News & Politics

Star Wars Missile Misfires ... Again

The main thing that the Bushites' highly touted missile defense system can be counted on is to hit the federal budget.
Gosh, it's sad that the Bushites have not been able to provide protective armor for all of our troops in Iraq – resulting in untold numbers of needless deaths and maimings – but ... well, the Pentagon has other priorities. Such as playing with its Star Wars toys.

There recently was another test of this boondoggle. The scheme is that the military industry can build a whiz-bang technological wonder that will allow a U.S. missile to be fired at an incoming enemy missile and shoot it out of the air. 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 it doesn't work – and nearly all independent experts say it won't ever work, and isn't even needed.

Indeed, the Pentagon even rigged its previous tests – including putting beacons on the target missile so 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. Pentagon chief Donnie Rumsfeld, however, 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 that the Bushites' highly touted missile defense system can be counted on is to hit the federal budget. But they don't care, for it's all being deficit financed, paid in IOUs that our grandchildren will have to pay – long after the Bushites are gone and their Star Wars scam has been assigned to the scrap heap of ridiculous waste. Is there no other need in America that we could spend this money on?
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush from Viking Press. For more information, visit
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