Stop The Militarization of Space

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Independence Day! We think it is time that we, the American people, declare our independence from the control of the military industrial complex which is now moving to create a new arms race in space.

The Bush administration and Congress have been pushing deployment of "missile defense" as the first layer in the new round of Star Wars. Recently, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld declared that they would be dropping the word "national" from National Missile Defense (NMD). One of the reasons for this tactical move was because the Democratic Party leadership was opposing NMD but at the same time was promoting the development of Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) as a friendly alternative. Rumsfeld and Bush wanted to take this maneuvering room away from the Democrats, and by dropping the "national" they want to force Democrats to either support the whole program or not.

Many Democrats, however, are trying to keep the NMD/TMD distinction alive and continue to call for "robust" research and development funding for "missile defense," and for eventual deployment of TMD (also called boostphase defense). Sen. Joe Biden (DDE) was quoted by the Associated Press on June 17 as saying, "No one is saying don't spend the money on research. No one is saying don't continue down this road."

The political consensus that TMD should be deployed in the Middle East and in Asia has to be linked to global corporate interventionist policies in those regions. Calling TMD "a way to protect our troops and our ships," the politicians in Washington view TMD as the shield to protect U.S. forces that currently enable unfettered U.S. access to oil. And soon enough TMD will help to surround China forcing it to escalate its production of nuclear weapons in response. The militarists, and their Congressional allies, will have found a way to maximize military spending.

It is crucial that the peace movement not fall for this shell game now underway concerning NMD/TMD. We must not be led into opposing NMD but looking the other way as politicians support Star Wars research and development and TMD deployment. We must oppose all of it. We must not hand over our peace movement to any political party, no matter how desperate we are for a victory! The only real victory for the peace movement will come from our longterm grassroots education and mobilization to stop the drain on our national treasury by the military industrial complex. It took a Republican, Dwight Eisenhower, to warn us of this very problem.

Despite the claims by some politicians, our nation cannot afford both guns and butter. All across America schools have leaky roofs, needed lowincome housing is boarded up, health care is lacking, our environment is deteriorating the infrastructure of a nation addicted to military spending is crumbling. We know in our hearts that the military industrial complex controls the Congress. Where are we to turn?

Our only hope is that the grassroots will continue to come alive with passion and action. And we must be vigilant that as we press the challenge we don't turn over our energies to the very politicians who are ready to cut the deals with the weapons makers. That would only release the air from our ascending balloons and once again break our spirits. We must keep on, knowing that local activity all around our country and around the world will in the end force the politicians to make the correct decisions about how the precious resources of our nation should be spent.

October 13, 2001 International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space.

Start Your Own Demonstration, Join one in your community.

We have over 175 endorsing organizations all around the world. Local demonstrations and events will be held in even more places than last year we have 15 countries and 57 sites so far and still have two months of organizing to go!

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083, Gainsville, FL 32607 (352)337-9274 •

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