Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The missile defense Epistemic Closure of the “reality-based community”


How will the really, really smart set come to grips with Iron Dome and Magic Wand?
Less than 2 years ago Rachel Maddow, unofficial spokeswoman for the really, really smart “reality-based community,” parroted the left-wing line that missile defense cannot work, despite evidence to the contrary. Via Newsbusters (emphasis mine)

MADDOW: You know what? Here’s the country, here’s the kind of thing you put over like a cake to protect the cake from flies. Missiles don’t work that way. That’s the whole idea of SDI. We’ll protect ourselves by shooting missiles at other missiles. It’s never worked in a test. We spent billions on it.
MOORE: It’s worked.
MADDOW: And anybody who understands this knows it can never work.
MOORE: If you don’t think it works, then why did the Russians not want us to do it?
MADDOW: The Russians were very happy to sign this thing.
MOORE: No they weren’t. They didn’t want us to do SDI because they knew they didn’t want us to blow up their missiles.
MADDOW: You know what? If you think you can shoot the bullet with the other bullet, you can have an awesome life in Annie Oakley’s side show, but you should not be in charge of billions of dollars of the defense budget. It’s such a hysterical fantasy. I love it.
Maddow was not out of line with general Democratic thinking, and the Democratic president who routinely referred to “unproven missile defense systems” as targets of budget cuts.

We all saw how well Iron Dome, which shoots shorter range missiles out of the air with missiles, worked in Israel against Hamas rocket fire.  Not perfect, in part because Hamas tried shooting missiles in large salvos to test the system’s capabilities, but very, very impressive.
In many ways a game changer. Without Iron Dome, a ground invasion of Gaza was a certainty.
As mentioned the other day, Israel also successfully tested the Magic Wand (or David’s Sling”) system to shoot medium range missiles out of the air with other medium range missiles.  It was just a test, and the cost per interceptor missile currently is $1 million, but it holds the promise of being another game changer.
The Israelis just released an official video of the test, available at Ynet News (h/t @Jewtastic).
The rest of the world now is clamoring for the technology, with the South Koreans and Indians first in line.
That’s the reality which the “reality-based community” never wanted to happen.

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