Alas, Babylon Themes

Pat Frank
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A major benefit of civilized society is its ability to impose rules, laws and customs to deter other action with more serious consequences. If Peewee Cobb obeys the rule of not crossing into the airspace of another country he minimizes risks of provoking attack. If initial deterrence is breached subsequent consequences may occur. Alas, Babylon is an opportunity to view consequences of a civilization that has lost all vestige of deterrence and struggles to regain primitive rules of effective civility. Peewee has orders to seek and destroy but not to ignore all other rules. The rules of engagement forbid flying in pursuit across borders and thereby violating airspace. His decision to ignore the deterrent rule puts the United States in a position to risk the consequences of current Soviet policy. Had he pulled back into neutral airspace, the consequences might have been avoided since he...

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This section contains 1,416 words
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