Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Star Wars Comes of Age

Independent author and journalist Mark Hertsgaard is a San Francisco liberal who does frequent work for The Nation and PBS. I stopped reading his latest alarmist screed about global warming when he claimed carbon dioxide is the most prominent greenhouse gas. That role belongs to water vapor. This is not the first time Hertsgaard is wrong.
PBS 1996 Interview: Star Wars is, I think, the perfect example of the idiocies of the Palace Court Press. You've got a situation where Bob Dole in order to get the Republican nomination has got to pass the right wing test, and they believe in Star Wars, and have ever since Ronald Reagan. And there's a problem with this, which is that all of the physicists who studied it have concluded, not only is this system utterly impossible now, but there's no reason to think that it will ever be possible. We are talking about levels of technical sophistication that are just aeons away. That's why in 1987, the American Physics Society said, "It's going to be ten years before we can even know whether this will ever be possible."
It has been 23 years since Reagan made what came to be known as his Star Wars Speech proposing antimissile missiles. Ever since then the democrats, for whatever reasons, have tried to convince the public that problems with complex physics are beyond the reach of American know how. As usual, they were wrong.
Star Wars Now: Remember the scoffing when Ronald Reagan first proposed a ballistic missile defense? A typical example: in 1985 an aide to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin, the Wisconsin Democrat, announced, "Star Wars research is an imprudent use of taxpayers' dollars. By continuing it, we're essentially throwing money into a bottomless pit."

Hat Tip DANEgerus: This test occurred last November, and was the sixth successful missile interception out of seven attempts. Of course, American attention is currently focused on Iran, which is both building a nuclear warhead and lying about it at the same furious clip, and which has successfully tested its medium-range Shahab 3 missile. North Korea, which has fired a Taepo Dong 1 missile over Japan, is just as dangerous. Less attention is being paid to the antidote: the Pentagon's success in anti-missile tests, and its current and on-going deployment of systems that will knock out enemy missiles.
I always thought if Reagan named this an anti-asteroid missile system he would have captured the imagination of every dinosaur fascinated grade school kid.