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Newsweek via Dan Froomkin....
"USA 193 (9-11 plane that crashed in PA), weighing around 5,000 pounds, is the size of a school bus. But . . . [t]hree-quarters of the earth's surface is water. Ninety-five percent is uninhabited. Suppose USA 193's debris were to cover a few square miles, which is a plausible estimate. The earth's surface is 197 million square miles -- all but one-20th of which is uninhabited. . . .
"The detailed rationale given by administration officials for the shoot-down makes little more sense. USA 193 carries on board a tank of hydrazine, the fuel U.S. satellites use to change orbit in space. . . . Hydrazine is moderately toxic, with effects akin to chlorine gas. The hydrazine cloud from USA 193's tank would, if released, diffuse over an area of roughly two football fields. The cloud would dissipate in minutes. Nevertheless, we are told, that is the risk that impelled President Bush to order the satellite's midair destruction." Link
because the administration seemed willing as recently as last month to let the satellite plummet to Earth unmolested � figuring that much of it would be burned up in a fiery re-entry and the rest would have little chance of hitting anyone on the planet's vast expanse � it's not surprising that the shoot-down plan is generating suspicion. Critics such as Russia's Defense Ministry say the real motive is to test U.S. space weapons capability. Link
As many Americans know now, the unilateral, pre-emptive military aggression George W. Bush ordered against Iraq was a word for word fulfillment of the Project For The New American Century's (PNAC) blueprint for the middle east. PNAC's plan involved strategically basing our military in the middle of the volatile, oil rich, Arabian peninsula. From those permanent military bases, preferably inside Iraq, America, according to PNAC position papers, would be able to "project" American military power throughout the region.
That was and still is the basic reason, the justification for, having invaded a sovereign nation which posed no threat to America. The 9-11 tragedy simply presented the PNAC'ers (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bill Kristol, Armitage...among others) with the opportunity they needed, the "new Pearl Harbor" they said would be necessary to implement such an extremist policy.
Anyone who has seriously investigated PNAC and Bush's Iraq invasion and ocupation understand what I'm saying is, in fact, accurate.
I include Iraq here....in order to point out that along with total dominance of the oil rich countries of the middle east....the militarization of space is also a very significant policy position of these same PNAC members.
Here are a few paragraphs from PNAC's dogma on this topic....
CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE,” and pave
the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of
For U.S. armed forces to continue to assert military preeminence, control of space – defined by Space Command as “the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operations within the space medium, and an ability to deny others the use of space” – must be an essential element of our military strategy. If America cannot maintain that control, its ability to conduct global military operations will be severely complicated, far more costly, and potentially fatally compromised.
..over the longer term, maintaining control of space will inevitably require the application of force both in space and from space, including but not limited to antimissile defenses and defensive systems capable of protecting U.S. and allied satellites; space control cannot be sustained in any other fashion, with conventional land, sea, or airforce, or by electronic warfare.
This eventuality is already recognized by official U.S. national space policy, which states that the “Department of Defense shall maintain a capability to execute the mission areas of space support, force enhancement, space control and force application.” Link
17,000 man made objects have re-entered earth's atmosphere and not many folks, and certainly not the president, ever saw any of those objects as a serious threat to earthlings.
The president's decision to shoot down this satellite had nothing to do with safety, just as attacking and occupying Iraq had nothing to do with "terrorists" harming Americans.
Instead, this satellite shootdown, like Iraq, is part and parcel of a dangerously extremist neo-conservative American militarism, willing, nay anxious, in this case....to fully weaponize and thus control, space.
If you think invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, just think what a space war would look like.
The American military-industrial complex is cheering, just like before the Iraq invasion.
American citizens should be afraid, not of impotent dictators, not of falling objects from space, but of the maniacs manning our military empire.
These people are very dangerous people.