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  I DON'T Hate To Say I Told You So (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   I DON'T Hate To Say I Told You So
chet
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posted 10-17-2003 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To all those giddy with excitement over China's entry into space....a big fat "I TOLD YOU SO" (like you had to be a rocket scientist, no pun intended, to see this coming):
http://www.washtimes.com/national/inring.htm

-chet

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 03:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's not forget that we had a commercial satellite "spying" on their launch site and advertising the photograph as a feature on SPACE.com.

And from the very first flight of Shenzhou-1 it was speculated that the Chinese would use their spacecraft for reconnaissance, so this isn't really Earth shattering news.

Considering that the Space Shuttle and Soyuz have both been used to deploy spy satellites I fail to see why we wouldn't expect any less from China. As mentioned above, we now have commercial companies offering similar services to anyone who can pay the bill, regardless of political loyalties.

The presence of defense systems on all three manned platforms does not equate to overtly-militaristic space programs (as you have been fearing) which is evident by the actions of Rosaviakosmos and NASA. Further, if all China wanted was a spy satellite platform they could have done so for far less without having to deal with the challenges and expense of manned space flight.

I fail to see this article "telling us" anything. I still see a third spacefaring nation as far more positive for all of humanity in the long haul.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited October 17, 2003).]

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 03:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd agree, if that nation were Canada or Japan, for instance. And of course, this article doesn't highlight anything anyone with half a brain couldn't figure out for themselves; it does offer confirmation however of fears now realized.

Yes Robert, China could've put up a satellite for less money, but they needed to get their "actual" feet "wet" in space because they know that's what competition with us will eventually require. And notice the word, Robert - - competition, NOT cooperation.

How you can see the technological development of a government as ruthless as China's as a positive development is beyond my comprehension. It's no different than saying you welcome North Korea's ablity to produce fissionable nuclear material, since they could now join other nations in the peaceful development of cleaner energy sources. Please, give me a break.

-chet

[This message has been edited by chet (edited October 17, 2003).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 03:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chet, can you give the rhetoric a break? You seem to believe that the world operates only in black and white, with only good guys and bad guys. Get real.

Practically every space launch-capable nation has used their booster capability to launch reconnaissance satellites. The way you're describing it, you'd think the Chinese had just deployed a nuclear weapon delivery system and were pointing the missiles directly at your house.

Though if you stop and think about it, the last time we feared another country asserting dominance in space, it took us to the Moon.

So perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps you should scream the rhetoric from the roof tops. Not that you would be any more justified than those who feared the next Soviet satellite after Sputnik would carry missiles over our homes, but it might just do the trick to get us pushing onwards to Mars.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited October 17, 2003).]

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 04:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The way you're describing it, you'd think the Chinese had just deployed a nuclear weapon delivery system and were pointing the missiles directly at your house.
_____________________________________

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but before the Chinese were able to obtain the necessary security clearances from the "you-know-who" administration in the 90's (over Defense AND State Dept. objections, I might add), the Chinese were not able to accurately target American cities with their nukes; NOW they can.

So are we dealing here with paranoia, or naivete?

I also still don't understand your reasoning; am I supposed to equate American spying capability with Chinese spying capability, as if there were no differences? Do you believe China and the U.S. are moral equivalents?

At a bare minimum, if the people of the U.S. think their government is squandering money on space, or anything else, they can vote for change and voice their opposition. Last I checked, this was still a big no-no in China.

I am comforted by American technological advancement because America has a track record of intervening in the world with greater benevolence than any other nation I can name. Do you believe the same can be said for the Chinese? Do you make no distinctions by historical and present standards of international behavior when you cheer advances made by other nations? Do their intentions not lead you to pause before you declare their achievements a good thing or not?

I'd like to see the U.S. set up shop on the moon, certainly, but I'll never cheer the prospect that America is spurred do so just to keep up with a hostile superpower. I continue to find your non-discrimination in this regard baffling.

-chet

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 04:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree China's approach to human rights within their own country must be changed, but I seem to recall a time in our not to distant past when our own approach to human equality was sorely lacking.

And there is no argument that the actions you label as benevolent intervention have been seen by others to be aggressive dominance (regardless if their viewpoint is faulty).

In other words, we aren't in a position to declare our system perfect, but I believe we have the best political system currently in place and should use it to act as a role model instead of as an oppressor.

If you really feel that China is our new cold war enemy, then "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." We should embrace China's interest in human space flight, invite them to cooperate in our exploration efforts, and therefore gain a role in shaping their future plans.

That seems to be a far more proactive activity than pointing fingers, inciting fear, and failing to encourage an activity that has lead in part to at least one super power's rejection of communism.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited October 17, 2003).]

Gilbert
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posted 10-17-2003 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert/Chet,
I can truthfully say you guys made my morning. What a great way to start the day!
(I am being totally serious)

albatron@aol.com
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posted 10-17-2003 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron@aol.com   Click Here to Email albatron@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert: What you fail to realize is that intelligence DID reveal plans by the Russians for nuclear missile's to fly after Sputnik. That they did NOT was not because there were NOT ghosts under every bed. It was because detente - whether we CHOOSE to believe it or not - worked. And other issues certainly.

In regards to the Chinese it's not that they launched a spy satellite, its just further truth of their dishonesty about it. Remember all their press releases about this being a peaceful non military flight? That all they want is the glorious peace of all nations?

No they did, as most nations that do the things they do, lied purely and simply. To further their previously spoken goals. Don't forget they (the Communists) despise us as much as any terrorist nation. And they DO have nuclear capability.

As Chet indicated, were it Canada or another peace loving nation it wouldn't be a concern. But then again they would have been open and forthright about it also.

Also - the tome of keeping your enemies close is as naive as anything I've ever heard. Allowing them entry into our space program would be simply handing to them technology on a silver platter. Sure, they can get this same technology without it (and lets not forget what WAS handed to them on a silver platter - information that COULD kill us all) but why simply hand it over? If in my career I knew of a guy involved with the Mafia, Im not allowing him in my house to have dinner with my family so I can keep an eye on him. I know you meant well with that but please inject some reality into it.

And please, do not equate our past history with (a lack of) civil rights and what they do. Besides, we got a handle on it, and China has no desire to get a handle on theirs. Plus as bad as our history was, it does not even remotely equate to theirs. Besides, here we go with "well we did it so we shouldnt say anything about what they do". Bunk. Wrong is wrong - and we need to have the guts to stand up and say so, and act accordingly. And in this instance, that means realize the background of the nation involved and take their actions for what they are. Besides, once more, our past history is not relevant in this case, and its time we recognize what others do and let them accept their own responsibility for their own actions. Its never an excuse "because someone else did it", especially to a much lesser degree.

Mind you - I do not see AT THIS TIME indications they have any design on nuking us, but I also see them lying totally about this mission, as they have for years about a lot of things, and quite frankly that makes me uncomfortable as it should all of us.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Lying totally about this mission" -- What?

The satellite mentioned was a secondary payload that could have hitched a ride on any Long March.

The reconnaissance cameras on the orbital module were there for anyone to see. Amateur and professional analysts had pointed them out since Shenzhou-1. We've known about their presence since 1999. This is not news and treating it as such is self-serving.

To quote a recent article ("Why has China launched a man into space, and what will it do next?") in The Economist:

"Ultimately, though, Shenzhou 5 is just a way of showing off. The Chinese, too, recognise that the uses of space do not, for the most part, require people to be up there. The country has plans for better satellite communications, broadcasting facilities, weather forecasting and Earth observation missions—all of which will have a dual civilian and military role, but none of which need be manned. It also wants to build its own satellite-driven global-positioning system to rival America's, which everyone now uses. Such a system would, of course, have a military, as well as a civilian function. In September, China became involved in European plans for a new positioning system independent of America's. Nor is pure science forgotten. China also wants to build a space telescope like America's Hubble."

Source: http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2137993

That sure does sound a lot like our own current motivations for space exploration.

In regards to your comments of handing our "technology over on a silver platter", by your reasoning, we should have never even considered the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. After all, the Soviet Union was still our Cold War enemy and allowing them to study a complete and operational Apollo Command Module in Star City (which incidentally, still is in Moscow) was giving them cart blanche access to our computer designs and spacecraft systems.

Yet that mission didn't lead to us becoming greater enemies, quite the contrary. And lest we not forget, we entered that mission with full knowledge that our enemy had missiles pointed at our cities (which is far from the case in China).

Please, if you would, cite your source about the Soviet Union's plans on launching nuclear weapons as a direct connection to Sputnik. I know that there were fears of such happening, but I do not remember reading of any specific plans in either Paul Dickson's recent "Sputnik: The Shock of the Century" or in Asif Saddiqi's definitive "Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974".

The presence of such plans would not change my attitude to China's space program today, but as a space history enthusiast I am interested in staying as up-to-date as possible.

Rizz
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posted 10-17-2003 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I posted this on another link, it came from Space.com earlier this week.

...according to a Pentagon report released in July, China's space program will result in making them a greater military threat.

"While one of the strongest immediate motivations for this program appears to be political prestige, China's efforts almost certainly will contribute to improved military space systems in the 2010-2020 timeframe," the report to Congress said.

The report quoted Chinese naval captain, Shen Zhongchang, as writing:

"The mastery of outer space will be a requisite for military victory, with outer space becoming the new commanding heights for combat."


Granted he's only a naval captain, but...

[This message has been edited by Rizz (edited October 17, 2003).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SPACE.com published an article today ("What Next for China? Friendly Competition or New Cold War?") with many experts weighing in on the future impact of China's manned space program.

The article has many differing views, all very balanced. I suggest it be read for all the comments included:

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/china_future_031017.html

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
....."I seem to recall a time in our not to distant past when our own approach to human equality was sorely lacking".
-------------------------------------
I fail to see how this is relevant to being concerned with China's advancements today. If we still had the mentality today that slavery is acceptable, I'd be just as opposed to American advancement.


....."there is no argument that the actions you label as benevolent intervention have been seen by others to be aggressive dominance".
---------------------------------------
Again, how is this relevant?


...."we have the best political system currently in place and should use it to act as a role model instead of as an oppressor".
----------------------------------------
By being critical of and standing up to oppressors, WE are oppressors? I understand those who despise America might see things that way, but do you?


Keeping enemies closer....."seems to be a far more proactive activity than pointing fingers, inciting fear, and failing to encourage an activity that has lead in part to at least one super power's rejection of communism".
----------------------------------------
Which superpower rejected communism? The
former USSR still clings to communism as best it can. It never rejected communism, it merely collapsed under the weight of it. You make it sound as though the ability to engage in space-exploration acted as a great eye-opener for the Russians, got them to see the Earth as a fragile blue marble in space, leading in turn to the realization that Communism just isn't the way to go. C'mon, Robert.

In response to Al's post, you wrote:
"The reconnaissance cameras on the orbital module were there for anyone to see. Amateur and professional analysts had pointed them out since Shenzhou-1. We've known about their presence since 1999. This is not news and treating it as such is self-serving".

Are you saying that just because the obviousness of their deception was easily deduced that no deception took place. If someone tells an easily detectable lie, should we conclude that no attempt to obfuscate took place?

Further, in response to Al, you wrote:
by your reasoning, we should have never even considered the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. After all, the Soviet Union was still our Cold War enemy.....yet that mission didn't lead to us becoming greater enemies, quite the contrary. And lest we not forget, we entered that mission with full knowledge that our enemy had missiles pointed at our cities (which is far from the case in China").

Although one could argue this endlessly, I contend that Apollo-Soyuz was an incredible waste of time and taxpayer money, and led to nothing insofar as endearing the U.S. and Soviet governments to each other. Again, the Soviets didn't reject Communism because of American overtures, it fell out from under them. And Robert, the case of Chinese nukes being aimed at American cities IS verified - - I don't know why you keep trying to paint the Chinese regime as basically friendly, just "misunderstood".

I am stymied how you never fail to scold those who engage in off-Ebay selling because it's "against the rules", but manage to find reason after reason why we should be giving every possible benefit of any doubt to the Red Chinese. I doubt the population of Taiwan could take any solace in any point you've argued on this subject to date.

-chet

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I don't know how you could say the article at Space.com has "many differing views". The most pessimistic thing I read was one person saying we'll have to see how it all plays out.

There wasn't one expression of the Chinese entry into space as a negative event, rather than a neutral, positive or unknown one.
It may be a good article for those who see only the half-full glass, but I'd hardly present it as a well balanced overview of the possibilities to come.

-chet

[This message has been edited by chet (edited October 17, 2003).]

dtemple
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posted 10-17-2003 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"It was because detente - whether we CHOOSE to believe it or not - worked."

I agree with the responses to Robert's postings on this topic. However, I disagree with one point made by Al. Detente did not work. Trying to get along with the Soviet Union was not the approach that defeated them. Ronald Reagan's approach - considering them to be the "evil empire" - was the approach which brought the Soviet threat to an end. Detente was an easing of tentions - which is what the word means. This easing of tentions did not last; the cold war got very cold again. (Maybe I misunderstood your point, Al.) As for the ASTP flight, I think it was a waste of money and an unnecessary transfer of technology. (Flying another mission to Skylab would have made much more sense to me.) Flying missions with the Chinese is probably not a good idea either. We may not need to have a cold war with China to terminate that communist government. That government is mixing some capitalism into their system. Eventually, the people will see the freedoms inherent in capitalism and will not just want a sprinkling of it, but rather want a capitialist economy and a democracy. Therefore, a rebellion against the communist government may be witnessed by us in much the same way as we saw the one that happened in the Soviet Union. Fly joint missions with the Chinese when the communist government falls.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given that the people interviewed are far more learned and respected than either you or me, not to mention far closer connected to the issue, than perhaps the reason that the view you are holding steadfast to wasn't included because it isn't considered to be a realistic conclusion after ONE flight.

Perhaps, instead of differing views, as first written, it would have been better to say, different perspectives.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited October 17, 2003).]

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Fly joint missions with the Chinese when the communist government falls".

Yes. Beautifully put.

-chet

dtemple
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posted 10-17-2003 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
"Fly joint missions with the Chinese when the communist government falls".

Yes. Beautifully put.

-chet



Thanks, Chet. I see that while my last comment may have been "beautifully put", my definition of Detente was definitely not. I have no idea what "tentions" are. I think I meant tensions. :-)

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, the article you cite doesn't even once use the words defense, war, weapons or threat. Are you saying the article doesn't mention any of these because there is no such angle to consider when assessing the new Chinese capability? I don't think my view is wrong or invalid because you have managed to point to an article where these aspects aren't even broached.

But I'd like to ask another question, if I may.

You have taken the position that, despite the brutal nature of the Chinese regime, their latest technological feat is one to be lauded, and that any consternation over the flight, and its implications, are not well founded. Yet not that long ago, the Chinese did not have the technological expertise to accurately guide their long range ballistic missiles, and now they do. Would you say their relatively recent advancement in the field of guided missile technology was not necessarily a bad thing either?

-chet

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
Robert, the article you cite doesn't even once use the words defense, war, weapons or threat.

It doesn't use those words because perhaps, for the topic at hand -- China's manned space program -- those particular words don't yet (or will) apply. Still, they do touch on defense issues:

"Gill said that, for the near-term, the Shenzhou 5 flight will resonate most in China, giving that country a big boost in national pride and the Communist Party's hopes for legitimacy. Over the longer term, he added, if Beijing's commitment to a robust space program continues to grow, China's strategic missile modernization will steadily realize increasing technological benefits."

quote:
Would you say their relatively recent advancement in the field of guided missile technology was not necessarily a bad thing either?

Your question is paramount to asking should scientists denounce Einstein for his theories simply because it lead to the development of the Bomb. Even Einstein found reason to sell science for the sake of human knowledge short by saying "If I knew what they were going to do with my ideas, I would have become a shoemaker" (paraphrased from memory).

I see the presence of a third nation in space to be a good thing. India and Japan have both taken China's accomplishment to increase motivations within their own countries to strive for the same. ESA and Russia are using the launch to re-inspect their own commitments to human space flight.

And perhaps most exciting is the effect it might have on the U.S. Quoting Paul Dickson from the SPACE.com article cited above: "It also means that for the first time since Richard Nixon was in the White House serious talk can resume about sending humans to Mars."

Not once during this discussion have I praised China for anything but its manned program. I have just as much disgust as you for their leadership. But it wasn't their leadership I was applauding earlier this week. It was average Chinese citizens cheering in the street for an accomplishment that few have achieved before. It was the engineers and scientists who had worked for years to make this one flight a success. And it was the world's reaction, which for the first time in a long while heralded the importance of a human presence in space.

chet
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posted 10-17-2003 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your question is paramount to asking should scientists denounce Einstein for his theories simply because it lead to the development of the Bomb.
________________________________________

I'm afraid if that was your understanding of my question, you missed my point.
Einstein was never an evil person who grew more moderate because of the beauty of his scientific discoveries, which seems to be the hope you hold out for the Chinese regime. NOTHING points to the prospect of their latest space success steering them in a more moderate direction. If they wanted to go in that direction, they'd hardly need to put men in space to do it.

I'm glad to see men in space, but I'm not happy to see the Chinese there; I'd laud the Chinese if they managed to find a cure for cancer, certainly, but I see no reason to celebrate their recent accomplishment.

-chet

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2003 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
NOTHING points to the prospect of their latest space success steering them in a more moderate direction. If they wanted to go in that direction, they'd hardly need to put men in space to do it.

NOTHING points to the prospect of their latest space success steering them in a more aggressive direction in space. If they wanted to go in that direction, they'd hardly need to put men in space to do it.

David Stephenson
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posted 10-18-2003 05:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Stephenson   Click Here to Email David Stephenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here we are in 2003 and still living in a world of fear and mistrust,i didnt realise the impact the Chinese manned flight would have in stirring up feelings.
All countries have a choice to use space for good or bad but its up to the average man or woman in the street to make the difference in breaking down barriers in this small world of ours.No doubt i will be told im an idealist or naive but it does make a difference to communicate with people of another way of thinking because i have tried it this past month and it made a difference.We are all in danger of been swept along by thinking put there by people who run our countries.

Joe Davies
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posted 10-18-2003 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Davies   Click Here to Email Joe Davies     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Should China decide to utilise its new-found expertise in launching materials into space for less than peaceful purposes, there is almost nothing that the West can do about it going in that direction.

China is a huge country with vast natutal resources, the world's largest population, a growth rate in technology and commerce that probably leads the world, an ethic towards self-sacrifice that is largely misunderstood in the West, and occupying an enormous land area.

The days of the Western alliances waving a big stick and subjugating nations are drawing to a close, and after Iraq that probably isn't such a bad thing anyway.

As Robert says, we should work with the Chinese, and look to steer them in continued peaceful directions. While they have a different political system and culture to us, it would appear that China has greater interest in successful commerce than military conquest.

It would be prudent and pragmattic for the West to build bridges with China, to foster a relationship of co-operation and mutual tolerance. Jingoistic flag-waving, criticism and paranoia will put a wall between us every bit as large as the Great Wall, and lead to a confrontational outcome, and it is an outcome that in all probability that will see China victorious.

Joe


Rodina
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posted 10-18-2003 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
NOTHING points to the prospect of their latest space success steering them in a more aggressive direction [b]in space. If they wanted to go in that direction, they'd hardly need to put men in space to do it.[/B]

The only thing is that once your ready to put a man on top of your rockets, you are pretty darn confident in their reliability. Long March had a number of spectacular failures in the early 1990s, if I recall (not much worse than Delta or Atlas or Ariane, as I recall, but then those aren't manned rated) -- those concerns are obviously generally behind them.

The military significance of most scientific and political space ventures is in the background technical expertise that's proved by the particular mission.

When President Eisenhower said in his press conference about Sputnik that it "didn't concern me, not one iota" -- he wasn't being clever. A 100 kg or so payload didn't freak anyone out -- but when Sputnik II was launched, with a payload of one ton, the military folks were far more concerned, because a 550 kilo payload (or whatever it was) translated neatly into the ability for an intercontinental throw-weight of more than a ton -- enough to put a crude 1950's atomic bomb anywhere in the United States.

Now, obviously China has ICBMs (they are the only country, btw, to put a live nuclear warhead on a live ICBM and test them both in the same shot) and so we're not now concerned that this flight proves that. But much of the space infrastructure that they need to be more succesful in space (military and otherwise) is in place. Their tracking station in Namibia, ocean-going tracking vessels and the like.

That new level of maturity -- their interest in joining the Euro GPS system -- all of that say that that amoral, religion-oppressing, antihuman facist state that is the People's Republic of China wants to play ball. And we ought to keep an eye on it -- from a military perspective.

Yes, I congratulate the Chinese for their accomplishments. But I'll be writing my members of Congress to encourage them to dust off the ASAT program, too.


chet
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posted 10-18-2003 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"The days of the Western alliances waving a big stick and subjugating nations are drawing to a close, and after Iraq that probably isn't such a bad thing anyway".
______________________________________

Not quite sure I understand this comment, Joe. Is it bad that there was an axis of power strong enough to topple a murderous and threatening regime that had already invaded its neighbors and given every indication of a buildup and willingness to do so again? I'm not bothered by the West having military superiority over smaller yet more hostile and aggressive regions of the world. Are you?


"While [the Chinese] have a different political system and culture to us it would appear that China has greater interest in successful commerce than military conquest".
_________________________________________

With all due respect, I don't think the Taiwanese and Tibetans would share in your oversimplistic generalization. It seems to me the Chinese have every interest in growing stronger economically and militarily for the sole purpose of being able to confront the U.S. on the world stage without fear of being stood down. They hardly make a secret of it.

Joe, where cooperation is possible with the Chinese, I'm for it. There IS something to Robert's suggestion of "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer", but history tells us that trying to cozy up to anatagonistic regimes usually ends in not just failure, but disaster.

Where the Chinese can be brought around to being a freer more tolerant society, fine and good. Where they can't, they must be stood up to; anything else invites catastrophe. That isn't jingoistic flag-waving, fear or paranoia talking, just a quick perusal of some textbooks about recent world history.

Hope has its place, but so does 20/20 vision with both feet planted firmly on planet Earth.

-chet

albatron@aol.com
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posted 10-18-2003 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron@aol.com   Click Here to Email albatron@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dtemple:
[B]"It was because detente - whether we CHOOSE to believe it or not - worked."

However, I disagree with one point made by Al. Detente did not work. Trying to get along with the Soviet Union was not the approach that defeated them. Ronald Reagan's approach - considering them to be the "evil empire" - was the approach which brought the Soviet threat to an end. Detente was an easing of tentions - which is what the word means. This easing of tentions did not last; the cold war got very cold again. (Maybe I misunderstood your point, Al.) B]



David: Well put, my point about detente was the stand off that kept us from nuking the mortal crap out of each other - not the fall of the Iron Curtain. You are correct it was Reagan who was the primary factor in the DEMISE of Communism in Russia, but the crumbling started some years prior by Nixon opening free trade with China. Sadly it didn't cause the fall of Communism there.

Well folks can think what they want - easily observed satellites or not, they did lie when they say "peaceful purposes" and then send a military satellite. Soft coat it all you wish.

Cheers!

Al

chet
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posted 10-18-2003 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lest Al's point be misconstrued in some way, I don't think China putting up military use satellites, or anything they do, militarily, is for defensive purposes; let's not forget how often and unmistakenly they proclaim their intention to re-"absorb" Taiwan.

-chet

eurospace
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posted 10-18-2003 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
Lest Al's point be misconstrued in some way, I don't think China putting up military use satellites, or anything they do, militarily, is for defensive purposes; let's not forget how often and unmistakenly they proclaim their intention to re-"absorb" Taiwan.

-chet


They're doing that for, let's say, over fifty years. They always considered Taiwan part of the motherland. What's new here?

Do they need rockets for Taiwan? Nah. Do they need manned rockets for that? Nah. Did they have those rockets (unmanned) before Oct 15? Certainly. Again - what's new?

I can see October 15 triggered a lot of phantasizing with some, but a new strategic situation? Not really.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
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posted 10-18-2003 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My last attempt to quote experts was met with disagreement as they didn't mention the word "threat". Well, here is someone who uses the word in relation to the Chinese flight:

"No, it's an interesting development," he told Channel News Asia in an exchange taped earlier this week in Washington. "I don't necessarily see it as a threat."

"I think it's a country that's now beginning to emerge as a sophisticated country. And it's got great potential. I hope that they are able to make discoveries in space, like we did, the technology that will come out of that will help mankind."

Who said it?

http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/031018181136.hjzi9nyf.html

chet
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posted 10-18-2003 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The new strategic situation comes from the prestige a manned space flight confers on the government, not to mention the extra capabilities the Chinese will gain from putting up a permanent space station.

It's not that the Chinese haven't been capable of taking back Taiwan before now;
what's different now is the nationalistic fervor that can be stirred up by the type of pride that comes with their recent space success - - it makes it easier to convince the masses in the type of manifest destiny that will make swallowing up Taiwan easier.

And by gaining a stronger foothold in space, the Chinese become a tougher adversary everyday for the U.S., thereby making the taking of Taiwan less of a risk for them than it might've been before.

Anything that makes China stronger puts Taiwan in greater danger. For that reason alone we should be weary of ANYTHING that strengthens China's hand. It really is just that simple.

-chet

chet
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posted 10-18-2003 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aw c'mon Robert, we already know that Bush can't be trusted - - right??

(BTW, he said not NECESSARILY a threat. And what would you have the President of the United States say anyway, that he sees this as a very dangerous and ominous development?)

-chet

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-18-2003 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
And what would you have the President of the United States say anyway, that he sees this as a very dangerous and ominous development?

He hasn't had any problems saying that about other countries (axis of evil anyone?). Why would he hold his tongue in this situation when he seems so happy to express his personal feelings on every other issue at hand?

chet
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posted 10-18-2003 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why would he hold his tongue in this situation when he seems so happy to express his personal feelings on every other issue at hand?
_____________________________________

Because China has over 1 billion people, and is a giant to be reckoned with. We cannot singlehandedly take on the Chinese like we could Iran or North Korea or Cuba.
It's called strategy.

-chet

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-18-2003 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
It's called strategy.

Or, its really what he thinks.

chet
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posted 10-18-2003 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's what I think too. It's not NECESSARILY a threatening development.

But, given China's track record, I don't think it bodes well.
We WILL have to wait and see.

A good analogy might be the Oslo Accords;
there was much hope that events in the Middle East might turn a corner, but there were many naysayers pointing to the track record of the Palestinian leadership, and with it predictions that the rosy outlook would ultimately turn sour, and then bitter.
Well, the naysayers were right.

Time will tell with China as well, but down the road I don't think we'll be seeing a China chomping at the bit to be buddy-buddy with the U.S. Call me a pessimist; I call it realism.

I sure hope I'm wrong and that you're right, Robert.

-chet

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posted 10-18-2003 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron@aol.com   Click Here to Email albatron@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:

I can see October 15 triggered a lot of phantasizing with some, but a new strategic situation? Not really.

Fantasizing juergen, Fantasizing.

eurospace
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posted 10-19-2003 03:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
The new strategic situation comes from the prestige a manned space flight confers on the government, not to mention the extra capabilities the Chinese will gain from putting up a permanent space station.

It's not that the Chinese haven't been capable of taking back Taiwan before now;
what's different now is the nationalistic fervor that can be stirred up by the type of pride that comes with their recent space success - - it makes it easier to convince the masses in the type of manifest destiny that will make swallowing up Taiwan easier.

And by gaining a stronger foothold in space, the Chinese become a tougher adversary everyday for the U.S., thereby making the taking of Taiwan less of a risk for them than it might've been before.

Anything that makes China stronger puts Taiwan in greater danger. For that reason alone we should be weary of ANYTHING that strengthens China's hand. It really is just that simple.

-chet


I would rather consider it a positive development if countries where the population speaking the same language and sharing the same cultural background lives in two states would be capable to re-unite, whether it would be Germany (where the population wanted this), Vietnam, Korea or China. Being American, you might not understand that, but just imagine your country had been divided after the Civil war in the 19th century.

The question of course always is "on what terms". Considering that the People's Republic is catching up economically and having a very developed private industry (while maintaining a strong one party leadership - but then again Taiwan was not very far from one party leadership in the past either), the "differences in the system" might no longer be that important than they were in the past.


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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

eurospace
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posted 10-19-2003 03:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
Because China has over 1 billion people, and is a giant to be reckoned with. We cannot singlehandedly take on the Chinese like we could Iran or North Korea or Cuba.
It's called strategy.

-chet


Exactly. You wouldn't need missiles or rockets, it would just take 1 billion people to walk over and row over the Bering strait to take things over. Watch out: already millions of ethnically Chinese in the States. They have even already penetrated the space shuttle: four of their spies flew on shuttle missions (Wang, Chiao, Chang - and Lu just agressively occupies the International Space Station - what's he seing up there?).

The only method to fight them is: procreate. We need one billion Americans in no time. F**k for supremacy.

And of course "taking on singlehandedly" in pre-emptive strikes is nothing agressive, no threat to the World, and the Chinese might just get inspired by our policy. Bad idea that.

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

eurospace
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posted 10-19-2003 03:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron@aol.com:
Fantasizing juergen, Fantasizing.


Fanta-sizing? Like Coca-Cola-sizing? ;-))

Anyway - Juergen with a capital "J", second "fantasizing" with a small "f".

Are you Chinese? ;-)

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

chet
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posted 10-19-2003 03:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Taiwan wanted to be "re-absorbed" by China, it'd be fine with me. But they don't.

And Jurgen, if you feel more threatened by a George Bush led America than by a Communist controlled China I'd say you need more time reading the newspaper than anything I might post here. Ask the Tibetans and Taiwanese who they feel more
threatened by.

-chet


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