[lit-ideas] Re: Hitchens on Moore's flick

  • From: Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Robert Paul)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 02 Jul 2004 11:17:39 PDT

Eric posted the address of some more 'reading for [me] to scoff at.' I went to
the site and read it carefully, looking for evidence that Clinton had 'sold MIRV
technology to the Chinese.' The topic was not even addressed. (The Heritage
Foundation, is, as these things go, a moderate organization, moderate compared
with some. 

In this article, MIRV technology is considered in light of 'China's emerging
missile threat' (the setting is the late 1990s). Clinton is accused of adhering
too closely to existing treaties, not of malfeasance, corruption, duplicity, or

Eric has now shifted the subject from his original claim to the broader topic of
China's missile capabilities vis-a-vis the US. His original claim was the one I
challenged him on. 

As for wanting MIRV technology (if you're uncertain about just what this is,
Eric will explain it to you), one reason the Chinese may have wanted it (aside
from national pride, paranoia, wanting to keep up with the world's greatest
superpower) is that it would have countered the obscenely expensive and
embarrasingly unworkable Star Wars program, a favorite of Conservative patriots
for years. Why would the Chinese have wanted that? Because they were suspicious
of the US, and unwilling to give US first-trike capability.  

Could it be that Clinton was trying to save us from ourselves? Could this be why
this single distortion sticks in the minds of True Believers? (Just kidding.)

Let me repeat. 'The Chinese wanted Western missile technology' does not entail
'Clinton sold MIRV technology to the Chinese.' Not only is the latter claim
false, it is meaningless. Changing the subject is, I grant, a common form of

From the Heritage site

'A defensive response would be the most effective way to address the China's
emerging missile threat. Doing so, however, would require that the existing
program to develop and test the Navy Theater-Wide missile defense system be
accelerated and expanded. The system should be upgraded to make it capable of
intercepting long-range missiles in their ascent phase, before individual
warheads and decoys could be released. Responding to the missile threat from
China also requires that the Clinton Administration's decision in 1993 to cancel
the space-based interceptor development program be reversed. This system, when
deployed, would have an inherent capability to defend against long-range
missiles in the boost phase.

'The problem is that the Clinton Administration, *because of its policy of
observing the now-defunct ABM Treaty*, is effectively blocking much-needed
progress in both programs. In the case of space-based interceptors, the
Administration has no program whatsoever. The alarming developments regarding
China's use of U.S. nuclear and missile technology to modernize its strategic
forces means there is no time to waste. The United States urgently needs to
develop and deploy both the Navy Theater-Wide and space-based interceptor
systems to address the emerging threat from China, or it runs the risk of being
blackmailed by China with missiles designed with stolen U.S. technology.'

Is this is meant to be evidence supporting Eric's initial claim, the claim that
several of us questioned? The subtext here is that Clinton sold MIRV 

Robert Paul
The Reed Institute

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