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Space Politics

Reader comment on item: NASA's Final Frontier: The Muslim World

Submitted by John Berg (United States), Jul 7, 2010 at 19:48

The USA space exploration program including NASA has always been "political", a means of bolstering the USA's global image, with the corrollary benefits of enhancing scientific advancements that feed our industrial and military corporations. Not much different than the adage in auto racing that "what wins on Sunday sells on Monday", though certainly there has always been the attempt to claim that racing "improves the breed" via encouraging invention and creativity that eventually trickles down to the cars and trucks we drive daily. I have no doubt that there are some such practical benefits to my Focus from its distant Ford racing relatives, but I also know that the number one reason Ford (and GM and Chrysler and Toyota, etc.) spend multiple millions on their racing programs is to sell vehicles -- not improve my brakes or steering or gas mileage. Likewise, NASA and our who national "space program" builds on the idealism, genius and hard work of dedicated scientists and technicians -- but in the end the bottom line reason for the whole enterprise is to "sell the USA" to the rest of the world. And my President is being totally consistent with that line of reason in his current effort to engage more positively the Muslim world, which after all represents one fifth of the human race! Obama is no different in this regard that any previous US President, except that for once he actually understands that we need to reach out to Muslims (and Christians indigenous to the Middle East and other areas with predominant Muslim populations) in building relationships that transcend the normal "me first" western attitude. How 'bout a "win-win" approach?

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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