Below is the only report so far that I have seen with regard to the Space Symposium being held in Colorado Springs and the witness we all made that day. It is well to Remember!
- The USA is signatory to the United Nations Treaty declaring that Space is the common heritage of humanity and should not be militarized.(1960’s)
- The so called Space Command back as early as 2000 declared as its mission “to dominate the military aspects of space to protect American investments and interests…)
- Our Space assets including GPS are used to guide Drones, target Nuclear missiles and other weapons of war. Drones are known (in spite of efforts to classify their operations and persecution of journalists and others to publicize it) to create collateral damage, (Civilians and Children) They commit war crimes!! They commit acts of war!!
- #’s 2 and 3 are violations of #1 and another evidence of US historic failure to keep its word in treaties and willingness to thumb its nose at international law.
Should we really militarize space?
Should we really militarize space?
By Sue McMillin
Columnist for The Denver Post
I didn’t expect to meet anyone I knew Monday when I stopped by a large conference hall to pick up media credentials and get the lay of the land for the 36th Space Symposium.
It had been more than two decades since I’d covered the symposium, and probably nearly a decade since I’d been on the ever-sprawling grounds of The Broadmoor. It was familiar enough, but in the uncomfortable way that comes with being a bystander at an insider event that reeks of power, money and dealmaking.
Badged men in suits guarded the exhibit hall doors so no unauthorized people could get a sneak peek before the show opened later in the evening. Small groups of men and women in “business dress” suits and military uniforms chatted in the shade or walked the grounds as the crowd grew for the evening kick-off.
I was gratified to see more women participants. They were rare at the first 10 or so symposiums that I covered, beginning with the first one in November 1984.
As I walked toward the intersection in front of The Broadmoor hotel, I did see a few people that I likely knew: a handful of protesters carefully lining the edge of a grassy median between the street and the sidewalk.
Sure enough, Mary Sprunger-Froese was handing out leaflets warning of the dangerous military influence on space programs and her husband Peter Sprunger-Froese held a sign that said “Space Symposium – Accessory to War” and one end of another banner that said “USA: Suffering From A Military-Industrial Complex.” Richard Buchanan held the other end.
Holding a sign that said “the heavens are for WONDER not warfare” was Esther Kisamoore.
I had encountered Mary and Peter several times in my years as a military reporter in Colorado Springs. They were always protesting, and I was always covering the event or military activity that they were protesting.
Just like me, they had been at the first symposium along with other members of the Citizens for Peace in Space. Unlike me, they had not missed decades of them.
“I might have missed one or two,” Esther confessed.
“I’m a regular,” Richard said.
They were in this for the long haul from the start.
I struck up a conversation with Peter as a long line of cars and buses rounded the corner just in front of us and Broadmoor security added some wrought iron fencing around one end of the small protest. I jotted a few notes, but mostly I listened as he talked about the neverending work of pacifism.
He smiled broadly when I asked him why, over the course of history, we (as in the collective) so often make choices that are harmful to people and the environment in the long run? Why does the quest for money and economic growth seem to be the most powerful motivators for communities or countries?
It’s really about nationalism, he said with a sweep of his hand, ironically, toward the International Center. The United States has always been in a space race, always wanted to lead and direct what happens in space, and so our traditional response — an instinct really — is to use the military to protect our interests in space.
And that simply extends our earthly conflicts into the space domain.
That’s what Sprunger-Froese and his colleagues want us to rethink.
“We’re first of all world citizens,” he said, noting that we must not lose sight of that.
You simply don’t give up on your cause, he said, when you’re grounded in your faith and believe surprises and unprecedented things – miracles you might say – can happen.
I admire his clear-headed dedication to pacifism, to a kinder, gentler world. He’s been doing this work for about 45 years.
That’s about how long I’ve been immersed in journalism, a world in which you are an observer and not a participant, where you strive for fairness as you report what’s going on and who said what. Now I was at the symposium as a columnist, able to take in the whole thing without having to report the news of the day or cover specific events. Still an observer, still striving for fairness and truthfulness, but able to add my own voice.
I’ve been a space junkie since I was a kid watching Gemini and Apollo rockets blast off on our black and white television. It was serendipitous that I happened to be the military reporter in the town where the Air Force built a space operations center and then became home to various space commands. I learned much in the 1980s and ‘90s about the military space program, and I wrote about it extensively.
More recently, I’ve advocated in columns for the newly-created Space Force, believing that space systems haven’t gotten the attention or priority they deserve in the Air Force.
I think we absolutely benefit from the weather, navigation, and communication satellites, and we need to have ways to protect them.
Yet it gives me pause when I think about something like the Global Positioning System satellites that allow me to instantaneously map my way to a new restaurant also being used just as precisely to direct a bomb to a target. Yes, precision bombing generally means fewer civilian deaths, but it still causes death and destruction.
It’s the good vs. evil of technology questions that haunt us, but we should be honest about one thing: Our answers are too often driven by economic and generic national security interests that discount the potential for harm.
I could’ve talked to Peter all evening about such things, but he had protesting to do and I had much pondering to do as I prepared to observe this year’s symposium through a new lens. Sue McMillin is a long-time Colorado reporter and editor who worked for The Gazette and Durango Herald. Now a regular columnist for The Denver Post and a freelance writer, she lives in Cañon City. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.O. Box 915
Colorado Springs, CO 80901