--- Karl Grossman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005
> JUNE 29, 2005
> Minute Man Media
> By Karl Grossman
> The White House is expected in coming weeks to
> declare space a new arena of
> war. It is anticipated that the Bush administration
> will give the go-ahead
> to long-developing strategy to -­ as U.S. military
> plans explicitly state
> ­- “control” the “ultimate high ground” of space and
> from it “dominate” the
> planet below.
> Indeed, after expending billions of dollars in
> preparation -­ especially
> for the Star Wars program of the Reagan era -- the
> United States has the
> technology to move into space with weapons. But that
> the United States will
> end up as the only nation up there is a huge
> miscalculation.
> A tragic mistake is in the making that will lead to
> an arms race in space
> and no nation having any advantage. The United
> States can be first to
> deploy weapons in space, but then, in response,
> China and Russia -­ and who
> knows what other nation next -- will be up there,
> too.
> Vast amounts of financial resources will have to be
> expended by the
> citizens of all these countries -­ money desperately
> needed for medical
> care, education, the environment and all the other
> great wants on Earth.
> And, it will divert resources from the war on
> terrorism.
> Just a few decades ago, the United States joined
> with the United Kingdom
> and the Soviet Union to prevent the weaponization of
> space. The three
> nations put together a visionary document: the Outer
> Space Treaty, enacted
> in 1967 and now ratified by most of the nations on
> Earth.
> “Inspired by the great prospects opening up before
> mankind” as a result of
> the “entry into outer space, recognizing the common
> interest of all mankind
> in the progress of the exploration and use of space
> for peaceful purposes,”
> it prohibits the placement of “nuclear weapons or
> any other kinds of
> weapons of mass destruction” in space.
> In recent years, our neighbor, Canada, has led -­
> along with Russia and
> China -­ efforts to broaden the treaty and ban all
> weapons in space.
> The United States has opposed this and would now
> break the Outer Space
> Treaty by deploying weapons of mass destruction. One
> U.S. program,
> nicknamed “Rods From God,” would hurl cylinders of
> tungsten, titanium or
> uranium at targets on Earth each striking with the
> force of a “small”
> nuclear weapon. That’s a weapon of mass destruction.
> And to other nations responding and meeting us in
> kind in space, a high
> U.S. diplomat told me as he prepared to vote at the
> United Nations against
> a resolution barring all space weapons, U.S.
> military analyses have
> determined China is “30 years behind” in competing
> with the U.S. militarily
> in space, and Russia “doesn’t have the money.” I
> recounted travels in
> China, observing its technological strength, noted
> its space prowess, and
> pointed to the enormous space capabilities of
> Russia. A big error is being
> made, I said. He disagreed.
> In recent weeks, there have been declarations that
> China and Russia would
> counter with force if the United States moves to
> weaponize space. If “we
> find ourselves in a situation where we need to
> react, of course we will do
> it,” said a Russian official.
> Moreover, consider if space is armed and there is a
> shooting war with laser
> weapons and hypervelocity guns and particle beams (a
> preferred energy
> source: on-board nuclear power) and other weapons
> exchanging fire. There
> would be so much debris left orbiting at high speed
> above the planet that
> humanity would be precluded for millennia from again
> getting up and out and
> exploring space. As Edgar Mitchell, a former
> astronaut who walked on the
> moon, has said: “Getting out to deep space would be
> like swimming in a
> piranha-full river or running through a hail of
> bullets.”
> Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network
> Against Weapons & Nuclear
> Power in Space, says the proposed new Bush National
> Space Policy Directive
> must be “met with a resounding chorus that says we
> will not allow this plan
> for space warfare to go forward.”
> People must demand warfare not be allowed to extend
> to the heavens.
> --
> Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State
> University of New
> York/College at Old Westbury, is author of “Weapons
> In Space” (Seven
> Stories Press) and host of the television
> documentary “Star Wars Returns”
> (EnviroVideo). A photo of Karl Grossman is available


Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
Director, Proyecto de Bioseguridad
Research Associate, Institute for Social Ecology
Senior Fellow, Environmental Leadership Program

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