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Software Bug Causes Soyuz To Land Way Off 573

howhardcanitbetocrea writes "A mysterious software fault in the new guidance computer of the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft was the cause of the high-anxiety off-course landing over the weekend, according to NASA sources.' Which is why I will never trust the Strategic Defence Initiative - the star wars project. It only takes one line of mistyped code in what will always be a beta release."
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Software Bug Causes Soyuz To Land Way Off

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  • Mysterious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @09:55PM (#5887383) Homepage Journal
    Software faults are not mysterious -- people are ignorant.
  • ah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MattW ( 97290 ) <matt@ender.com> on Monday May 05, 2003 @09:57PM (#5887404) Homepage
    It only takes one line of mistyped code in what will always be a beta release.

    That's right. Better to have never tried at all than to try and fail, I always say.
  • by benna ( 614220 ) * <mimenarrator@g m a i l .com> on Monday May 05, 2003 @09:58PM (#5887411) Journal
    FUCK YOU!!! No I am not muslim but really thats out of line. Far worse than most trolls. I will not be a coward and post this under my name but please don't mod me down for this. Not asking to be modded up either but this guy deserved that.
  • by helix400 ( 558178 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:01PM (#5887441) Journal
    Talk about your flaming articles

    Its fine to discuss a bug in a new Russian guidance system...but to immediately jump into a hot political topic like the SDI star wars system and then vastly overgeneralize it with "It'll never work, because it relies on computers" shouldn't have any place in this story.
  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:02PM (#5887448) Journal
    "...high-anxiety off-course landing..."

    Any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing. Especially when you're talking about a manned re-entry vehicle.

    Lest we forget, the last time an Earth-bound crew were returning from space their orbiter disintegrated and all seven astronauts were killed. Landing a couple of hundred miles off course and having to wait two hours for groundside assistance is a small price to pay for a safe return.

  • Yawn (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:04PM (#5887463)
    "Which is why I will never trust the Strategic Defence Initiative - the star wars project."

    If it's our last line of defense.... and it is... we have no choice in the matter, do we? By the same token, I will never trust what you say. It only takes one non-sequitur to make you an idiot.
  • By your logic I will never drive my car again. It's got so many embedded controllers and runs so much code that I could never trust it. Plus, it was written by evil capitalists and isn't under the GPL, so it obviously can't be reliable.

    What total bullshit!
  • by Hao Wu ( 652581 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:10PM (#5887511) Homepage
    You sit behind a computer and critisize other computer people. You say things like, "Oh. Programmers sent our space men hurtling toward their firey grave."

    Look at the facts. Not one space man perished in this. Space men have only died in shuttle disasters, such as in 1986 and also a few months ago. Nobody died from this Russian misfortune. Every man is OK.

    Don't critisize so quickly, lest YOU get the same treatment.
  • Re:ah, right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vandan ( 151516 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:11PM (#5887520) Homepage
    The poster was referring to the problems associated with a software bug in Baby Bush's Star Wars project. In this case, failure could mean mass extinctions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:15PM (#5887561)
    If SDI was ever engaged, I would be more worried about the pending arrival of a nuclear warhead than the possibility of a software bug causing a laser to misfire...
  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:15PM (#5887562) Journal

    You'd think that in such operations, where you only ever get one chance, they would have the most error free systems possible.

    They do go to great lengths to remove the errors. In fact the Challenger investigation singled out the methods used for validating the shuttle's software as a model for the other parts of the program to follow in improving safety. Also, the article said that the backup system kicked in automatically and led to a safe, albeit off-target, landing. So in fact the overall system worked as expected.

    And as for the "big mistakes", it's very easy to point fingers afterward and boil a problem down to a catch phrase. However, engineers aren't idiots; almost all accidents involving spacecraft are a result of a long string of seemingly innocuous miscommunications, coincidences, and bad luck. Consider the story of the Ariane 5 [around.com], which was destroyed because of an overlooked feature in a piece of code reused from a smaller rocket. No software engineer can say that they haven't made a similar mistake.

  • Which is why... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:16PM (#5887569)
    Why lie like that? If your views on things controversial causes your knee to jerk given the slightest opportunity, why cloak your views in nonsense paranoia about software reliability? Shame? Really. Messed up Soviet era guidance is supposed to be a credible reason to not build a missile defense?

    If you have a problem with military spending, western arrogance, corporate corruption, capitalism, stupid Texan presidencies or whatever, then go find an appropriate forum for it and post there. Don't mess all over Slashdot with your crap.

  • Military research is a waste. What good does classified research do for us? Pay for intelligent people to work on problems, the solutions to which we'll only see when it is deamed irrelevent... that's not a smart deal.
  • by cranos ( 592602 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:44PM (#5887752) Homepage Journal
    I hate to say this but Military Research has led to some of the biggest break throughs in our life time. Without the V1 and V2 rockets we wouldn't have had Saturn 5, Satelites, Velcro, Microwave ovens, High Strenght Materials, Computers, the Internet all can be traced back to military research.
  • by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:46PM (#5887765) Homepage Journal
    Which is why I will never trust the Strategic Defence Initiative

    And yet, you think I would want to put all my trust the sanity of other world leaders to not fire nuclear weapons at the U.S.?

    There is nothing unsafe about a defensive nuclear missle. The key term here is "defence initiative". If the worst case scenerio happens that a weapon is fired at the U.S. at least there is some better chance of attacking the missle before it reaches the U.S. instead of sitting back watching the light show.

    I don't understand why people doubt the technological capability of scientists and engineers to create a defensive system. With the amazing advancements in computers and science, this is just another advancement in technology.
  • Re:ah, right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:46PM (#5887772)
    "The point is you can never test SDI"

    Yea you can. You know what decoys the US uses, you have intel on what the Russians use and therefore what the Chinese use. By knowing the throw-weight of the DPRK warhead, the range of the missile and the weight of the missile you can figure out how many decoys the DRPK have.

    Then you mockup a Minuteman II out at Vandenberg the way you expect the OpFor's bird is and fly it, you take that data and compare it to known parameters on your SDI systems and you start making up senarios.

    Saying that it won't work because we don't know what they'll do is like saying an F-15C with AIM-120s can't shoot down a MiG-29 with AA-10s the first time they meet because we don't know what the MiG's capabilities are.

  • by AHumbleOpinion ( 546848 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:47PM (#5887776) Homepage
    Military research is a waste

    Nearly everything researched is a dual use technology, much of it is directly applicable to the space program. Even with the time needed for a technology to become declassified we are most likely receiving that technology earlier than a pure civilian market would have provided it.

    Secondly, if we did not have military research and only spent money on 'peace' we would soon be taken over by 'less enlightened' folks.
  • by howhardcanitbetocrea ( 671190 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @10:58PM (#5887851)
    I guess the point wasa little subtle for you, but it was that if we can't bring back a spacecraft (done hudreds of times now) successfully, do you really have faith in a software system's ability to shoot down an incoming missile without having ever been used in anger before. Of course, I guess if they get the testing right and it it DOES manage to shoot down one incoming missile, you better hope the baddies of the moment only decide to shoot one missile at a time and not 50 or 100 or...
  • by MondoMor ( 262881 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @11:14PM (#5887938) Homepage Journal
    Hello you pedantic, arrogant ass. If you did any research, you'd find that this is the first landing of this model Soyuz spacecraft, so this software is new.

    I'm assuming your tone is because Slashdot is hiring new "editors" and you're trying to show how well you can act like one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2003 @11:35PM (#5888080)
    Why is it all the news stories recently in the US press recently seem to have a dismissive, almost mocking, view of the Russian space programme? Words like primative, old technology, not as advanced as American keep coming up over and over again. The Russians have vastly more experience in manned space flight than the Americans and arguably a much better success ratio. It pisses me off the "American must be better" attitude you see in the western press these days. They should remember who it is keeping the whole ISS alive while the shuttle isn't around.
  • Re:Mysterious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shadowbearer ( 554144 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @11:36PM (#5888084) Homepage Journal

    There's a HUGE difference between the Patriot's capabilities and the capabilities needed for SDI. The Patriot does OK (sorta) at intercepting short range ballistic missiles, but would be very unlikely to intercept a suborbital ballistic.

  • by helix400 ( 558178 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @11:57PM (#5888215) Journal
    I guess the point wasa little subtle for you, but if we can't bring back a spacecraft successfully...do you really have faith in a software system's ability to shoot down an incoming missile...

    Your point was an editorial opinion. This is Slashdot, "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." Slashdot is a place for summaries and links to news stories...but not these politically left/right wing or ignorant opinions of news stories.

    Really, would Slashdot be a great site if all you saw were stories like these?

    Anthrax Genes Mapped
    xeroxman writes "The BBC reports that scientists have mapped out the genes that make up anthrax. Personally, I find this scary. Mother Nature never intended for us to gain the knowledge of what makes diseases so deadly. This could easily fall into the wrong hands."

    Georgia Plans For More Broadband
    southener writes "According to the Atlanta journal, the state government is spending $500 million to lay fiber to more cities. Ya, great plan Georgia...what a waste of money. 20% of the state's population lives in poverty. I'll never vote for those Democrats again."

    Linus Turns Up Dead
    An anonymous coward writes "Sad news today. Linus Torvalds was found dead on the side of I-5 outside of Oakland. No other details as of yet. We can only hope that Christians won't make this more painful for us all by saying he's now living in this magical "heaven" place..."
  • by WegianWarrior ( 649800 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @12:38AM (#5888404) Journal

    "We" are not the Russians. We don't hold airlocks shut with a c-clamp, for example.

    If it is stupid and it works... it ain't stupid. While many people joke about the apperantly lowtech russian spaceprogram, they seem to forget a few things.. like the fact that the russians operate on a shoe-string budget, that they have, for a lot less money, spendt a lot more time in space, that Mir - which a lot of people seem to dis these days - was up there there and operating for more than twice its intended lifespan...

    But you're right... "we" (or rather you) are not the russians - but you might learn a few things from them when it comes to operations in space.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @12:54AM (#5888471)
    True the american press is retarded and they are writing about what they do not understand. If the russian equipement is primitive so is the American stuff. The russians are so impressive because of the feats they accomplish. Soviet engineers build in 90% the features and quality for 10% of the money. Look at the space program, if anything we should study them to be more cost effective. We spent money to design a space pen the Russians used a pencil. Just remember the Soviets discovered the futility of a space shuttle, we still have not, we are focusing on expanding it.
  • by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @01:10AM (#5888563)
    "And yet, you think I would want to put all my trust the sanity of other world leaders to not fire nuclear weapons at the U.S.?"

    I think I may be able to ease your mind about this a bit. Here try this exercize.

    Take a piece of paper and draw a line going down the middle (vertically). On the left hand side make a list of all the countries that have nuclear weapons. On the right hand list all the countries that have actually used nuclear weapons in war.

    Now state at that paper for a few minutes till it sinks in.
  • Re:Mysterious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @01:17AM (#5888591)
    They don't have to worry, by their logic, bugs in the software for the ICBM's will cause them to land so far off course that the SDI won't have to knock em' down anyway ;-)

    I see the smiley, but I'll respond seriously anyway: ICBMs work, they've been tested for decades. SDI needs to intercept 100% of incoming warheads, and also cope wth countermeasures such as dozens of dummy "warheads", chaff, simultaneous attacks on the observation satellites, etc. If 100 warheads were launched with 100 megaton warheads, and only one or two got through, you'd lose at least 10 milion people. If 10 got through prepare to live in Mad Max country.

  • by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @01:28AM (#5888632)
    And yet, you think I would want to put all my trust the sanity of other world leaders to not fire nuclear weapons at the U.S.?

    Yes, I want you to put your trust into the general sanity of other nations. Not "all" your trust, but enough trust not to hunker like a paranoid xenophobe under some supposedly impenetrable shield. And not "all" nations--there are going to be rogue nations. And the US should put sufficient trust in the rest of the world that if the US were to be attacked, alliances like NATO would come to their help.

    Even without SDI and without international help, the US has more than enough power for a devastating retaliatory strike.

    What is happening right now is that US actions are increasingly removed from consequences: the US doesn't have to worry about what anybody else thinks. Bombing Iraq makes France unhappy? Too bad. Threatening North Korea displeases China? Who gives a damn. Iranians are worried about a US invasion? Well, get used to it. Nations are worried about getting flooded because of global warming? We don't care because we don't have to.

    In the end, that approach is doomed to failure. No matter how "safe" (i.e., totalitarian) the US becomes internally, it will remain vulnerable to terrorism. And despite all its military power, ultimately, the US stands and falls with its economy, and the US ultimately can't employ its military force without destroying that.

    Americans need to think long and hard about the consequences of their foreign policy decisions, or America is heading for disaster. And a feeling of vulnerability is part of that. Without it, the US will just keep making bad decisions until it's too late.

  • by sigwinch ( 115375 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @01:30AM (#5888637) Homepage
    Military research is a waste.
    Nuclear power, the magnetron, guidance systems, nitinol (nickel titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory; a.k.a. memory metal), antidotes for acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, vaccines for a variety of horrible diseases, protocols that revolutionized emergency medicine in the '70s, demining research and development, vast improvements in cryptography, spread spectrum radio, countless advances in metallurgy, etc.
    What good does classified research do for us?
    Nothingk, comrade! Is plot by capitalist pig-dogs to take means of production away from ... uh ... I get back to you.
  • Re:SDI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sigwinch ( 115375 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @02:07AM (#5888756) Homepage
    It's all about the threat model.
    As everyone knows, SDI cannot stop terrorists from flying planes into buildings, using suitcase nuclear weapons, launching missiles from off-shore platforms, etc, etc.
    But lots of nations don't destroy for the hell of it, they do things for a purpose. Consider a nation like the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. They don't want nukes so they can carry out an attack. Actually attacking would put them at the sharp end of a very pointy stick. Not even the Glorious Leader is that stupid. What they need is to create an unmistakable threat of an attack, in order to extract concessions.

    A suitcase nuke or an offshore platform doesn't create a sustainable threat. If you advertise a suitcase nuke, it gets taken away. If you don't advertise it, you don't get concessions. If you actually use it, not only don't you get concessions, but the Marines get sent in back home. Ditto for an offshore platform.

    What you have to do is create a credible, sustainable threat, which means nuclear ballistic missiles in your own territory. That raises the bar high enough that the US will (probably) leave you alone as long as you don't actually launch.

    But consider what happens if the US and allies have a missile shield with an 83% failure rate. 83% is terrible, right? Wrong. It means the enemy has to play Russian roulette to make that threat. If they win, the peasants get a little more food or heating oil. If they lose, the Marines spread them out on a cracker and eat them as a snack. Even a crappy missile defense system makes a huge difference in the strategic balance.

    It also makes a big difference in an all out nuclear exchange between major powers. 83% losses is vastly better than 100% losses.

  • by broken_bones ( 307900 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @02:07AM (#5888759)
    I think it would be unfair to single out the United States in the way you suggest. If Britain, Russia (USSR), France, Germany or Japan had possed nuclear weapons during the second world war do you think they would have hesitated to use them? We must remember that the human carnage in WWII was imense. Russia alone lost literally millions of people. Given that do you think they really would have cared about killing a few hundred thousand of the enemy's citizens? When Japan or Germany were facing their ultimate demise do you think that they would have hesitated to use a nuclear weapons if they had them?

    Debating whether using the bomb was the right thing to do or not is fine. However I don't think that a case can be made that the US is somehow "worse" or "different" than anyone else for using nuclear weapons. Had any other nation possesed the bomb at that time I don't think they would have hesitated to use it.
  • by Vicegrip ( 82853 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @02:55AM (#5888909) Journal
    The best nuclear weapon shield will be hard put at defending itself against an attack that uses brute force to overcome it.

    I couldn't believe my ears a few weeks ago when I heard Richard Perle making the amazing claim that the U.S. would always be safe having a shield because no other country in the world would ever have the technology/money to build one themselves.

    It is an act of stupid arrogance to believe that the U.S. will always have superior technology compared to the other powers in the word-- I'm sure the Romans thought their military engines would protect them forever too.

    Further, one only needs see how just how sensitive and volatile high tech has been in the last few years during times of economic difficulty. Our innovation is tightly tied to economic growth. In three years we've seen massive reversals in the tech industry. Is it not incomprehensibly foolish to fail to consider the possiblity that one day the U.S. won't be the world's bastion of growth or technological progress?

    Indeed, the pillars of today's technology: IBM, Microsoft, Sun etc... already farm out technological work to 3rd world countries around the world-- ideed, the U.S. doesn't even manufacturer a large part of the electronic components it uses.

    I despair that, even though the U.S. absolutely crushed an army once ranked 5th in the world, we're still getting told we need more military protection, more spending in weapons research, and a big shield to protect us from their nasty missles--- this when arms races have universally shown themselves to be precursors to major warfare throughout the history of mankind.

    We don't need more military. We need competent politicians of principle and vision who can think beyond warfare to solve the problems of the world.
  • by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @03:23AM (#5888982)
    Maybe you are right but then again maybe you are wrong. I don't think you can even pretend to know what others would have done if they had the chance. Certainly it wasn't long after we dropped our bombs that other countries obtained theirs, they had many chances to use them since then and did not do so.

    "When Japan or Germany were facing their ultimate demise do you think that they would have hesitated to use a nuclear weapons if they had them?"

    When Saddam Hussein was facing his ultimate demise he did not use weapons of mass destruction even though he is a madmen.

    "However I don't think that a case can be made that the US is somehow "worse" or "different" than anyone else for using nuclear weapons."

    I think the case can be made. Japan was looking to surrender when we bombed them. They had let the US know of that fact too. We decided to bomb them anyway because we wanted an unconditional surrender and we wanted to humilitate them. Also we chose to bomb a city. We could have dropped a bomb on tokyo bay to demonstrate our power but we wiped out a city instead.

    Finally after seeing what our bomb could do, and before giving them a chance to surrender we bombed another city. Now that act was an inexcusable crime against humanity. Maybe you can hem, haw, rationalize, and finagle an excuse for the first bomb but there is no rational case for the second one.
  • by FredThompson ( 183335 ) <fredthompson@min ... ng.com minus bsd> on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @05:09AM (#5889234)
    yoru first comment, I can't be too direct about this but I'll try to explain with an example you can test yourself. Some ATM machines have a time delay mechanism when they eject the user's card. If the card sits in the reader too long, it is pulled back in and the account locked until a bank person resets everything. That's an example of hardware enforcing procedure. Initiating a national asset weapons includes a series of steps, personal actions and hardware requirements that must be done in a specific order for it to work.

    Uh...which generation of Pattiot? Do you know what it was originally designed to do? Scud-busting was an admitted quick hack.

    The current generation, used in Iraq the past month, did do what it was supposed to. The jets it knocked down failed IFF interrogation so that makes them targets.

    wrt, falling debris. Well, duh. Why wouldn't that exist and have a potential to create soem kind of damage? If something's in the air and it blows up, pieces fall down. That's true of everything. Heck, I shot a duck once and shot came back to Earth, so did the dead duck.

    The assumption that "SDI" is only effective during what is considered a boost phase only makes sense if you think it's impossible to detect/track/target/destroy MIRVs. As far as being more difficult to destroy during the re-entry phase, why? Wouldn't they be generating a lot of heat? Might be easier to detect then?

    Why assume a missile would be an alley-oop, over the top lob and not a low-flying cruise?

    wrt test firings of ICBMs, sure LAUNCH was tested under very controlled conditions. Those only flew a short distance, were unarmed, and flew west from the California coast. Find a map that shows magnetic anomalies. AFAIK, none have been fired over the North Pole. That's a heck of a lot different than crews in the field knowing they have real weapons and the only launch orders that come in that environment are real. So...they haven't been "tested" as much, in that regard, as you might think.

    SDI, the term, is a little outdated and if you try to limit it to 20-year-old concepts and technologies, you'll be misleading yourself.

    Everything about the moon program was NOT civilian and was NOT publicly available. It still isn't.

    There were some intercepts that were faked during the Reagan era. Heck of a payoff those had, huh? Soviet Union collapsed because they knew they couldn't compete. In that regard, the system WAS successful. (Sun Tzu: the goal is to get the enemy to surrender without having to fight...) Same with those $600 toilet seats. ("Komrade, they have these huge money scandals and still completely outclass us, we can't compete.")

    I'm not excusing graft, just trying to illustrate a point.

    Lots of things were screwed up on the Bradley project, too. (There's a really cool movie about that, forget the name.) As I recall, the M-16 was also a real mess at first.

    Your conclusion has a number of statements for which you have no validation. It's based on a hypothetical future condition so, by definition, there's no way to state what the outcome will be. history has shown the exact opposite of what you claim to be true. Surface mount electronics, GPS, fiber optics, etc., etc., etc. all come from technologies the military needed. Why would anything based in space be different?

    FWIW, and I know this will irk anyone who has a dogmatic hatred of the military, the first real historic use machining tools and practices was to make uniform firearms. Everything came from that. So, basically, all the quality controla nd manufacturing processes we use, outside hand operations, trace their roots to military needs.
  • Re:Mysterious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @11:02AM (#5891118)
    If other nations knew they had to build hundreds of missiles, countermeasure systems, etc., to plausibly threaten the United States, we might have a lot less of them trying to build those 10.

    Anyone who does can spend an extra 10% on measures to defeat SDI. For instance metallic balloons the same shape as warhead look exactly the same on radar and cost pocket change.

    Actually, at the present and for the foreseeable future, NOBODY (new; not including China and Russia who already have the capability) is trying to build a strategic missile force that threatens the US. This isn't something that you can do in the Dr Evil fashion, it's not something you can do in secret any more. The CIA had no credible threats on their reports till the Republicans changed the terms of reference to include the most unlikely threats that had been previously discounted. Thus the military-industrial complex gets an enormous porkbarrel to gorge on for decades to come.

    If the US spent 5% of what it is proposed to spend on this futile SDI on altruistic aid programs they would eliminate enemies and threats much more reliably and permanently than engaging in another arms race and escalating tensions. Isolationism behind an impenetrable magic shield is just a fantasy.

    No national leader is going to launch a ballistic missile attack now, for the same reason no one did in the last 50 years, because it's at best a Pyrrhic victory. Saddam didn't use his "WMD", if he ever had any, even though he was in the most desperate situation imaginable. Kim Jong Il is playing games to get food, everyone know that. Terrorists would use other methods. You can deliver a bomb on a cargo ship, have it detonate in a harbour and goodbye NY, SF, LA, etc.

  • Re:Mysterious? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by issachar ( 170323 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @11:28AM (#5891365) Homepage
    Actually, at the present and for the foreseeable future, NOBODY (new; not including China and Russia who already have the capability) is trying to build a strategic missile force that threatens the US

    Uh, have you been paying attention the last few months? Korea has said they already have a nuclear weapon and are developing more. They are also developing long range missiles and working on extending them. They are currently able to strike the state of California. They have also said that they will consider any act by the US such as trade sanctions and act of war that would merit a full response. This would include sanctions for violating the treaty that the Koreans signed with Clinton that promised not to develop nukes in exchange for food and fuel.

    Now what about these facts would lead you to conclude that nobody new is trying to build a strategic missile force that threatens the US? Please note that I am not arguing that SDI is a great idea or that it is a bad idea, but simply pointing out that your argument seems to fly in the face of the observable facts.

  • Re:Mysterious? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lamz ( 60321 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2003 @12:16PM (#5891919) Homepage Journal
    If the US spent 5% of what it is proposed to spend on this futile SDI on altruistic aid programs they would eliminate enemies and threats much more reliably and permanently than engaging in another arms race and escalating tensions. Isolationism behind an impenetrable magic shield is just a fantasy.

    No. The fantasy is thinking that sworn enemies of the U.S.A., and the West in general, can be bought. I give them more credit than that. When they say that they want to destroy us all, I believe them. Why don't you? Don't you think that enemies of the West are honourable, at least to the extent that they mean what they say?

    Building SDI is a reasonable response to unreasonable, but very plausible, threats.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.