October 19, 2006

Space: The 51st US State

From the UK Times:
SPACE: no longer the final frontier but the 51st state of the United States. The new National Space Policy that President Bush has signed is comically proprietory in tone about the US’s right to control access to the rest of the solar system.

The document makes a serious point about our growing dependence on satellites, the military threats to them and ways of protecting them. But America has rejected the desire by 160 other countries to have United Nations talks about banning an arms race in space, an extravagantly unilateral approach whose appeal you might have thought would have been tarnished by its experience in Iraq.
Strangely, Bush doesn't want his own people to know about their new colony:
Bush signed the document on August 31, and the White House released the text this month in the late afternoon of the Friday of a holiday weekend.
Now get this bit:
The eyecatching declaration is that the US asserts the right to deny access to space to anyone “hostile to US interests”, although it gives no basis for that right. It also rejects arms control talks that would limit future US actions in space.
For anyone in the USA who is scratching their heads about this, just imagine if Russia or China did the same thing.


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