Friday, October 09, 2009

"Bombing the Moon makes me very, very angry!"

As long as we're goofing around in He Did What?? World, allow me to observe — oh, idly, yes indeed — that winning a Nobel Peace Prize is no great shakes. Even Henry Kissinger won one, although he is far better known for unintended consequences in the Cambodia he bombed than for the Paris Peace Accord Hanoi allowed him to save face with. It's no big deal. Actually resolving the Israeli occupation of Palestine without melting the Dome of the Rock under a 5 megaton fireball, now... Well.

Anyway, did anyone notice that we Merkins have just bombed a specific crater on the surface of the Moon? Will anyone argue that we couldn't have H-bombed the bejeezis outa that particular neighborhood of the Moon, had we felt so inclined? Or doubt that, had we felt like, we could have brought the delivery module back to Earth? Will anyone ever again use the preposterous term "ICBM" to describe a weapons delivery system? We have interplanetary systems which are not just "intercontinental" and no way merely passive "ballistic missiles".

I still smart under the tonguelashing I got from a Nixon-era Republican shrill who misinterpreted my disdain for the technologically incompetent 1972 ABM Treaty as ignorance. Sorry, lady, spouting the GOP line is ignorance, almost by definition. The fact is, "ICBM's" were quaintly irrelevant as soon as John Glenn orbited the Earth. No longer could anything launched by a Saturn rocket be merely "intercontinental," or passively "ballistic" (i.e., flung to a distant target on a simple parabolic trajectory), or even a missile, i.e., anything akin to Goliath-killing pebbledom.

We advanced superpower nations bomb things in outer space these days.

In other words, the bar is way higher than you thought. I hope our peace-loving President enjoys the arms race this little lunar excursion has just kicked up a notch. And next year, I dare the eurocentric Nobel committee to dig up Marco Polo and ask his dry bones where's he been all this time?

Quite a few science-loving countries have already launched science satellites into orbit to demonstrate non-nuclear non-deterrent capability, so technically the space race we don't talk about hasn't already begun, really. Oddly enough, these countries include Saddam Hussein's pre-war Iraq, who launched in 1988. Other peace-loving nations include Russia (1957), the U.S. (1958), France (1965), Japan (1970), China (1970), Great Britain (1971), Europe (1979, on a French Ariane), India (1980) and Israel (also 1988 for some reason). To these, add North Korea, Pakistan and Iran within two years at the outside. And remember, it's just a science experiment.



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