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U.S. Space Wars

The Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization, established by Congress out of concern that preparations for the space age are inadequate, was led by Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush's nominee for secretary of defense, who pledged to make the "defense of space assets" a top priority. The incoming U.S. administration, with its unfolding world view, will run right up against international treaties and may decide to violate them.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. The new US leadership in international affairs consists of hardliners and people ignorant of the complexity of international affairs. One of Madeleine Albright´s last appearances before a congressional committee was to plead against a cut in the State Department's budget. There may be something to the fact that the House has a committee on international relations, whereas the Senate, which controls treaties, has one on foreign relations. Foreign sounds like alien. That may represent the mood of the country. The History Channel treats history worse than the way it was treated when I was a school boy, as a series of hard-fought but glorious victories over the foe. Exceptionally, the program on the evacuation from Saigon at the end of the Vietnamese War showed wars do not always end in glorious victory.

Jesse Helms has announced that the treaty establishing an international court on war crimes will be dead on arrival in the Senate. His eating with UN leaders meant little. It took a large gift from Ted Turner to pay the US payments shortage. There is a fear of saying a good word for the United Nations. Lee Hamilton, perhaps the most knowledgeable Washingtonian on international affairs, has been a strong supporter of the UN. It was surprising to hear him say recently that the US should use the UN when it is to the country's advantage. He is now director of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a government agency. Will the new administration replace him with someone less internationally-minded?

Ronald Hilton - 1/06/01