Space Cowboy


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


November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate
Julian Vigo
A Brief Genealogy of Disappearance and Murder
John R. Hall
Stuck in the Middle With You
Barbara Nimri Aziz
McDonalds at 96th Street
David Rovics
At the Center of Rebellion: the Life and Music of Armand
Weekend Edition
November 20-22, 2015
Jason Hirthler
Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
Sam Husseini
The Left and Right Must Stop the Establishment’s Perpetual War Machine
Mike Whitney
Hillary’s War Whoop
Pepe Escobar
In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners
Ajamu Baraka
The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
Andrew Levine
The Clintons are Coming, the Clintons are Coming!
Linda Pentz Gunter
Let’s Call Them What They Are: Climate Liars
Paul Street
Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship
Nur Arafeh
Strangling the Palestinian Economy
Patrick Howlett-Martin
The Paris Attacks: a Chronicle Foretold
Vijay Prashad
Rebuilding Syria With BRICS and Mortar
Brian Cloughley
Why US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the Biggest Threat to World Peace