Exopolitics, paranoia, and xenophobia


Paul Hellyer, who was Defence Minister of Canada from 1963-67, shocked the world a couple of months back when he remarked:

"UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head... I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something... The secrecy involved in all matters pertaining to the Roswell incident was unparalled. The classification was, from the outset, above top secret, so the vast majority of U.S. officials and politicians, let alone a mere allied minister of defence, were never in-the-loop... The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning... The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide... The time has come to lift the veil of secrecy, and let the truth emerge, so there can be a real and informed debate, about one of the most important problems facing our planet today."

I actually agree with most of his statements. We do need to worry about what our government isn't telling us, and we do need to worry about these weapons and these bases. And, we definitely need to worry about the Shrub starting yet another war, this time of the intergalactic kind.

However, that's where my agreement with him stops. I find his remarks to be extremely xenophobic, sensationalist, paranoic, and, well, downright specist.

Yes, there are UFOs. And, yes, there are advanced civilizations other than our own. But, we have no proof that they are war-like or mean us harm! In fact, would we be here now if they meant us harm?

It's a big universe out there, and I happen to think those civilizations will be just like our own. And, probably even better. There is no doubt we could learn much from them. And, think of their no doubt wonderful customs! What wondrous foods and goods and products are outside even our wildest imaginings? What wonders of the far-off corners of the universe would these visitors from afar bring us? And, bear in mind that those beings - whether humanoid or not - would probably be related to us in some distant way. We have nothing to fear except the fear of our far-off cousins from space.