January 10, 2004
Letter to the NDP

[The NDP just sent out an email announcing a new ad campaign against Martin's likely support of National Missile Defense, Star Wars, or whatever you want to call it. Here's my response...]

To: jack@fed.ndp.ca

The NDP's reasons for opposing National Missile Defense/Star Wars:

1. Star Wars is expensive Star Wars could costs as much as $1 trillion. If Canada is asked to pay even 1/100th of the bill - it will mean $10 billion less for medicare, cities, and the environment. (Source: Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation)

2. Star Wars won't make Canada safer Starting the next arms race will do nothing to promote security. Canada's Department of National Defence warns Bush's missile defence plan paves the way for putting weapons into orbit (Ottawa Citizen, Jan. 9, 2004).

3. Star Wars doesn't work Star Wars technology has never worked. Last year the New York Times reported that one test missed its target 'by hundreds of miles'. In contrast, there's lots of technology to keep us safe from climate change. Where's the leadership for that?

With all due respect, these aren't the reasons that Star Wars is wrong. In fact, they share many of the assumptions that lead people to think that Star Wars is in fact a good idea.

If Star Wars was not expensive, did make Canada safer, and worked, would it be a good thing? No.

The reason is that, despite its name, NMD is an offensive weapon. Don't take my word for it; read the words of the Project for the New American Century (of which Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush are members). Quoting from "Rebuilding America's Defenses", a PNAC report:

Effective ballistic missile defenses will be the central element in the exercise of American power and the projection of U.S. military forces abroad. Without it, weak states operating small arsenals of crude ballistic missiles, armed with basic nuclear warheads or other weapons of mass destruction, will be a in a strong position to deter the United States from using conventional force, no matter the technological or other advantages we may enjoy. Even if such enemies are merely able to threaten American allies rather than the United States homeland itself, America's ability to project power will be deeply compromised.

If you condemn NMD for the right reasons--that American Empire, global military dominance, or whatever you want to call it are wrong, and to be resisted instead of helped--then I'll support the NDP's fancy new politics a la Wired magazine.

A debate isn't worth starting unless it's based on all of the reality we have available to us.


dru oja jay

posted by dru in letters