De Groot: neither acute nor astute, yet a hoot

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , ,

There are people with insight and there are people with skills and then there’s Gerard De Groot.  Who is Gerard De Groot?  He’s the writer who tapped out the article As China gazes upwards, watch this space.  How comically bad is the article?  Let me count the ways (and this list is only representative; it is in no way comprehensive):

Reflexively trots out Eisenhower’s phrase “military-industrial complex” without context or applicability.

Accuses Kennedy of “lunacy” in his space-faring goals.

Says space-based missile defense violates the laws of physics.

Offers the Air Force “recently” proposed development of space to ground weapons. Popular Science (in a seven-plus year old article) says:

The concept of kinetic-energy weapons has been around ever since the RAND Corporation proposed placing rods on the tips of ICBMs in the 1950s; the satellite twist was popularized by sci-fi writer Jerry Pournelle.

Suggests that space control means controlling all of space 24/7.

Serves as apologist for China who with malice and forethought created much of the space debris problem now impacting polar orbits.

Equates advocacy for improved U.S. military space capability to wanting a “tit-for-tat escalation we saw during the Cold War.”

Faults the conclusions drawn in the recent Pentagon report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Assigns culpability for China lasing U.S. satellites to America who is “being inscrutable.”

Offers a conclusion which explains nothing, mischaracterizes the world as it is, and suggests Chinese appeasement as a solution:

Quite simply, China needs to be brought into the orbit of nations. The reason China acts like a pariah is perhaps because she has so long been treated like one.

As background, the not acute or astute De Groot managed to earn a one star rating (a zero star rating is sadly not possible) on his 2006 book Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest from space historian Roger Launius.  Launius’ review of De Groot’s book carries the headline “A Superficial, Erroneous, and Embarrassing Book.”

Instead, how about some real Dark Side of the Moon (you may need to turn the volume up)?



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