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U.S. Naval Scholar Criticizes Philosophy Behind the Indo-Pacific Strategy

Lyle Goldstein had never been afraid to “sail against the current” with regard to his vision of a sane U.S. defense policy, and it is hoped that his view is also shared by a number of U.S. defense intellectuals, who have some awareness of how the world is changing. In his latest article, entitled “The Indo-Pacific Strategy is a Recipe for Disaster,” Goldstein scores the malarkey dreamed up by U.S. policy planners based on the notion that the U.S. has now entered a period of intense rivalry with China and with Russia.

Goldstein goes back to a 1992 strategy document that asserted that the goal of U.S. policy was “to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge” and to maintain the continuity of “the unipolar moment.” He also notes that the DoD declassified, long before it was normal, the U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Paciific, which built on the same basic notion. “The authors of the Trump administration’s framework were evidently so pleased with the work that they thought it necessary to declassify it before leaving office and share it with the public, even though the general custom is to wait 30 years before declassification,” Goldstein writes. “But surely they also intended that the document might constrain and direct the Biden administration’s approach to U.S. strategy heads.”

“The strategy represents a fusion of neoconservative and neoliberal thinking and may satisfy large segments of the foreign policy elite, orchestrating the design for a new cold war—this time focusing on China,” Goldstein writes. And what are the problems that this strategy represents? While harping a lot on the “alliance of democracies”, the strategy is meant to include countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, all of which fall into that category only with great effort. Even with South Korea and Japan, traditional U.S. allies, he argues, it will be difficult for them to follow in the wake of a U.S. man-of-war heading for China.

More serious, he notes, is the situation with changing the policy toward Taiwan. “The island has befuddled American strategists for decades and their clever solution has been ‘strategic ambiguity,’ balancing a general acceptance of China’s claim with a subtle hint of deterrence in the hope that the complex issue could be settled peacefully. The newly declassified strategy overtly codifies the deterrence aspect without even the slightest nod to Chinese claims—something acknowledged by American presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt. The attempt to shift the policy during the Trump Administration put the U.S. on a clear collision course with China.

“Some Americans seem to welcome that possibility, but they are not well informed about the military balance and likely scenarios. The truth is that the United States could very well lose such a war, a fact admitted in early 2021 by a senior Air Force official, and there is no telling whether nuclear weapons would be used or not.”

And then there is India. Goldstein notes that India’s military potential is not what it is cracked up  to be and that any attempt to promote trouble on the India-China border could lead to a disaster for India similar to that in 1962. And promoting an Indian presence in the South China Sea, he notes, has already led to a major Chinese naval build-up. He also notes the folly for India in pushing a major military build-up with so much of its domestic needs crying for attention.

“In the end,” Goldstein writes, “the Indo-Pacific framework proved long on rhetoric and ideology, but failed to grapple seriously with the underlying changes in the regional balance of power that must occasion a new U.S. strategy based on realism and restraint. The Biden administration should not overlook the former strategy’s foundational weaknesses. The new team would be wise to junk the old strategy and start fresh.”

Good advice from a defense scholar with great experience. Goldstein set up the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. But his article was published in a lesser known internet site, the “lawfareblog.” It is hoped that it will be transmitted further. For although Lyle Goldstein may be a lone voice, in a cacophony of disparate—and mostly outlandish—voices, it does remain the voice of reason, and therefore deserves to be heard.

Read the full article:

Rick Perry — the Green New Deal Is Anti-science and Kills

Rick Perry, the former Governor of Texas and  Energy Secretary under President Trump, spoke from power-less Texas Monday night on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News, blasting the Green New Deal as anti-science ideological disaster which is killing people, and will kill more everywhere if not stopped. 

With over 4 million people without power in Texas — including Perry, whose power went down just as he appeared on TV (he was able to turn on a generator) — Perry described the freezing up of the wind turbines and the failure of the solar panels in Texas, adding: “We started taking down the coal plants, then the nuclear plants.If the country is going to continue to grow, to have an economic base which is competitive in the world, we’ve got to have a diverse energy supply which will be there when you call on it. That means fossil fuels, LNG, compact nuclear reactors. We have to look at fusion reactors — there’s great progress being made in that field right now. I don’t hear the new administration, the Green New Deal, talking about anything other than solar and wind. That’s fine, but you have to be thinking long term — there are not enough people thinking long term. You have a group of people so bent on their ideology — they don’t care about the future, they don’t care about your lives.”

He looked ten years ahead to life in an “AOC world” with only solar and wind. “What happens when we have this kind of event? It’s 9 degrees in Round Top, Texas. If you don’t have power to keep warm, you’re going to die! There are countless lives that can be lost with the kind of reckless adhering to a philosophy like that. It’s not scientific. We heard all the time during the campaign, `You have to stick with the science.’ Well, the science tells us, if you have just wind and solar, it’s going to get awfully cold in the winter, and awfully hot in the summer.”  

Naval War College Professor Warns of Nuclear War Danger

Lyle J. Goldstein, research professor at the U.S. Naval War College and founder of the China Maritime Studies Institute there, has been speaking out against the continued deterioration of US-Russia relations recently. On Feb. 5, he was interviewed by radio host Scott Horton and had placed an op-ed in the Washington Times on Feb. 3, in which he warned of the danger of nuclear war. In the op-ed, Goldstein praised the extension of the New START arms reduction treaty but warned “it would be foolish to pat ourselves on the back and think we have genuinely stabilized the smoldering train wreck of the U.S.-Russia relationship.”

“Mr. Biden made clear in October 2020 his view that Russia represents the most serious threat to U.S. national security. After December reports alleging Russia perpetrated a wide-ranging hack of the U.S. government, one might reasonably expect that Moscow and Washington remain practically on a war footing,” Goldstein wrote. “The Russian defense minister revealed just before Christmas that U.S. military forces are now making bellicose approaches proximate to Russian borders at a rate 15% higher than last year.”

“The Western press is now fixated on the fate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and related protests,” Goldstein noted. “However, this mixing of domestic political issues, along with the various cyber complications, has created a troubling ‘perfect storm’ for U.S.-Russia relations.” Goldstein dismisses the alleged about Russian cyber-intrusions, and alleged Russian efforts to “divide America” as “silliness.” Instead, we should “turn to a genuinely grave national security threat — namely nuclear weapons issues in U.S.-Russia relations.”

Not only is Russia engaged in high profile exercises of its nuclear forces, “unnecessary American and NATO provocations are also clearly contributing to heightened tensions with Moscow.” This is not only going on along Russia’s borders but also in Ukraine and Syria as well, where US/NATO forces are operating in close proximity to Russian forces. “The Biden administration could actually attempt to improve this most critical bilateral relationship. The new president might, as a first constructive step, order his appointees to stop referring to Russia as an ‘adversary,’ much less as the ‘preeminent threat,’ Goldstein writes. “Such rhetoric may serve momentary psychological needs (e.g. othering) and swell the stock price of various defense contractors, but it also fuels the military tensions that are obvious and increasingly dangerous.”

Goldstein notes that there are those in the West who would welcome a “Maidan” in Moscow but “a Russia consumed by chaos and violence would actually not accord at all with U.S. interests.” He concludes: “Americans need to know that Russia’s massive nuclear forces are under singular, stable, and rational control — not in the grips of a fracturing state facing the possibility of civil war. Moreover, a stable and prosperous Russia will also be critical to the world’s recovery from an economic crisis wrought by the global pandemic.”

In the interview with Scott Horton, Goldstein noted that the Cold war ended suddenly, and triumphalism on the part of the US was the response. The power went to our heads, since the USSR collapse we might as well rule over the rubble, he said (paraphrase -ed.) This kind of contested zone where there was a power vacuum (referring to the former Soviet republics along Russia’s eastern and southern periphery) and NATO said we’ll take care of it. Russia’s power has ebbed and flowed over this region for five centuries, Goldstein said, and it’s power plays to try to settle where that power ends. NATO involvement in Belarus, he warned is a very dangerous situation and could lead to a NATO-Russia conflict. “We better think hard about how to avoid this,” he said. The US has no national interest in Belarus and there’s no reason to consider how the US would use force in Belarus and some in Ukraine. There’s no credible threat at this point to the Baltics, he said.

CDC Announces New Guidelines for School Reopenings

Rochelle Walensky, the newly appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) appeared on CBS Meet the Press today to discuss the CDC’s new school reopening guidelines. These are more thorough, and, if followed, probably more useful than previous CDC proposals. It is, however, a set of guidelines, not a mandate for action. It includes: 

As an “overview,” it presents a table giving brief description of measures taken and identifying them as permitting low to high levels of transmission. They say that schools operating at the high end should not open. 

Detailed instructions on the kinds of masks to wear, how to clean & care for them, etc.  

Strict 6 foot distancing. They say this is necessary for full return to school, but, of course, without doubling (or more) the size of the schools, there’s no room for full return and 6 ft distancing. 

Teachers should be vaccinated (Anthony Fauci told ABC today that that’s not absolutely necessary if the other CDC guidelines are followed.)  

Overall increased testing, including genetic sequencing to identify and track mutations. Walensky says that B.1.1.7 strain, now estimated at 4% of the U.S. infections, may be dominant here by next month.  

COVID relief package should include funds for improving the safety of our schools. Anthony Fauci said that passing the stimulus bill with these measures is a requirement for school re-opening. 

These proposals are clearly not workable in the Great Reset, so it remains to be seen whether there is anything more than pleasant talk in these proposals.

Putin Says Russia Is Working on Alternatives to Foreign-Run Internet Services

In a meeting today with editors-in-chief of Russian media outlets, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Russia is working on its own alternatives to the Western dominated internet services, and once such a system is in place, Sputnik reported, Russia “does not rule out the possibility of switching off foreign internet services in Russia in the event of hostile action against the country.”  

Putin stated: “And when we do have something of our own, we will curtail, if at all, only taking a particular situation into consideration […] I don’t want to artificially cut anything off, but when some hostile actions are carried out, I do not exclude this. Hostile actions with respect to our country are unacceptable,” Putin said. Sputnik reported that Putin referred to domestic tech services such as Yandex and Sberbank that have good prospects. He added: “Our respectable colleagues, when they see that there is an alternative and they do not have a monopoly in this market, will act differently”. 

Putin also said Russia had come under attack and attempted destabilization from abroad. “As soon as we began to stabilize, to get back to our feet — the policy of deterrence followed immediately… And as we grew stronger, this policy of deterrence was being conducted more and more intensely… We have lots of achievements. And this is starting to annoy them,” he said.

UN Aid Agencies Warn 400,000 Children in Yemen Threatened With Severe Malnutrition

The heads of UN aid organizations issued a joint statement yesterday warning of the devastation being wrought on children in Yemen by the famine conditions in the country. About 400,000 children under the age of five are in danger of dying of acute malnutrition in war-torn and impoverished Yemen, they warned, reported {Al Monitor}. They said half of those in the most vulnerable age bracket, or 2.3 million small children, are projected to suffer from severe malnutrition this year. “These numbers are yet another cry for help from Yemen where each malnourished child also means a family struggling to survive,” World Food Programm chief David Beasley said in a joint statement.

“More children will die with every day that passes without action”, said Henrietta Fore, head of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF. “Humanitarian organizations need urgent predictable resources and unhindered access to communities on the ground to be able to save lives.”

The UN agencies also warned that about 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women are also expected to suffer from extreme malnutrition in 2021. “The crisis in Yemen is a toxic mix of conflict, economic collapse and a severe shortage of funding to provide the life-saving help that’s desperately needed,” said Beasley. “But there is a solution to hunger, and that’s food and an end to the violence.”

LaRouche in the Universities—an Example of True Agape; What Really Is Power?

The LaRouche International Youth Movement issued the following statement on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Feb. 12, 2019 death of Lyndon H. LaRouche.

We, youth from around the world and members of the international Schiller Institute, have posed the question as to whether we’re really doing the right thing in terms of the academic and moral education of so many of the planet’s youth. In replying, we discover the paradox that if we were doing the right thing, the grave international systemic crisis we face wouldn’t exist.

What we instill in the minds and hearts of our youth through their education, will give them the tools to decide what they will do with their lives, taking up the mission of a “commitment to society” to improve our universe. With the method Lyndon LaRouche’s ideas represent, the word “commitment” won’t frighten them. They will see in it the realization of their ideals, as they better themselves and consequently seek the improvement and benefit of their fellow man.

With this in mind, we have launched an initiative called “LaRouche in the universities. What really is power?” This initiative consists of training young students, professors and other interested parties in the method and contributions of the American physical economist Lyndon LaRouche. We must introduce in all curricula the history of those ideas which, in the course of the evolution of human civilization, have allowed us to emerge from existential crises with renewed vigor to create a renaissance at a higher level. And that’s what the ideas on statecraft and the agapic principle that LaRouche contributed during his lifetime represent. So today, when these ideas are more necessary than ever, we launch this project on the second anniversary of his passing, February 12.

This is our petition:

That we begin education and training in the method developed by Lyndon LaRouche, through courses, workshops, seminars, graduate courses, conferences, contests, experiments, science and art fairs—to take place in academies, universities, forums, courses and classes. We ask that you open your minds, have a meeting and discuss how to collaborate to activate the creative capacity and the “specific faculty of cognitive insight” in the individual; to create with this a dynamic of Socratic dialogue in response to the search for solutions to the paradoxes posed by the current crisis.

We aren’t demanding. We are offering the opportunity to give young people what belongs to them by natural law. That is, to create an inflection point in history—an option that differs from the pessimism they breathe.

It’s true. What young people decide to do with their education isn’t in our hands; but at least we will feel at peace knowing that we’ve done the right thing—having guided these youth in the direction of the Good and not toward their self-destruction.

This is true love for one’s fellow man—it is true agapē. Our petition isn’t born of being fed up with society, of anger, hate or victimization. Rather, it is born of the hope of building, through our own efforts, a dignified present for the human race and for all inhabitants of our planet. These are the ideas which Lyndon LaRouche defended in life, and we young people have assumed the responsibility of bringing them to fruition with even greater force today.

The consequences of changing the present will be a future of prosperity, but one filled with paradoxes to be resolved for our future generations—an opportunity to seek one’s happiness through being useful to others, rather than just thinking of oneself.

Former Mexican President José López Portillo said in 1998: “It is now necessary for the world to listen to the wise words of Lyndon LaRouche;” and we would add, “it is now necessary that he be studied at every center of learning in the world.”

Join Our Initiative!!


The most important, and most fundamental of the issues posed to us by this onrushing catastrophe, is: As a matter of principle, to what degree, in what manner, and by what means, can man gain foreknowledge of the method by which to willfully change the current direction of his society’s destiny, for the better, in specific ways? Even to overcome, thus, the worst sort of impending, seemingly inevitable catastrophe, such as the presently onrushing one?

For reasons which I have defined extensively within earlier writings, any discussion of this topic, must situate itself by efficiently implied reference to the accumulation of knowledge possessed by mankind, and, more narrowly, by any specific culture, up to the time of a current discussion. In other words, the investigation of matters pertaining to the question of method set forth at the outset of this report, must adopt its empirical basis from the history of the efficient effects of the previous development of ideas, as Plato defined the term ideas, and as Leibniz defined the Platonic idea of a monadology.


Such is the setting, in which a specific culture, at a specific time, is faced with a specific challenge to its continued existence. That challenge must be seen as that culture is situated not merely within the context of the world’s geography, but also the legacy of that society’s cultural development, accumulated from all human history, up to that time. This retrospective view defines the broad meaning of historical specificity…

When we use the term “idea,” as Plato, Kepler, or Leibniz would, we mean, either the quality of idea associated with a universal physical principle, such as Kepler’s original discovery of a principle of universal gravitation, as Kepler details this, step by step, in his The New Astronomy, or the idea of communication of such an idea to another individual person. Or, we mean the notion of an idea common to both such discoveries of a validated universal physical principle of non-living processes, or of living processes, and also the idea of the communication of ideas of that specifically cognitive quality, as ideas are defined by Plato, from one person to another.

This is the same principle expressed in any performance of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, which is conducted as Bach had intended the organic participation among composer, soloists, chorus, and congregation. The intention is that all, composer, soloists, chorus, and congregation, might participate in reliving that passion within their own cognitive experiences. Mozart’s Great Mass, his later Requiem, and Beethoven’s masses,

express the use of art to bring about a truthful cognitive experience of the reliving of history, shared among composer, performers, and audiences.

These are not fiction, not entertainments, but the adducing of the cognitive reality of history, as distinct from a reductionist’s dumb reading of the shadows on the wall of a dimly firelit cave, or, as seen darkly in a mere sensory mirror of reality. The superior truthfulness of great Classical art, on this account, is that it accomplishes the essential function of enabling the audiences, among others, to relive the cognitive experience of the historical subject to which the art, or an appropriate form of religious service, refers…

These latter are communicated to other persons, that in the form of specifically cognitive qualities of knowledge… The validation is defined, as to be measured in terms of society’s increase of its power to exist, in and over the universe, in physical terms. Typically, this validation is to be measured per capita and per square kilometer of a normalized cross-sectional area of the Earth’s surface.

In that modern case, we can say that we know the subject author’s intent, because he obliges us, in that way, through that specific faculty of cognitive insight, to replicate the discovery of the intent of the experimentally verifiable idea in our own cognitive processes. This principle governs the way in which communication of ideas, as Plato defines ideas, occurs among living persons; it is also the way in which ideas are communicated, as ideas, from the past to the present, and to the future.

In opposition to that single step of perception, through which we learn to recognize objects in the form of sense-perceptions (e.g., the empiricist’s brutish notion of “sense certainty”), the individual act of knowing an idea requires three steps.

First: there must be the recognition of a true paradox of an ontological form.

Second: there must be an act of hypothetical discovery of some universally efficient principle, a discovery which solves the paradox.

Third: there must be an experimental test of the discovery. In other words, the test must show that the hypothetical principle is either universal, or not. If not, it is not a principle.

Since the first and third steps are both demonstrated experimentally, a second person who repeats those steps recognizes the successful nature of the thought which engendered the hypothetical discovery in the mind of the original discoverer, as recreated in his own. It is in that way, that the imperceptible is known, because the existence of that idea is efficient in controlling the shadows on the wall of Plato’s Cave. This sharing of the act of discovery of an experimentally validated principle, defines an idea of the Platonic type. Ideas of principle generated and validated in this way, thus represent communicable, and also efficient ideas for practice, even though the idea itself is not visible to the mere senses.

Thus, the subject of history, properly apprehended, is the history of ideas, as that is to be defined in the terms which I have just summarized. Thus, the only valid idea of history, is the history of ideas.

In other words, the minds of discoverers from the past are able to communicate with our minds, even if that discoverer were long deceased, through the three-step method outlined above. So, we, too, are empowered to communicate to the minds of persons who will be conceived and born long after we are dead. This relationship, defined in terms of ideas, among past, present, and future, is the equivalence of the idea of history to the history of ideas. It is not through learning rooted in sense-certainty, but only through the cognitive communication of ideas of a Platonic quality, that we are in efficient relationship to humanity as a whole, to our predecessors, our contemporaries, and our posterity alike.

This points to the indispensable role of a Classical-humanist mode of universal primary and secondary education for all members of our society. The primary goal and function of education, must be to enable the young, in particular, to relive the important cognitive experiences of past generations, especially the great discoveries and the great crises of earlier cultures and peoples. It is in the seeking of cognitive truth, in such Classical-humanist modes of education of the young in ideas, that education provides a foundation for the moral development of the character of the young person, and, hence, also the adult.

The superior moral character of the individual enjoying the benefits of a Classical-humanist education, in contrast to today’s more popular practices, expresses itself not only in the development of persons who are usually more moral, more sane than in other parts of the population, but endowed with superior qualities of intellectual achievement in whatever profession takes them up. Thus, the idea of an historically so-defined generality of cognitive development, points to an induced state of mind described as the expression of a principle of higher hypothesis, expressed, typically, as the individual’s power to generate entire families of discoveries.

It is in the ability to share that cognitive discovery of universal principle with others, in a task-oriented way, that real knowledge of the physical universe becomes a subject of conscious intention. It is in the distinguishing of one such idea, from others, of the same cognitive origin, that we are able to distinguish one idea from another one, as a form of existence of ideas, as situated within a social process.

This social aspect of the process of accumulating valid ideas, cognitively, over successive generations, defines what is properly regarded as Classical principles of artistic composition and performance. The validatable principles of Classical artistic composition, also provide the basis for the apprehension of real history and the arts of statecraft.

The functional distinction of the sovereign form of modern nation-state republic, is that it ends the subjugation of the majority of the population to the status of virtual human cattle. It is the shaping of economic and related policies according to that intention, which imposes upon government the responsibilities for: a.) protecting the national economic development, as measured in per-capita and per square-kilometer terms; b.) the promotion of the development of the basic economic infrastructure of the national territory as a whole; and, c.) the promotion of scientific progress and use of the technologies so derived, to promote the advancement of the productive powers of labor of all of the households of which the population is composed.

It is the florescence of Classical education and practice in science and art, which nourishes what becomes both the productive potential of the population, and its inclination to cooperate in bringing related improvements in the material and cultural conditions of life into general practice. The human individual is naturally creative; that distinguishes him, or her, from the beasts. That is the quality of that individual, which, if evoked and encouraged, is the source of upward tracks of revolutionary improvements in the condition of mankind. That, which Plato and the Apostle Paul would identify as the principle of agapē, is the power of mankind to change the universe.

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Rwanda’s Paul Kagame: “Until Africans Get the COVID Vaccinations They Need, the Whole World Will Suffer”

Under that headline, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, and former Chairman of the African Union, wrote an op ed in the Feb. 9 Guardian newspaper, pressing the need for vaccinating Africa and developing nations, as well as the entirety of the world’s population, against COVID-19. 

Kagame stated, “The current situation with regard to the access and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines vividly illustrates the decades-old contradictions of the world order. Rich and powerful nations have rushed to lock up supply of multiple vaccine candidates…. This leaves African and other developing countries either far behind in the vaccine queue, or not in it at all….The pressures on political leaders to vaccinate all their citizens before sharing supplies with others is understandable. But forcing smaller or poorer countries to wait until everyone in the north has been catered for is shortsighted. 

“Delaying access to vaccines for citizens of developing countries is ultimately many times more costly.” He warned, “The pandemic will rage on, crippling the global economy. New mutations may continue to emerge at a more rapid pace. The world risks reversing decades of human development gains…. We need global value chains to be fully operational again and to include everyone. 

“The Covax facility, led by the World Health Organization, was supposed to ensure doses for 20% of Africa’s people—right from the start and at the same time as richer countries. However, nearly two months after the first vaccines have been administered, it is still not clear when African nations will be able to start immunizing people… One pharmaceutical firm is reportedly planning to charge $37 per dose for ‘small orders’ [in Africa]. Recently, one African country reported being asked to pay more than double the price that the European Union had negotiated for the same product.[P]rice gouging… should not be tolerated for vaccines during a pandemic.” 

Kagame asserted, “Vaccine candidates from China and Russia are also coming online and may provide an alternative for some developing countries. However, the reality is that most countries will only be able to procure vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization. The WHO should speed up emergency use approvals…. Africa is not sitting back and waiting for charity…. Ensuring equitable access to vaccines globally during a pandemic is not only a moral issue, but an economic imperative to protect the wellbeing of people everywhere. But when will Africa get the protection it needs? If all lives are equal, why isn’t access to vaccines?”

UAE’s Sarah al-Amiri on the “Hope” Mars Mission

The following are the closing remarks of an 18-minute presentation given in 2017 by Sarah al-Amiri, today the chair of the UAE’s Space Agency, on “A Mars Mission of HOPE.” The UAE Space Agency just succeeded in placing an orbiter around Mars.

“… And it’s called Hope for a reason above and beyond the science that it is contributing. Today our region, the Middle East, is filled with turmoil. It is a region that is going through a few of its darkest hours. And what we are doing at the Hope Emirates Mars mission is providing a message. The Middle East is made up of over 50% youth. This project Hope is being run by a team that is under 35, a team that is made up of 34% women. The average age is 27. An entire nation is putting its hope on a team of youth, and presenting a message to the region. 

“This mission is also called Hope, because we are contributing to the global understanding of a planet’s data. We are going above and beyond the turmoil that is now defining our region, and becoming positive contributors to science. Science to me is the most international form of collaboration. It is limitless. It is borderless. And it’s run by passions of individuals for the benefit of human understanding. 

“Today, I’d like you all to do something with me. I want everyone to lift up their finger and cover a region of the sky. Look up at your finger. The region of your fingertip that is blocking the sky. The Hubble Space Telescope was pointed at a region that small, and it came up with this image. This image, the dots of light that you see—they’re not stars. They’re galaxies. There are hundreds of billions of stars in each one of those dots in that small region of sky that we look at. Each hundreds of billions of galaxies contains billions of stars. Each star, imagine how many Goldilocks zones [where water can exist on a planet] exist around them. How many planets could possibly exist around those? And how many possibilities of life that could possibly exist in this small portion of the sky? And today, I’d like you all to imagine, what is the positive contribution that you’re doing right here—on this unremarkable planet, in this unremarkable solar system, in this unremarkable galaxy, that justifies how infinite the possibilities are in this small image, and how positive and infinite your contribution is on this infinitesimal planet.”

Watch the full presentation here.

UAE’s Hope Mission: Mars Is “a Collaborative Project for the Entire Human Race”

The website of the United Arab Emirates’s Space Agency answers the question, “Why Are We Exploring Mars?” succinctly:

“The red planet has captured human imagination for centuries. Now, we are at a junction where we know a great deal about the planet, and we have the vision and technology to explore further. Mars is an obvious target for exploration for many reasons. From our pursuit to find extraterrestrial life to someday expand human civilization to other planets, Mars serves as a long-term and collaborative project for the entire human race.”

In a fascinating interview with on Feb. 8, the day before orbital insertion, UAE Space Agency chair and Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah al-Amiri described how Hope was designed for its mission as “the very first holistic weather satellite of Mars,” mapping the dynamics of Mars’s weather system throughout the entire day, in every region of Mars, over the course of an entire Martian year, through the combination of its three key instruments, shifting its orbit (from closer in to further out), and monitoring Mars’s lower and upper atmosphere, and the interactions between them.

“Our objectives from the get-go,” she emphasized, “are to ensure that Hope’s science is complementary to other missions and [therefore] usable to various science groups, and also new in nature so that it can continue the vast exploration efforts by different nations about Mars.”

Hope is a product of national determination and international cooperation which exemplifies how other developing countries and regions can also leapfrog into being space-faring nations. The UAE is a young nation—founded only 50 years ago—but its founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, recognized that “money is meaningless if not mobilized for the good of man,” the country’s oil wealth “valueless without national human resources qualified for and capable of building up the country” through science and industry.

It was that understanding that led far-sighted leaders of the UAE to invite physical economist Lyndon LaRouche to deliver the keynote address to a two-day regional symposium on “The Role of Oil and Gas in World Politics,” at the UAE’s Zayed Centre in June 2002, and to develop both nuclear power and space programs.

Space Agency chair al-Amiri argues that the purpose of UAE’s space program is that of “stimulating a lot of change within the U.A.E.’s economy that today more than ever should have a solid foundation in science. The best way to do that, from what we have been experimenting with as a nation, has been an exploration mission to space.”

To develop its Earth-orbit satellite program in the 2000’s, the UAE turned to South Korea to jointly design and build its first two satellites, then launched from Kazakhstan. Its Space Agency was founded in 2014, and the goal of sending a probe to Mars by 2021, the 50th anniversary of the nation’s founding, adopted quickly thereafter. By 2018, the UAE space team was able to design and build a satellite itself. To meet the tougher technical challenges of building a spacecraft for another planet, the UAE Space Agency partnered with three U.S. universities: the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Arizona State University, and the Space Sciences Lab at the University of California, Berkeley campus. Hope was then launched to Mars on a Japanese rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center!

A veteran of NASA Mars missions, now based at Northern Arizona University who worked on the design of one of Hope’s instruments, Christopher Edwards, told the Wall Street Journal that the Hope mission “is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in the spacecraft program so far. There’s a huge training aspect to it and a huge collaborative aspect that is like nothing else.”

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