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'SDI Makes Moral Sense'

March 08, 1987

In making his "moral argument" for SDI, Coffey speaks of a just-war philosophy and the limitation of war. These concepts may have meaning when dealing with comparatively harmless conventional weapons, but the idea of "limiting" nuclear war is absurd.

Indeed, in a "limited" nuclear exchange, I don't believe the thousands of people residing near ground zero would discern the difference between this acceptable "limited" nuclear exchange and a full-scale nuclear holocaust. "Thank goodness this is just a limited holocaust, Martha!"

The attempt to draw a parallel between Britain's defense against World War II bombers and SDI is ludicrous. In the 1930s, the British had no choice. The bombers were coming. They built up the Royal Air Force and heroically defended their country. But some bombs got through. The destruction these simple explosives caused was terrible.

Now, in Coffey's mind, SDI will play the role of the RAF, limiting the number of successful incoming missiles to a small percentage of the total missiles launched, thereby saving the day. Right? Would Coffey have us put nuclear warheads in the same category as World War II buzz bombs? What of the bombs that get through?

In this day of global unrest the biggest mistake we could make would be to be lulled into a false sense of security by SDI. The technology simply does not exist, and never will, to make SDI 100% foolproof.

A sad example of what can go wrong with technology was the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Should we rely on this same technology as our sole protection against nuclear destruction?

Today we do have a choice. We can trust in this god, technology, prolong the arms race indefinitely, and accept the probability of "limited" nuclear war down the road. Or we can abandon this grim SDI fairy tale and start trusting in people and ideas to solve our problems.



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