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Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005 10:47 am

common sense 1-20-05


Gosh, it's sad that the Bush administration hasn't been able to provide protective armor for all of our troops in Iraq, but it has other priorities -- such as playing with its Star Wars toys.

There was recently another test of this boondoggle missile-defense system. The scheme, first hatched under President Ronald Reagan, calls for the use of U.S. missiles to shoot incoming enemy missiles out of the sky. So far, the Pentagon has shoveled $80 billion into this smoke-and-mirrors stunt, with another $50 billion to be thrown at it in the next five years.

I say "smoke and mirrors" because the technology doesn't work -- and nearly all independent experts say it won't ever work and that it isn't even needed.

Indeed, the Pentagon even rigged its previous tests -- including putting beacons on the target missile so that their Star Wars missile can find it easily -- yet it still doesn't hit the target. The latest test was especially embarrassing. Instead of merely missing the target, this one couldn't even get off the ground. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is undeterred, saying that critics who claim that his pet project doesn't work are misguided because "what the definition of 'work' is is terribly important."

OK, Donnie, try this small dose of reality: The system is so flawed that it cannot be fired if the weather is bad! Excuse my skepticism, but it's at least possible that an enemy might not wait for a perfectly clear, calm day to take a shot at us.

The main thing the missile system is guaranteed to hit is the federal budget. But the Bush administration doesn't care, because it's paying for it with IOUs that our grandchildren will inherit -- long after the Bushites are gone and their Star Wars scam has been assigned to the scrap heap of ridiculous waste.

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