Two Suns In The Sunset
In less than two years, G W Bush has transformed the United States from leading peace-maker to world totalitarian nuclear aggressor. The latest outlining of USA’s nuclear policy is the continuation of the Bush administrations push toward the brink of global warfare.
A secret Pentagon report calling for new nuclear weapons to be developed, more suitable for striking targets in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Libya, even China has been revealed. The Nuclear Posture Review is a blueprint for developing and deploying nuclear weapons.
When campaigning for office Bush stressed he would slash the number of nuclear weapons and develop a military that would be suited for the post-cold war world. But the Pentagon report shows the Bush Administration views nuclear weapons as crucial to advancing its position as the nuclear strike capable country with the most dire and destructive deterrent.
The report calls for earth- penetrating nuclear weapons to be developed, designed to destroy heavily fortified underground bunkers. It calls for improving intelligence and targeting systems needed for nuclear strikes and argues that the United States ought to resume nuclear testing.
The report outlines secret discussions and scenarios where the USA could use its "nuclear strike capabilities" against a foe.
· an Iraqi attack on Israel or its neighbours
· a North Korean attack on South Korea
· a military confrontation by China over the status of Taiwan
· or the USA wishing to destroy enemy stocks of biological weapons, chemical arms and/or other arms of mass destruction.
The USA clearly states that Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya – countries central to Middle East stability - are potential nuclear battle-grounds.
It is clear that the Bush Administration is broadening the opportunity for it to deliver a nuclear strike against a nation or group it considers an enemy.
Take the fourth scenario where it would use nuclear weapons to destroy stocks of weapons of mass destruction. Well, remember back to the investigations of the September 11 attacks? The FBI officially termed the use of aircraft as weapons of mass destruction.
The intent of the report is clear. It opens the way for the USA to deliver a nuclear strike against any nation, group, or [even obsessively] an individual, or even more worryingly any entity Bush terms an “Axis of Evil”. This is particularly so, where the USA considers that the target is able or willing to deliver a weapon, via any means, conventional or otherwise, upon the peoples of the USA or those of its allied pact of trading nations.
Congress received the report in January.
For Congress’ benefit the Report massaged fears by raising the Cuban missile crisis – placed that reference within a scenario where the United States may be targeted by nations suddenly becoming weapons-of-mass-destruction ready or where WMD fall into aggressive hands via coup de etat.
North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya are among Bush’s “Axis of Evil”. The Report said, "All sponsor or harbor [sic] terrorists, and all have active" programmes to create weapons of mass destruction and missiles.
Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya do not have nuclear weapons. US intelligence however suggests Iraq and Iran are making “a serious effort” to acquire nuclear weapons.
It’s a matter of debate as to whether North Korea has produced a nuclear weapon – although it may have enough fissile material for one or two nuclear weapons.
But the Report is not so much a report of findings, conclusions and recommendations. It is a stated position by the Bush Administration expressing its desire to design and advance a one horse nuclear race.
The US Department of Defense [sic] is refusing to expand on the Report – apart from a statement it issued on the news breaking: “We will not discuss the classified details of military planning or contingencies, nor will we comment on selective and misleading leaks… The Department of Defense continues to plan for a broad range of contingencies and unforeseen threats to the United States and its allies. We do so in order to deter such attacks in the first place.
“Of particular significance in the new Nuclear Posture Review is President Bush's decision to reduce operationally deployed strategic nuclear weapons by two-thirds, a decision made possible by the new strategic relationship with Russia.
“This administration is fashioning a more diverse set of options for deterring the threat of WMD. That is why the Administration is pursuing missile defense, advanced conventional forces, and improved intelligence capabilities.
“A combination of offensive and defensive, and nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities, is essential to meet the deterrence requirements of the 21st century,” the statement concludes.
The leaked Report will further stress US/Middle East relations and complicate its relations with an already strained European Union. US Vice-President Dick Cheney is to visit UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street today [Monday March 11], amid continuing speculation of forthcoming military action against Iraq.
A spokeswoman for Mr Cheney said the men would be discussing "the progress of the coalition" formed in the wake of the 11 September attacks, exactly six months ago.
No doubt Cheney’s task will be to relax tensions within Britain – where a common feeling is that its Prime Minister Tony Blair has transformed the United Kingdom into a pet US poodle. There, there’s a groundswell of opposition toward the USA’s advance into aggressive unilateral foreign politics. This resentment will not have escaped Blair’s attention. With domestic politics requiring his attention – particularly in driving through policy designed to deliver in health and core social provision areas, Blair, as leader of a “social democratic” third-way government, will not wish to subscribe to disestablishing nuclear treaties and load the deterrence factor squarely in the corner of a gun touting player from Texas.
Europe too is tense. Its member nations have long supported arms control via treaties such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and other means of nuclear arms reduction. Such treaties have been torn to shreds by the USA’s nuclear re-arming ambitions.
Clearly Bush eyes Europe with as much regard as a redneck would at a Red Sox baseball game. Europe laughed at Bush in the months post his eventual swearing in. He was seen to be a bozo. Europe now faces the prospect of how to court the jester without staring down the barrel of a magnum44.
In December 2001 Bush scrapped the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) - in effect casting aside diplomatic restraints that prevent the superpower from pursuing an aggressive defence arsenal of its own weapons of mass destruction. "Today, I have given formal notice to Russia, in accordance with the treaty, that the United States of America is withdrawing from this almost 30 year old treaty," Bush said on the Rose Garden lawn.
Spectator.co.nz reported on the issue in December. We focused on how the Bush Administration would by March 2002 be ready to begin construction of silos and a testing command centre for a futuristic and expensive US anti-missile defence shield near Fairbanks in Alaska. The announcement caused outrage from Russia, China, and members of the European Union.
Bush then said: "Today, as the events of September the 11th made all too clear, the greatest threats to both our countries come not from each other, or other big powers in the world, but from terrorists who strike without warning, or rogue states who seek weapons of mass destruction… We know that the terrorists, and some of those who support them, seek the ability to deliver death and destruction to our doorstep via missile. And we must have the freedom and the flexibility to develop effective defenses against those attacks. Defending the American people is my highest priority as Commander in Chief, and I cannot and will not allow the United States to remain in a treaty that prevents us from developing effective defenses," George W Bush said.
Bush's words committed to reducing "offensive strategic nuclear forces". But left the US able to appease the Russians and also build up a massive "defensive" nuclear arsenal that could be utilised to annihilate an aggressive nation, state, organisation, or fractionalised group, that directs a threat toward the United States through terrorist means or otherwise - particularly if that threat is carried within a "weapon of mass destruction", yes that term has been broadened and used often.
Spectator.co.nz concluded: “So, as can be distilled from this - the United States is positioning itself to be in a position to retaliate with nuclear weapons should a repeat of the events of September 11 be again used by aggressive groups, states, nations and economies against the United States or its peoples… The message is clear: the US intends to rebuild a nuclear arsenal of 21st century sophistication. This is not deterrent policy. No other nation, state, organisation, group, or indeed individual could possibly match it. This announcement could just be the conception of the most dire threat to our existence that this planet has ever seen.”
US television has been airing the Bush Administration view, that the world changed after Sept 11 2001, and that we have to all think differently about “our” [the USA’s] defence.
One thing is clear: China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya may have once taken refuge in having signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Washington had promised that it would not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states that have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Unless, that is, those countries attack the United States or its allies "in alliance with a nuclear weapon state." Now, with Bush declaring the majority of those nations aligned to the “Axis of Evil”, there is clearly no binds that will resist the compelling will of one who views full scale retaliatory nuclear strike as the ultimate in the USA’s defence.
Now might be a time to think about the consequences of this.