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World Federation Required!

Last post 01-19-2007, 11:25 PM by rbateman. 1 replies.
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  •  01-19-2007, 1:15 PM 18467

    World Federation Required!


    China sets off a new round of Star Wars

    Published: January 19 2007 19:49 | Last updated: January 19 2007 19:49

    A means of modern warfare the world had complacently come to see as at least informally off the table is now very firmly back on it – or, rather, scattered as metallic debris across miles of outer space.

    China, in an alarming exhibition of its military muscle, has fired a ground-based ballistic missile into space to destroy one of its own weather satellites, hitting a 4 sq ft box at 530 miles and bringing to a dramatic end a two decades-long moratorium on the testing of weapons in space. Good shooting, yes, but is it good politics?

    This experiment has drawn widespread condemnation. The US clearly sees it as part of an effort by China to develop anti-satellite capability that could threaten its extensive space assets. The Chinese test may or may not lead to a new arms race in space. But it will certainly strengthen the hand of hawks in Washington who regard Chinese power as a strategic threat to the US. Yet there is a long history behind this incident – and the leadership in Beijing is not known for foolhardy or precipitate action.

    The last extensive use of anti-satellite weapons was by the US and former Soviet Union in the 1980s. The cold war slowly raged, heated up in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan with his Strategic Defence Initiative – the infamous Star Wars speech in which he announced plans to develop the capability to destroy missiles from space.

    Those tests nonetheless ceased in 1985, not least because they created an uncontrollable fall-out of debris that threatened the network of satellites ever more densely carpeting the sky.

    Both Moscow and Beijing subsequently made efforts to take space out of the military equation. The US, with a military budget able to outspend almost the rest of the planet put together, was simply not interested.

    To the extent that it bothered to explain its position, Washington argued that the demilitarisation of space would be impossible to verify: a self-serving argument similar to the Bush administration’s reasoning for opposing the verification protocol of the Biological Weapons Convention.

    In the past year, however, two developments may have rattled Beijing. First, the US nuclear co-operation agreement with nuclear-armed India is the clearest indication yet of Washington’s wish to build up a counterweight to China in Asia and the Pacific. But second, last summer the Bush administration came out with a new policy asserting that the US regarded space as important a dimension for the nation’s security as air or sea power. It may have been no coincidence that, within weeks, China ruffled American feathers by using a ground-based laser to illuminate a US satellite – and highlight its own reach into space.

    The US is so dependent on satellites for surveillance, observation of the “battlespace”, communications and defence against any incoming missiles (or son of Star Wars) that it has reason to feel alarmed. The National Security Council on Friday called China’s test “inconsistent with the spirit of co-operation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area”.

    Ideally, that remark would translate into a realisation that hyperpower exceptionalism – America’s sense of entitlement to rights it concedes to no ally, let alone competitor – comes at a cost. But the risk is that this episode will instead translate into a new surge of defence spending that will delight the arms industry but do nothing to enhance international security.

    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
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  •  01-19-2007, 11:25 PM 18472 in reply to 18467

    Re: World Federation Required!

    I wholeheartedly agree. To that end, I recently communicated regarding this issue with my fellow Canadian’s via my blog, which I am confident all 300 of them read. We agreed to march in solidarity to the U.S. as a demonstration, to make it clear that something must be done.   


    However when we massed on the Idaho/Canada border, the farmer there stopped us in our tracks. “I heared tell that mad cow disease could cross into people and now I see its true,” he said.  “Besides,” he continued, “don’t ya know you have to have a passport to cross this border now?” Those days of just scootin’ across with yer dynamite and BC bud are over!”


    “But the passport lineups are really long right now eh?” we whined. “And if China shoots down our satellite then, then… then they could just come and take us over and nobody would even know!” The farmer stared at us all shuffling around in the snow with a level gaze that I suspect he normally reserves for a farm animal that’s past its useful life. He sighed. “You don’t have a satellite,” he said.


    “All you got is what you refer to on your radio station as the ‘Canadarm’, whatever the hell that means, but its what we refer to in these parts as the crane on the space station. Personally, I don’t think you need to worry that the Chinese are going to spend a billion dollars to take out the crane.”


    “But, but,” one of us argued forcibly, “we’re here to join the Federation! We heard that “Dubya”, or President Wilber as we affectionately refer to him north of the 39th, was calling for the establishment of a Space Federation, just like on Star Trek, to defy the PRC!”


    Now the farmer was looking directly at me. “What the hell have you been telling these people Rick?” he asked. “President Wilber?!”


    I decided it was time to address the crowd. “Let’s calm down folks and do what we Canadian’s do best. We’ll go back and line up politely at the passport office for starters. Then while we’re waiting for them to be issued in six months or so, we’ll ask Prime Minister Harpooner to send someone around visiting the entire country, someone from Quebec who can barely speak English, to gather “idears and toughts” about how to respond to our American cousin here.”


    So Tim, that’s our Plan B. As you see, we’re riled now and we don’t give up easy. Hang in there. After I clear up a few misunderstandings about um, President Wilber and the Space Federation, we’ll be like Terminators eh; back.  

    Rick Bateman
    Social Circles Canada - A New Kind Of Health Club
    +48° 25' 43.45", -123° 20' 10.20" (hint: Google Maps)
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