Third Party & Independents Archives

January 29, 2007

Sen. Jon Kyl - Stuck on Starwars

Sen. Jon Kyl, speaking just an hour ago before the Heritage Foundation of the fearful and war hawks, is using China’s test of their capability to take out a satellite, as leverage to move the Administration and State Department back to Reagan’s ‘Starwars’ Space Defense Initiative. He wants money in the budget to fund SDI.

There are so many arguments and reasons why Sen. Jon Kyl's proposal is wrong headed, and irresponsible, I cannot cover them all in a single article. But, here are some of the major problems with his views.

First, Kyl's entire arguments are premised on the view that if the U.S. does not maintain space war superiority over the Chinese, the risk of war with the Chinese becomes more real. He touted history as justification arguing that it is when other nations perceive us to be weak, that we get attacked. This was true only once in modern history, and that was when Japan's military, most of them, believed they could take our fleet at Pearl Harbor and prevent our effective intrusion into WWII.

There is unlikely a single head of government in the world today, and especially those potentially hostile to the U.S., who are not acutely aware of the grave and devastating error of judgment by the Japanese on that fateful day of Dec. 7, 1941. Hence, Sen. Kyl's argument is flawed from the beginning. Every nation on this globe knows well, that even with a military advantage, whether in space, on sea, or land, destroying America and coming out victorious is an impossibility. The U.S. sits atop the greatest deployable nuclear armament capable many times over of insuring any nation which choose war with us will not survive to claim victory.

Second, Sen. Kyl fears our State Department's efforts headed by Condoleeza Rice, to negotiate an arms treaty in space or, an international treaty to prevent space based war capability. Again, Sen. Kyl's fear of China gaining the ability to take down our satellites is flawed.

The reality of our time is that war can be started in space, but, it will be finished on earth. The Chinese are acutely aware of this fact, as are the Russians. Space based war capacity in no way advantages a nation in terms of its ability to claim victory in the ensuing war on the surface of the earth. Yes, the Chinese have demonstrated the ability to take out a handful of our satellites, which could be used to force us to retaliate against their satellites. But, what would be gained?

Third, Sen. Jon Kyl failed to recognize the possibility that the Chinese test was their way of alerting our President and Pentagon, that if the U.S. thinks it can dominate space war technology without engaging in one of the most expensive arms races of all time, America is sadly mistaken. Kyl acknowledged in his speech that the Chinese take a very long view of things in planning strategy and tactics. But, he failed to recognize the most probable meaning of China's test firing to take out their own satellite.

Some obvious meanings of China's action are:

1) The space debris of taking out a satellite, whether our taking out theirs, or theirs taking out ours, poses self-defeating consequences all by itself. The space debris from such action threatens the viability of both their own and our satellites.

2) China is aware that our GAO cannot account for billions of dollars of Defense Spending. Therefore, it was reasonable for the Chinese to entertain the notion that America may be engaging in secret programs to develop space based offensive weapons, a favored goal of Republicans since the Reagan years.

3) China's test is a wake up call to the world community that a space arm's race must be considered, weighed, and debated for the sake of all nations and peoples of the world. The reason is simple. If a war begins in space, it can migrate in minutes to hours or days, into full nuclear exchange here on earth which, the human race may just as well call Armageddon.

There was an irrational and impeachable fear factor in our nation's decision to invade Iraq. Sen Jon Kyl is perpetuating that irrational and impeachable fear factor in defense of his belief that the U.S. must have maximum military superiority over all other nations of the world in order to sleep at night. Never mind that we can destroy any nation that may attack us regardless of how serious their first attack is.

The Chinese could take out half of our satellites, but, not blind us as to where the strike came from, nor prevent our submarines from counter attacking with devastating results.

But there is another devastating consequence should America follow Kyl's footsteps of paranoia. An arms race in space will be so horrendously expensive as to sap our ability to fight global climate change or, rescue 100 million Americans from poverty and suffering throughout the baby boomer retirement years, which in turn will cause huge economic upheaval and recessionary consequences. The opportunity costs of moving ahead with the Starwars initiative, are incalculable.

Not just for the U.S. either; the Chinese potential for becoming the new 21st century economic giant would be derailed if they pursued an arms race in space. The Chinese face the greatest challenge of their history in this 21st century, and that challenge is food and arable land to grow it on. China is about to engage in the greatest farmland reclamation project in the history of the planet. And it will be immensely costly. They cannot fail this, for to fail to feed their population is the shortest route to China's greatest nightmare, another revolution.

Sen. Jon Kyl was critical of the Bush Administration and concerned over the Pentagon's failure to budget for renewed Starwars technology. I believe Sen. Kyl just presented me with an opportunity to both praise and commend the Bush administration for this reticence to date, to follow his recommendations.

Posted by David R. Remer at January 29, 2007 01:02 PM
Comments
Comment #205653

David,

Excellent points!

One might also add the interdependency between what is now the two great nations.

This is not a cold war scenario, we depend on china for billions of dollars in tradable goods and they depend on us for the technology to manufacture those goods and the income that results from such goods.

Them nor ourselves are anywhere near being able to afford to lose the other. We are bound into an unwritten alliance of economic dependency.

Granted niether would fall completely if the other was to fall, but it would defintetly hurt the other if one did fall.

That is why in today’s world political scale we see China siding with us on the North Korea issues, not by word, but undoubtedly by action (i.e. building a wall on it’s border with N. Korea).

We have also taken repeated actions to aid in the developement of China. We have invested more in them than any other country over the last decade.

So a war with China is unfeasable.

It is more likely that they will request some scientist from us and contract them out to do work/experiment/design on their space station.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 29, 2007 03:28 PM
Comment #205658
… building a wall on it’s border with N. Korea
That’s because of a severe illegal immigration problem. Starving N. Koreans are literally dying to get out of N. Korea, into China.

China has been rounding them up and sending them back to N. Korea , where they are not well-received (to say the least).

We don’t really have anything to fear from any nation with borders. That is another reason why the preemptive war against Iraq was unnecessary, and why we need to start finding a way to get out of Iraq.

What we have to fear is terrorists that have no national borders. The nations that harbor them should think twice about it, lest they get blamed for the actions of the terrorists.

I don’t think terrorists have WMD yet, but it’s just a matter of time, and when they do, they can walk or drive right across our wide-open borders (ports are a problem too).

Posted by: d.a.n at January 29, 2007 03:47 PM
Comment #205668


It is my understanding that the Chinese have been calling for a World conference to adopt a treaty to develop space in a peaceful manner without military involvement. The administration has flatly refused this request. I think the Chinese, with this test, thought they would get the administration’s attention and force the issue. They evidently don’t understand neocons very well.

They should realize by now that goals of the administration are virtually one and the same as those of the Project For The New American Century.
One of the stated goals of PNAC is the creation of a new branch of the U.S. military, The United States Space Force.

Examine the president’s goal of sending a manned mission to Mars. You don’t just blastoff from the surface of Earth for such a mission. You need a huge infrastructure in orbit to accomplish such a mission. You need a space station with facilities for construction workers. You have to build cargo ships to send ahead and a ship to carry the crew there and back. Can you think of a better way to hide the development of a U.S. Space Force right under the noses of an inquiring World? Do you think that World domination can be achieved militarilly without dominating the high ground?

From space, we can dictate and enforce our will on the other countries of the World. If we dominate space militarily, we can take on the whole world at once. Nations can capitulate to our rule or face near immediate destruction.

Although we are becoming economically interdependent with China and soon India and other nations, they must realize that we are going to be the boss and that requires our domination of space.

By the way, we have long known that the easiest and cheapest way to destroy a satellite is to throw a handfull of nails at it but, that creates a lot of dangerous debris. Thus the need for vaporizing laser weapons.

Posted by: jlw at January 29, 2007 04:55 PM
Comment #205669

David,

I’m glad you posted an article about this, mostly because I just don’t know doodly squat about it.

Had China made us aware of this launch ahead of time? Conventional wisdom tells me that they must have.

Or are we actually much more vulnerable than we’ve been led to believe? My greatest fear since 9/11 has to do with the amount of time that lapsed between American Airlines Flight 11 crashing into the WTC North Tower at 8:46 AM and Bush ordering the military to assume “Threat Condition Delta” at 1:04 PM. That’s 4 hours and 18 minutes.

I also realize this was an unprecedented attack and I’m not playing the “blame Bush game” with this, that’s a whole different story and early on I actually praised Bush for his restraint and outwardly apparent heartfelt concern.

My simple concern is “time”. I’ve long believed that we were on constant alert to the threat of nuclear missile strikes. One of my greatest fears has been that we would “mistake” something non-threatening as an attack and launch a counter attack……….ya-da, ya-da…………basically a Dr. Strangelove moment scenario without the laughs.

Anyway, that whole longwinded diatribe brings me back to the question: “when did we know China launched (or planned to launch) this missile”?

Another totally different question that arises in my mind has to do with “globalization”. Most of us, myself included, love to find fault with global trade agreements, but I really wonder if it’s better that China view us as a partner in global trade and value our $$$$$$$$$$$ or to face them down over who has the better doomsday device.

Again David, great article. This is something that’s not garnered nearly enough coverage by the MSM. It raises many questions.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 29, 2007 04:58 PM
Comment #205680

I say build Star Wars after our politicians do the following.
1. Stop illegals from crossing our borders.
2. Balance the budget.
3. Reform our campaign finance laws.
4. Get ethics reform.
5. Pay the national debt off.
6. Set up a fair tax system where EVERYONE pays.
7. End our dependency on foreign oil.
8. Get our educational system back on track.
9. Start showing some sense.
Even then I can’t see spending money on something that really won’t protect this country from an invasion. And it sure won’t be able to stop a terrorist attack.
I’m all for having the strongest military in the world. But I don’t see how something like this helps.
Maybe if we had colonies on other planets. But I don’t think we’ll see that anytime real soon.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 29, 2007 05:59 PM
Comment #205690

Ron Brown,

Good list.
Yes, we have much more important things to do.

Like David R. Remer said, we’ve got little to fear from the Chinese (or any nation with borders) due to the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) deterrent.


Posted by: d.a.n at January 29, 2007 07:31 PM
Comment #205698

David:

Anybody check Senator Kyl’s stock portfolio lately?

All your points are valid for China’s inability to challenge us in space—whether the clowns in office can pass on another way to make lot’s of money for their MIC (military industrial complex) buddies is the real question. This country is famous for throwing good money after bad.

Posted by: Tim Crow at January 29, 2007 07:58 PM
Comment #205700


If you have the ability to destroy a potential enemy’s missiles before they can even get out of the silo, destroy their navy before it leaves their own ports, destroy their army before it crosses their own border, MAD is no longer a deterrent to World domination.

Posted by: jlw at January 29, 2007 08:04 PM
Comment #205709

“It is my understanding that the Chinese have been calling for a World conference to adopt a treaty to develop space in a peaceful manner without military involvement.”

jlw,

It’s also true that most of the Middle East is trying to find a peaceful solution between Iran and us:

“Moussa warns DC on Iran attack; Tehran vows to crush any threat”
http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/world/view.asp?msgID=8949

And what do we do when Japan turns against us:

BUSH WRONG ON IRAQ: JAPAN DEFENSE CHIEF
“Japan’s defense minister on Wednesday said US President George W. Bush was wrong to invade Iraq and warned that Tokyo could not automatically renew its air force mission to the war-torn country. The rebuke from one of Washington’s closest foreign allies came hours after an embattled Bush used his annual State of the Union address to plead for public support to send more troops to Iraq.”

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/world/view.asp?msgID=8948

The point is “we” no longer listen to anything “we” don’t want to hear. It’s important to note that Kyl was speaking to the Neo-conservative Heritage Foundation. And “they” expect us to trust them and believe them when they speak of threats of WMD.

The true cost of a lie is the loss of faith and trust.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 29, 2007 09:00 PM
Comment #205713

jlw,
Disabling our ability to strike back would be difficult.
We have massive destructive capability.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 29, 2007 09:15 PM
Comment #205720


KansasDem: Being the Worlds greatest economic and military power is not good enough for the neocons. When they have total World domination then they can rule benevolently, Not! If it were not for the sacrifice that our troops have made and are still making in Iraq, I would be happy that they have proven themselves to be so incompetent because that incompetence has turned the people against them. Their fear tactics are wearing thin.

Posted by: jlw at January 29, 2007 09:25 PM
Comment #205741

“Disabling our ability to strike back would be difficult.
We have massive destructive capability.”

d.a.n,

Did you read my earlier post about the time it takes to respond?

No one is going to launch one or two nuclear missiles and wait to see what we do. They’ll launch dozens or possibly hundreds. If it comes to that we’re all screwed and all we can possibly do is screw them back.

My greatest fear is all of the loose nuclear material left over from the Soviets. Well, that and antrax, and small pox, and nerve gas………..

I’m sure glad we have secure borders and ports.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 29, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #205745


I watched The Day After on the SiFi channel yesterday. I think it portrayed a pretty accurate image of what it would have been like leading up to and after a full scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. It is far to boaring for today’s audience that has the action packed junk movies of today to watch.

Posted by: jlw at January 29, 2007 11:53 PM
Comment #205750

Kansas Dem, I am no expert on this stuff, so bear that in mind as I attempt to answer your questions as best I can.

“Had China made us aware of this launch ahead of time?”

I have not heard definitively whether or not they did make us aware of their launch. That said, I believe there are protocols regarding launching vehicles into space to insure no one mistakes intent. My guess is, China notified us they were launching a vehicle into space and did inform us they were taking out one of their own satellites. We were aware that it was their own satellite pretty damn quick, so either they did notify us, or we have the ability to identify every satellite up there (likely, since we must track them all for our own space shuttle launches safety.)

“Or are we actually much more vulnerable than we’ve been led to believe?”

As I said, we must track satellites and debris for the safety of our own missions. As to vulnerable. Yes, our satellites are now vulnerable to the Chinese taking one or many out. Certainly not all, and not all at one time. Just as they are vulnerable in the same way.

Sen. Kyl’s concern as he expressed it, is that enormous amounts of our data streams from banking to defense systems are dependent upon our satellite communications and tracking systems. Any country capable of taking out our satellites, Kyl says, is capable of crippling us with disastrous consequences to our economy, banking systems, communications systems, and defense systems.

He said we have the ability to harden our satellites against EMP’s and other disruptions, but, direct “kinetic” impacts are possible since our ability to maneuver our satellites, though available, is no guarantee against strikes. A huge weakness is creating a debris field in space that takes out a number of satellites, their own and ours.

“My greatest fear since 9/11 has to do with the amount of time that lapsed between American Airlines Flight 11 crashing into the WTC North Tower at 8:46 AM and Bush ordering the military to assume ‘Threat Condition Delta’ at 1:04 PM. That’s 4 hours and 18 minutes.”

I don’t know what the timings and delays would be regarding a mass attack on our satellites. Certainly, we have the ability to detect the launching of a number of vehicles simultaneously - that is one of the prime functions of our defense satellites.

And we track space debris. So if a cluster bomb were launched into space, we would know from where it was launched, and soon after its detonation in space spreading satellite killing debris, we would know what was happening as satellites one by one began to go dead.

But, China would know that we know where the launch took place from, and if our satellites start dying one by one, China knows that would be taken as an act of war.

What I don’t know, is what plan we have in place for response in such a scenario. Kyl’s fears may be coming from the knowledge or, suspicion that we don’t have a plan to retaliate in such a circumstance.

And as he said, our nations systems would be disrupted and we have no contingency back up system for that, since, we are now extremely dependent on our satellites.

“My simple concern is “time”. I’ve long believed that we were on constant alert to the threat of nuclear missile strikes. One of my greatest fears has been that we would “mistake” something non-threatening as an attack and launch a counter attack……….ya-da, ya-da…………basically a Dr. Strangelove moment scenario without the laughs.

That is a concern for many. One thing for sure, no amount of arms races in space will address that scenario. There is much we still don’t know about space, since, many events in space happen only occasionally, some before mankind was existent and could surprise us with naturally occurring events which we have never witnessed and therefore, misinterpret.

“Anyway, that whole longwinded diatribe brings me back to the question: ‘when did we know China launched (or planned to launch) this missile’?”

I don’t have a definitive answer. Logic dictates that China did inform us of their launch for testing purposes as a self-protective measure. Whether they informed us of the nature of what was going to happen once it was aloft, is another question I don’t have an answer to, but, we seemed to know immediately that it was not an imminent threat. So, again, using logic only, I assume we knew the consequence of the launch as well.

” but I really wonder if it’s better that China view us as a partner in global trade and value our $$$$$$$$$$$ or to face them down over who has the better doomsday device.”

China nor the U.S. will knowingly risk nuclear exchanges. That said, China is intent on governing Taiwan. The U.S. is intent on not allowing that to occur. This face off, forces both countries to develop what if scenarios, both offensive and defensive.

Just as China was detected to have submarines just off our Eastern seaboard, we have submarines in the China sea and Pacific. Those submarines have developed tracking devices of their own, apart from our Satellite systems. The ability to respond to a nation taking out our satellites is not a deterrent to our counter attack from land sub based weapons systems. Communications can be maintained, less efficiently however, between our subs and central command even with our satellites down.

So, again, watching Kyl’s presentation failed to convince me of any need for an arms race in space. And so far, by his own words, our State Dept. is moving toward treaties with China, and the Pentagon has not asked for a budget to begin an arms race in space.

Kyl’s presentation appears to have been a sales pitch to war hawks and defense think tanks to get them to put pressure on the Pentagon, the President, and Congress to address this issue to his satisfaction. It remains to be seen how effective that sales pitch will be. Some such sales pitches have been enormously successful in the past.

“Again David, great article.”

Thank you Kansas Dem for some interesting and challenging questions which helped me to focus on what to look for in terms of answers from our government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 30, 2007 01:15 AM
Comment #205758


Dan: I wasn’t talking about them disabling our ability to strike back. I was talking about our militarism of space and disabling other countries ability to defend themselves against us or their ability to invade us.

Posted by: jlw at January 30, 2007 02:25 AM
Comment #205759

jlw
Neocons want total world domination? What proof do you have of that? A CNN or NBC story?
Just because folks believe in have a miltiary second to none doesn’t mean they want to control the world.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 30, 2007 06:35 AM
Comment #205763

Ron Brown said: “Just because folks believe in have a military second to none doesn’t mean they want to control the world.”

This is true. It does not necessarily mean that those who design and create the most powerful military in the world WANT to control the world. But, it does mean that over time, someone in control of that military will use it for that purpose.

Power is what motivates people to rise to leadership positions. Power to do good, power to do bad, power to wield it for the thrill of wielding it. Truly benevolent leaders do not seek power, it is thrust upon them. Gandhi, Schweitzer, MLK, Mother Theresa. Those who seek it, enjoy wielding it. And that always poses a threat when that power happens to be the most lethal military force in the world.

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind, that many of the neo-cons, like Cheney and Kyl, see America losing economic status to China in just 50 years, and find that vision both abhorrent and not permissable. We cannot change that future with economic measures, the competitive advantage of 4 times the people and lower cost of living in China make that future inevitable unless some other forces can be brought to bear.

And our military is the only force many of those in our government can see as having the power to change that future. This is why Kyl and Cheney won’t entertain balance of power, or treaties, in space. Our relationship with China in terms of conventional and nuclear weapons is such that we have a balance of power and can mutually assure each other’s destruction. That is not an acceptable situation for Kyl or Cheney.

Space is where the U.S. can achieve superiority militarily and technologically (supposedly) and shift the balance of power in our favor and use it to intimidate China to take economic measures that will be favorable to the U.S.

I say supposedly, because I believe the reality is, if Kyl and Cheney get their way and we do achieve strategic and tactical military superiority in space, our nation will either founder economically due to a 20 or 25 trillion dollar national debt, which is what that superiority will cost or, the people of this country will overthrow such leadership before that is allowed to happen, and we will be left with neither military nor economic advantage, and with 150 million, or more, Americans living in poverty, scraping for food and shelter.


Posted by: David R. Remer at January 30, 2007 07:48 AM
Comment #205764

Ron, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of the Project for a New American Century. Now, if that ain’t world domination, what the hell is?

http://www.newamericancentury.org/

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 30, 2007 07:54 AM
Comment #205785
If you have the ability to destroy a potential enemy’s missiles before they can even get out of the silo, destroy their navy before it leaves their own ports, destroy their army before it crosses their own border, MAD is no longer a deterrent to World domination.

That why every nuclear powers have *always* at least one SSBN somewhere, mad mind you.

Plus, I can even imagine some dictator fool enough to actually use all their nukes on their own soil, hoping the huge fallout clouds will spread all over the earth. A very possible scenario with Russia’s nukes stockpile, for example.
You should be used to the concept of suicidal terrorism. Just scale up a bit.
Oh, BTW, it takes nothing but knifes for 9/11 terrorists. Having first strike capabilities don’t always help that much.

Last but not least, what’s the point of World “domination” ? Being in total control or being the richest?
You live in utopia if you actually believe the former is even possible. Wake up, resistance always existed and will always exists. People actually wants freedom, in particular when they don’t have so much/lost it.

Hello, don’t you learn *something* from Vietnam and Iraq mess!?

If it’s the later, for god sake, you *ARE* already the wealthiest nation on earth! Never enough?

World dominate my ass, my little world wannabee dictator.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 30, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #205786


Ron Brown: David R. gave a thoughtful answer to your question. If any nation had that kind of power over the other nations of the World the temtation to use it would be high. The Chinese economic model is quite different than ours and so to Europe. The model in America is much different than the free marketeers want. We argue about that all the time.

PNAC argues that American domination would be best for America and the world. The rest of the World may see it differently. Although negotiation is a part of the PNAC model, they believe that dominate military power would be an effective tool in negotiations. Our military is the most powerful in the World but, it is not powerful enough to dominate.

Examine the demonizing of Iraq and Iran, the war in Iraq and the retoric that implies that Iran is next. If the U.S. controls the oil of that region it will give us a superior hand in negotiations with countries that are dependent on that oil. Ron, you may trust the neocons to have that kind of power but, I certainly do not.

David Remer: I would hope that the American people have had enough of the neocons but, they can still pull it off in Iraq and that could shift the equation back in their favor. They used fear effectively to get us into Iraq and they could use it again. If they could maintain control of our government until they have Weapons of Mass Laser Destruction, they will also have technology that can keep tabs on every American as well. 25 to 35 trillion in debt would buy that program as well. Worrying about and working against a 1984 senario is a healthy thing to do.

We see how the administration has stepped up the retoric about Iran. They are now accusing the Iranians of planning and participation in attacks on Americans. Doesn’t it seem odd that they are also selling spare military parts to Iran.

Perhaps I worry to much and my senarios are to Farout. I will admit that reading 10,000 science fiction novels can have a strange effect on a persons mind. I have been exposed to virtually every political, economic and religious system that the minds of humans can imagine.

Posted by: jlw at January 30, 2007 11:41 AM
Comment #205788

PS: my last post final line was launched at PNAC’s neocons bases, not jlw.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 30, 2007 11:48 AM
Comment #205791

Erratum: my whole first post was, not only is final line.
Sorry jlw if you took it for you, I should have made clear “you = you neocon = Kyl in this thread”.

My apologies, if you did.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 30, 2007 12:05 PM
Comment #205821
KansasDem wrote: d.a.n , Did you read my earlier post about the time it takes to respond? No one is going to launch one or two nuclear missiles and wait to see what we do. They’ll launch dozens or possibly hundreds. If it comes to that we’re all screwed and all we can possibly do is screw them back.
Yes, you are correct about that. All we have is the deterrent of MAD. But, if they have defense capabilities to thwart retaliation, we no longer have the MAD deterrent.
KansasDem wrote: My greatest fear is all of the loose nuclear material left over from the Soviets. Well, that and antrax, and small pox, and nerve gas…… I’m sure glad we have secure borders and ports.
Yes, you’re right. When terrorists do get WMD, they can walk right across our wide-open borders (or ports; i.e. put something in container(s)). That’s why I’m not voting for anyone for President or Congress until they take Homeland Security seriously (among these other pressing problems). Homeland Security is a joke with wide-open borders and ports, not to mention the complication of millions of illegal aliens flooding across the borders annually. But, there’s a lot of things in federal government, these days, that are a joke, and I don’t mean the funny kind.

But, this problem, and many other problems, will never be adequately addressed without first addressing the root problem standing in the way. Falling for, and wallowing in the partisan warfare, and rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them won’t ever solve anything. It will only allow them to be ignored longer … that is, until it becomes too painful, or it is too late (which seems increasingly likely, since politicians are more concerned with gettin’ theirs and securing their cu$hy, coveted seats of power, and fueling the distracting partisan warfare, than solving any of the nation’s pressing problems).

jlw wrote: d.a.n , I wasn’t talking about them disabling our ability to strike back. I was talking about our militarism of space and disabling other countries ability to defend themselves against us or their ability to invade us.
jlw, True, there is that danger. I’m not opposed to improving our national defense. But, I’d prefer shifts of military spending budgets rather than any increases in military budgets. For instance, how many missles and WMD do we need? Sure, I’m OK with improved defenses against attack, IF some other nation can thwart an attack (i.e. MAD). But, it doesn’t appear that China is really anywhere near that any more than we are. We also have some particle beam, laser technology, etc. that can damage satellites. I don’t think China has a jump on us. Also, it could trigger an arms race, like it did with Russia. We shouldn’t leave ourselves vulnerable, and I don’t think we are anymore than any other nation, in terms of attack from any nation with borders. Our biggest at the moment is vulnerability from terrorism, and wide-open borders and ports doesn’t make sense. So, it doesn’t seem likely that China is anywhere close to having the capability to stop hundreds of incoming ICBMs (become invulnerable to MAD). If they do, we’ll know about it in advance (hopefully, unless it’s like the intelligence that said Iraq had a bunch of WMD). Posted by: d.a.n at January 30, 2007 01:43 PM
Comment #205823
jlw: PNAC argues that American domination would be best for America and the world. The rest of the World may see it differently.
Absolutely. Another reason to not get into an unnecessary arms-race. Posted by: d.a.n at January 30, 2007 02:11 PM
Comment #205874

So by y’all’s way of thinking we should have a weak military just so some idiot won’t get using a war.
A weak military is inviting an invasion by another country. And there are those that would invade if they thought they could get by with it.
We have and need to have the strongest military in the world. What we need is leaders that won’t use it unwisely. The way to do that is elect leaders that are accountable to the voters.

Paul
No I haven’t heard of Project for a New American Century. But if the left is against it, and knowing how it demonizes anything they don’t like, it’s most likely an OK organization.
But I’ll research it and makeup my own mind. Then and only then will I either support it or condemn it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 30, 2007 06:56 PM
Comment #205891

KansasDem,

“They’ll launch dozens or possibly hundreds. If it comes to that we’re all screwed”

It would take more than that to screw us.

We have airbornes lasers that shoot down missles, we have patriot missles that shoot down missles, and we just gave Japan the patriot missles to shoot down missles for us.

Our patriot missle ring also includes:

Republic of China (Taiwan),
Greece,
Israel,
Germany,
the Netherlands,
Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait,
and Spain.

S. Korea is currently in the process of buying to include in the ring of air defense after N. Korea launched missles in to the Pacific Ocean.

While this is not completely covering all our enemies, it is a good start. Besides we have a ridiculous amount of these.

Also one must consider that our nukes are significantly different from other nukes.

Other countries have battle field/tactical nukes. These, while devestating, are not going to wipe out a city.

Our nukes are figgin huge and that is using the scientific terminology {sarcasm}. The nukes we dropped back in WWII were far more powerful than even the best that any other country has come across.

With the exception of China, but I already pointed out why CHina will never fight us and vice versa.

Then on top of that you are assuming that their technologies are safisticated enough to actual hit an intended target. So far as I know, we are the only country to accomplish this.

China might have, but their our friends.

So this fear of ‘impending doom’ is superstition at best.

We are properly defended and they lack the technology and the proper arments and we have China as an ally.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 30, 2007 08:32 PM
Comment #205920

David, My problem with this discussion is the question of what it is really about.

“Star Wars” was in development in the 60’s and 70’s

My father worked for the University of Dayton then for their Research Department. It was mostly government contracts associated with Wright Patterson Air Force Base. These projects are “Black Box” projects and not publicized until much later. That’s why Reagan in the 80’s started talking about it.

These projects go on without public debate in the Senate or Congress. I don’t know what Kyl’s issues are or what this is about, but I guarantee you it isn’t the real “black box” budget items. Space based defense has been a project since Sputnik.

Posted by: gergle at January 30, 2007 11:05 PM
Comment #205940

Gergle, space based OFFENSE has not. That is the issue. Using the SDI as a cover for space based offensive systems.

China is acutely aware of the the dual nature of space based defense systems. They know full well that nearly everything put up in space for defense can be also be used offensively. That is why they chose such a clear unmistakable message to send to the Bush Administration, and demonstration that they are aware of our Offensive capacity being erected in space. Their test of the ability to take out satellites, ours, was challenge. Continue SDI and China will not play symantic games, they will pursue an arms race in space.

And they can outspend us over the next 50 years causing our economy to collapse, very much the same way we outspent the USSR and their economy collapsed. China does not want to go down this road, because there are risks to its own economy. But, they will not permit the U.S. to achieve attack and defense superiority in space. That is what their test communicated. Our government knows full well what their test communicated, also. They don’t need my limited historical knowledge to advise them.

The next step in this arms race, if their is to be one, is for the U.S. to take. I commend the Bush administration for, so far, choosing diplomatic tactics to explore the options for avoiding such an arms race. Kyl and likely Cheney followers, are hopping mad at President Bush over this. So far, the Pentagon has refused to budget more than 500 million for space based efforts, a paltry sum in the scheme of what space based weapons systems will cost. (In the trillions.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 31, 2007 01:31 AM
Comment #205941

Bryan, you are right. I just watched a C-Span briefing of our global defense systems. We have the virtually the entire northern hemisphere covered for both detection and take downs, redundant and sequential take down systems too, meaning if our first line of defense to take out incoming missiles fails, we have real time capacity to continue retargeting until they are taken down.

It was incredibly impressive if it all works as well as the General said it does. This entire system however, works off satellite detection and communications systems. Which is what makes China’s test of taking down a satellite, such an enormously serious message from China. They will render our entire defensive system useless if we pursue space based superiority, and expand the system to the southern hemisphere, which of course the Chinese will view as throwing down the gauntlet to the most expensive arms race ever, one which, in light of our future economic problems, will certainly bankrupt our nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 31, 2007 01:38 AM
Comment #205942

Ron Brown said: “We have and need to have the strongest military in the world.”

No. With China, we need verifiable mutually assured destruction. That is the balance they seek, and that is the balance that saved the world during the Soviet-U.S. arms race.

And it is up to the U.S. to find a limited MAD arrangement with China. Because over the next 5 decades, China can outspend the U.S. on an arms race causing our economy to fail just as the Soviet Union’s did. We cannot afford to spend every available dollar on an arms race when the boomers are retiring, climate is changing, our national debt is already too high, and when we are running enormous and growing trade deficits.

Our domestic economy will fail and civil unrest will become priority number one, not the Chinese. The Chinese are acutely aware of these facts also. It is why they chose now to throw down the challenge to a space based arms race, a race we cannot afford and therefore cannot win while China’s GDP growth is sustainably double ours, and while deficits become an albatross around our desire to continue to be the MOST powerful military in the world and above it.

So far, the Bush White House is sending the right replies back to China. We to negotiate with the Chinese and the world on what is an acceptable MAD policy in which no nation has the ability to strike and believe it can survive counter attack.

M.A.D, mutually assured destruction, is the most insane concept ever devised by the human race. But, having avoided Armageddon through its implementation, it is an insanity we must now live with and pray we never use.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 31, 2007 01:49 AM
Comment #205963

M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) is a sad commentary of the human race.

Conflict is always with us, because of aggression, which is rooted in a fundamental human flaw.

Human populations have grown only because of our ability to reproduce faster than our ability to destroy each other.

But, with populations growing exponentially, plundering of our environment (i.e. crappin’ in our own nest), W.M.D. (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction), we can now reverse that.

Humans have the ability to learn, but slowly (2.000 steps forward, 1.999 steps backward).
Hindsight can lead to foresight, but hindsight happens more often than foresight, and history repeats itself, until the lesson is finally learned, and we finally have progress (0.001 step foward).

Unfortunately, we may be approaching the point where we will need the foresight first, because there will be no second chance to learn from hindsight.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 31, 2007 10:03 AM
Comment #205982

David,

Thanks for your honest assessment. I’ll never understand how the MSM decides what issues deserve full-throated debate and reporting, and which issues basically end up as a footnote.

d.a.n.,

There is absolutely no reason not to secure our borders and ports. This should be on the “top ten list” of things that MUST be done. Regardless of where one stands on the “illegal alien” debate it’s nonsense to not know who’s crossing our borders.

It’s one of those issues that should be pushed thru as a “one purpose/one bill” measure. Then the politicians can continue arguing over what else to do about immigration. Nothing improves until our borders are secured.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 31, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #206012
KansasDem wrote: d.a.n. , There is absolutely no reason not to secure our borders and ports. This should be on the “top ten list” of things that MUST be done.
I agree 100% . In fact, it is on in the top 10 things of my Congress_To_Do_List
KansasDem wrote: Regardless of where one stands on the “illegal alien” debate it’s nonsense to not know who’s crossing our borders.
I agree 100% . That’s why I suggest this solution on one of my web-pages. I’m don’t hate illegal aliens simply looking for a job. I am angry at politicians that are pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other (in much the same way politicians use the powerfully effective, distracting, divisive partisan warfare to pit Americans against each other).
KansasDem wrote: It’s one of those issues that should be pushed thru as a “one purpose/one bill” measure. Nothing improves until our borders are secured.
Absolutely. Congress saw fit to temporarily refrain from earmarks. Why not make it permanent? Pass a common-sense, no-brainer ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment. That would be more effective than the earmarks database, which already exists at Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org).
KansasDem wrote: Nothing improves until our borders are secured.
Yes, and existing laws are enforced to eliminate the magnets (i.e. employers illegally employing illegal aliens, etc.).

Also, IMO, I’m not sure we can adequately solve any problems until we solve the one problem standing in the way. Congress ignores the voters and the nation’s problems, but Congress still enjoys a 90%+ re-election rate, which is one of the obvious reasons they ignore the voters. Congress won’t change as long as voters keep rewarding them with 90%+ re-election rates. Since 1994, there has been an unusual trend (see link below) in which neither Democrats or Republicans have had a large majority in the Senate or House. Even now, the Democrats have a very small advantage.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at January 31, 2007 05:09 PM
    Comment #206013

    Notice the almost even Majority/Minority and the very high re-election rates.
    Perhaps those high re-election rates (e.g. 90% or more) are part of the problem? (i.e. rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them).

    Maybe incumbent politicians would be more responsive, and police their own ranks better, if their cu$hy incumbencies were not so secure?

    Congress Make-Up 1855 to Present

    The “IN PARTY” becomes the “OUT PARTY” for being irresponsible.
    The “IN PARTY” eventually abuses its power, and the switch again.
    However, they now seem to just be taking turns being irresponsible, and it is probably because of the 90%+ re-election rates?

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 31, 2007 05:12 PM
    Comment #206074

    David, Actually, offense is always a wing of defense, as in the best defense is a good offense and vica-versa. I only used the word defense because we changed the War Department to the Defense Department. To me, the terms have become interchangable. The whole point of the moon race was to counter our embarrassment at Sputnik. My father worked on the tracking system that was used to track Sputnik. American government was panicked by the thought of a sattelite tracking over the U.S.

    The first strike we use and anyone opposing us that can, will be to attempt to knock out our “eyes” and communications.

    You make good points about the spending race. I’m just not sure what Kyl’s issues really are.

    Posted by: gergle at February 1, 2007 12:22 AM
    Comment #206086

    We already have weapons in orbit. A large porton of American satellites are military satellites. Some of them are only for surveillance and communications. Some of them are shielded against EMP’s. Some of them have onboard fuel supplies and manuvering jets to change orbits and avoid enemy weapons. Some of them can launch kenetic weapons into the orbital paths of other satellites and destroy them. Like I said earlier, a handful of 8 penney nails will destroy any satellite on impact when traveling at 17,500 mph.

    We humans are very fearful and insecure. That produces a condition in us known as insanity. Because of our insanity, it is very hard to avoid military escalation ( What do you mean, don’t escalate, do you want us to be vulnurable to our enemys ). Unless we can overcome this insanity, we will eventually either destroy ourselves or drive ourselves back into the caves and start over with military escalation. Mass destruction gets easier every day.

    Posted by: jlw at February 1, 2007 02:06 AM
    Comment #206106

    Gergle and jlw, you both make good points.

    Kyl is focused on the money not being allocated and states that right up front. This much we know about Kyl’s motivation, military industrial corporations are lobbying representatives intensely to protect tax dollar spending on present and future projects in light of Congressional Democratic victory and announced intent to bring fiscal sanity back to government. Kyl has accepted corporations offer to advocate for them, (one can safely argue in return for considerable campaign donations in ‘08).

    That much we know.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 1, 2007 10:55 AM
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