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Suckers for the 'Son of Star Wars'

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It's really no surprise at all that Defense chief Donald Rumsfeld is cranking up the 'missile defense' propaganda, calling for new tests. Although, it was curious to see Rumsfeld this week play down the effectiveness of our nation's missile defense capability when, unprompted, he described the possibility of shooting down a North Korean missile as less than a sure thing.

Asked at a news conference Monday whether he thought the 'shields' we have in place are ready to defend us against a North Korean missile, he hemmed and hawed about the need for further testing of the system before he could be certain. "I want to see it happen," Rumsfeld told reporters. "A full end-to-end" demonstration is needed "where we actually put all the pieces" of the highly complex and far-flung missile defense system together and see whether it would succeed in destroying a warhead in flight.

His leader, Bush, was decidedly more optimistic in July, although he doesn't know any more than what he's told by the military industry cronies that infect his government. "Our missile systems are modest, our anti-ballistic missile systems are modest," Bush explained at a press conference July 7.

"They're new. It's new research. We've gotten -- testing them. And so I can't -- it's hard for me to give you a probability of success . . . I think we had a reasonable chance of shooting it (the NK missile) down." he said.

What else could Bush say? Mostly obscured by the 9-11 tragedy, the ambition to restart Reagan's 'Star Wars' boondoggle was a principle part of the Bush transition team's agenda. The 'Vulcans', reportedly named by Condi Rice after a statue of a Greek god in her hometown, included Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and other PNAC regulars there to flesh out Bush's new foreign policy and tell him who to choose for his Cabinet.

Rumsfeld was chosen by Bush as defense chief to usher in the next cash cow for the military industry: Space-Based Weaponry. In 2000, he chaired the Rumsfeld Commission a.k.a.: "Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States"

Wolfowitz was on the board, and Iraq reconstruction's Gen. Jay Garner was there too. The propped up space commission; the invention of Rep. Curt Weldon of Pa. (a frequent traveler to Russia and a friend of the Russian elite), was formed to refute the CIA's assessment that Star Wars was costly, unnecessary, and unworkable. Not surprisingly the commission came down in favor of restarting the Space nuclear race.

But, back then, the focus was on China as well as on North Korea. Bush promptly broke off talks with Korea and basically pretended that his new 'tough' stance had intimidated them. The Bush regime at that time was convinced that their hardening would be more effective than President Clinton's approach which they claimed was appeasement. Of course, the North Koreans called their bluff, and used that break off in dialog and monitoring to build a couple of nukes.
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Back in 2001, Rumsfeld cited China's build-up of missiles, as he justified the Bush administration's announced intention to restart star-wars. "The truth is that the Chinese have been building more, they are building more, they are going to build more - quite apart from any ABM treaty," Rumsfeld told CNN.

Bush talked up the renewal of the Star Wars program during the campaign, money was put into research, and the program has been waiting for resistance to his bloody occupations to fade so they could reduce those commitments and pump more money into an initiative that some have termed "Son of Star Wars.'

Back in May there were 'Chinese military buildup' reports coming from the Pentagon, which were old and deliberately released to discredit China, isolating them and their vote in advance of the Security Council action against Iran that the Bush regime had been pushing for. The weapon's systems the Pentagon and US analysts were citing are no secret and have been under development for years. There was no surprising new threat.

The Financial Times reported that, "it was unclear what aspects of Beijing's development of its nuclear missile forces had surprised US analysts. The report merely cited information about the introduction of new weapons such as the solid-fueled, road-mobile DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which has been under development for decades.

The North Korean missile launches gave the Bush regime the pretext, and also the vain need, to crank up the old rhetoric about the need for a missile defense system as a beat-all for some threat they've conjured from North Korea's unproven, Taepo-dong 2 missile. It also gave the Bush regime an election season opportunity to bash anyone who still opposes throwing more money at technology which has yet to prove itself capable; even after the appropriation of all the tax dollars that have been wasted on corporations like Lockheed, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, and the other pigs at the trough.
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So, there was Bush in July . . . boasting about a U.S. missile defense that won't work as a response to North Korean missiles that wouldn't fly right. It made perfect sense to him to use his most costly propaganda weapon against North Korea's. Neither leader is actually looking to take the other out. They need each other as desperately as Bush needs Iran to continue his campaign of fear, and to continue in his self-appointed role as the nation's savior from the bloody conflicts he himself encourages, prosecutes, and perpetuates with his militarism.

If there was no nemesis for Bush to point to then there wouldn't be any apparent need for elaborate defenses, aggression, or provocation across borders. Why would we need a new generation of bunker-busting nuclear weapons for if there wasn't the manufactured threat from imagined underground nuclear weapons labs in Iran?

Why do we need an elaborate missile shield if there is no credible threat? The threat from North Korea is their main justification for a missile defense system. NK's Taepo-dong 1 missile can only carry a 1,000-kilogram nuclear bomb for about 2,500 kilometers, short of U.S. territory. It could also carry lighter biological or chemical weapons for 4,100 kilometers, but it would still fall about 400 kilometers short of Alaska and the Hawaii islands. 126

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price

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