Blog of Mass Distraction

Monday, January 24, 2005


Some of the details about President Bush's visit to Canada were revealed recently; specifically about his insistence on Canada cooperating with ballistic missile defense. Martin was hard pressed trying to get Bush to understand the majority of Canadians don't want ballistic missile defense. A little more disconcerting is that the Liberal government was quite willing to go along with missile defense before the election. There were talks with the US before, and the government was already moving in that direction when it agreed to allow NORAD rules to change to go along with the BMD plans. There's also been high level discussion back and forth between the two governments.1 I guess the crushing defeat to a minority wasn't expected back then given the landslide majorities that Chretien was able to win.
There are several arguments against missile defense, like the instigation of another arms race. While Russia still has a considerable military, China is the real growing tiger and it would certainly feel threatened by a missile defense shield. If there were a working North American missile defense shield, what would stop the US from launching missile attacks against others if it knew they couldn't attack back? Certainly saves on American soldier's lives...
But I'm going to be honest and say that that's not the main reason I oppose missile defense. Sure that is a reason, but it's not my main reason. Frankly, I just don't think missile defense is feasible. If a country can launch one missile at North America, what's to stop it from launching 10 missiles? And not all of them have to carry actual warheads. The success rate of missile defense is spotty at best and utterly ridiculous in reality. Shooting down a missile with another missile is a rather foolish presumption and the most recent test failure is only one more to add to a long list. Scientists have been ridiculing missile defense for years as a terrible waste of money. If a couple of missiles get past the shield carrying warheads, then what the hell is the point of spending billions of dollars for nothing? Think of what another billion for health care can do.

1. Talks began shortly after Martin took control between Defence Minister David Pratt and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.


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