Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Tomorrow I visit the Missile Defense Complex at Ft. Greely, Alaska. My forthcoming visit to this successful facility brought to mind an Alaska clergyman who (in a 2001 newspaper opinion piece) opposed basing a missile defense system in Alaska. I thought his basis for opposing missile defense naïve, illogical, and dangerous (there’s more, but I shan’t go there). The following was my editorial response in the same newspaper - everything’s the same, except for the purpose of this Blog, I changed his real name to “Clergyman” as he’s still ministering in Alaska (It was difficult to be polite, but I think I succeeded):

“I must respectfully disagree with (Clergyman’s) denouncement of a missile defense shield for America. The gravity of the question, and the good (Clergyman’s) conclusions, deserve a counter point of view. Even though I have spent many years in the USAF Aerospace Defense Command, I stake no claim of being an expert on missile technology and national defense. Nonetheless, I probably have no less expertise on these subjects than (the Clergyman).

The (Clergyman) claims, “It is doubtful it [the missile shield] would work . . .” If his doubt is based on past missile technology problems, is that a rationale to quit the research? If so, should past difficulties motivate us to quit research on defense against AIDS? I hope not. History teaches it’s a mistake to be “doubtful” something will never work. Little in the world of technology is forever unfixable. Today’s challenges can be tomorrow’s achievements. If a missile shield doesn’t work perfectly today, then fix it. Unbelievable it seems now, some naysayers actually thought it “doubtful” the Wright Brother’s flying contraption at Kitty Hawk “would work.” There is no doubt, however, the missile shield won’t work, unless it’s built. Even the illustrious liberal icon Senator Joe Leiberman tells us, “The question from the American point of view is not whether we will have a National Missile Defense, but rather when and how."

(Clergyman) tells us the proposed missile shield would be “no defense against other forms of attack, such as biological and/or chemical terrorism.” Not so true. The (the Clergyman) apparently doesn’t realize that ballistic missiles can carry chemical and biological weapons as well as explosives. But whatever, if a police department would help shield us from intruders, but would offer no defense against cancer, should we then not have a police department? If a nation can’t defend against everything, is it reasonable to defend against nothing?

(Clergyman) tells us our missile defense “would require the US to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.” What treaty? President Nixon and Soviet leader Brezhnev signed the ABM Treaty, and both are dead. The nation with whom the treaty was made - the Soviet Union - no longer exists. Ergo, there is no treaty from which to withdraw. Even if magical politics could somehow reincarnate the Pollyanna ABM treaty, the agreement make even less sense in today’s reality. Moreover, the treaty gave governments the authority to cancel the treaty with six months' notice. If politics require the pretense of a current treaty, then America should give cancellation notice today. Why? To a large measure, the world is nowadays a more dangerous place than during the Cold War. Threats proliferate from rogue nations with intercontinental missiles like China and North Korea. I submit it’s immoral to leave American people defenseless from ICBMs fired at American cities, when we have the potential to shield ourselves from attack. America shouldn’t have to grovel for permission from allies, foes, or even the wishful thinking, to defend our own nation (and, by extension, our allies). International diplomacy may be desirable, but diplomatic servility is inappropriate. It’s not reasonable to ask permission for self-defense.

The (Clergyman) tells us China has “expressed opposition” to a US missile defense system. “Hello,” China has missiles targeted at the United States, including Alaska! Why is it surprising our most likely enemies protest the loudest? China threatened that, if we came to the defense of Taiwan, it might mean the nuclear annihilation of Los Angeles. Adversaries like China and North Korea make such threats because we have failed to deploy any kind of missile defense. This failure is due partly to well-meaning individuals who convince wishful-thinking people to oppose reasonable defensive measures.

The (Clergyman) believes the estimated 120 billion cost of building a missile defense shield “would be better spent stabilizing developing nations and eliminating that which leads people to violence . . .” Can anyone seriously believe 120 billion dollars - or 120 centillion dollars for that matter - would eliminate evil from the world? Can we bribe folks like Saddam Hussein into becoming pacifists? Surely not. An American republic which protects its own existence is, in itself, a stabilizing influence for nations both developed and developing. Granted, funds for appropriate social programs are essential, but that doesn’t negate the need for national defense. How many munificent social programs and how much foreign aid to worthy nations can America fund, if missiles destroy us?

I agree with (Clergyman) - (Many in the clergy) have consistently maintained that military spending should be “defensive.” But how, pray tell, is a shield against incoming missiles not defensive? Is it an offensive act - or just plain common sense and good national stewardship - for the US to design and deploy a national “Missile-Proof Vest,” between now and the time when all God’s children become peaceful Christians?”

Interestingly, this editorial "war of words" took place in August 2001 - shortly before the attack on 9/11. Terrorists are still lurking among us, and foreign missiles are still aimed at us. The world is a very dangerous place.


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