The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Joy Dworkin Letter 10/06/04

Dear Editor,

As I write this, the administration is expected to announce deployment of a new national missile defense system. The announcement may make Americans feel safer, but investigation reveals that deployment is a classic instance of "shoot, ready, aim." Kerry supported testing and development of the system, but the administration went ahead with full funding (30 billion dollars have been spent, and another 50 billion allocated). Experts within the military community have strongly argued for further tests. Philip Coyle, the top Pentagon weapons evaluator throughout the 1990’s, labels the system’s effectiveness "nil" (his word); others say the system has at most a one in five chance of intercepting a missile.

Deployment at this stage appears to be yet another example of this administration’s lack of forthrightness and forethought on issues of national security--e.g., lack of proper planning for winning the peace, misleading us about WMD’s, and inadvertently fermenting new terrorists. (In contrast, a Kerry bill introduced before 9/11 wisely attacks the money-laundering that enables terrorists; it has been praised and implemented by the administration.) The Bush/Cheney campaign consistently plays to American fears. But to be truly tough on terror, we also need smart and effective strategies.

Joy Dworkin


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