A Spacey Vision for Democracy

Even some of President George W. Bush’s most enthusiastic conservative Republican supporters have expressed a sense of alarm over the grandiose and expansive vision of America’s mission in the world – “support[ing] the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world” – promoted in his second inaugural address and again in his State of the Union address.

“Mission inebriation” is the way Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter and an admirer of the current president, described his pledge to rid the world of tyrants and transform it into a heaven for democracy. Some among members of the realist school of foreign policy charged that President Bush’s sweeping view of America’s role in the world mirrors the idealist missionary agenda of President Woodrow Wilson.

But President Wilson in his famous words only wanted to make the world “safe for democracy.” President Bush’s is much more ambitious. He wants to make the entire world democratic, now and forever, 24/7. And not just the world.

Indeed, sometime in the future, Ms. Noonan and her distressed conservative colleagues would probably recall with a certain sense of nostalgia the good old days when Americans were crusading for democracy only in Mesopotamia and the Greater Middle East, China, Nepal.

That was World War IV. As President Bush declared in his inaugural address, “eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul.” Ideals of justice and conduct “that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.” 24/7. Today the world, tomorrow the solar system. After all, isn’t that what President Bush meant when he expressed his commitment to spread freedom to “dark places”?

Didn’t he have in mind Titan, Saturn’s largest moon? It not only bears the largest resemblance to Earth’s physical features among all other celestial bodies of the solar system. But as you’ve seen those amazing images transmitted by the European probe of Titan, the color of its surface is orange. Orange? Like in the “Orange Revolution” that helped topple that Red-Brown dictatorship in Ukraine. Just a coincidence?

Well, “coincidences” only happen in the reality-based communities of Washington’s political and cultural elites, not in President Bush’s faith-based communities. The surface of Titan is covered with ice boulders, and President Bush in his address talked about “a fire” that “warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners” – including that icy surface of Titan.

Exporting democracy throughout the solar system is, of course, a task of one or two or three generations, not unlike the civil rights struggle in the South. Condoleezza Rice has challenged those who have expressed skepticism about exporting democracy to Arabs in the Middle East by noting that there was a time when some Americans had wanted to deny liberty and freedom to blacks in America.

And Paul Wolfowitz has bashed those Americans who doubt that Muslims are ready for democracy, recalling that once upon a time the same nonbelievers didn’t accept the idea that East Asians were ready for free elections. It’s not surprising that these same cynics are not ready for what is inevitable and predetermined by the Spirit of the Age: freedom to the Greenmen – and Greenwomen – in Titan.

It’s true that NASA scientists have rejected the notion that there is life on Titan. But as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has suggested, it’s time we had fresh, out-of-the-box thinking about the life in our solar system.

That Huygens hasn’t come across extraterrestrial beings on Saturn’s moon doesn’t mean that they don’t exist there. Moreover, Huygens’ mission was planned by a European agency, mostly Old Europe types, you know, French and Germans who are actually from Venus. And NASA is too much under the influence of bureaucratic inertia, resistant to change and new ideas. All of that explains why Mr. Rumsfeld, according to an article in the New Yorker by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, has ordered his aide Douglas Feith to establish a “mini-NASA” inside the Pentagon, a unit whose code name is Star Balls (SB), to try to make contact with primary microorganisms in Titan.

According to Mr. Hersh, a preliminary report issued by the unit concluded that “Titan’s conditions are not hellish in comparison with other celestial bodies of the solar system.” Some earthlings have questioned the galactic appeal of liberty. And the fainthearted would probably raise the question: Why start with Titan when there is so much hunger for freedom in so many other dark places in the solar system?

The fact is that in the case of Titan, national interests mash with democratic ideals. Indeed, there is clear evidence – revealed by Feith’s SB Unit – that most of Saddam Hussein’s missing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are buried in those systems of canals we have seen in the images from Titan.

There are some indications that French scientists working in the European space agency have destroyed data transmitted by Huygens from Titan that confirmed the existence there of aluminum tubes that Iraq acquired in the past to develop nuclear weapons. The links among Iraq, al-Qaeda, and certain groups on Titan have also been uncovered by the renowned Middle East expert Laurie Mylroie, who in a soon-to-be-published book, Saddam Hussein and Darth Vader: The Plot Against America, exposes the secret ties between the two galactic despots and their plans to sell thousands of light sabers equipped with chemical weapons to Osama bin Laden.

Moreover, in several of his recent addresses, Vice President Dick Cheney has highlighted the allegations that 9/11 perpetrator Mohammad Atta met in early 2001 with close associates Hussein and Vader in the Star Wars Bar Chisenau, the capital city of Moldova.

According to that information (apparently supplied by the head of the Moldovan secret service to two leading FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully), Atta had actually applied to NASA to train as an astronaut and “fly to Titan without returning to Earth.” Mmm…

Moldovan officials have denied the report, which was also circulated by New York Times columnist Bill Safire, and noted that it was first mentioned in Fox Television’s science fiction series The X-Files.

Asked to comment, Vice President Cheney replied, “Well, we still believe that the meeting took place. The report wasn’t disconfirmed in its entirety.”

And President Bush in a recent press conference stressed that he only watches news on Fox Television, “and I believe The X-Files more than 60 Minutes. Hee-hee-hee.”

“We on earth will never be free, as long as one Greenman on Titan lives under tyranny,” Bush declared. He added, “As astronauter Louis Armstrong once said, ‘It’s a small man for the moon, and a giant’ – whatever. Well, it’s all about freedom.”

[This article is – at press time, anyway – a work of satire. -Ed.]

Reprinted from the Singapore Business Times, reprinted with author’s permission. Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.