Eighth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Washington, DC USA 2000

Return of Star Wars

Workshop Number 5

Led by Bruce Gagnon

Workshop leader, Bruce Gagnon, is director of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. The first part of the workshop was a detailed slide show, followed by time for questions, answers, and audience comment.

Gagnon's slide show drew heavily from US military and military contractor sources, beginning with the US Space Command in Colorado Springs, whose motto is “Master of Space”. That is exactly the goal of the military: to have the capability to wage war in and from space and to deny that capability to anyone else.

Vision 2020, a Space Command document, is clear in stating its intention to continue Western colonialism by protecting US military and commercial interests in space. It also admits that as globalization makes the world less stable, we will use space to destroy ground targets also. Gagnon called the proposed US Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) a Trojan horse: just a way to get a foot in the door for the development of space-based weapons. This is why the fact that it will not work is irrelevant to its promoters. Defense is not the ultimate goal: offense and domination are.

BMD has two components: national missile defense (NMD) and theater missile defense (TMD). TMD is what BMD proponents desire most. It is for forward deployment in areas of conflict. It will be used to antagonize China, getting China to raise its military spending, which will then be used as a reason for the US to increase its military spending. (Hey, it worked with the Soviets.)

There is a limited amount of orbital space around the earth, already badly cluttered with debris. Testing weapons will greatly increase the amount of debris, making it harder and harder to even get into space. The US is trying to rapidly fill all available space in order to deny it to others. USA has four basic kinds of satellites: GPS (ground positioning satellites - used extensively in military operations), communications, spy, and coordination and targeting satellites.

Spying is enhanced by spy stations on the ground, such as Menwith Hill and Flyingdales in Britain. These can intercept all communications of every type and have been used for industrial espionage.

In addition to military control of the entire earth, the US wants to control space because there is wealth there. Corporations plan to mine the moon and Mars. Mars is being pushed heavily with young people now, because their support as taxpayers will be necessary in the future. This is going to be unbelievably expensive. NASA, heavily militarized already (almost all NASA missions include some military components), is spearheading the push for Mars.

Nuclear power is seen as the only power source sufficient for space weapons and extraterrestrial mining. So nuclear power is being touted as necessary for going to Mars.

The corporations working on space are the same ones which have always produced weapons on earth.

The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power In Space has local groups in countries all around the world. More information can be obtained by visiting its website, www.space4peace.org or by contacting them by E-mail at globalnet@mindspring.com, or by writing to PO Box 90083, Gainesville. Florida 32607.

Robert Randall, reporter