's his first plan in world domination so every member of every country can play baseball and have moral sex.
2001-07-15 11:55:10 AM  
The point to this thing, as near as I can tell, is that nukes are no longer things only controlled by governments. There are enough nukes out there now, in enough unstable countries, that the possibility of someone not in governmental control getting a hold of one is getting higher. So, lets look at the possible cases where this thing might be used:

1. Government firing nukes - Misssile defense is probably not a great deterrent. First, it will probably never work as well as we want, and with a whole barrage of missles raining down, it'll probably miss one or two per major city. Mutual Assured Destruction certainly helps here.

2. Terrorists firing nukes - Terrorists take over a missile base, fire from there. Suddenly, mutual assured destruction goes out the window. How did people react when we sent cruise missiles after Osama Bin Laden? They were pissed we violated another country's airspace, and perhaps rightfully so. Is it right to destroy a country because they happen to have been the victim of a terrorist attack? Can't use Mutual Assured Destruction here. Sure, later on you can find the bastards and kill them, but it would be nice to either deter them from firing in the first place, or stop their missiles. There are enough people willing to sacrifice their life to make a point that deterrent seems hard. Missile defense would also probably be more succesful here, because there would be fewer missile to shoot down (i.e. we could target more interceptors at each incoming missile).

3. Suitcase bomb - absolutely no deterrent. I don't know how likely this situation is. Opponents of the system say very likely, while supporters say it's incredibly unlikely. A lot of this seems to be based on the "easier" principle, like "it's easier to smuggle a nuke into the country in a suitcase", or vice versa. I want to know how these people know what's easier for terrorists. Anyway, the point is, this one will be an open oppurtunity no matter what we do.

4. Sub launched nukes. This is the one that scares me the most. Can someone who is a better student of history confirm the percentage of missiles we agreed to put on subs in one of the START/SALT treaties? I know I've heard the number before, but can't remember. With sub launched nukes, the missiles arrive fast, and the source country is hard to figure out without later investigation. Once again, Mutual Assured Destruction helps very little, because we can't retaliate until we know who launched the missiles. I haven't heard anything about the feasibility of using the missile defense system against sub launched nukes, so I can't comment on that.

I guess the missile defense system is pretty much a mixed bag. Is there stuff we could be spending this money on instead? Certainly. Would the other stuff be more useful? Maybe. Is this thing useful? In certain cases, yes.

To respond to Henchman, though - China and Russia were coming together well before Bush got into office. The fact is Putin doesn't like America, and has been very open about it. That's why Russia and China are buddying up to each other.

And as for people who say that "You'd be pissed if others developed this." Yes, I would be. In the same way, I imagine, that people were pissed when the Russians got into space first, and we thought they could rain down death from space. Did it start a war? No, it just made us get our asses in gear and get up there too.
2001-07-15 11:57:21 AM  
Hot on the tails of everybodies favourite waste of money, Cold War I is the newest defence contractors wet dream: Cold War II. A lot of people don't seem to understand what the problem is. Put it this way. I'm pointing a 50 calibre Desert Eagle at your forehead. I promise that I'll only use it for self defence though. So if you weren't going to do anything to make me use it you shouldn't be at all alarmed.

What this is really going to do is generate a new arms race, but its going to be more uncontrollable than the previous one. I think the day of countries pointing nuclear missles at each other for the most part became history with the collapse of the USSR. Sure, there are some nuclear missiles with our name on it but there are much cheaper methods of harming the united states.

Suitcase nukes are one method, they're probably not multimegaton devices but they'd cause enough terror to make north american citizens panic. You have no idea whether a nuclear device has been secreted away someplace. I fully expect that this would cause the constitution to fly out the window in the short term.

Biological and chemical weapons are another method. They could be produced on american soil by people sympathetic to a terrorist group. All they need is the recipe. A lot of them don't require terribly hard to find equipment or ingredients.

Every year there is an epidemic as the flu naturally mutates. At the start of the epidemic a few people always die. Conspiracy and militia nuts always start out with the assumption that its either a foreign country seeking revenge against the U.S. or black helicopters spreading disease as the start of the New World Order. All that needs to happen is somebody to communicate "We poisoned New York with this virus, we will have the United States licking our boots within weeks." People would panic and it would require considerable effort to convince people "Hey guys, this happens every years, we'll have a shot for you in 2 weeks."

We're taunting the people that do have a chip on their shoulder against the U.S. with a system that won't even prevent the kind of attack they're most likely to use.

2001-07-15 12:08:54 PM  
I'm going to D.C. tonight, and I cannot contain my excitement.
2001-07-15 12:17:53 PM  
"Damage report Number 1?"

"Shields at 25%"

"Damn Russians!"

hahahha..what about canada's defense?
2001-07-15 12:22:34 PM  
Paul_n: How likely is a suitcase bomb? Well, how many METRIC TONS of illegal substances make it into this country every day?
2001-07-15 12:35:40 PM  
Something in this country has to change. We need to change the methods in which we think, justify, and act. Star Wars is a good example of why.

I don't think anyone wants their kids living in a cold war era, nor do I think anyone wants their kids living in fear of a nation with a standing army of one billion, plus.

over time, this country has become about greed. Hell, most people would stab their father in his back, just to make a buck. We are greed defined: this is not a way to live - it is a way to die.

Bush does not deserve to be in office, but then again we were pretty farked from the beginning. I don't think our founding fathers would be too proud of our recent actions. We need to say "fark off" to these puppets of their oil companies, and start getting our heads out of our asses.
2001-07-15 01:42:58 PM  
Let's face it.. we wouldn't be in a Cold War era again if it wasn't for China. China and the US going to war is inevitible.

We signed treaties with the Soviet Union, but if Russia didn't sign, we have treaties with only one live nation signing, which makes them invalid.

How does Bush not deserve to be President? he won 31 states, he won 271 electoral votes, he won the popular vote (with many votes not counted, due to the fact that Gore on those states, but still enough votes to overcome Gore's stuffed lead)

The Chinese will only unleash suitcase nukes if they are feeling sucidial. They will attack the US with Anthrax, Spanish Flu and the Bubonic Plague (all made in Soviet biowar factories while they were signing those treaties with us) and try to kill all of our government to send us into anarachy so they can conquer America.

Vladimir Putin is a communist, plain and simple. After China attacks us, Russia is sure to back them up. Russia is already giving China nuke warheads, weapons and anthrax. Clinton was giving China alot of our secrets also, Clinton shows more loyalty to China than the U.S.

As for the missile test, you libs in California deserve to get nuked, maybe that will make conservatives out of you freaks.

2001-07-15 01:52:36 PM  
some education for you all on BioWeapons.

"What is anthrax?

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in warm-blooded animals, but can also infect man. Anthrax spores can be produced in a dry form (for biological warfare ) which may be stored and ground into particles. When inhaled by humans, these particles cause respiratory failure and death within a week."

"Inhalation of Anthrax: Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax usually results in death in 1-2 days after onset of the acute symptoms."

"The Spanish Flu would affect a person in the following way:

(1) high fevers, shivers, coughs, muscular pain and sore throat,

(2) Tiredness and dizzy spells

(3) Loss of strength to the point of not being able to eat or drink without assistance

(4) Difficulty in breathing

(5) Death"

"What are "biological weapons"?
Biological weapons are any infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus when used intentionally to inflict harm upon others. This definition is often expanded to include biologically-derived toxins and poisons.

According to an unclassified report of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Chemical and Biological Terrorism: The Threat According to the Open Literature (en français, La Menace de Terrorisme Biologique ou Chimique Selon Les Sources Publiées ):

Biological warfare agents include both living microorganisms (bacteria, protozoa, rickettsia, viruses, and fungi), and toxins (chemicals) produced by microorganisms, plants, or animals. (Some authors classify toxins as chemical rather than biological agents, but most do not, and they were included within the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention-as reflected in its formal title, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction). Writers on the subject have produced a long list of BW agents that terrorists could potentially use. Among those mentioned have been: anthrax, cryptococcosis, escherichia coli, haemophilus influenzae, brucellosis (undulant fever), coccidioidomycosis (San Joaquin Valley or desert fever), psittacosis (parrot fever), yersina pestis (the Black Death of the 14th Century), tularemia (rabbit fever), malaria, cholera, typhoid, bubonic plague, cobra venom, shellfish toxin, botulinal toxin, saxitoxin, ricin, smallpox, shigella flexneri, s. dysenteriae (Shiga bacillus), salmonella, staphylococcus enterotoxin B, hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, histoplasma capsulatum, pneumonic plague, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever, diphtheria, melioidosis, glanders, tuberculosis, infectious hepatitis, encephalitides, blastomycosis, nocardiosis, yellow fever, typhus, tricothecene mycotoxin, aflatoxin, and Q fever. Some of these agents are highly lethal; others would serve mainly in an incapacitating role. Some authors have also speculated about the possible terrorist use of new, genetically-engineered agents designed to defeat conventional methods of treatment or to attack specific ethnic groups, for example."

Cholera would be an awakening to San Francisco.

2001-07-15 01:56:44 PM  
Substrate pretty much said it all in a logical post that puts things into perspective. Sure Paul_n, I totally agree that a missile defense system would be handy in some of the cases you mentioned. I don't think that anyone can argue that a missile defense system, by itself and not considering the implications on other countries, our economy, etc, is better than no missile defence system.

However, as substrate pointed out, the system isn't being designed to handle many of the ways that a country or terrorist group could attack us. Therefore, while it does seem useful, the overall cost, both to taxpayers and to world stability, outweighs the potential benefit.

What is our current system to combat someone sailing a ship into New York harbor or San Francisco (ok maybe bad examples since people tend not to care for those cities) and setting off either a nuclear/biological/chemical weapon with the ship?

What is our current system to combat someone flying an airplane loaded with nuclear/biological/chemical weapons over one of our cities and detonating?

A missile defense system sounds great to me, and I would totally support it, if the benefits were greater than the costs. Right now, that isn't reality.
2001-07-15 02:03:35 PM  
I was going to post some exellent point that I had thought of, but I was laughing so hard at C.C post I forgot what it was ... oh well
2001-07-15 02:04:03 PM  
CC: Bush did NOT win the popular vote, he won the ELECTORAL vote. There's a difference.
2001-07-15 02:06:43 PM  
The US Army is trying the best they can to stop nukes. Of course leftists don't want that. Just because somebody can fly into New York with a suitcase full of Cholera germs doesn't mean we should scrap missile defense.

If a nation wanted to strike us, they would send an agent into D.C. at the right time, have him spread out Anthrax around the capital and the White House and kill off our government in about a week.
2001-07-15 02:07:46 PM  

Bush won the popular vote, due to the fact that he got many votes from overseas that were not counted in California and all around.

Wah wah wah.. do you leftists want somebody to cry on about Florida?

2001-07-15 02:10:25 PM  
Maybe C.C should spend more less time trying to Educate us about BioWeapons. And more time learning himself on the last election.
2001-07-15 02:13:28 PM  

the facts are the facts. More people voted for Bush than Gore. Considering Gore's showing in New York, Chicago and other vote-stuffing cities, that is obvious.

2001-07-15 02:14:04 PM  
All us commie's are coming to get you in our black helicopters C.C you better hide your fat white Baptist ass
2001-07-15 02:16:15 PM  
We all know you make up your "Facts" as you go along C.C
2001-07-15 02:19:20 PM  
"Of course leftists don't want that. Just because somebody can fly into New York with a suitcase full of Cholera germs doesn't mean we should scrap missile defense."

Again, my point is not that people don't want missile defense, it is rather that the benefits do not justify the cost. The cost of missile defense is huge, for a system that you yourself say does nothing to prevent the agent to wipe out our government. Scrapping missile defense is one thing. Improving it before we invest in it is another.

Here is an analogy. Ask anyone if what they would pay to provide them with foolproof safety. Then tell them that for five times that cost, you can assure them a 25% success rate. A normal person who doesn't have tons of money to spare just wouldn't be able to afford it for such a small success rate.

Show me a missile defense system that is darn near perfect for a reasonable cost, and I will gladly devote my tax dollars towards it. Show me a shoddy piece of crap that works less than half of the time, and I will be opposed. Wouldn't you be? What have you ever bought in your life KNOWING that it was too high a price for something that didn't work as well as it should? If it was something important, then you deserve to have it fail.
2001-07-15 02:22:58 PM  
Look I have an airbag in my steering wheel and an insurance policy in my glove box. I do not have these because, I plan to have a wreck. You alway have to ask yourself...What if?
2001-07-15 02:35:14 PM  
You people's posts are too damn long. I'm just gonna put up my Iron Curtain and start hoarding Mammoths.
2001-07-15 02:35:32 PM  
Also, if we just build another Construction Yard, shouldn't we be safe from the nukes? They can only fire like every ten minutes or so.
2001-07-15 02:35:46 PM  
Idiot. If Bush knew what was good for the world economy he wouldn't be doing this shiat. He's under the impression that because he got elected in some paradox of an election that he can do whatever the fark he wants. Americans take note: Bush with bring you misery in the future. You farked up.
2001-07-15 02:36:28 PM  
You can always say what if for anything you want. What if knowing you have an airbag makes causes be to drive less carefully because I know I'll be less likely to cause serious damage to you. What if A spark gets into your glove box and catches the insurance paper on fire, causing your car to explode? These are silly you say, because the probability of those things is so small.

And that is exactly my point. No matter what you do to protect yourself, there is always going to be a what if. Therefore, your decisions are always going to be based on the probabilities versus the costs. This is what a logical mind does.

You weigh the benefit of an airbag against the potential failures, and compare that with what the cost of the airbag is. If an airbag costed $100,000, would you still have one in your steering wheel? If you said yes, it is because you still feel that the benefit of having it was worth more than the cost. But there is some limit. There is some value that you place on the airbag, and if it costed more than that, then you would take your changes on the probability, because the cost was just too high to justify it.

This is the same way with missile defense, or with just about anything that you have to buy with your own money. And this is our money that we are using with missile defense.
2001-07-15 02:40:15 PM  
My apologies for the typos.
2001-07-15 02:47:17 PM  
You guys do know that estimates indicate this system would under the best conditions have a 80% success rate? If China launched or Russia (They have thousands of missiles) the U.S would still be destroyed.

I just hope you people don't think this would save the U.S in a nuclear war. It won't.
2001-07-15 03:23:02 PM  
Christian Conservative. Just curious, but have you read the bible at all? And have you read about some guy named "Jesus?"

Well, from what I've heard, he was a pretty tolerant guy, who preached about everyone living together in harmony and peace.

Of course, bombing people in your own country because they don't agree with you seems to go against his teachings, doesn't it?

Let me just say something. You stupid farking hypocritical christians piss me off to no end.

"Peace and brotherhood for all who believe exactly as I do, death to the heathens who don't!"

This whole world would be a helluva lot better without christians.

I mean, god damn! You guys even fight amongst yourself! Protestants, catholics, everything else, you're the exact same damn religion!

I put you in the same boat I put homosexuals, satan worshippers and everything else; do whatever you want but don't try to push it on me.
2001-07-15 03:25:36 PM  
CC: Gore had a 337,576 electoral vote lead nationwide, according to CNN. The absentee votes (which WERE counted, despite allegations of being pre-marked) totaled about 35,000 (15,000 in Seminole County and about 10,000 in Martin County), which, even if they ALL went for Bush, would make little difference.
Sorry about topic creep, folks. I guess I shouldn't indulge the heir to the Jelloboy Throne.

I'll be interested in hearing more on the technology behind these missle tests, though. I wonder if they were able to improve on one of the previous ones where the interceptor couldn't hit the target, even though the target contained a homing beacon...
2001-07-15 03:47:31 PM  
the opinion that bush doesn't deserve to be in office doesn't have anything to do with the results of the last election. it's an ethical issue. with everything he's done so far, i've not heard of one semi-compassionate act.

and cc, dropping a nuclear weapon on someone (whether they live in CA or not) will not make them conservative, rather something along the lines of dead.
2001-07-15 03:55:29 PM  

I am not talking about Florida. I am talking about Nationwide. Since you appear to be confused or a liar without intregity, you would make a good Democrat.


Give me examples of Jesus' massive tolerance. I bet you are one that thinks all that can give you the license to do what ever you want to.


a liberal who is a victim of a crime can either whine or become Conservative.

Lets face it.. the Democratic party is filled with brainwashed, confused people. Heck, why do you think they shuttled in so many immigrants? so they can get more votes.

I can't believe so many of you liberals are mad and opposing national defense. This is just step one, if you don't support it, you'd never allow more accurate versions of the system to be developed.

2001-07-15 04:01:46 PM  
We now have a royal family. Bush was nominated for the position because his dad was president. He made it to the presidency because of his bloodline. I thought the reason we separated from England in the first place was to get out of nonsense like this. Not only that he was not elected by the will of the people, only thru the system of the Electoral College. A 200-year-old system I might add.
2001-07-15 04:03:20 PM  
what the hell kind of christian needs to be given examples of jesus' tolerance? and are you saying that victims of liberals aren't allowed to do anything but whine or become conservative? sorry, your last comment just didn't make any sense.
2001-07-15 04:16:44 PM  
You really must be the life of the party. Do you stand in the corner and mumble bible verses to yourself?
2001-07-15 04:20:24 PM  
CC, why don't you reply to me then? We aren't opposing national defense, we are opposing this particular plan that cost too much and doesn't do a good enough job.

I guess you want us to pay a huge sum money to put in this system, and then pay tons more to get it better and more accurate. Well I'd rather hold off and pay good money for the better system in a few years. Give it some time for development and improvement.

That is like a car company telling me they can install partially finished anti lock brakes now, or completed anti lock brakes later. Well of course something is better than nothing, right? Only if the price for it makes sense. Sure I'd rather have partial safety than no safety. However, it always comes back to the cost. If partial safety is $100, then sign me up. If partial safety is $10,000, then I think I'd rather wait for total safety.

For once I think that this argument is more cut and dry than the ones about religion and evolution and other issues. This one is about something everyone can understand, at least I hope. It is about money and cost. The cost is just too great right now. Yes we'd love to have the toy, but we just can't afford it with our budget. Just in the same way I'd love a playstation 2 but I decided to wait for the price to come down or a better system to come around.
2001-07-15 04:34:38 PM  
CC: That total WAS the nationwide tally of Gore's popular vote lead. I only cited the Florida absentee totals because you brought that state up in conversation. I haven't seen any numbers from you. Care to cite some from sources OTHER than CBN, the 700 club, etc.?
By the way, what good is "national defense" if it sparks conflict?
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