Usually, when I arrive at the computer my subject is pre-determined by an item of news, or an interesting factoid previously researched. But there are times when I sit down and have no idea what I am going to write. This is one of those times.
The main topic of blog conversation – the War in Iraq and its accompanying political debate – seems presently exhausted, having been analyzed to death by God knows how many million bloggers, newspaper journalists, and TV commentators. In fact, such has been the intensity that nothing else in the world, short of another tsunami or San Fransisco earthquake, would seem of much consequence.
That is, until last week when China surreptitiously fired a ballistic missile into space and pulverized one of its own weather satellites. That caught the media’s attention, albeit fleetingly.
Now, when North Korea tested its medium range missile last year, closely followed by an indeterminate nuclear explosion, the general opinion was that Kim Jong-il felt left out and ignored, and was having a spoilt-child tantrum in the hope that someone would notice. I personally found this a little hard to swallow. I’ve known a number of highly spoilt kids in my time, but none has ever gone to those lengths to gain attention. Hurling the odd toy across the room – yes; even smashing a vase over great-grandpapa’s bald pate in a moment of unabashed tantrum. But a nuclear explosion – no, definitely not.
Nevertheless, China’s new game smacks of a similar tactic. With the world focused on Middle Eastern chaos, and America’s war funded by Chinese sweat shops, it’s possible Hu Jintao was feeling a bit neglected and decided to reaffirm his presence.
Of course, this assumption is based on the premise that world leaders are no better than immature, spoilt brats, given to tantrum excesses whenever their desires are not immediately met. Certainly, there is abundant evidence to support this thesis without moving one’s focus outside of the United States. George W Bush, presently worried – we are told – about his legacy, will put both Kim Jong-il and Hu Jintao to shame when the spoilt-brat awards for combined arrogance, immaturity, and poutishness are announced. George W Bush has no need to worry about his legacy. It’s already been decreed. Whatever damage control may be exercised within Washington’s political circles, the rest of the world already has George W Bush’s tenure in the White House down as the worst of any American president. He will be immortalized in world history as the most arrogant, boorish, incompetent, unsophisticated, unintelligent, aggressive, war-mongering, genocidal and egotistical maniac ever to be elected to supreme office in the United States – or anywhere else outside, perhaps, of Nazi Germany.
So where does our Chinese ballistic missile launch fit into all this?
Kim Jong-il is a shadowy figure whose character has proved difficult to assess. He rarely gives interviews, and those who have been able to make contact with him vary substantially in their opinions. He’s been described as everything from a madman to an intellectual. Hu Jintau, by comparison, is a personable figure who has gone to great lengths in emphasizing China’s peaceful rise as a superpower. It is unlikely he would allow this ostensibly belligerent action merely as an attention-getter.
It’s more likely China is directly addressing the United States by this action, pointing out to George Bush and his minions that America is not the only power in the world, and may not continue much longer to ride roughshod over less powerful nations without the intervention of others.
It may also be a response to the American president’s declaration last October, that America had a right to deny access to space to anyone “hostile to US interests.” By signing that new National Space Policy, the US was basically stating to the rest of the world that space was American territory, and any involvement by other nations would only be tolerated to the extent they were in partnership with the US.
While there are some Americans – those diseased by arrogant patriotism – who may well agree with such an attitude, there are about 270 other nations outside the US who don’t. China is just one of them.
It seems likely last week’s destruction of a Chinese weather satellite by one of that country’s missiles, was a direct response to George W Bush’s arrogance.
Frankly, if that is the case, this writer doesn’t blame them. Space is no-one’s territory. Like the high seas it remains independent of any conquest. In that sense it is mankind’s only hope, it’s one salvation. If we can learn to work together in our exploration and eventual colonization of new worlds, it is just possible we may survive long enough to evolve into more than the belligerent, tribally-orientated, creatures we presently are.
George W Bush, and those like him, must never be allowed to stifle mankind’s one hope of immortality.
Filed under: Naughty kids