Written By Guest Blogger Karen Cramer Shea.
In 2000 the Republican Congress conceived the Iran Nonproliferation Act, which forbids buying anything from the Russians for the Space station unless the President certifies that the Russians aren’t exporting nuclear, chemical or biological weapons technology to Iran. In April our agreement with the Russians ends and we will have to start buying access to the space station. which is now illegal under the ITA.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), chairman of the subcommittee on space and aeronautics is a space station advocate and the author of the law's space station restrictions. Lawmakers added the space station clause as a stiffener. "We wanted to put [everyone] on notice that we should not have high-level cooperation, even in space, if the Russians were using their technological skills to help Iran build a nuclear weapon," Rohrabacher said. "It was a very good idea.
"The Iranians have made it clear they are moving forward on the bomb," Rohrabacher said. "Even though I have more focus than most people on making the space station a success, I am not going to do anything that would signal a weakening of our resolve."
The INA is very much like Cleavon Little as Bart in Blazing Saddles saying “Nobody moves or the nigger gets it” while holding the gun to his own head. Since the Russians seem to be selling nuclear technology to the Iranians, WE will no longer have access to the space station in April. The Russians on the other hand will have seats they can sell to tourists.
This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard any politician do. The congress has a choice surrender the space station to the Russians or repeal the Act and yell from the highest peaks that everyone can feel free to sell nuclear technology to the Iranians. With the Iranians part of the axis of evil and the President sounding like he might go to war with Iran, that is the last thing we need. Repealing the act would look treasonous if we actually did go to war with Iran. Imagine the political rhetoric about appeasement of Iran costing US lives.
Now we either lose our $30 Billion space station or we spend more than that in defense costs to make up for looking weak on Nuclear Proliferation. Tails they win, heads we lose. All because the republicans couldn’t keep their mouths shut. Every parent knows you don’t make threats you are unwilling to carry out. In this case the threat is more of a reward. And if when they passed the act the republicans were willing to sacrifice the station to make a minor political point they are guilty of throwing billions of dollars and the lives of the crew of Columbia away.
By passing INA the Republicans seem to have been acting like children who don’t understand the stakes they are playing for. Now, what ever happens we lose.