]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]    HAPPY TO OBLIGE    [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
                   by Hank Phillips (Freeman 78753PHIL)
    [This is a reply to Robert Poole's reply on the floor below]

    The nice thing about getting Ted Carpenter to review a pro-defense
book is that you know his conclusion beforehand.  By listing Carpen-
ter's conclusions about the exact same subject -- the military stand-
off between the Soviet Empire and the non-slave world -- I provided 
readers with background useful in gauging Carpenter's opinion.  Indi-
viduals genuinely interested in the defense of freedom advance ideas 
and try to get things done.  Ted Carpenter waits until someone else 
has a good idea, and then advances contrived excuses for abandoning 
it.  As in energy generation, where the "anti's" oppose all but the 
unavailable options, so it is in defense.  Had REASON chosen Helen 
Caldicott or Carl Sagan to pan the book, my input would have been 
superfluous.  When REASON chooses obscure reviewers whose policy is to 
argue that we should simply sit back and LET communism expand over the 
entire globe and not lift a finger in defense of freedom, that's news 
worth reporting.  That all this comes wrapped in libertarian-sounding 
cant with few sops thrown to the doubters in no way alters its basic 
nature, yelps of "McCarthyism" notwithstanding.
       Mr Poole's reference to my "previous criticism's" is heartening 
in that it shows that my numerous letters to the Editor over these 
past 7 years did get glanced at before being suppressed.  I'm well 
aware that most REASON articles are excellent, but that doesn't make 
the sorry ones any less so.  Carpenter's review flatly states that if 
the Soviet Empire were to launch a "conventional attack on Western 
Europe" and if the US were to "breach the nuclear threshold even in 
response" then the US would be guilty of a "first strike."  Hence, if 
the Soviet Union marches into Europe (or America) and kills every man, 
woman and child in opposition, that's NOT a "first strike" provided 
the killing is accomplished with chemical explosions.  But if an Ame-
rican (or European) launcher sets off a 0.5 kiloton neutron bomb above 
the advancing tanks (or over the gangs ordering the attack), then THAT 
is a "first strike."  
       As an engineer, Mr Poole cannot feign superstitious awe at 
nuclear weapons.  If attacking and killing people ISN'T aggression and 
repelling invaders IS --depending on the weapons chosen-- then I need 
an explanation of the logic behind the conclusion.  There is no dis-
agreement that our defense of Europe is poor policy, nor over the 
insane ABM treaty, but I find no mention of European nuclear weapons, 
the Non-Proliferation Treaty or others which impede European rearma-
ment in the review.  
       As for disappointment... I've been a REASON subscriber (and 
gave subscriptions to friends) for eight or nine years.  But no more!  

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