President Bush has pissed off a lot of people around the world with his unilateralist bent, his unwillingness to grasp nuanced diplomacy, and his unrelenting charge towards destabilization and mass chaos. Yet for a man like the president, it’s not a question of who you irritate, but whether you’ve done anything to irritate them recently.

Enter the newly revised Bush administration policy on space. Released this month, the Bush policy has claimed its (America’s) right to weaponize the solar system with US arms while stopping all other countries from launching their own weapons systems into orbit. I guess wars on Earth just aren’t enough for this guy.

And what are others saying about this idea?

“America wants it all — life, the universe and everything,” proclaimed The Times of London. “Space: no longer the final frontier but the 51st state of the United States.”

“U.S. turns space into its colony,” echoed a headline in the Asia Times, which concluded that “the United States intends to monopolize its longstanding space presence by militarizing it.”

Of course, space is already weaponized to a small degree if you consider the spy satellites and guidance system satellites that the military uses. But these are not weapons in and of themselves, but merely tools for earthbound weapons systems. Bush seems to want to change that limitation.

Yet where the Clinton administration issues a space policy that emphasized the right of all countries to use space as they saw fit (read- no one has ownership of space), the Bush policy claims the US right to deny space to others:

“Arms control … must not impair the rights of the United States,” the policy reads. “The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space … and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to the United States.”

Bush already withdrew the US from the ABM treaty so we could continue to chase after the elusive missle defense system started by Reagan so long ago. And despite the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that explicitly bans WMD’s from space and any heavenly body, like the moon, Bush seems adamant on developing space weapons under the guise of we need ’em to stop others from putting them up there. In other words, we have to break the treaty to protect the world from rogue nations.

Sounds an awful lot like ‘fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here’ to me. I wonder how many Space Divisions Halliburton has.

(originally posted at Bring It On!)