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Re: <nettime> Armor, Amour
Michael Benson on 17 Mar 2001 22:53:10 -0000


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Re: <nettime> Armor, Amour


This thread is interesting, in the way these powerless discussions that
sometimes unfold can be interesting, even as decisions are made that are
so far from even referencing the popular will that they may as well be
taking place on Mount Olympus. I think everyone -- Jordan, Ted, Schultz --
brought some interesting views to it. But I would suggest that approaching
the subject through the prism of what this so-called defensive shield
_says_ it is (armor, old or new; protection; SDI, prophylactic or
otherwise) is fundamentally mistaken. This particular concept of
protection bears about as much interest in establishing an actual
functional strategic defense against missiles as the Bush governor's
office did in establishing the true will of the people of Florida in the
last presidential election. (The failure of _all_ the actual tests of the
incipient system, even the ones where they tweaked the odds in favor of
the intercepting missiles, was a notorious embarrassment in Washington
over the last few years. Add to that the well-documented accounts by
whistle-blowers from inside the defense industry, which attested to a
massive campaign of deception by the contractors that their technology was
working, and you have the makings of a fiasco much worse than the ongoing
one concerning that Marine Corps tilt-rotor aircraft the Osprey. You know
the one -- it has so far killed more Marines than have died in combat
since the bombing of that Beirut barracks in the early 80's). This is not
"less a shield and more a weapon," at least not according to the literal
dictionary definition of a weapon. As Ted suggests, it's more about
something imaginary -- in the same way that the value of money is
imaginary. So to pull a phrase from Oliver Stone's JFK, the only way to
establish the truth here is to "follow the money." Looking for the amour
side? Then let's view the "money shot" -- which is not about the
pornographic orgasmic expression of a woman on the plane landing at Ronald
Reagan Airport (appropriate though that may be), and is certainly not
about repelling all those potential warheads from "rogue states" which
would never dare launch in the direction of the US anyway. (Why do that
when it would be so much easier to import a suit-case sized bomb, position
it in some Washington or NY basement, and issue an anonymous ultimatum? If
X tons of cocaine make their way into the US every week, what's the
problem sneaking a small nuke in?) No, the money shot here is of course
entirely about the cash itself, that very same stuff with the English and
Latin inscriptions on it, and with those anti-warhead warheads nothing but
multiple independently targeted money delivery vehicles (MITMDV). Their
willing targets paid richly for that status by throwing fist-fulls of
C-notes into the immense open wallet of the Bush campaign over the last
two years, and now they'll get a massive return on their investment, the
most orgasmic of monetary bull's-eyes in fact, whether or not the damn
things can hit even a barn-sized hot air balloon with a target painted on
its side.

But I'm wanted back at the park.

Regards,
MB






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