Just in Time—a Carry-Out Arms Race


Rallying to the cry that you can’t keep a good man (or industry) down,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman
and Rockwell pulled the expected rabbit out of the hat. Just when the
Iraq war was winding down or heating up, depending upon your Washington
allegiance, those armaments guys played the China card.

Lockheedpatch
Rallying to the cry that you can’t keep a good man (or industry) down,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman
and Rockwell pulled the expected rabbit out of the hat. Just when the
Iraq war was winding down or heating up, depending upon your Washington
allegiance, those armaments guys played the China card.

And you thought China wasn’t a friend. You thought they wanted all
that Barbie-Doll production to themselves, ignored our needs and were
content with churning out millions of pirated CDs. Well, when the chips
are down, business truly is global and, as long as the
flat-panel TV orders are holding up, why not throw your biggest
customer a bone. Yeah, keep that American economy going and consumer
buying.

China Tests Anti-Satellite Weapon, Unnerving U.S.

Rumsfeldspace
That’s the headline. As for anyone actually being unnerved, the news
brought the first smile that’s come to Donald Rumsfeld’s lips since his
president pulled the rug out from under him. Now, we can get on with the serious business of dominating space. It looked dicey after the mid-terms, but now those newly Democratic purse-strings will be loosened in a New York minute.

Rumsfeld has long touted American supremacy in space, an advocate of allowing no one but us
up there, unless of course by our permission. It was a hard slog, what
with all those unrelenting costs of what was supposed to be a cakewalk
war in Iraq. That little fiasco no only cost The Donald his job, it
absolutely wore out all the service branches but the Navy. We’re out of
tanks, personnel carriers, helicopters, humvees, armored vests and
whatever else. The bombs are gone, all but those nuclear jobs. We can’t
even feed our own troops anymore, Halliburton does it for us.

Patriotmissile
That, along with the embarrassment of not being able to hit those
pre-selected incoming missiles with a hundred billion dollars worth of
useless tracking devices, had Rummy nearly down for the count. Yeah,
those pesky Democrats would rebuild our military equipment, but it
would be a slow walk in a cold rain and they’d grudge every penny until
they got themselves those lost seats on the K-Street bus.

Just in the nick of time, those Chinese. Oh, and as a side-note, the
Chinese anti-satellite weapon scored a bulls-eye on its first trial. A
stick-in-the-eye for Rumsfeld, but a huge vindication for his Only-Us strategy (capitalize the second letter in Us if you care to) in space.

Prior to this, no one but America and the Russians had destroyed a
satellite in space. We can hit the stationary objects in orbit just
fine—it’s those bothersome in-comers we have trouble with.

According to the Bill Broad-David Sanger article in the New York Times;

White House officials said the United States and other nations, which they did not name, had “expressed our concern regarding this action to the Chinese.” Despite
its protest, the Bush administration has long resisted a global treaty
banning such tests because it says it needs freedom of action in space.

A
wake-up call. The unheralded fact is that there are a bunch of
countries, some of them our allies, who are more than a little alarmed
at our determined ‘freedom of action’ in the space above the world’s nations. That alarm has not been smoothed over by our stomping around in the Middle East with our combat boots on.

The NYT piece goes on to say;

American
officials complained today that China made no public or private
announcements about its test, despite repeated requests by American
officials for more openness about their actions.

American
officials complaining about openness concerning their actions. Hell,
the United States Congress has made the same complaint about this
country for six years now and where did it get them?

Chinasatellite
China knocked one of their own aging satellites out of the sky, some
500 miles above earth. Experts (however the administration may define
them) complained that the space debris from that incident might
threaten other orbiting satellites for years ‘or even decades’
to come. The experts were silent on debris from all those explosive
misses Rummy’s been supervising in an attempt to vindicate our Star
Wars ballistic missile shield over the Pacific.

Ah, the hundreds of billions gone. The Chinese no doubt did it at
Wal-Mart prices and got change back. Certainly they expect to get something back; perhaps a more realistic hearing from us about the place in space for their commercial-military interests.

“It could be a shot across the bow,”
said Theresa Hitchens, director of the Center for Defense Information,
a private group in Washington that tracks military programs. “For
several years, the Russians and Chinese have been trying to push a
treaty to ban space weapons. The concept of exhibiting a hard-power
capability to bring somebody to the negotiating table is a classic cold
war technique.”

No. Really? And we haven’t been interested?

(NYT) The White House statement, issued by the National Security Council, said China’s “development
and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of
cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area.”

You
have to hand it to the NSC, they never lose their sense of humor. This
wasn’t about civil space. Donald Rumsfeld single-handedly closed that
argument some years ago and that particular chicken has come home to
roost.
___________________________________________________
Media comment;


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.