by Bruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Join us for the Global Network’s 25th anniversary Space Organizing Conference and Protest on April 7-9 in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is the home of Redstone Arsenal and the Space & Missile Defense Command, also known as the “Pentagon of the South.”
The effort by the Trump administration to develop and deploy the next generation of Star Wars weapons will increase global instability and cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. The US Space Command has long maintained its mission is to create the technologies to “control and dominate” space and the Earth below – ultimately on behalf of corporate interests.
This conference will allow citizens to learn more about these important issues and become involved in the growing international movement to keep space for peace.
Huntsville is the headquarters of the Space Command’s directorate for ‘missile defense.’ The US is currently encircling Russia and China with MD systems based on Navy Aegis warships (SM-3 interceptor missiles) and with ground-based launchers (PAC-3 and THAAD). These systems are the ‘shield’ that would be used to pick off Russian or Chinese retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon first-strike attack.
MD systems were previously banned by the US-Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty because they are destabilizing and give one side an advantage. George W. Bush pulled the US out of the ABM Treaty in 2001 and since that time the US MD program has been on steroids.
The keynote speaker at the event will be Ann Wright – retired Army Colonel and diplomat who now is a leader in Veterans for Peace. She resigned from government service after George W. Bush’s ‘shock and awe’ attack on Iraq in 2003.
While I was recently in Huntsville doing advance work for the April conference, Donald Trump came to Alabama for one of his victory lap appearances. He has already nominated ultra-conservative Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next Attorney General of the nation. Sessions is also serving as a major adviser to Trump on space issues – so Alabama will be central to the new administration in Washington.
When I arrived at the Huntsville airport, I was taken aback by the loads of corporate space technology advertisements plastered along the walls as I made my way to baggage claim. There can be no doubt that Boeing (the largest Star Wars contractor of all) and a host of other aerospace corporations are making big money off the plans to move the arms race into the heavens.
The signs in the airport reveal this reality of Huntsville’s addiction to military spending. Like my own community of Bath, Maine (dependent on federal dollars to build Navy warships outfitted with ‘missile defense’ interceptors) more and more of America has become reliant on endless war in order to create jobs so workers can feed their families.
What does it say about the soul of our nation that we must remain in a state of endless war in order to drive our economy? These are questions we will discuss next April 7-9 when we hold the Global Network’s 25th annual conference in the ‘rocket city.’ We invite you to join us for this important event. See our web site for all conference details at www.space4peace.org.