And, Thank You, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, for making your allegiances crystal clear, at last. It's to Big Money. Not to actual security for anyone.
What the heck am I doing writing about the satellite shoot? Well. Apart from the fact that it DOES have to do with how safe we are, living here on Earth- I've been writing letters to scientific journals pointing out problems with "Star Wars" kinds of things since Reagan first started selling it. It might stem from my days as a fencer - attack and defense is part of that. You learn principles; like the fact that there IS NO SUCH THING as a "purely defensive" weapon or strategy. Ain't. It doesn't work that way.
Think for a minute. You have a spear; and I have a spear. We'd both better be careful, and polite. Then- I invent- the shield. Buffalo hide over wood. Now then. I think I can clobber you, any time I want- and you can't reach me. So I can be just as agressive as I'm in the mood for.
It goes on- forever.
Just real quick here- "Star Wars", and its illegitimate offspring our "missile defense" are possibly the largest direct theft of public money in history.
And the perpetrators KNOW it's theft. Find me, please ONE genuine - INDEPENDENT physicist who thinks it can be made to work. Just ONE. So far as I know- there are none, only a few who are wholly owned by the companies raking in the dough. Sorry; they don't count.
For those of you not familiar with the Maginot Line - it's fabulous history. Basically a bunch of thieves in pre- WWII France sold them on the idea of an impenetrable line of fortresses facing Germany to keep the Germans out. Total defense! Impenetrable! Billions and billions of francs spent on concrete, railroads, bunkers and guns. Absolute safety!
So what did the Germans do? Uh. Went around, through Belgium and the Netherlands; which had no fortresses facing them, because the French weren't scared of them. Took the Germans- 5 days.
Gosh, that was hard to see coming. You needed like... a map of Europe, to see it.
The "missile defense" is exactly the same thing. It CANNOT be made to work, and provide "safety." CANNOT. Physics.
So; you're going to shoot down a missile; with another one. First thing the opponent does is; for every missile YOU have- he launches- two. You add more- he adds more. You can shoot down only half of what's coming in - he wins, you lose.
This is an un-winnable proposition. And, worse- the other guy doesn't even have to build two missiles to your one- turns out, all you need to do is launch DECOYS. The attacking missile can "split" after launch, into multiple supposed warheads. So they put 10 POSSIBLE missiles up for every one defensive missile.
Physicists have been pointing this out forever. It's bloody obvious. It makes no difference- because the "defense" contractors want your money, and there are too many people in Congress who can't follow the physics.
Bush has been spending $10 Billion/year on this nonsense, since he got in. Clinton could have killed it- and didn't. What could we do with $10 Billion a year- for - jeez, pick anything.
Now- read my comment here on DotEarth: comment #20. Note the time.
Then; read this from the BBC- 8 hours later.... Missile Defence Works, Says Gates..
"This operation speaks for itself" - he says.
Thanks for making that clear, Mr. Gates. Now we know who you really are.
Something else for us to scream at our Congresspersons. You can cite the Union of Concerned Scientists, if they don't find ME totally convincing.
sigh. hang in there.