Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Aegis Christening

These Aegis naval ships are now being sold to, or deployed, in Japan, South Korea, Australia and eventually Taiwan as the U.S. attempts to "contain" China. These destroyers are being outfitted with "theatre missile defense" (TMD) systems and are being deployed just off the coast of China. The military mission of these ships is to hit Chinese nuclear missiles after they have been fired in response to a U.S. first strike attack on China. This aggressive, and provocative, military operation will create a new arms race in the region. Japanese and South Korean peace groups are very concerned about these plans and frequently protest the presence of these ships in their ports.

You'd think that Jesus Christ himself was going to be in Bath, Maine on Saturday morning. The Navy, and Bath Iron Works, will be holding another "christening" of an Aegis destroyer. Funny how I have a hard time reconciling the words Christ and destroyer but I know that I am just "old school".

In our local paper yesterday they ran a story announcing the event and I was taken aback with the opening line in the article, "One needn't look farther than the main stage at Saturday morning's christening ceremony at Bath Iron Works to see that Navy ships do more than wage war."

Now what could this spin be I found myself wondering? So I read on.

It seems that some 24 years ago "more than 100 Vietnamese refugees adrift in the South China Sea in a small open boat with a failed motor" were plucked from the ocean by a U.S. Navy destroyer. Thus the image created in the article is that while these ships might be called "destroyers" they are in fact out doing some level of "humanitarian" work around the world.

Sadly this is not true at all.

In fact these Navy Aegis destroyers are the ships that launched the first cruise missile volley in the U.S. "shock and awe" attack on Iraq in 2003. I know this because Mary Beth and I have made friends with a former Naval officer who was the officer on the deck of the very Aegis ship that fired the first cruise missile in that attack. This officer now suffers from PTSD.

We know that these same Aegis destroyers are now being deployed in the Persian Gulf in anticipation of a U.S. attack on Iran. We know that U.S. naval officers, in charge of cruise missile targeting, met with Israel military officials last summer to select targets for a U.S.-Israel attack on Iran.

These Naval destroyers are also now being outfitted with "theatre missile defense" (TMD) systems and are being deployed just off the coast of China. The military mission of these ships is to hit Chinese nuclear missiles after they have been fired in response to a U.S. first strike attack on China.

Oh, you say, the U.S. would never launch a pre-emptive first strike attack on another nation! That would be in violation of international law.

But in fact the U.S. Space Command has been war gaming such a first strike attack on China for the past several years. Set in the year 2016 the Pentagon initiates the attack on China using the military space plane, now under development. The role of the Aegis destroyer, outfitted with the TMD interceptors, is to knock out any remaining Chinese nukes that could still get off the ground after the initial U.S. attack. (Remember that today the Chinese military only has 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the continental U.S.) So the Aegis ships would not have to "destroy" very many of China's missiles to make it a successful operation.

These Aegis naval ships are now being sold to, or deployed, in Japan, South Korea, Australia and eventually Taiwan as the U.S. attempts to "contain" China. This aggressive, and provocative, military operation will create a new arms race in the region. Japanese and South Korean peace groups are very concerned about these plans and frequently protest the presence of these ships in their ports.

Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network will be organizing a protest vigil at the "Christening" in Bath on Saturday morning. We will be there to call for the conversion of Bath Iron Works. Why can't public transit rail cars be built by BIW workers instead of more war ships?

I wonder what Jesus would say?

--
Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
http://www.space4peace.org
globalnet@mindspring.com
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (our blog)

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