[thechat] Your Opinion is Required

Chris Marsh chrism at puffofsmoke.net
Tue May 28 17:53:09 CDT 2002

> Although, this forum is not appropriate for any survey but I
> just want your opinions on a political issue. Reply without
> any fear of opposition from me unless you ask for any further
> response to you from my side.

There in no shame in healthy debate. It's when individuals stoop to ad
hominem attacks and sophistry in place of rhetoric that discussions

> Q 1.        What do you think about thousands of ballistic
> missiles and
> nuclear weapons which are in possession of USA, UK, France,
> Russia and China?

The straight answer to this is that I don't think about them very much.
Neither do I think about the threat of traffic death,
antibiotic-impervious TB strains, road-rage attacks, male rape,
terrorist bombings, quicksand or spontaneous combustion. Nuclear weapons
come in at about 404 in the list of "things that directly threaten me,
mine and derivative works". Worry? I don't bother worrying about things
that I cannot change; and don't kid yourself, we cannot change this
particular situation with conventional methods. Fear? If I was afraid of
ICBMs just think of my mental state by the time I got through being
afraid of the other 403 issues on my list. Moral outrage? I have none
left over after encountering pure evil everywhere around me every day of
my life.

> Q 2.        Are these powers of the world justified to possess such
> amount of such destructive weapons?

That's a matter of semantics. By definition they *are* justified, as the
powers that implement them justify them to the individuals who vote for
their leadership. Can *I* justify their existence? Yes. They are a
deterrent, and the fact that the technology is available, there have
been many wars *since* the technology has been available, and no one has
yet used them indicates that it is a successful deterrent. Do I *want*
to justify their existence? No, but by nature humans are curious. No
doubt even more fearsome weapons will be developed which will render
ICBMs obsolete. The dark side of knowledge is that once gained, it
cannot be lost. It is inherited, and as such needs no regime of
discipline to implement. Think what the world would be like if a
champion martial artist's son could inherit his physical skills with
none of the mental training that his father went through to attain them.
That to me sums up destructive technology.

> Q 3.        Why do these countries prohibit other countries to have
> these weapons when they have these with their own-selves?

That's simple logic. The justification globally for possession of ICBMs
is defensive. If you wish to defend yourself from something or someone,
you try and maintain greater strength. You would not campaign for
legalisation of firearms in the home only to campaign for legalisation
of firearms for burglars, "to even things up a bit".

> Q 4.        If these powers think that other countries are
> non-sense to
> have such weapons then do these powers have any sense; if we
> observe their character in world community?

Politics, lies, sophistry... It's all down to power. A single man cannot
be powerful without another man to have power over. If you bring in the
second man, he *must* be weaker than the first man in order for the
first man to have power. That's all the arms race is, multiplied many
times over. The character of certain nations (or the men who claim to
represent them) has nothing to do with it.

> Q 5.        Will there be any threat to world peace if small countries
> start their own space program for scientific researches?

World peace will be under no threat. We may see catastrophes of hitherto
unseen proportions, but world peace will remain intact. It would take a
confrontation between two "super-powers" to threaten world peace. Even
then I'm not sure that "world peace" would be under threat for any
considerable period of time. I believe everyone would die, or the
situation would be resolved within a comparitively short period of time.
Either you eat the world or the world eats you, and either way is fine
by me[0].

> I realize that Q 4 is a little bitter but there are many
> opposing voices for these powers and their destructive
> weapons. Fourth question represents some of those voices.

Don't lose sight  of the fact that these weapons are killing or harming
no one. It is a threat, a potential disaster. Atrocities have been
perpetrated in the Balkans that make nuclear weapons pale into
insignificance for me. I arrived in Macedonia last year the same day
that the British and US embassies evacuated all non-essential staff. The
Albanians were ambushing and torturing Macedonian soldiers. I saw a
couple of Macedonians on television who had been kidnapped, tortured and
raped. The attackers had carved their initials in huge letters into
their backs as a constant reminder, and then dumped them. I saw images
of Macedonian soldiers who had been captured, slit open abdominally,
their torsos filled with petrol and then lighted while they were still
alive. Don't even get me started on Serbia. And this merited a few
columns over a few days in the broadsheets in the UK. It's *all*
politics, and it's *all* spin. I could go on about this kind of thing,
but this is not the time or place, and I only included this information
for illustrative purposes.

> Remember! Each opinion will have a great importance for me so
> don't forget to post.
> If you belong to any of above mentioned five countries then
> please don't mind the questions. In politics, there are
> always some oppositions. These questions are not my personal.
> These are those questions which are raised in many political
> forums in small countries.

These are valid questions, my friend. You have no need to defend your
feelings or opinions. It is the way that feelings or opinions are
presented that may cause offense, not their very existence. Remember,
there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.

Please feel free to indulge in this type of debate with me on or off
list if you wish.


Chris Marsh

[0] Paraphrasing Stephen King, I don't recall which tale

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