FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Insane First Strike Policy

 

By the mere act of contingency planning for the first use of nuclear weapons, the Bush administration has guaranteed that not just Iran, but probably many other nations that see themselves as remotely threatened by the U.S., will seek to obtain either nuclear weapons, or some other similarly catastrophic weapon for the purpose of resisting such nuclear blackmail.

The rushed announcement Tuesday by Iran that its scientists and engineers had succeeded in creating some enriched uranium is almost certainly a direct result of the administration’s nuclear threats.

Most sane observers have calculated that if Iran is really planning on developing a nuclear weapon, it is years–perhaps even a decade–away from that goal. That was plenty of time to reassure Iran that it would not need the bomb, or to use international diplomacy to discourage the country from embarking on such a wasteful, expensive and dangerous project. Instead, by threatening to nuke Iran’s nuclear research and processing facilities, the administration has predictably put Iran onto a crash course for developing the bomb. What alternative did Iran’s leaders have after all the administration’s bombast?

In fact, Bush-Cheney rhetoric may well have pushed Iran to seek to obtain nuclear capability by other faster means, such as obtaining a weapon, perhaps illegally, from Russia, or perhaps more directly from North Korea. After all, North Korea has the bomb and is strapped for two things that Iran has in abundance-oil and cash.

These are dangerous times. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocon wackos who infest the West Wing, the Pentagon, and various right-wing “no-think” tanks, have already succeeded in creating a cauldron of anti-U.S. fury in Iraq that will haunt this country for a generation to come. Now they appear dead-set on igniting something even worse in Iran. But just as the attack on Iraq has had repercussions far beyond the boundaries of that fractured land, the nuclear threat against Iran will have effects that reach far beyond Persia in both geography and in time.

It is clear from Bush policy over the past five years that nations which have no nuclear deterrent are considered fair game by these guys, while those nations that have the bomb are handled with kid gloves. Look at Bush administration policy towards Pakistan, India, China, and even North Korea. Iran clearly will make every effort to enter the safety circle in which those countries find themselves, thanks to this administration’s threats.

What makes this doubly treasonous is the undeniable reality that the more nations there are with nuclear weapons, the more likely it is that nuclear weapons will ultimately be used.

Instead of working to limit the spread of these ultimate weapons of mass destruction, the Bush administration is doing the opposite–promoting it. The administration’s plans to begin developing a new generation of smaller tactical nuclear weapons are having the same effect. By signaling to the world that the U.S. is getting prepared to use nuclear weapons in its campaign of endless wars on smaller nations, the Bush administration is insuring that the potential targets of U.S. malevolence will do their best to acquire similar weapons. It’s only a matter of time, then, before one of those countries succeeds in slipping one of those small devices into an American city.

And that’s not even to mention the terrorists, like Osama Bin Laden’s merry gang, who will have a wider range of potential sources for acquiring a small nuclear device of their own as the nuclear club grows apace.

If we Americans want security, we need to start telling our elected officials they need to put a halt to this madness and treason.

The U.S. needs to declare unequivocally that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons in any conflict, and particularly against any nation that has no nuclear weapons of its own. That is a fundamental act of sanity and security.

If this Congress won’t vote such a resolution, then 2006 is the year we need to elect a Congress that will. Then we can start examining that article in the Constitution that declares treason to be an impeachable crime.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s new book, “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is due out May 1.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
Ron Jacobs
Impeach!
Lawrence Davidson
A Tale of Two Massacres
José Tirado
A World Off Balance
Jonah Raskin
Something Has Gone Very Wrong: An Interview With Ecuadoran Author Gabriela Alemán
J.P. Linstroth
Myths on Race and Invasion of the ‘Caravan Horde’
Dean Baker
Good News, the Stock Market is Plunging: Thoughts on Wealth
David Rosen
It’s Time to Decriminalize Sex Work
Dan Glazebrook
US Calls for a Yemen Ceasefire is a Cynical Piece of Political Theatre
Jérôme Duval
Forced Marriage Between Argentina and the IMF Turns into a Fiasco
Jill Richardson
Getting Past Gingrich
Dave Lindorff
Not a Blue Wave, But Perhaps a Foreshock
Martha Rosenberg
Dangerous, Expensive Drugs Aggressively Pushed? You Have These Medical Conflicts of Interest to Thank
Will Solomon
Not Much of a Wave
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Yemeni War Deaths are Five Times Higher Than You’ve Been Led to Believe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail