Frank Gaffney

Just when you thought Barack Obama's toadying to Islam could not get any worse, now comes this: The President directed the new administrator of NASA, retired Marine Major General Charles Bolden, as "perhaps [his] foremost" charge to "find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage more dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science...and math and engineering."

This comment came in an interview the NASA chief conducted with al-Jazeera while touring the Middle East to mark the first anniversary of Mr. Obama's much-ballyhooed Cairo paean to Muslims. Bolden elaborated, "It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim (nations)."

In an address to the American University in Cairo, Bolden added that Mr. Obama has "asked NASA to reaching out to ‘nontraditional' partners and strengthening our cooperation in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and in particular in Muslim-majority nations." He declared that "NASA is not only a space exploration agency, but also an Earth improvement agency."

Now, when one thinks of the "contributions" to our space program that are possible from Muslim nations, the one that comes to mind is the literal kind - recycled petrodollars - since their "contributions to science, math and engineering" for several hundreds of years have been, to put it charitably, underwhelming.

As it happens, the NASA Administrator made it pretty clear in his remarks to al-Jazeera that the U.S. space program is not going anywhere without foreign help. That will soon be literally true since, with the retirement of the last space shuttle this Fall, we will be entirely dependent on Russian launchers to put people into space.

Such a state of affairs will persist unless and until experimental American rockets being developed by private American concerns pan out. Or the Chinese offer us a ride.

Unfortunately, the prospect of America's space program relying - like a fading superpower version of A Streetcar Named Desire's Blanche DuBois - on the "kindness of strangers" is the inevitable result of programmatic decisions being taken by the Obama administration.

Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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