Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Star Wars VII

Are you reading Mark Steyn? If not, why not? This is his take, from 2001, shortly after a successful missile defense test, on Reagan's SDI vision, Bush's actions, the liberal reaction against both anti-missile systems and in favor of the ABM treaty (with the defunct USSR) and more.

Naturally, there's a classic Steynism in there:

The politics of the Cold War have been precisely inverted: the bien-pensants in Europe and North America now want 'our children' to live under the shadow of the mushroom cloud for ever; conversely, the right-wing warmongers are the new unilateralists, determined to push ahead with a defensive system that will enable them to get rid of a vast chunk of their arsenals.

. . . On 14 July, science said an interceptor could shoot down an incoming missile. Science has yet to find anything proving a connection between the one-degree rise in temperature over the last century and that proportion of greenhouse-gas emissions for which Western industrial societyis responsible, nor anything to suggest that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions would reverse the modest warming trend. But, on the hunch that there just might be some connection, we're supposed to plunge the world into a massive global economic depression. On the other hand, missile defence is a delusion of the GOP's Dr Strangeloves. This is one reason why the Right has such a difficult job making its case: the politics of the Left is a secular religion, as impervious to rational, peerreviewed scientific truth as the most isolated Cargo Culters.

Twenty years ago, Ronald Reagan foresaw a missile defence shield. By contrast, [the left] foresaw a global population explosion, the exhaustion of the world's oil resources, and the melting of the polar ice caps. Whose crystal ball would you bet on? In Bonn this week the Rest of the World was meeting to 'rescue' Kyoto - not rescue their beloved planet, mark you; only one of their sacred texts, and even then there's not exactly a stampede to join Romania in actually ratifying it. Meanwhile, 144 miles over the Pacific, the Pentagon blew a warhead out of the sky. So who are the fantasists and who are the realists?

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