"Swing lo, sweet chariot
  Coming for to carry me on home...

        Many modern American historians who have studied his presidency in depth have concluded that Ronald Reagan's eight-year tenure as Commander-In-Chief caused the United States to go farther into debt than the fiscal policies of all previous American Presidents combined.  By far, the largest contributing factor to this debt was Reagan's insistence on pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into nuclear and other catastrophic weaponry, including research into the Armageddon-bent fiasco missile 'defense' system that came to be known as "Starwars".  Depending on which calculations one chooses to believe, estimates of the total cost for this unfathomably misguided absurdity range from three to ten trillion dollars.  The total cost including deployment may be well over ten trillion dollars according to some sources. (Incredible as they may seem, these numbers are conservative.)

        Also, as most modern and former historians have concluded, there are at least two realities that can be more or less, positively concluded from the 'lessons of history ':  1) As long as there are people who buy and sell on our planet, there is likely to be war and rumor of war; and  2) As long as we continue to construct weapons to protect what we buy and sell, most assuredly other individuals will come along down the road and build ever-larger editions of similar implements of destruction, or worse.  One possessed with an eighth-grade intelligence and a grade-school history primer can readily assess the obvious truth:  First the United States developed an atom bomb and then a competing nation built a similar type of bomb.  We then of course, had to build a greater weapon of 'defense' known as the hydrogen bomb and, as sure as the sun shines on Los Alamos in July, in less than one year, someone else likewise constructed a similar bomb. . .  Not that it would ever be used, of course, or. . . *

        The nation of China recently made public that they have successfully launched a space vehicle into orbit.  And they have made little effort to hide their intended mission of soon attempting to place a human being into space and returning him to the earth safely.  Considering how long it took the United States to grow from this relatively rudimentary achievement into our present space venture capability, it is not at all hard to conclude that within a couple of generations, a nation such as China could likewise, begin deploying their own space-ray 'defense' system.  And, as any historian worthy of his or her profession will tell you, we will all then be praying for the days of old, when we had multiple-warhead missiles that were at least, only based on the ground.

        Modern scientists inform us that space-based laser weapons, whether originally intended for defense or offense, can quite readily be used for either purpose.  Space-based weaponry such as the Reagan and now the current Bush Junior administration wants to develop and deploy, can be used to set entire cities on fire with the flip of a switch or two.  Imagine if in our recent confrontation with China, we could have threatened to train laser beams on Shanghai in retaliation for holding our military plane and its crew hostage.  We might conclude such capability as being a plus until we also comprehend the possibility of China, Russia, India and the European coalition having the same ability to incinerate Los Angeles and New York.  Can we really in any logical way claim that a mindless fatuity such as Starwars is going to somehow, shield us or make us in any way, safer?

        It does not take much training as an historian or rocket scientist to surmise that our planet's current political direction is leading us toward a worldwide nuclear triple-threat of obliteration.   England's Prime Minister Tony Blair recently asked for and received, President Bush's blessing toward the formation of a European Common Market air force; such force intended to be independent of NATO and the United States.  It is fairly clear that within a decade or two, the international political lines of tension may well be drawn around the U.S. in one sector, the European Common Market in another and China perhaps eventually, in the most powerful position of all.  If such a scenario should occur, it is more than likely that other major powers such as Russia, India and Japan will join forces with one of these three, thus leading our planet to the brink of ultimate military catastrophe. ¹

        It seems that a prophet or two of old once claimed that in the future, the moon will be turned to blood, seas on our planet will dry up, the stars will fall from the sky and the foundations that hold our galaxy and planet in space will be shaken.  The counterparts of those scientists who in history's past laughed to scorn such a holocaust scenario are now today, closer to praying that these prophets were somehow, mistaken.  If our current administration was willing to take the minimum of six trillion or more additional dollars it is going to cost to usher in the foundation for Armageddon and to instead, invest it in national health care, into finding a cure for AIDS, muscular dystrophy and paralysis and into educating our nation's youth toward pursuing the opposite direction of our present example of scorn for our planet and its present and future inhabitants, then Bush Junior may well be deified as one of the truly great leaders of modern American and even, human history.  We are most unwise to give ear to the current rush down national suicide road of space-based, ray-gun misdirection while, in the process, forging the legacy of our country's already highly questionable leadership toward becoming an example of international historical buffoonery, hell-bent toward planetary oblivion.**

        "And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us. . .' " ²   Will Ronald's ray-gun blow us all to Kingdom Come? You had best better pray it is not in your generation, nor in the generation of your son's, son. ***

 ...Swing low, sweet chariot,
    Coming for to carry me on home."

Greenpeace      Corporation Watch

DEDICATED TO:  The late Carl Sagan, who did his best to warn us of the incredible dangers of placing laser and other advanced weapons up in space.  If we the people care about the future of our children's children, we will run any official out of office who supports for any reason, placing weapons in space, regardless of their position, their party or the merits of anything else they may have achieved.  This is not a partisan issue---this is a matter of survival for our species.


1. This chapter, as was the vast majority of this entire book, was written before the recent Bush Administration's Constitutionally illegal war (to be accurate of definition, massacre) of aggression against Iraq.  Obviously to anyone possessing rudimentary intelligence, Bush Junior is leading us down the same crooked pathway promulgated by Ronald Reagan and Bush Senior towards national bankruptcy, if not first, nuclear or worse oblivion.  Based on their combined rhetoric and a few scattered memos uncovered by a reluctant press (and for the most part, deliberately buried in back pages beneath mounds of superfluous pro-war ‘patriotic’ propaganda), it would appear that the only reason that Bush, Rumsfeld and Company have not already dropped a 'limited' nuclear bomb on Iraq or some other relatively small and defenseless nation is fear of national and global public outcry.  Judging by the administration's own words and more importantly, actions, it appears that neither patriotism nor common horse sense have even a remote connection to their maniacal warmongering, corporation coffer-enhancing neo-conservative agenda.  Posing as homeland ‘protection’ and ‘democratization’ of the world, the obvious goal is more aptly defined as globalization of American economic interests at the expense of democracy, peace and both homeland and international security.
        The destructive legacies of the Reagan and Bush Senior administrations included deliberate cuts in aid for the sick and poor, heating subsidies for impoverished senior citizens (some of whom literally froze to death) and programs to feed and immunize poor American children.  Many of these were severely curtailed or dismantled entirely in order to fund massive build-up of armaments without historical precedent or practical necessity. Meanwhile, denial of America's growing homeless and jobless populations became the accepted White House theory of political rhetoric, while ‘supply-siding’ huge tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of everyone else emerged as standard backdoor political partisan practice.  And as bad as these legacies may be, they will more than likely pale in comparison to the disastrous mess left by the tyrannical thugs of Bush Junior's national and global wrecking crew, again offering up huge tax cuts for the benefit of less than one percent of the population at the expense of education and programs for the jobless, homeless and poor and the economic future of all Americans (including their own offspring).  All the while, in flag-waving step with neo-conservative political corporate cronyism, media advertiser-pleasing and ratings-protecting bias (more accurately, outright propaganda) and the full blessing of onward conservative Christian soldiers of the genocidal right, marching us on down the utterly corrupt deep and wide pathway of historical death and destruction towards international suicide row.

2. Revelation 6:15-16.

*FootNote:  According to all known historical evidence, if a weapon of warfare is developed, it is overwhelmingly likely that the weapon or a more powerful derivitive of the weapon will eventually be used.  During World War II, Emperor Hirito of Japan was already attempting to negotiate peace several weeks prior to weapons of mass destruction being unleashed on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Premier Suzuki wanted peace at almost any cost except for President Truman's refusal to guarantee the safety of Hirito, who was viewed as a god by the Japanese people.  General Douglas MacArthur warned that hanging Hirito would be viewed by the Japanese population as similar to crucifying Christ and General (later President) Eisenhower stated afterwards that dropping the bomb was not necessary.  The only thing that prevented Japan from negotiating an end to World War II was Truman's refusal to guarantee the safety of Emperor Hirito.  After the horrible weapons were dropped, Truman decided to allow Hirito to remain in power anyway.  Thus, over 200,000 thousand mostly civilian Japanese lives were lost for no good reason whatsoever (probably well over 300,000 when those who died from after-effects are included---tens of thousands more survivors were less fortunate).
        There is strong historical evidence that the real reasons that the bombs were dropped include:  1) Demonstrating to the Russians that we were willing to use what some called "the big stuff"---that is, to secure U.S. international dominance (this was before the Cold War); 2) Because 2 billion dollars of research and development (the largest sum ever spent for weapons development at the time) had to be justified; 3) Revenge craved by the majority of the American people; 4) To secure Truman's own personal power; 5) Especially in the case of Nagasaki, just to see what would happen.  After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Truman called it a "great day" for the history of mankind.  Some sources claim that Truman and his hard-line advisors (several leading Americans including some of Truman's own advisors were against dropping the bombs) had no intention whatsoever of giving Japan an opportunity to surrender before detonating the worst weapons of destruction in the history of warfare. (Sources for this information include several written and video histories of World War II.  One of the best for a general overview is the A&E video, Hiroshima: The Decision to Drop the Bomb, available online at
        In spite of a great many Americans who, due to gross distortion of our own history, tend to view "give them hell Harry" with a certain unwarranted admiration, in the author's opinion it is fair to state that Truman is the very worst president in the history of the United States (so far).  It appears to be the unavoidable historical reality of our species that war and rumor of war is habitually supported by the 'patriotic' masses (usually), sincerely fought at ground level on both sides by troops believing in their country and invariably 'just' cause (perhaps more often than not), while the people at the top actually making the major decisions overwhelmingly range from wealth, power and glory seeking obvious liars to individuals cunning, callous and cruel beyond the comprehension of the average human being.  The recent illegal and opaquely economic-driven invasion of Iraq by the Bush Junior administration is a prime example.

**FootNote II:  The Lessons of History teach us that the very best defense a nation can deploy is to provide for the health and welfare of her own people.  For those not possessing the necessary grace to grasp why this is true, it should be pointed out here that a far better physical defensive use for the trillions of dollars intended to be spent on the Star Wars fiasco by our nation would be to take the same trillions and pour them into alternative fuel research. Not only would the discovery of an alternative fuel virtually guarantee us the bulk of the world's wealth for generations to come, but also, we would be providing for both ourselves and the entire rest of the globe, a huge environmental bonus in the process, notwithstanding, our dependence on Middle Eastern oil would be a long forgotten memory of some distant and moronic past.  Unfortunately however, it is the ever-sad fact of history that every time new technology emerges that carries the promise of positive progress, ever more destructive weapons of war soon follow.

***FootNote III:  Recently (after this chapter was already written), astrophysicist Joel Primack of the University of California, Santa Cruz, published a report claiming that the use of weapons in earth orbit would eventually leave so much space debris that low-flying satellites, including communications and military satellites, would be crippled into uselessness.  He went on to claim that nations wishing to disable such high-tech systems would merely need to spread gravel-sized 'space junk' in their orbital pathways.  Naturally the United States military and those in favor of the implementation of the catastrophic absurdity of space-based weaponry dismissed such claims as being incorrect; those decrying the fallacy of Primack's argument would ostensibly include much of the same folk who currently dismiss scientific warnings of global warming and the medical and other adverse effects of modern mass pollution.  Those supporting the claims of Joel Primack include Canadian particle physicist Sydney Van Den Bergh and American astronaut Sally Ride.  It appears that the main argument against the conclusions of Primack promoted by United States military spokesman Lt. Col. Rick Lehner is that currently, only a small percentage of total U.S. weaponry is actually space-based, to which one might entirely correctly respond, "yes, but there are plans of the future to consider".  Yet another rational argumentative nail in the most deserved coffin of this disastrous debacle of space-based 'defensive' weaponry illusion.


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

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