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U.S. Downing of Iran Air Flight 655

July 09, 1988

We heard the news of 290 innocent civilians who faced a horrifying death over the Strait of Hormuz on the day we celebrated our nation's independence. How tragically ironic.

As a society we've become more dependent than ever on technology. Just as the passengers aboard the Iranian airliner had to have faith in an unknown Aegis system (one of our "most sophisticated") which mistook their huge plane for a tiny F-14, our own lives depend on an incomprehensible maze of defense technology which, at the slightest malfunction, could trigger the obliteration of life on this planet.

Since machines are increasingly entrusted to make our battle decisions for us, it's up to the people who build them, buy them, and use them to begin taking more responsibility for them. It's high time for a second American revolution--one that takes place in the mind. We can't reverse technological progress, but we must crush the blind, religious, and suicidal faith we presently place in it.

Until then, we're living in a nation where our economy, our foreign relations, and our lives depend completely upon fallible military technology, and an evidently corrupt Pentagon. Not exactly my definition of a free country.

DOUGLAS PRAY

Los Angeles

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