Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Space Shuttle crash indirectly caused by rush to war with Iraq

This one is fairly obvious to me - why not anyone else? Guess I'm just gifted. Anyways, walk back to just-before-war time - take a look - what do you see? You see a hard-charging Bush-led Administration, in conjunction with Neo-con idealogues, the people at Fox, think tanks, churches, the Pentagon, and others ramming a war down our throats. We're told that America, as the first true hyperpower in the history of the world, has a moral obligation - in fact - a duty to exert ourselves if for no other reason than to say don't tread on me, Goshdarnit! A massive buildup of nearly 100,000 U.S. soldiers is sitting on the Iraq-Kuwaiti border, poised to attack. The war drums are banging louder every day. U.S. public opinion is starting to sway in favor of war. Several long months of hype and lies and rhetoric and twisted truths and half-truths are finally paying off. We're almost ready. We're tired of WMD - we're fearful - we're exhausted emotionally - get rid of the WMD - whatever the cost - right or wrong - international law and reason be damned. We're strong - we're right - we're the best - we're Americans - brown people be damned.

Ok, you get the picture. Now, what is the absolute worst thing (within reason) that could happen to the United States as we try to convince the world that we really are as powerful as we claim to be - that we really can crush Saddaam and his vaunted Republican Guard with nary a stern look, that we are the saviours of the Earth? Well, it could be a lot of things I suppose, but almost none could have been more dramatic than what unfolded for us. The Space Shuttle with 6 of our finest, and an Israeli, is helpless in space. There's little to no chance that we can get a new shuttle up there in time to save them from suffocating due to lack of oxygen supply. HORROR!

When the word comes down from NASA, Cheney says no way, we'll take our chances. The spy people keep calling - but Mr. Vice President, they plead, all they want is some pictures. It won't take long - maybe a day or two, three tops, and it could be important. Cheney doesn't budge, not because he's a sadomasochist (debatable), but because he's a shrewd politician. He knows if this little 'pictures thing' goes anywhere, it goes everywhere. He risks losing years worth of work, and months worth of public speaking. Besides, they might make it back. And if they don't, well, this war is important to the future of the free world. You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Something like that.

Can you imagine, if during this incredibly blusterous run-up to the war, if the United States of America, saviour of the free world, dropped this little nuggest at the next UN meeting...Negroponte: <gulp>...ummm....we have a situation. we, uh, ummmm.....our space shuttle sustained some damage during liftoff and we risk breakup if it is not repaired before re-entry. We don't have any shuttles that can do the job in time. Could someone, like, help us out, or something? AND WE'RE STILL THE BEST AND WE STILL DON'T NEED THE HELP OF THE UN OR ANYBODY ELSE, NOT ON IRAQ OR ANYTHING BECAUSE THE UN IS IRRELEVANT, but maybe just this one time we could use a little help, please, pretty please, with sugar on top?

First, there came evidence that NASA did, in fact, try to get satellite images of the Shuttle - but they kept getting denied. Why?