Friday, June 08, 2007

Canada Celebrates Star Wars

Gee it was only two weeks ago that Star Wars celebrated its 30th Anniversary. And long time Trekkie; Stephen Harper celebrates by quietly changing Canada's Space Program to a Space War program.

As usual with the Harper Humpty Dumpty Government, what they have done in secret they deny in public. With Foreign Minister MacKay in the house denying that Canada has any interest in Ballistic Missile Defense. After all their other broken promises how can anyone believe anything Peter says.

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member, and I thank for her concern, that clearly there has been no ask whatsoever to revisit this issue. We are not pursuing missile defence.

While claiming to be broker Harper was out maneuvered by Putin who offered Bush a base for his missile defense system in Azerbaijan if as the Americans claimed their BMD was for protection from Iran.

PM backs 'Star Wars': Critics

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is quietly throwing his weight behind the U.S. missile defence program while he's at the G-8 summit, even though Canada officially opposed the controversial scheme two years ago, opposition leaders say.

Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion said yesterday he's concerned over the way Harper has stepped up to defend U.S. President George W. Bush and the missile-defence scheme in an ongoing showdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Harper is to sit down with today.

Weston: Space program morphing
Less money and more military
By GREG WESTON -- Sun Media

Just for fun, we dug out the space agency's three-year "report on planning and priorities," presented to Parliament in March 2001 by the then Liberal industry minister, John Manley.

The documents boasted Canada's ability to use its orbiting satellites to help monitor the environment and manage Canada's natural resources.

But nowhere in the entire 42-page document did we find a single mention of using the space program for anything remotely military.

Everything referred to the "peaceful use of space" and meant just that.

Six months after Manley's report on Sept. 11, 2001, the world changed and the Canadian space program was apparently no exception.

At first, the use of space-based surveillance systems for national and international security was not touted publicly, presumably for fear of embroiling the largely apolitical space program in the very political debate over George Bush's proposed ballistic missile defence proposal.

Alas, times have definitely changed. As Sun Media's national correspondent Kathleen Harris reports elsewhere in the paper today, military applications of space technologies are now simply a fact of life, if not a primary reason for public funding.

Reviewing a substantial compendium of official space agency documents Harris obtained under the Access to Information Act, it is difficult to go more than a few pages without finding words such as "sovereignty and national security," and "supporting the implementation of foreign policy."


Translation: Canada has an extraordinary seeing-eye satellite called Radarsat that would fit very nicely into the Bush missile defence system for North America, and a new version about to be launched that could probably spot an enemy convoy in Afghanistan.

Let's Talk about Creeping Canadian Militarism

Only Stephen Harper has a clear long-term strategy -- an ever-increasing military and a far more "engaged" foreign policy, which means likely participation in more American-sponsored wars. And that likelihood in turn justifies enlarging the military.

On both the material and ideological fronts, this militarization is well under way. The overall Department of National Defense budget has increased from $13 billion to $15.1 billion in the past two years, with a $1.1 billion rise over the next two and $5.3 billion in the next five years. Additional security costs -- paramilitary border guards and increased internal counter-espionage, all elements of modern militarism -- will go up another $1.5 billion in the next two years.

The military has embarked on an expensive expenditure program for transport planes, helicopters, supply ships, tanks, trucks and missiles, as well as more troops.

Planning for the next two decades, the Canadian military command has called for more than doubling the military budget to $36 billion by 2025, not to mention attendant security add-ons, which could double that figure to $72 billion if accelerated at the current pace. General Rick Hillier frequently trumpets the need for massive increases to the Canadian military establishment, and he does this in a public and politically partisan way that is radically contrary to the traditional public stance of Canadian commanders in chief. He, not the Minister of National Defense, is the vocal point man for militarism.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper is really leading the charge. Not only is he tailoring his budgets to substantially increase the military each year, he is the chief ideologue of speeded up militarization.

US space first strike program well underway

Disguised as "missile defense" the Pentagon's Star Wars program is all about offense and global control and domination. The planned deployments in Europe are just one more piece in the military space architecture that would give the U.S. "full spectrum dominance." Last October the Bush administration released its new National Space Policy that essentially gave the Pentagon a green light to move ahead with deployments of space war-fighting technologies.

The Air Force Space Command's Strategic Master Plan: FY06 and Beyond says, "Air Force Space Command will deploy a new generation of responsive space access, prompt global strike, and space superiority capabilities.....Our vision calls for prompt global strike space systems with the capability to directly apply force from or through space against terrestrial targets."

The Globalization of Military Power

The military projects being propelled by the United States, several NATO allies in Europe (namely Britain, Poland, and the Czech Republic), and the Japanese for the establishment of two parallel missile shield projects, threatens both Russia and China. One missile shield will be located in Europe and the other missile shield in the Far East. These missile shields are being elevated under the pretext of hypothetical Iranian and North Korean threats to the United States, Europe, South Korea, and Japan.

“This [meaning the missile shields being planted on Russia’s borders] is a very urgent and politically important issue, and could drag us into a new arms race,” Colonel-General Yuri Solovyov, a commander of the Russian military has commented in regards to the facilities that are part of the missile shield project that are going to be set up near the Russian border in Eastern Europe.

There is also discussion of another missile shield being erected in the Caucasus, or even possibly in the Ukraine. The Republic of Azerbaijan and Georgia are potential candidates for housing the missile shield project in the Caucasus.

“Our analysis shows that the placing of a radio locating station in the Czech Republic and anti-missile equipment in Poland is a real threat to us [Russia],” clarified Lieutenant-General Vladimir Popovkin, Commander of Russia’s Space Forces, and additionally explained, “It’s very doubtful that elements of the national U.S. Missile defence system in Eastern Europe were aimed at Iranian missiles, as has been stated [by U.S. officials].”

The U.S. missile project in the Czech Republic is also opposed by the majority of the Czech population. The wishes of the Czech people are being ignored, just as the wishes of the American, British, Italian, Canadian, and Japanese people are continuously being ignored by their respective governments. In other words, these so-called democratic governments are extremely undemocratic when it comes to military planning and foreign wars.

The borders of Russia and China are being militarized by NATO and the broader network of military alliances organized by the United States. Surprisingly, Turkey which is a Middle Eastern member of NATO, Iran’s direct neighbour and a logical choice for any missile shield facilities meant to protect against an alleged Iranian ballistic missile threat, has not been selected as a location for a missile defence shield. The fact that the missile shield project is being positioned in Poland and the Czech Republic rather than Turkey and the Balkans suggests that the project is not directed mainly against Iran, but against Russia.

Putin offers joint missile shield

But after the meeting on the fringes of the summit in Germany, the Russian leader said the threat to re-target Russian missiles could be withdrawn if Washington agreed to use the former Soviet radar base at Gabala in Azerbaijan.

This will make it possible for us not to change our stance on the targeting of our missiles
Vladimir Putin

"This will make it possible for us not to change our stance on the targeting of our missiles," Mr Putin said. "On the contrary, this will create the necessary grounds for common work."

"This work should be multi-faceted with the engagement of the states concerned in Europe."

Mr Putin added that if Washington and Moscow co-operated transparently on missile defence, "then we will have no problems".

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , , , , ,

1 comment:

Werner said...

What is Bush going to do when he runs out of 'dogs to wag'? Maybe he'll discover a coven of lapine terrorists undermining public order and spreading lack of respect for the Empire. "Every joke is a tiny revolution" or something like that. How do you build a missile shield against " wascally wabbits"?