As President Bush released plans Wednesday for the united States to launch a television network in the Middle East, the European Space Agency announced their intentions for missions to the moon and Mars.
However, the difference between the ESA and NASA programs lies in the fact that the ESA plan is less costly and better developed.
The Bush administration’s insistence on approaching international – and now, interplanetary – affairs alone is becoming an increasing burden on the financial and political future of America.
If Bush would have had the insight to include the ESA in the plan for interplanetary travel, the United States and the European Union could have shared the costs that such missions entail. Unfortunately, the current state of the plans has America footing a $12 billion bill over five years, while the EU faces a $1.3 billion cost in the same time period.
For the extra $11 billion, the UnitedStates will reach the Martian surface only four years ahead of the EU mission. This minor time advantage is no excuse for the extra $11 billion that the American public will be forced to pay.
By including other nations into his plan for space exploration, Bush could have saved the American people billions of dollars and stopped the impending space race that will ensue because of the introduction of the EU plan.
With an expected $521 billion deficit, an all-time high, the America cannot afford to continue fool hearty plans that only serve the purpose of pushing Bush’s personal agenda.
Upon the announcement of next week’s launch of the Middle Eastern television station “Alhurra”, Bush said, “Through all these efforts, we are telling the people in the Middle East the truth about the values and the policies of the United States.”
Instead of pushing U.S. values onto the people of the Middle East, Bush could have used the funding to actually improve the condition of their region. With the ongoing decline of support by U.S. citizens for the Bush administration’s actions in the region, that propaganda may have been better directed toward home.
For posterity, the Bush administration must realize that their actions speak louder than any propaganda that they pay billions to spread.
Bush’s unilateral approach to global affairs cannot bode well for America’s financial future and relations with the international community.
Jason E. Hutchins for The Editorial Board