Is Bush Aiming to Privatize them and Establish Lunar and Martian Corporate Territories as Independent Nations?
By Rob Kall
I've been a science fiction and space exploration fan and supporter all my life. But George W. Bush's plans for NASA scare me. It's simple. I don't trust him to treat NASA, the moon or Mars any different than the other aspects of the human commons he's touched.
Any time he evokes a positive promise and vision, enunciating his speech-writers' words so clumsily, behind those words are plans to do the opposite-- to ravage and plunder, to tear down and do whatever is most profitable for him and his cronies. This is very predictable, very reliable.
So, if George Bush says he's going to improve the space program, that means he's going to ruin it, and in the process make some mega-corporations billions, and probably, some pimp neocons hundreds of thousands of dollars offering consulting services on how to make money off of the destruction of NASA and the rape of the moon and mars.
I'd assume that, following the lines of the IMF and WTO that the moon and Mars will be privatized, sold outright to corporation. Why give an acre of moon-land to a government?
Perhaps, that's the logical next step for Bush and the rest of the traitors who are sacking the US-- establishing Lunar corporate territories. The space program could be Bush's biggest giveaway ever.
In the near-term, I fear, as John Glen has also expressed concern about, that Bush's outer space rape plans will kill or weaken important NASA programs already under way.
The only thing we can trust about Bush is that he will do the opposite of what he says when it comes to promising to do good, and that the opposite will benefit his cronies and money backers.
Even life long space-buffs would be wise to tread cautiously in welcoming the Bush administration into space... unless, of course, Bush, Rove and the neocons volunteer to do the Mars trip themselves. That's one flight suit I'd be truly happy to see on George.
This article has generated some nasty remarks from right-wingers who think I'm crazy suggesting that Bush might do as I suggest. But I'm not the only one.
Edward Hudgins, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and editor of Space: The Free-Market Frontier (Cato, 2002,) suggested on CNN (Jan 18) that large corporations be given rights to their own bases on the moon, in exchange for them investing in the Bush Space project, (since it is laughably underfunded.)
Here's an excerpt from the Progress Report, a daily newsletter from think tank, Center for American Progress:MARS
The scene is all too familiar: roll out a big-sounding proposal to great acclaim, then drastically underfund the proposal after the fanfare subsides to make room for large tax cuts for the wealthy. No, it's not the No Child Left Behind bill and the subsequent underfunding of education, its the President's new Mars proposal. In 1989 when a similar idea was floated by Bush's father, experts estimated it would cost about $500 billion. But even as Bush waxed philosophic about the virtues of exploring the unknown frontier of space, he said his grand vision could be done by "spending an additional $1 billion over five years." As USA Today reports, this amount is so small, it is almost embarrassing: a single flight of the space shuttle costs roughly $500 million. In contrast to Bush's Mars proposal, "the original Apollo program cost $150 billion to $175 billion in 2003 dollars."
Red Planet Motivations
...there is one company that has supported a Mars mission for years: Halliburton. The company, which was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney and is a major financial backer of the Administration, has long supported funding a Mars plan because it is good for its drilling technology business (it was also Cheney who spearheaded the Mars plan inside the White House). According to an 8/20/01 Kiplinger's Business publication, "several companies and university labs will stand to benefit from new projects" in a Mars mission - including Halliburton. And the payoff could be big: Citizens Against Government Waste notes that, despite the White House's initial lowballing, legitimate "cost estimates for the new program range from $550 billion to $1 trillion."
HALLIBURTON ACTIVELY PUSHING FOR MARS FUNDING: In the 4/24/00 edition of Oil & Gas Journal, Halliburton scientist Steve Streich pointed out why a Mars program would be so lucrative for Halliburton. He says a "Mars exploration program presents an unprecedented opportunity" for the industry and that it "warrants the support of both government and industry leaders." He says "one area of great importance is finding out of what the inside of Mars consists. That's where the petroleum industry comes in." Specifically, benefits for "the oil and gas industry may lie in technology that NASA will use for drilling into the surface of Mars." He says there is "great potential for a happy synergy between space researchers" on a Mars project and "the oil and gas industry."
HALLIBURTON ALREADY INVOLVED IN MARS PLANS: The 4/24/00 edition of Oil & Gas Journal also reported that Halliburton is already involved in a preliminary consortium of industry and academia "organized to support the development of new technology required for the Mars mission." A 2/28/01 report in Petroleum News confirmed that "NASA has been working with Halliburton and others to identify drilling technologies that might work on Mars."
MILITARY MOTIVATION: On top of the Halliburton factor, USA Today reports that Cheney "persuaded Bush that there could be military benefits, such as space-based defense systems."
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Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is editor/founder of OpEdNews.com, president of Futurehealth, Inc. and organizer of the Futurehealth Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and StoryCon Meeting. This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached.