Richard Moore

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Date: June 25, 2006 4:06:29 PM PDT (CA)
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Subject: [MH] Weaponization of Space - World Peace Forum

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World Peace Forum
Vancouver, British Columbia
June 25, 2006
Mel Hurtig, O.C.

It seems to me that there are three terrible dangers facing the world.

The first, global warming, everyone seems to know about because it has

received so much attention, although despite its urgent importance there has

been only relatively modest political action so far.

The second threat is the very real and increasing dangers of nuclear 
proliferation, and the dangers of terrorists acquiring nuclear materials and 
weapons. The collapse of the May 2005 non-proliferation talks, mostly due to 
U.S. intransigence, is a tragedy. And, despite the importance of nuclear 
proliferation, I doubt if one in a thousand are even aware of or concerned with 
the issue. The Bush administration failed to send a single high-ranking official
to the May talks, even though they were held in New York with 153 nations in 

The third issue, the weaponization of space, may represent the greatest and most
urgent danger for the very future and the survival of our civilization.

When we talk about the weaponization of space, we¹re not simply postulating 
about something that might happen in the distant future. There is already an 
abundance of irrefutable evidence that the United States intends to place 
weapons in space, beginning as early as 2008. Both the Russians and the Chinese 
know this, and both understand that although they strongly oppose the 
weaponization of space, they will have no choice but to deploy their own 
offensive and defensive space weapons, regardless of the potentially cataclysmic

To suggest, as some have, that the Russians and Chinese ³might feel compelled² 
to deploy their own space systems in response to American actions is as naïve as
suggesting that via diplomacy the current Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney administration 
might be convinced to change their mind and reverse course, or that the abundant
number of  Pentagon, U.S. Air Force and similar weaponization documents 
originating in Washington are merely wishful thinking and that a 
Democratic-controlled House and Senate would halt or do much more than 
temporarily slow down the planned space research and deployment.

There is zero question that the U.S. plans to ³control space² and plans to ³deny
others the use of space² for any purpose the U.S. now opposes, or might oppose 
in the future.

Even though ultimately  the U.S. would be infinitely more secure by joining with
other nations in opposing space weaponization, the military-industrial complex 
in the U.S. has grown so powerful in Washington that rationality relating to 
perceived threats from China no longer exists, and growing administration 
paranoia reigns supreme.  While Russia once again is considered a threat in the 
Pentagon, it is Beijing that is the focus of growing fears in Washington.

For those who dread the inevitable terrible consequences of space weaponization,
the question is clear. Is there anything we can do about it?

In my book Rushing to Armageddon, I wrote at length about the U.S. plans to 
weaponize space (see A Nuclear Arsenal in Space, pages 94-115). This chapter 
contains numerous direct and detailed quotes from U.S. officials and documents. 
There is not a shred of doubt. Even the most stubborn pro-Bush propagandist will
likely have found it impossible to deny American intentions after reading these 

Now, almost two years later, there is an abundance of new information backing up
the contention that the Americans are actively planning to put both offensive 
and defensive weapons in space. Witness, for example, last month¹s House Armed 
Services Committee which requested more information on the need and consequences
of space-based weapons, weapons that the White House, the Pentagon and the U.S. 
Air Force are anxious to proceed with. To its credit, the Committee cut back or 
rejected funding for some of the administration¹s requests, but Washington 
sources say that the powerful defence contractors¹ lobby remains very optimistic
that the projects will ultimately be approved.

    Here¹s a recent quote from the New York Times, May 3, 2006:
    The Bush administration is seeking to develop a powerful
    ground-based laser weapon that would use beams of
    concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.
    The largely secret project, parts of which have been made
    public through Air Force budget documents submitted to
    Congress in February, is a part of a wide-ranging effort
    to develop space weapons, both defensive and offensive.
    Some Congressional Democrats and other experts fault the
    research as potential fuel for an anti-satellite arms race that
    could ultimately hurt the U.S. more than others because the
    United States relies so heavily on military satellites.
    The Air Force has pursued the secret research for several years.
    In January, 2001, a commission led by Donald Rumsfeld warned
    that the American military faced a potential ³Pearl Harbor² in
    space and called for a defensive arsenal of space weapons.

While there is renewed concern in Washington about Russia, the growing paranoia 
re China is extremely dangerous. The result now is rising tensions in all three 
countries and plans for large new military expenditures and deployments. There 
is no longer a potential for a horrendously expensive new arms race. It¹s here 
already. The potential for a disastrous conflict over Taiwan is real and 

In a widely circulated article in Foreign Affairs during the 2000 U.S. 
presidential campaign, George W. Bush¹s then foreign adviser, one Condoleezza 
Rice, warned that China, even six years ago, presented a danger to U.S. 
interests, and that the U.S. must prevent China¹s rise as a regional power.

In the spring of last year, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, of all 
things, complained about China¹s military buildup, suggesting that clearly this 
will be threatening to the U.S. (Rumsfeld somehow neglected to mention that 
total U.S. military spending in 2006 will be $562 billion, over 8 ¦ times 
China¹s military spending).

Just as today there is much speculation about the possible American use of 
nuclear weapons against Iran, even back during the Kennedy and Johnson 
administrations there were similar discussions about U.S. attacks against 
Chinese nuclear installations. It¹s no secret today that at the time this was no
secret to the Chinese.

Meanwhile, as has been widely reported, the Bush administration is doing 
everything it can to curtail Chinese influence in Asia, while the U.S. Defense 
Department is expanding and enlarging the American military presence in areas 
adjacent to China.

In a February, 2006 Pentagon document, a long-standing U.S. position is 
repeated. The United States will attempt to dissuade any military competitor 
from developing disruptive or other capabilities that could enable regional 
hegemony or hostile action against the United States. and China is clearly 
identified as the greatest threat.

What are the implications according to Mr. Rumsfeld¹s Pentagon? No question. The
U.S. must and will develop new weapons systems to guarantee American victory in 
a major all-out military confrontation.

In the words of Peace and World Security professor Michael T. Klare of Hampshire
College in Massachusetts:

                        Preparing for war with China in other words, is to be

the future cash cow for the giant U.S weapons-making
corporations in the military-industrial complex (and it)
will be the prime justification for the acquisition for the
costly new weapons systems such as the F-22A
Raptor air-superiority fighter, the DDX destroyer, the
Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, and a new
inter-continental penetrating bomber.

Even now, the U.S. Navy is upgrading its presence in the Western Pacific to six 
aircraft carriers and 60 per cent of its submarines will be in the area, and the
U.S. will conduct its largest military maneuvers near China since the end of the
Vietnam War. Klare continues:

From Beijing¹s perspective, the reality must be unmistakable: a steady buildup 
of American military power along China¹s eastern, southern, and western 
boundaries. ChinaŠhas always responded to perceive threats of encirclement in a 
vigorous and muscular fashionŠBeijing will (respond) with a military buildup of 
its own.

What is happening in Washington now is almost beyond belief. The embarrassing 
downgrading to ³official visit², instead of a state visit, of President Hu 
Jintao¹s trip to Washington was a serious loss of face for President Hu. The 
same neocon theocons who brought us Iraq planned the event and are now clearly 
dedicated to and relishing a China ­ U.S. confrontation.

Anyone considering a potential for conflict between the U.S. and China must 
consider the principal reason the U.S. invaded Iraq: oil. And anyone considering
oil must regard recent American warnings to China not to attempt to secure more 
oil supplies in the future as the height of the most arrogant hypocrisy.

The U.S. now uses just over 20 million barrels of oil a day. China consumes 
about 6.5 million. Keeping in mind China¹s 1.3 billion population, and that it 
is now the second-biggest consumer of oil in the world, and considering its real
annual GDP growth of about 9%, plus the fact that within a very few years 
China¹s number of automobiles will be almost 100 times what it is was in the 
mid-to-late 1980¹s, the New York Times suggests that by 2030 the country will 
have more cars than the U.S. The Times puts it well:

The United States doesn¹t have the right to tell a third of humanity to go back 
to their bicyclesŠAsking other                   countries to lay off the 
world¹s oil supply so America can continue to support its gas-guzzling Hummers
doesn¹t really cut it.

The bottom line here? It¹s not just Taiwan that could provoke a deadly 
confrontation between the world¹s major superpower and a rapidly emerging new 
giant superpower. Oil and other resources are bound to pose significant dangers 
to peace. And so will American weapons in space. Last month, American generals 
invited representatives of 91 countries to discuss the U.S. war on terrorism. 
China, which borders on so many countries involved in terrorist activities, was 
not invited to the meeting. But the intentional snub was carefully noted. The 
Pentagon regards China as a ³strategic competitor². Obviously for the U.S., more
important in the war against terrorism are the likes of Albania, Tonga and 

A few words about Russia.

Last month, the Kremlin chief of staff accused the United States of planning ³a 
whole arsenal of new destabilizing weapons². Meanwhile, for over a year, Russia 
has been claiming unrivaled success in the development of new missiles capable 
of penetrating any missile shield. The new Topol-M and Bulava ballistic missiles
are each equipped with six nuclear warheads, and Russia has reaffirmed plans to 
maintain a minimum of 2000 warheads for as far as one can speculate into the 

The head of the top Russian missile-design centre, Yuri Solomonov, says Russia 
will soon unveil plans to adapt the new Bulava missile for both land-based 
strategic use and for its nuclear submarines.

Not to be ignored are the many and increasing signs of unprecedented Russia and 
Chinese military, economic and political cooperation.

Both countries are firmly opposed to the weaponization of space. Both have 
pleaded many times for an effective anti-weapons-in-space-treaty.

And both will certainly respond with their own space weapons when the U.S. 
forces them to do so.

Well, of course, the greatest irony of all in the U.S. policy is that placing 
weapons in space will seriously reduce U.S. security rather than increasing it, 
just as the invasion of Iraq substantially increased the potential for future 
attacks on the U.S., rather than increasing so-called ³homeland² security.

A further irony is that by withdrawing from the existing international 
agreements such as the 1972 ABM Treaty and by failing to support or actively 
blocking effective agreements on non-proliferation, fissile materials, nuclear 
testing, the development of space weapons, and other international agreements, 
the U.S. rather than increasing protection for the American people, is actually 
increasing the danger of attacks.

Yet another further irony is that there is an abundance of scientific 
documentation showing that space weapons are not only terribly expensive, but 
are at the same time vulnerable to far less costly countermeasures.

For the Rumsfelds, the Cheneys, the White House and Defense hawks, it is 
inevitable that space will be weaponized, so the U.S. ³had better be the first² 
in this ³ultimate high ground² battlefield of the future.

This means deploying anti-satellite weapons, sensors and lasers and hit-to-kill 
weapons, plus space to ground weapons including powerful, enormously destructive
lasers, so-called tungsten ³rods or god², etc. It means satellite jamming and 
destruction and the disruption of communications.

For the Pentagon, space superiority will be essential and of the utmost 
importance in the battles of the future.

Four respected American space weapons experts Bruce M. DeBlois, Richard L. 
Garwin, Scott Kemp and Jeremy C. Maxwell note that

In a recent space war game, U.S. commanders found preemptively deploying or 
denying an opponent¹s space based information assets could lead to a rapid 
escalation into full scale war, even triggering nuclear weapon use. As one 
³enemy² commander commented:

³If I don¹t know what¹s doing on, I have no choice but to hit everything, using 
everything I have².

Šwar through accident, misunderstanding, or the action of a third party (would 
be a grave danger without) multilateral agreements on space. Space weapons, 
paradoxically, seem more likely to imperil than to protect overall U.S. military

Not to mention the overall safety of millions of men, women and children around 
the world.

Of course any discussion of American intentions to weaponize space has to be 
placed in the context of existing and already planned U.S. weaponry, ballistic 
missiles capable of striking anywhere in well under an hour, relatively 
inexpensive Tomahawk cruise missiles, a huge fleet of nuclear armed nuclear 
submarines, with Trident missiles strikes arriving with little or no warning, a 
huge fleet of observation and communication satellites, unmanned short and 
long-range aerial vehicles, etc.

Compare all of this with the low cost of a variety of defensive devices which 
will be employed against space weapons. And compare it all with the dangers of 
all-out war that will very probably be precipitated by space weapons. And stop 
for a moment to contemplate the meaning of a decision to ³hit everything² and 
³use everything².

The deployment of space weapons will be certain to inflame, will immediately 
produce dangerous instability and feelings of vulnerability that other nations 
will feel must be addressed. As DeBlois, Garwin, Kemp and Maxwell suggest, the 
best strategy for the U.S. would be An aggressive campaign to prevent the 
deployment of weapons by other nations which might best be implemented as a U.S.
commitment not to be the first to deploy or test a          space weapon or to 
further test destructive anti-satellite weapons. A treaty would have the added 
benefit of legitimizing the use of sanctions or forceŠ Such an approachŠwould 
pay dividends for the entire international community.

Well, all of this is very nice, except for one problem. It will never happen as 
long as George W. Bush is President of the United States. It will never happen 
if the Republicans maintain control of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives. It will most likely never happen if a Republican succeeds 
George W. Bush in the 2008 presidential election. And, it will never happen even
with a Democrat is the Oval Office, so long as the military-industrial complex 
continues to finance a corrupt, undemocratic American electoral system. The 
failure of efforts to reform elections and election financing in the U.S. is a 
tragedy, not only for that country, but a real potential tragedy for all of 
mankind. If the U.S. proceeds with its plans to weaponize space, the chances of 
a cataclysmic nuclear holocaust will be real and not far over the horizon.

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark put it well last month: George W. Bush
and his principal officials are the greatest threat to world peace, to economic 
justice, to the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law that the 
American people and the world at large face today. His personal, unilateral war 
of aggression has wrecked Iraq, taken 250,000 lives or more, created tensions 
worldwide and significantly isolated the United States, costing us international
friendships, trust, respect and alliances. (His actions have been based on) 
false claims followed by arbitrary acts including criminal aggression.

His threats against other governments have strengthened opposition to the U.S. 
throughout the Muslim world, Latin America, China, Africa and even West Europe.

His contempt for human rights and civil liberties is unprecedented

in the American Presidency. He condones torture. He wiretaps U.S. citizens and 
foreigners alike without court approval.

He believes he can bully the world into accepting his way.

George W. Bush is, as a great many now believe, the worst American president in 
living memory. For Canadians he is the worst president since the war of 1812. 
And at this writing among Americans his support is down to a miserable 29 per 

Yet this is the man that Prime Minister Stephen Harper admires and wants to cozy
up to.

Canada¹s position on the weaponization of space has been clear for over thirty 
years. Canada has not only been strongly opposed to the weaponization of space, 
but has long been a leader among nations in this opposition.

The question for Canadians now is what will the Harper government do in response
to the dangerous American plans. Given Harper¹s desire to move closer  to the 
Bush administration, given his decision to further integrate Canada¹s military 
with the U.S. military as we have already seen with the renewal and expansion of
NORAD, given the government¹s dedication to helping the U.S. out in Afghanistan,
given the governments desire to revisit the question of missile defence, is 
there much doubt that Canada¹s opposition to U.S. plans for the weaponization of
space will be muted, if not entirely non-existent?

So to summarize:

The United States plans to weaponize space.
The Chinese and Russia reaction will surely be to do the same thing.

The potential for a horrendous, cataclysmic nuclear confrontation will be 

There is no reason to believe that traditional government diplomacy and 
negotiation will alter any of the above.

There are currently no political leaders in Canada or in the United States who 
are likely capable of changing any of this.

Bleak? Yes.
Realistic? Unfortunately yes.

The question, the paramount question, is do we want to save this planet, save 
our families and our friends, save our civilization, or are we going to allow 
the Strangelovean madman in Washington to destroy the world?

Can anything be done? Perhaps.

What can we do if we can¹t rely on our political leaders, or on a conservative 
media increasingly owned and controlled by wealthy right-wing plutocrats?

I can think of only one thing we can try, a people¹s revolt employing the 

In Canada in 2004, we used the internet to dramatically turn around the debate 
about Canada¹s participation in the absurd American missile defence plan. 
Through the wide dissemination of authoritative scientific information, in a few
months we turned the public opinion polls around from roughly 65 per cent in 
favour to 65 per cent opposed. We had press conferences featuring our own 
Canadian experts, and we brought in respected experts from outside the country. 
We provided such an abundance of valuable information that citizens were 
previously not aware of, that the growing passion and anger across the country 
left the Martin government with little choice. Even though the Liberals fully 
intended to join in with the Americans, even though our defence minister was 
sent down to Washington to inform Donald Rumsfeld that they could count on 
Canada, the growing strongly-opposed to polls forced Ottawa to change its mind 
with an election on the horizon and with more and more Liberal MP¹s now opposed.
Yes, there were a few books, lots of speeches, and articles supporting our 
position, but the single most effective tool we had was the internet and the 
information we provided Canadians across the country via the net.

With so many peace, disarmament, environmental and other groups to call on, a 
properly organized viral internet campaign could force even the Harper 
government to renew our long-standing Canadian strong opposition to the 
weaponization of space.

A long shot? You bet.
Could it succeed? Absolutely

Citizens won¹t be able to rely on our current government leadership in Canada or
the U.S. for us to win this one. We have to do it ourselves. Canada could lead 
the way.

I wish we could rely on our politicians, but we can¹t.
Perhaps I¹m wrong. Perhaps there¹s a better idea.
If there is, I¹d certainly like to hear about it.
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