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Author Topic: [CBC] Canada should sign on to missle defence: Senate
Babbler # 6525

posted 05 October 2006 11:56 AM      Profile for Grover     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CBC article

The Senate released a report on a fairly wide range of military/foreign policy issues, including

- Canada should participate with the BMD
- Don't waste military resources defending the Arctic
- Double the foreign aid budget
- Military funding is in general too low
- Shut down some of the unneeded bases (such as Goose Bay)

The report concludes that an effective anti-missile system has the potential to save "hundreds of thousands of Canadian lives."

It dismisses critics who say the system is unworkable, saying there have been recent tests that show promising results.

"There is no serious threat to Canada through the Arctic," the report says, adding that the chances of the Arctic itself being a military target are "ridiculously low."

Instead, defence of the Arctic should be handled primarily by other agencies, including the Canadian Coast Guard, which should be armed, suggested the report.

From: On the pacific | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 6194

posted 05 October 2006 01:31 PM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The report never mentions the authors but I will take a stab at it and say it is that asshole Kirby again. Also why do they think our military is underfunded? Then go on to say we won't be fighting those type of wars anymore. Does anyone else smell hypocracy here?
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 5468

posted 05 October 2006 02:06 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The full text of the Senate report is here.

I have begun to address some of the Senators' pro-BMD arguments in a blog post here.

The Chair of the committee is actually Senator Colin Kenny, a long-time supporter of Canadian participation in Ballistic Missile Defence, and a Senator whose understanding of the basic issues has improved very little over the years, judging by the report.

From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 1885

posted 06 October 2006 04:32 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bizarre. This Senator has been a long-time proponent of anti-smoking legislation and has pushed for alternative fuels development. He appears progressive and thoughtful on some issues, so you'd think that he would reject BMD outright. Once becoming familiar with the failure of the technology, that is. Lockheed-Martin must've taken him golfing a number of times to convince him that BMD could actually work.

I still haven't been told who's threatening us with ICBMs. Russia is our ally now. North Korea's missiles can't cross the Pacific. Are we worried about Europe? Does bin Laden have an ICBM hidden in a cave near Tora Bora? I thought we were all going to die from a suitcase nuke, not an airborne nuke.

From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 5468

posted 06 October 2006 11:46 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Even more bizarre are the arguments the Senators' report makes in favour of the weaponization of space, arguments which seem, pardon the pun, to have been conceived of in a vacuum, morally, historically and legally speaking.

Why would we put weapons where they have never gone before? How can we possibly ask emerging states to abstain from the use of nuclear weapons when we are prepared to ratchet up warfare
by militarizing space?

The truth is that there is nothing inherently evil about weapons, just as there is nothing inherently sacred about space. Weapons can be used in both good and evil causes and space has become – for all practical purposes – an extension of the earth’s circumference.


In 1906, no one believed that man would ever fly. Yet by 1913, aircraft were being used as bombers in the First World War. We ignore the future use of space to our peril. Space is already being used for military purposes. Weaponization is just around the corner.

Major powers have the capacity to defeat existing satellite systems. If that were to happen, Canada and our allies would lose the capacity to defend ourselves.

To pretend that there is a moral distinction between militarization and weaponization is flawed logic. To make a moral distinction is to ignore history and human nature, and places Canada and Canadians in a position of great vulnerability.

First, pace the Senators, at least some weapons are inherently evil, as historical and legal developments of the last century show quite clearly.

First, in the earlier part of the century, poisonous weapons and asphyxiating gasses were outlawed, the principle being that combatants may not avail themselves of absolutely any means to fight.

Efforts have been made, similarly, to recognize the inherently evil nature of bateriological, chemical and nuclear weapons as well. Indeed, the position that there is 'nothing inherently evil in weapons' is a very odd one to be taken by Senators from Canada, a country which led efforts to ban the inherently evil weapon known as the landmine because it is, by its nature, an indiscriminate killer of both combatants and non-combatants.

Dismissing arguments against space weapons because space is just like every other field of combat likewise ignores the body of international law already in existence which contradicts the Senators' argument. Again, oddly for Canadian Senators, they ignore the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, signed by Canada in a year of some national significance, which among other things bans the placement of WMD in orbit or on the moon.

This treaty--while far from adequate on its own--nevertheless represented what the UN has called a 'progressive step' towards ensuring that space is used for peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humankind.

In its inadequacy, the OST is no different from the NPT--also far from perfect--but the answer is not, like the Senators, to argue in a vacuum as though these positive legal and historical steps had never been taken, but to continue the work of progress, to take further steps to further limit the means states have to use violence or the threat of violence to settle their conflicts.

In my view, it's really the Senators themselves, not their opponents, who ignore history when they gloss over a century or more of international efforts to regulate and reduce armed conflict.

Rather than talk about actual developments related to the field they're dicussing (and I've only scratched the surface here on what they've ignored), they refer us to a sort of 'state of nature,' where faulty historical analogies between the development of flight and the development of space weapons are made equally inevitable by, well, by inevitability itself.

The Senators are right about one thing: there's nothing that makes space any more sacred than the rest of the realms human beings have savaged with conflict, but they draw the wrong conclusion from that premise.

Unlike the Senators, I don't agree that it's ignoring 'human nature' to want to stop space weaponization, because I think it's human nature to look at your mistakes and try to learn from them: humanity's experience with weapons on land, sea and air is surely more of a mistake to be learned from than a model to be followed by extending the same mentality of violence out into the heavens.

That's the conclusion I draw, at least.

From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 5594

posted 06 October 2006 12:52 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think satellite technology has served a dual purpose for the west since the launch of Sputnik in 1957. RadarSAT has been a lesson in corporate welfare for Canadian taxpayers. The formula for free enterprise in N. America has been to let the taxpayers build it, and then hand it off to private enterprise for a song. Massive public spending on R&D was the driver for American economy built around military industrial complex since WWII, and this is what they want from Canadian taxpayers - more of RadarSAT-like handoffs and expensive make-work contracts for the death industry down in places like Alabama and California. The feds collect satellite data and hand it off to everyone from oil companies to Lockheed Martin to people like Saddam Hussein who used the information to annihilate tens of thousands of Iranian soldiers during that war. They practice socialism for the rich while preaching free markets to the rest of the world, and people around the world are beginning to catch on.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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