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PEACE: Foreign Policy & Terrorism | Ca. October 15, 1986


An Open Letter to Elected Officials 

A tragic flaw in the "Star Wars" plan has been generally overlooked.

Even if the Soviets did not execute a First Strike against the United States before the installation of this defensive system over America and her allies (which purportedly would virtually render Soviet strategic missiles useless and their nation, thus, defenseless), even if the sensitive Star Wars technology developed were shared with the Soviets (which American military experts warn against), even if this "shield" were over 90% effective (which would be impossible to guarantee but which would be needed to definitely prevent a "Nuclear Winter", in which nuclear firestorm smoke would probably produce such darkness and coldness as to cause the extinction of our species worldwide), even if Star Wars could defend against low-flying Soviet cruise missiles (which no one even implies), and even if the personal delivery of nuclear devices by foreign terrorists could be prevented (which seems impossible, given our intensive but generally unsuccessful attempts at stopping even peaceful illegal aliens violating our extensive borders), the United States would still be as vulnerable to a Soviet nuclear threat as today!

The leaders in the Kremlin, not noted for their compassion or respect for human rights, could simply threaten their own peoples with a direct nuclear attack (not necessitating the use of the intercontinental or even intermediate-range missiles that Star Wars could defend against); and by threatening to execute "patriotic" nuclear blasts throughout their nation (the most expansive on Earth), they would in effect threaten the human population of the entire world with annihilation, because of the resultant worldwide devastation, from such scientifically possible, probable, or definite effects as a Nuclear Winter; the drift of fallout; or the destruction of Earth's vital, ultraviolet-light-screening atmospheric "umbrella" of ozone.

Modern nuclear military strategy is indeed perverted: In our "M.A.D." era, of Mutual Assured Destruction, not only is attacking one's enemy tantamount to committing suicide but also committing suicide is tantamount to attacking one's enemy!

"Sword and Shield" analogies are outmoded; and to spend a penny (let alone the proposed tens of billions of dollars) on such a militarily useless, yet destabilizing system as Star Wars, especially during this age of unprecedented, enormous, economy-threatening Federal budget deficits, especially at the expense of humanistic and other peace-promoting activities, is patently insane and obscene!

Additionally, in this era in which the U.S. has enough nuclear weaponry to kill every person on the planet many times over, we already have plenty of other, less expensive but more substantial "bargaining chips", for arms talks; and you can bet that the Soviet leaders know it! I'm sure they'd love to see us bankrupt ourselves on such schemes as Star Wars...which, as demonstrated above, would not change the balance of terror in the world -- perhaps that is why their "gambit" is to express in public such "concern" over it, or perhaps the Soviet leadership is as foolish as it is power-hungry.

In any case, Star Wars is science fiction!

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