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"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"

Change from Within - Challenges to Missile Defense

When working to expose the dangers of the Cassini space probe's flyby of Earth, we learned of much inside support from individuals working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other NASA-associated facilities. We received word that NASA was "embarrassed" by postings on the Internet. The NoFlyby website [ ] detailed credible evidences and individuals showing how such a mission was outside a reasonable concern for the safety of life on Earth. Such is the power of the Internet: NASA will probably never again attempt such a high-speed high-risk flyby mission of Earth with dangerous amounts of Plutonium on board. However, the forces for Missile Defense, propose more dangerous space missions for control and domination of Earth. This is being challenged by most all nations, and by those inside the system, too.

The following is a statement from an individual working at Lockheed Martin, sent to Flyby News regarding the Star Wars direction:

"Many thoughts. Some folks LOVE the idea of puttin a laser weapon in space to zap anyone they don't like 'cause it doesn't seem to put any Americans at risk to wage war. I have stayed away from the war toys development side of Lockheed Martin because I could not do that kind of work in good conscience. I think W Bush is paying for his election by pushing star wars systems. I don't think we will have enough money, though, if his tax cut goes through as well. It takes a lot of money to put anything into space and keep it there. And it's not something they will be able to do secretly. We've spent billions of star wars systems and don't have anything to show for it except larger, blotted defense contractors (companies) hungry for more contracts. I hope this go-around gets squashed for lack of merit but the House is getting pretty close to even (Republicans vs Democrats) so anything is likely to squeak by these days."

Please call Congress this coming Monday and Tuesday regarding Missile Defense in support of Project Abolition's White House Protest of this June 10 [ ]. United, we can make a difference. Certainly logic, common sense and humane concerns are on our side. Stand up and be counted for peace in space, which can result in peace on Earth.

For a Sixty Minutes transcript of a program showing:
a.. Critics Say The Missile Defense System Is Flawed
b.. Claim Contractors Fraudulently Covered Up Failures
c.. 60 Minutes II Observes Latest Missile Test, A Failure,1597,245328-412,00.shtml

1) Analysis and Concern of Democrats and Missile Defense
2) New Japan Foreign Minister Blasts Bush on Missile Defense

1) Analysis and Concern of Democrats and Missile Defense
by Joseph Gerson
June 1, 2001

"Don't follow leaders. Watch parking meters." - Bob Dylan


While I have your attention, let me start with my conclusion, which I should be clear simply reflects my thinking and that of several fellow/sister organizers. Then I'll share the thinking that got me there.

I want to encourage people who will be traveling to Washington, D.C for the June 10-12 demonstration and lobby days to take two questions with you: one for legislators and official "policy makers", and the other for ourselves. (Of course, these are not the only two questions we should be asking!)

1. What is the Democratic leadership's and the party's approach to "Theater" missile defenses?
(This is the technology Rumsfeld wants to concentrate on for early deployment of "missile defenses" and which is the most immediate fear for the Chinese.)

2. What strategy can we develop to STOP funding "missile defense" research and development, in addition to preventing deployment?

Then the background: Today's New York Times reports that Senator Carl Levin, who will soon be heading the Senate Armed Service Committee, wants to prevent early deployment of "missile defenses" in part because he doesn't want to ignite a second Cold War with the Russians and Chinese. BUT, he is clear in supporting "robust" funding of research & development for "missile defenses." And, while there is clarity about his opposition to "National" missile defenses, the report is silent about his approach to "Theater" missile defenses. I'm not rushing to judgment on this. We simply need to know.

Then we come to the more fundamental question: how do we defeat, stop, end, continued "missile defense"/Star Wars research and development? Remember, more than Republicans are to blame for getting us to this very dangerous point. A "Democratic" Administration and Congresses funded "missile defense" R & D for eight years, in part because of their fear that this would cost them votes. And, as we saw with Bush's "tax" bill which will severely truncate governmental services for education and health care to housing and environmental protection, there is always the danger of some "Democrats" joining "Republicans" in a voting for a deployment amendment from the Senate floor. And, if "Democrats" "simply" keep "missile
defenses"/star wars alive through R & D funding, in 2002 or 2004 or as a result of U.S.-Russian triangulation against China (analogous to Bush senior using the U.N. to win the Senate vote authorizing the 1991 war against Iraq), we could find ourselves in a situation where the Republicans have the votes to begin deployments.

We need to begin thinking, strategically and among ourselves, about how we can transform the discourse, de-legitimate "missile defense" Research and Development as well as deployment, and lead this or future Congresses or Administrations, to relegate the "missile defense"/star wars program to the dust bin of a nightmarish history.

If we don't begin seriously asking this question of ourselves and "movement" leaders, we'll never get there.

Three final notes: In addition to firmly believing that we won't be able to reduce, let along end, "missile defense"/star wars funding unless we build an educated and committed grassroots movement, I also believe that such a movement must be linked to people's felt needs - what we/they feel in our guts. In this regard Bush may have tactically, though not materially, helped us with his $1.35 trillion tax refund coup. As Republican strategist Grover Norquist has said, the tax cut ties the hands of the Democratic Senate and of future U.S. governments many years to come. "Nothing", he said, "that Daschle wants or Ted Kennedy wants is for free...We're going to spend the next two years talking about how the Democrats...want to spend your money." With a smaller government pie for guns and butter, star wars or housing, "missile defenses" or health
care (or the environment, or...) the choices become more immediate, stark, compelling, and individually "felt.". Arm the heavens, seas and continents or care for the people.

As we did in the 1980s, we're going to have to confront "the deadly connection" between U.S. nuclear warfighting policy and U.S. foreign military intervention, if we are to drive a legislative stake through the Star Wars Vampire's heart.

The military's strongest rationale for TMD deployments is to protect our forward deployed troops and bases from enemy missiles, for example U.S. troops in Okinawa. (Remember that TMD technology apparently works far better than NMD technology, and - as the Chinese know - TMD are much closer to being credibly deployed) In addition to serving as a shield to reinforce U.S. nuclear swords, "missile defenses" are also designed to facilitate "conventional" U.S. foreign military interventions, and to reduce U.S. military death tolls in the midst of U.S. military aggressions. We do well to remember, as the Okinawans, so many others, and our own Declaration of Independence tell us, that these forward deployments are intolerable neo-colonial "abuses and usurpations" that must be ended. We don't need "missile defenses" to "save our soldiers." Bring them home.

Finally, the "rogue" state rationales we can handle, but we should also prepare ourselves for arguments that TMD are necessary for Israel's security. The answer to which is: "End the occupation."

With friendship and humility,

Joseph Gerson

Director of Programs
American Friends Service Committee
New England Regional Office

Join Project Abolition at the White House
for a rally to stop the arms race.
Lafayette Park
Washington, DC
Sunday, June 10, 2:00 PM

And in the halls of Congress
Monday and Tuesday, June 11 and 12
Activist Training and Congressional Education Days
Site for training to be announced

[Support above actions by calling June 11 and 12]

2) New Japan Foreign Minister Blasts Bush on Missile Defense

The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)

June 2, 2001

Makiko Tanaka's tendency to shoot from the hip has got her into trouble again, this time with critical comments about the U.S.-proposed missile defense system.

The sharp-tongued, no-nonsense foreign minister told Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini that Japan and Europe should work together to put the brakes on President George W. Bush's plan for a new defense system against ballistic missiles, according to aides.

Her comments, regarded as deeply embarrassing for the fledgling Koizumi administration, were made at a luncheon held during the conference of foreign ministers of Asia and Europe in Beijing on May 25.

Tanaka was sitting next to Dini.

Undiplomatic language has become Tanaka's hallmark. Even so, her comments this time are at odds with Japan's official position.

In a May 8 meeting in Tokyo with visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Japanese officials said they share U.S. concern about the spread of ballistic missiles and vowed to continue to promote joint technology research on the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) project with the United States.

Coincidentally, Tanaka canceled a meeting with Armitage during his stay. She cited physical and emotional panic resulting from her new responsibilities.

Armitage is one of the Bush administration's top point men for Asian policy.

Tanaka told Dini she had doubts about whether a missile defense system was really necessary.

Foreign Ministry officials said Tanaka told Dini, ``Japan and Europe should tell the United States `Don't overdo it.'''

She also said the United States was using China to justify the missile defense program.

``In order to counter the economic and military threats from China, the United States is promoting the missile defense plan, but such threats should be dealt with intelligence and not with force,'' Tanaka told Dini.

Foreign Ministry sources said Friday that Tanaka made similar remarks to Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer during bilateral talks Monday in Tokyo. Sources said Downer admonished Tanaka for making such remarks about an ally.

Asked Friday to confirm the remarks, Tanaka told reporters, ``I made no such comments and I will not comment on each and every report in the media.''

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said earlier in the day he was not aware his foreign minister had spoken in such a manner.

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