"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Heritage of Fear: or, Don't Buy Fear-Based Missile Defense


Fear is a powerful tool, so powerful that a government can manipulate millions of its citizens just by playing the fear card at the right time using the right words; hey, it worked for George W. Bush. Now those wacky conservatives at the Heritage Foundation are playing up the fear card to help ensure the future of MISSILE DEFENSE.

Yes, it's the idea that just won't die. After all, some mighty powerful munitions makers (aka: defense contractors) have already spent tons of money developing some rather wild and crazy technologies to knock down all those enemy missiles that are going to rain down on the U.S. any day now; they've probably also spent loads of money on lobbying every congressman they can corner. There's X-band radar, satellites, 747s loaded with gargantuan lasers, ground based and ship-based anti-missile missiles, and more radars, and lots of other fun stuff in the
works. The graphic below gives an idea of the Rube Goldberg-esque complexity of the system.

The real problem is that folks at the Pentagon (along with those munitions makers have been working overtime developing, building and deploying a system (based on a dubious concept) that hasn't been rigorously tested, and can't possibly live up to all the hype; President George W. Bush ordered interceptors to be deployed before they had (and still have not) been fully and properly tested. That's what one might call Faith-Based Missile Defense. And by the way -missile defense is extremely destabilizing to any nonproliferation efforts; just ask the Russians what they think.

Now back to our friends at The Heritage Foundation who are hosting a screening of its new "documentary" film, 33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age. Here is the description of the film taken from the Foundation's Web site:

33 Minutes is a thrilling, one-hour documentary that tells the story of the very real threat foreign enemies, like Iran and North Korea, pose to every one of us. The truth is brutal – no matter where on Earth from which a missile is launched, it would take 33 minutes or less to hit the U.S. target it was programmed to destroy. Despite the present and growing danger, our government has failed to deploy a comprehensive missile defense system capable of defending us against any attack. Featuring rare footage and in-depth interviews with leading experts in the field, 33 Minutes explains just how vulnerable every citizen really is and what they can do about it.

OH MY GOD!!! Be AFRAID America!!! Be very AFRAID!!! O.K., we can all calm down for a moment; what's the big deal? The fact is that the U.S. has Trident submarines bristling with Trident D-5 missiles (24 per sub), each containing multiple warheads, that can reach their targets just about anywhere on earth at least as quickly as one of those inferior missiles. Why, just one Trident submarine could incinerate an entire continent. And we should be worried???

Well, folks at The Heritage Foundation seem to think so, and they even invited Brad Thor (isn't that a great name?), former member of the Department of Homeland Security's Analytic Red Cell Program (ooooh) and author of such "best-sellers" as The Lions of Lucerne, Path of the Assassin, State of the Union, Blowback, Takedown, The First Commandment, and The Last Patriot (aaaah) to give the opening remarks. Very appropriate.

If the film doesn't send viewers running for the bomb shelters, a reception will be held at Lounge 201 where Heritage policy analysts will be on hand to answer questions about the film, missile defense, and other policies designed for protecting America. I bet they have sent out invitations for this one to decision maker on Capital Hill. It should be one heck of a party, and those "policy analysts" should have all the answers.

Did I mention that this special screening is part of The Heritage Foundation's Protect America Month program series? Perhaps they should rename the program, Protect American Weapons Contractors Month. What do you think? What does Stephen Colbert think??? Hey, somebody has to protect America. Well, gotta run for the bomb shelter.

Before you head for the shelter, CLICK HERE to send a message urging your Congressional Representative to vote NO on amendments to the Defense Authorization bill adding missile defense funds (action courtesy of Council for a Liveable World). You can also call; CLICK HERE for your Representative's phone number and more information. There could be a vote any day now! Vote NO on Fear-Based Missile Defense!



P.S. - You can check out The Heritage Foundation's Web site at http://www.heritage.org/ where you can find out how the Environmental Protection Agency is "hijacking the economy". Isn't that nice?

Note: Missile Defense graphic courtesy of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

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