When you haven't a leg to stand on, blow smoke. That's what Alliance
foreign affairs critic Monte Solberg did, defending George W. Bush's
Star Wars proposals and Washington's plans to unilaterally scrap the ABM
Solberg says the ABM treaty should be retired because it "was
meet the strategic and technical realities of the 1970s," whatever that
means. It sounds good, but like so much else uttered by masters of the
vacuous political language practised on Parliament Hill, it has as much
substance as pure wind. Whose strategic and technical realities? And
just what are those realities? And since when did the idea that no
country should be in the position of being able to vaporize another,
with impunity, get an expiry date?
Mr. Solberg says the NMD is defensive, but it's anything but.
Bowman, a former director of the U.S. Air Force's advanced space
programs development says Star Wars is "about maintaining absolute
military superiority by developing new offensive weapons in the guise of
The raison d'etre of the ABM treaty is to prevent nuclear powers
launching a first strike. If you have an effective missile shield, you
can attack first, with impunity, or at least, you can limit the damage
of a retaliatory strike. Imagine that in the hands of a country that
refuses to be bound by the commitment to refrain from using its nuclear
arsenal in a first strike. Is it any wonder the Russians and Chinese are
Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Litton, Lockheed Martin and
who, it would be fair to say, have more pull in Washington, and probably
more in the Alliance caucus too, than ordinary people do -- are having
their own conniptions, although of a decidedly more favourable kind. As
the Wall Street Journal said on January 30, "The dash for missile
defense profits is on," and America's defence contractors are looking
at a $600 billion pay-day.
Star Wars is going to make some people a whole lot richer, and
of us a whole lot more likely to be incinerated.
Contrary to Mr. Solberg's assurances that Star Wars will enhance
security, it will touch off a new arms race, hardly a security-enhancing
development. The only way to defeat a missile shield is to overwhelm it,
and that means pumping up nuclear arsenals by putting missile
development programs on steroids. That's exactly what the Chinese have
promised to do if Bush the Younger goes ahead with his taxpayer funded
Marshall Plan for Boeing, General Dynamics, et al.
But there's a germ of a problem. The American public. Will they
And what of Canadians? Will they sit idly by if their own government
That's where people like Solberg, and his fine sounding, though
words, comes in. He can blow smoke with the best of them. An admirable
talent, if you're on Parliament Hill.
The only problem is, the better Solberg blows smoke, the better
chances we'll all blow up in smoke.
What's left in suburbia