Sat, 26 Feb 2000

Own the moon, own the world

It is just my silly theory, born from a simple and curious mind. It has not become a universally accepted right. Neil Armstrong, no relative to sax-magician Louise Armstrong, who seems to be closer to the French, was the first man to set foot on the moon's surface on July 20, 1969, at the age of 39 years. Because he was an American astronaut, ownership of the moon should be given to the United States of America.

The strong-armed Neil planted the U.S. flag on the Earth's most loyal satellite and it still stands there. Personally, I have no objection if some day U.S. students will declare the moon to be part of the United States.

But the power or rather superpower that sent successfully a mission to the moon must feel strong enough to be responsible for the security of the Earth and feels morally justified to act as a global sheriff.

The real threat, or just saber-rattling, on the part of China on the eve of the presidential elections on the island of Taiwan has drawn the attention of the government and U.S. Congress in Washington, and has been responded to by another series of tongue-rattling.

A fledgling democracy like Indonesia that is just recovering from self-inflicted economic depression can only look with anxiety to the display of might, rightly or wrongly. At home, Indonesians have to cope with a kind of quick but soft "rattling" coming from their president-cleric.

Journalists enjoy it the most when President Abdurrahman Wahid fires explosive statements from Merdeka Palace, or during his overseas tours because they are free to report what they want, whether concerning a Cabinet reshuffle, an imaginary rift between him and an Army general, or an emergency situation, or just a case of flu.

The first thing the President did following his installation as head of state was to meet the Chief Global Sheriff Bill Clinton in Washington because he knew the Americans own the moon, and are thus responsible for security around the globe, including the Bali and Taiwan straits.