Dressing Up Space Defense in Dominatrix Clothing


Setting aside and ignoring the blather of Bill O’Reilly and Rush
Limbaugh, we are becoming a sadomasochistic nation when it comes to our
foreign affairs. There is no other explanation. Who but a sadist would
lead the likes of Pervez Musharraf down the garden path of armaments
and praise, to so suddenly get moralistic and yank out the rug we stood him on?

Pervezmusharraf
Setting aside and ignoring the blather of Bill O’Reilly and Rush
Limbaugh, we are becoming a sadomasochistic nation when it comes to our
foreign affairs. There is no other explanation. Who but a sadist would
lead the likes of Pervez Musharraf down the garden path of armaments
and praise, to so suddenly get moralistic and yank out the rug we stood him on? Who but a masochist would repeatedly rub the Chinese nose in civil rights abuses while they fund our debt with their dollars?
And now comes Walter Pincus of the Washington Post to tell us

While
wrestling with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon is preparing
weapons to fight the next battle from space, according to information
in the 621-page, House-Senate conference report on the fiscal 2008
defense appropriations bill.

The $459 billion bill, which awaits
President Bush’s signature, provides $100 million for a new “prompt
global strike” program that could deliver a conventional,
precision-guided warhead anywhere in the world within two hours. It
takes funds away from development of a conventional warhead for the
Navy’s submarine-launched Trident Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
and from an Air Force plan for the Common Aero Vehicle.

621 pages, half a War and Peace devoted to nothing more than the money for war. Tolstoy would have mocked this un-heroic piece of fiction all dressed up as non-fiction.
I have not seen it, but I know the attention span of a Congress that cannot wrap their minds around the ten-minute concept of water-boarding long enough to require a prospective Attorney General to disavow it in theory and practice.
Pentagonmissiledefense
Anyway, the Pentagon is no wimp organization, be assured of that. Nor
are they confused about whether Boeing and Lockheed butter their bread
from decade to decadence. Rumsfeld may be gone, but his thirst for
space-based warfare permeates the corridors where he once walked. Or
did he float? The man made no small plans. Small plans have no magic to
stir men’s souls, nor energize the various defense industries Rummy had
twice bowed down before as Secretary of defense.
Bushhu
Wrap your mind around ‘deliver a conventional, precision-guided warhead anywhere in the world within two hours’ if you inhabit a portion of the earth that is (was) safely months away
by traditional means of warfare. If you are Iranian, Russian or
Chinese, just ponder that intention by America as it currently shows
its willingness to engage in pre-emptive warfare. See how well you sleep.

The
new program, dubbed Falcon, for “Force Application and Launch from
CONUS (continental United States),” centers on a small-launch-vehicle
concept of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency
describes Falcon as a “a reusable Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV)
capable of delivering 12,000 pounds of payload at a distance of 9,000
nautical miles from [the continental United States] in less than two
hours.”

Six tons, which means it is multiple nuclear-warhead capable. If you stand back a moment from America’s view of itself as always and faithfully defending the freedoms of others, you reach the unavoidable conclusion that any major power in the world permitting such an unfettered command of space has sacrificed its sovereignty.

Hypersonic
speed is far greater than the speed of sound. The reusable vehicle
being contemplated would “provide the country with significant
capability to conduct responsive missions with quick turn-around sortie
rates while providing aircraft-like operability and mission-recall
capability,” according to DARPA.

The vehicle would be launched
into space on a rocket, fly on its own to a target, deliver its payload
and return to Earth. In the short term, a small launch rocket is being
developed as part of Falcon. It eventually would be able to boost the
hypersonic vehicle into space. But in the interim, it will be used to
launch small satellites within 48 hours’ notice at a cost of less than
$5 million a shot.

Satellitegps
“Responsive mission”
is not defined. Reactive might be close, but it would take a lot of faith if you didn’t happen to actually be American and had watched George Bush declare a doctrine of pre-emptive war, the first such doctrine ever to come out of the land of the free and home of the brave.
To those blinking satellites in future night skies, we smilingly assure those under them not to worry, it’s only U.S. Delivering a payload, a mental image closer to UPS dropping off spare parts than nuclear devastation.

Conferees
added $100 million above the Bush administration’s request for nearly
$200 million to accelerate “space situational awareness.” That is code
for protecting U.S. satellites in space and being able to attack the
enemy’s satellites.

“Enhancing these capabilities is critical,
particularly following the Chinese anti-satellite-weapons demonstration
last January,” the conferees wrote in their report. They were referring
to a Jan. 11 incident in which a Chinese guided missile destroyed an
aging weather satellite in orbit.

Ricegatesputin
If enhancing capabilities is critical
for America, then just how critical does it become to Russia and China
to keep up with us and overcome that advantage? Sort of brings a whole
new meaning to ‘we shall overcome.”
In no time at all our leadership has replaced the old, outdated and no longer needed arms race with a brand new version
that will postpone building schools, roads and bridges for a
half-century yet to come, further impoverishing the country. Where’s
Dwight Eisenhower when you need him? Dead and gone, his cautions about military-industrial complexes no longer remembered.

The
means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided
missiles and misguided men.
                                             -Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968)

Bushcondi
Well, it wasn’t even a foot-race, Martin. We have been under the thrall
of misguided men for half a century or more and it continues lately
with increased vigor. For those determined to preach the falsehood of
Ronald Reagan defeating communism, get over it. The wheels came off of communism all by themselves because it was a system that could not sustain itself. Reagan merely happened to be president when it all came down.

Another
$18 million would go for research into a second-generation
counter-satellite-communications system; it would explore and develop
capabilities “to provide disruption of satellite communications signals
in response to U.S. Strategic Command requirements,” according to the
Pentagon congressional presentation. The first-generation system is
already operational, and an upgrade of those capabilities is in
production.

How threatened might I feel, as an American, were either China or Russia to declare they now had a disruption capability covering all our satellite transmission and had upgrades in production?
Satellite transmission means all Internet, all e-mail, all airline and
shipping navigation, virtually everything military, plus a myriad of
other things that include the ‘trip-finder’ on the family Buick.
Poof! “Sorry ‘bout that, Beijing.” George Bush now has his finger on an entirely different button, Vladimir. “You OK with everything going dark over there, should Cheney whisper in his ear?”
Bushwarispeace
The point of all this is not to criticize U.S. defense policy, although
there is much to criticize. The point is to look at our various friends
who may stay friends and friends who may turn into adversaries from their point of view.
We get impatient with foreigners who don’t understand our good
intentions. Condi Rice gets absolutely snarly with Putin about building
a radar base in the Czech Republic and missile defense silos in Poland—yet Czechs and Poles are as close to him as Mexicans and Canadians to us. How would Condi feel about Russian missiles and radar in Toronto?
What would be her (or our) reaction if the Russian Foreign Minister got snippy with her about it?
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