Before it moves, nuke it By William Bowles

8 June 2003

It’s time that the mass media informs the public as to the truth about US first use nuclear strategy and the threat it poses to the future of the planet and the central role nuclear weapons play in US plans for achieving global dominance

Holding the world to ransom

If anything should make people wake up and smell the coffee, it’s the US ‘posture’ on nuclear weapons. In a new round of accelerated development of so-called battlefield nuclear weapons, the US have signaled to the world that the use of nuclear weapons is a prerogative that they reserve entirely for themselves and that their use will now be part of a ‘conventional’ warfare scenario. Moreover, they project their development and use for the next 50 years including space-based weapons systems designed to ‘take out enemies’ from the safety of orbit.

Doing the unthinkable
In a classified document entitled ‘The Nuclear Posture Review’, portions of which have been leaked to the press, the US lays out exactly what it thinks about nuclear disarmament in the post-Soviet period – no can do. This in spite of its signing legally binding international agreements to ban the acquisition of a new generation of nuclear weapons, testing and the eventual elimination of its existing stockpile.

Using the ‘war on terror’ as a pretext, thinking the unthinkable has become doing the undoable, for once the idea that the use of ‘mini-nukes’ is transformed into policy, the door is opened and a new propaganda offensive will be unleashed on the US public, to get them to accept the idea that in order to ‘survive’, deaths in the order of 20 million of its own citizens is acceptable. In a paper written by Keith Payne and Colin Grey, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld’s very own Dr. Strangelove (twins), bizarrely entitled ‘Victory is possible’, they write.

‘[A]n intelligent United States offensive [nuclear] strategy, wedded to homeland defenses, should reduce U.S. casualties to approximately 20 million … a level compatible with national survival and recovery.’ –

Nukes are ‘the only game in town’
The mind boggles, yet these crazy bastards are serious. Dr. Keith Payne has been pushing the idea for over 20 years and he’s finally got a president and a policy ready to take him seriously. Note that they use word ‘offensive’ not defensive. Payne who was an acolyte of Herman Kahn at the Hudson Institute (the original Dr. Strangelove who first proposed the idea of ‘winning’ a nuclear war back in the 1960s) wrote in 1999 that:

‘[T]he future of United States nuclear forces faces a very serious challenge’ from ‘anti-nuclear activists’ and that ‘unless a coolly reasoned response is presented, their agenda will appear to be the only game in town.’ –

The ‘coolly reasoned response’ is the above-mentioned Nuclear Posture Review, released by Donald Rumsfeld (and who brought Payne into the Bush administration) in January 2002, which is now official US policy, no longer the fantasy of some psychopathic nerd ensconced in a right-wing Washington think-tank (Payne was president of the National Institute for Public Policy, yet another right-wing think-tank before being brought into the White House). In it, the spectre of thousands of additional nuclear weapons is not only contemplated, but planned and at a cost of over $100 billion dollars. Moreover, their use is envisioned under a wide range of situations, including blanket bombing of entire ‘areas’ where even non-nuclear missiles are ‘suspected’ of being located. Once more, we see that the policy of pre-emption is embedded in US strategy. Nuclear weapons are now seen as ‘complementing’ conventional weapons, not of deterring a potential aggressor from using nuclear weapons against the US, a policy which has (in theory anyway) been central to US strategic planning since the 1960s (the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD as its acronym informs us).

And the usual suspects are promoting the idea:

”[Charles] Krauthammer trumpeted a new ‘Bush Doctrine,’ which ‘holds that, when it comes to designing our nuclear forces, we build to suit. We will build offensive missiles to suit our needs…. For reasons of delicacy, Bush spoke of the need to ‘replace’ rather than abrogate the treaty, which remains the Linus blanket of an entire generation of arms controllers. No matter. He made it clear that we will blithely ignore it…. Sure, to placate the critics we will be consulting and assuaging and schmoozing everyone from Tokyo to Moscow. But in the end, we will build a defense to meet the challenge of the missile era. If others don’t like it, too bad.”

Too bad eh? For who though? Not only do the warmongers of the White House regard 20 million or so of their own citizens as a ‘reasonable’ price to pay for waging war on the planet, it reveals the underlying strategy of the Bush administration is to hold the world to nuclear ransom as intrinsic to its goal of achieving total, global hegemony. How soon before threats of using nuclear weapons becomes reality?

‘[A] [nuclear] accounting system worthy of Enron’

Perhaps the most chilling reading of all can be found on the National Resources Defense Council’s overview of the NPR. The language employed by the Department of Defense and in the NPR document makes your blood run cold as it discusses the ‘options’ available to it in this post-Cold War period:

”Nuclear weapons will continue to play a ‘critical role’ because they possess ‘unique properties’ that provide ‘credible military options’ for holding at risk ‘a wide range of target types’ important to a potential adversary’s threatened use of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ or ‘large-scale conventional military force.”

”[T]he purpose of possessing nuclear weapons is fourfold: to ‘assure allies and friends,’ ‘dissuade competitors,’ ‘deter aggressors’ and ‘defeat enemies.”

”Over the next 10 years, the Bush administration’s plans call for the United States to retain a total stockpile of intact nuclear weapons and weapon components that is roughly seven to nine times larger than the publicly stated goal of 1,700 to 2,200 ‘operationally deployed weapons.’ This is an accounting system worthy of Enron.”Contrary to its publicly stated policy of reducing the total number of nuclear weapons, the reality is in fact the complete opposite:

‘[The] Bush administration is actually planning to retain the potential to deploy not 1,700 to 2,200 nuclear weapons, but as many as 15,000.’

So much for the champions of peace and freedom. But what will it take for people to wake up to the realities of this ‘New World order’? How much longer will the media continue to push the fiction of a peace-loving US, intent on ridding the world of ‘terrorists’ when the reality is that the real terrorist is the US government and its junior accomplice, the UK?

But just in case you think that current US thinking is somehow a departure from its past policies as a response to the ‘terrorist threat’, it’s worth remembering that aside from its first use of WMDs in 1945 against the Japanese, there have been a number of other occasions when their ‘pre-emptive’ use has been seriously considered including during the Korean war against China, the Six-day Israeli-Arab war in 1967 when nuclear-armed warplanes were actually launched against Egypt and only recalled at the last minute, and during the Vietnam war. It was only the existence of the Soviet nuclear arsenal that deterred their actual use. And how many other times has the world come close to nuclear annihilation that we have no knowledge of? That the US now considers their inclusion as part of their ‘normal’ military strategy surely now has to get you questioning the motives of a government that professes to want a ‘secure’ and ‘peaceful’ world.

Some further reading


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