Would Missile Defense Shield Us From Terror?

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John Balzar’s “God Have Mercy, War Has Come Home” (Commentary, Sept. 12) observed, “Sixty years ago, America tried to draw a curtain around itself. Sixty years later, it wanted to build a shield.” Very observant.

“Star Wars” increasingly looks like another Maginot Line, France’s shield against Germany before World War II. Germany’s counterpart was the Siegfried Line. The Czechs also had such a line. Neville Chamberlain rendered the Czech line irrelevant when he won “peace in our time.” The Germans easily flanked the Maginot Line, and by the time we got to the Siegfried Line it was irrelevant.

J.D. Parriott Sr.




If we have leaned anything from Tuesday’s tragic terrorist attack, it demonstrates the utter folly of President Bush’s national missile defense policy.

John Alrich

Santa Barbara


In the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy, literally before the dust settles in New York, the Congress is rallying to support the Pentagon. “More money for defense” is the slogan. But in our haste to do something, let’s not leave reason behind. Let us ask why, with close to $300 billion a year, our intelligence and defense agencies could neither know about nor prevent this terrorism. Why should those who waste taxpayer money on $900 toilet seats and phony interceptor missile tests be given even more money? Effective defense requires competence and integrity.

Bruce Joffe



Sadly, at a time when, as a nation, we have suffered a severe blow and need to unite as one, some have used the moment to further mount their opposition to a missile defense. In their statements they point out that it would have been no use in this instance.

What needs to be understood is that terrorism exploits weaknesses, and while we close one hole of weakness others will appear and be exploited. As a nation we must consider every option to protect ourselves because, as we have witnessed what four planes can do, I shudder to think what one nuclear missile would do.


Joe Behm

San Diego


Since Bush’s missile defense system would not have stopped the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center it should be scrapped and, by that reasoning, seat belts should no longer be used in cars because they would not prevent injury in a train wreck.

Jerry Andersen

Pacific Palisades