Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our New Maginot Line In Space!

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.

Hello?

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.

10 comments:

Meg said...

I forget when or how your blog found its way onto my reader, but I've been checking out your posts for a little bit now ...

... anyway when I read this post I about broke into applause in my living room. I would love to know who's benefiting from the massive amount of money we've spent on this crap. It's such a miserable idea. gah.

Val said...

Brilliantly put.
And in simple enough terms for all neo-cons to understand.

DC said...

MLK once remarked, "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." Now our guided missiles are even misguided -- they are pointed to a threat that can never be contained. If only we could redirect them to target our ignorance and greed.

"What could we do with $10 Billion a year?"

Well, that would pay for a whole month of the Iraq war. Or, we could spend it on nuclear power or something else equally as inane.

I would like to think that the next person in the White House will have more sense, but I am beginning to have doubts. Obama's recent remarks praising Ronald Reagan made me queasy to say the least.

I would be discouraged by all of this, but there is no point in that -- it won't make things better. My thought is that something larger than our human failings is operating behind the scenes to keep the world spinning. If it weren't, we would have already blown each other to bits many times over by now. I don't know if things will get better anytime soon, but we'll keep plodding along somehow.

Thanks for posting this, Greenpa. Maybe you could convince the Defense Department that organic produce will protect us from terrorists or something. Of course then the government would take your land by eminent domain and give it to Halliburton, so on second thought, maybe you had better not.

:-)

phrr said...

The missile defence system may or not protect us. That said The Maginot line was not a failure.The failure was one of leadership. The Maginot line was bult to direct an attacking german force north to what would be a constricted area easley defended from attack, to this point it worked great. the failure was of politcal and military leadership,an attitude of t want the glory for the coming great military victory thar we are about to achieve. What they achieved was complete inaction, and an successful invasion by the germans. The French evan then did not learn from their mistakes of all out partisanship,but continued with their bickering throughout the war. We need to take a serious look at this history as it seem we in the USA are headed down the same path. We are soreley in need of strong leadership, and their seems to be none in the offing.

Greenpa said...

I'm well aware of the arguments by some revisionist historians that the Maginot Line did actually "work" - and I find their arguments entirely unconvincing.

A) The Line was sold to the French taxpayers with the story that "this will protect us, completely, from the Germans".

B) It didn't.

C. There certainly WAS a massive failure of leadership there- nobody looked at a map. And/or, the ones who did, were shouted down.

It is commonly true that peacetime military advisors/leaders in democracies can be sadly incompetent- since they advancement tends to depend on BS and connections. Democracies can develop excellent military leaders- after they've had the crap beat out of them a few times in battle, and the incompetents are removed.

D. The Maginot Line DID actually do what it was REALLY designed to do- which was make some contractors very very rich. Our Missile Defense works- in exactly the same way.

Anonymous said...

All someone would have to do to get past the missile defense system would be to have a bomb delivered on a rusty old freighter. It is impossible to inspect even a fraction of the innumerable freight shipments entering the country each year.

Greenpa said...

Heavens, yes. We didn't even attempt here to cover all the other ways attacks could be made. Zillions.

Ok, you're a bad guy. Small, but ticked off. You've managed to get your hands on a small nuke- or some plutonium.

Just ask yourself this question:

What are you going to DO with it? Put it in a rocket? What rocket? Soviet surplus 30 years old? Locally developed missiles? Wanna cross your fingers and hope it actually works?

Or do you want the nuke actually DELIVERED, somehow? Sneaking it in is EASY - just hire any established smuggler to include it in his next shipment.

The whole thing is ridiculous- if you THINK about it- at all.

Tor Hershman said...

Gad, you’ve a most groovin’ blog.

I firstly surfed into your ‘Mel Brooks’ posting and thou spoke most factually.
However, there are a few exceptions, e.g., moi’s “The Little Bummer Boy” ruled the All Genres Chart at SoundLift for the first three weeks of ’08 and it DOES say something.
Of course, moi’s “The Lion Farts Tonght” was #1 for over six weeks.

Anywho, your right.....I never heard of “The Twelve Chars” but am a huge fan of “The Producers” AND “Blazing Saddles.”

Ahhhhh, moi still remembers, hence this wee tale, when upon that bleak winter day (or was it summer? ’66? 67?” Well, 60 something) when the Pittsburgh station WTAE?, WIIC? (Back then it was WIIC) broadcast “The Producers.”
I sat though much of the film, as did the Don Adams character at “Springtime For Hitler,” in amazingly joyous rapture.
The next week was aired “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” and this lad, in the Western PA. coal dump, t’were most impressed.

From your ‘16 points’ you really do practice what you preach but.....I would take exception to #16; oft times MANY people have no choice, i.e., Anne Frank, Sitting Bull, the passengers on Flight 007,etc.

The myth of total ‘choice’ in this wretched, ill empire is greatly exaggerated; I mean, Joseph Campbell t’were an excellent hisTORian, a wonderful speaker but a horribly quotidian philosopher.

The Universe is oft times quite amusing as I’ve now just read your latest blog post.
Wanna know where The Strategic Defense Initiative really came from?
Hint: It was NOT from The Strategically Dead Icon – Ronnie Raygoon.
"Someone" was ONLY trying to see exactly ‘how far’ their vox was traveling and expected to get no more than half a column, of page seven or eight, written by a semi-senile, retired general and/or senator (Note: ‘tor’ here is NOT capitalized)NOT the front page of every paper on Earth for three years.
That tale also ties into the
(un)reason why Raygoon changed his mind about making Marting Luther King’s birthday a National Hollowday, but, insisted it must be obbied on Jan. 20th.

Moi breaks into song
(To the tune of “The Fuehrer’s Face”)

When Weinberger says
“Our lasers make space safe”
we salute – salute – right in Wienberger’s face

There are more verses than that, too.

I shall now delve into other posts of your blog
but
for potty humor see moi’s “Bean A Poop” which answers the sphincter burning question –
“Where’s the Star Trek toilets.”
And – for other feces –
Moi’s – “AMEN (hotep IV, that is”.

Stay on groovin’ safari,
Tor

Anonymous said...

This is off-topic, but is this you?:
www.nytimes.com/2008/03/01/opinion/01hedin.html?em&ex=1204693200&en=4f0386d314947329&ei=5087%0A
"My Forbidden Fruits (and Vegetables)"
Okay, it's mean to ask because you keep anonymity, and I understand and generally support that. There are some really good reasons to keep internet anonymity. But the article made me think of you. And it made me sad.

Greenpa said...

Tor- welcome, and what a hoot.

Anon - nope, that's really not me; but he's not far away. Thanks! :-) I've had plenty of my own lousy experiences with the USDA, though.