FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Space Cowboy

by BRUCE K. GAGNON

The White House has just released the new U.S. National Space Policy from the Bush administration. The new document makes several policy departures from past space doctrines. They include:

* Calling for the deployment of offensive weapons systems in space to “deter” and “deny” others the “use of space.” This is a very provocative notion and will give the Pentagon the green light to put anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons in space that would be able to destroy other countries satellites.

* Saying the U.S. will “oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access to or use of space.” This means that the U.S. is now on record as being totally opposed to the development of an international treaty at the United Nations that would ban all weapons in space. The treaty, annually promoted by Russia, China and Canada, seeks to close the door to the barn before the horse gets out. The U.S. and Israel have been blocking such a treaty since during the Clinton years.

* The Bush administration military doctrine today calls for “preemptive” attack and “unilateral actions” around the world to protect corporate interests like oil and other diminishing resources. Thus we saw the 2003 “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq and now hear talk that a similar attack on Iran might be pending. The administration now says that it will no longer be bound by international treaties which would “inhibit” Bush’s ability to strike at any time and any place on the Earth. Space technology, says the military, becomes crucial to U.S. ability to create “full spectrum dominance.”

One of the first things the Bush administration did once in office was to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia that limited the development and deployment of weapons in space. It is thus no surprise that George W. Bush now comes forward with this new national space doctrine that tells the Pentagon to move ahead with Star Wars.

A key reason for America’s desire to kill the U.N.’s space weapons ban treaty negotiations is that the military-industrial complex views space as a new market. The weapons corporations have been saying for decades that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth. Both Democrats and Republicans get the message and understand that their corporate sponsors want them to leave the door open to a new costly and destabilizing arms race in space.

One other key element of the new Bush space policy is the expanded use of nuclear power systems to “enable or significantly enhance space exploration or operational capabilities.” What this means is that the aerospace industry wants to establish mining colonies on the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies and they want to power these bases with nuclear reactors. The military has also long been saying they need nuclear reactors in space to provide power for space weapons systems. So the nuclear industry also plans to utilize space as a new market for increasing corporate profits.

Just weeks ago, from Oct. 1-8, peace groups around the world took part in our annual Keep Space for Peace Week of local actions. Protests, teach-ins, video showings and other activities were organized in order to help expand the consciousness of the people of the world about the need to move now to protect space from a new arms race. Not only will putting weapons in space be expensive, but it will also be incredibly destabilizing for the world. Already we see the tragic growth in the nuclear arms race on Earth. Will arming the heavens with weapons make us safer? Absolutely not.

The time has come for the American people to call on Congress to cut funding for the research and development of Star Wars technology. Let’s use our hard-earned tax dollars to fund health care, education and environmental clean-up here on our home planet. Let’s work now to prevent another maddening arms race from happening before it is too late.

BRUCE K. GAGNON is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He can be reached at: globalnet@mindspring.com

 

 

 

Bruce K. Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space based in Brunswick, Maine.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail