Originally created 09/09/01

Missile defense needed



At least the Chinese diplomat told it like it is when he said that regardless of whether or not the United States developed more sophisticated defense systems, the Chinese are going ahead with the development of nuclear and other long-range weapons.

Of course they will go ahead with it. Americans are smart enough to figure that out, even if some in our government are not. And the Chinese will market these weapons to Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea and any other country they see fit.

But opponents of the missile defense plan being boosted by the Bush administration say that by building a stronger shield, the United States is only encouraging missile proliferation.

Hogwash. That's like saying giving a child a measles vaccination only encourages measles to spread.

China has nearly completed work on missiles that are predicted to be able to reach the western states. Fitting these missiles with nuclear warheads is no trouble at all for them. And this dangerous development occurred during the past eight years of the Clinton presidency, when Clinton chose to look the other way, leaving the western portion of the United States unprotected. His National Missile Defense program essentially ignored the Chinese buildup so as not to upset the Chinese or the Russian governments. Instead of President Ronald Reagan's "Trust, but verify," philosophy, Clinton was willing to "trust," and ask for campaign contributions.

Hopefully, President George W. Bush will be made of stronger stuff. A missile defense system proposed for Alaska would protect not only that state and Hawaii, but other states west of the Rocky Mountains, is long overdue.

Already, Chinese officials have stated they would launch missiles against the United States if the U.S. came to Taiwan's aid during a conflict with the mainland. We're only kidding ourselves if we don't take them seriously.

It's our government's primary duty to defend our borders. Bush should continue to send a strong message to China that we will not sit idly by and watch them aim their weapons at our cities.