A Nuclear War

part 2



The "Theater Nuclear Planning Document" for Iraq and Others

Yes, the Iraq document did exist. It had been prepared for the Bush administration and the U.S. Central Command. But there also exist other such documents for other nations, and the list is surprisingly long with names on them like Iran, North Korea, but also Russia and China, and who knows, maybe even India.

In a Jan. 25, 2003 article in The Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com) under the title: The Nuclear Option in Iraq, William M. Arkin (E-mail: warkin @igc.org.) a military affairs analyst raises the flag of caution: "The U.S. has lowered the bar for using the ultimate weapon."

What worries him, and as writes, worries many senior officials in the armed forces as well, is not the fact that the United States has a vast array of weapons or contingency plans for using them. We have had those for over half a century. He writes,

 "The danger is that nuclear weapons -- locked away in a Pandora's box for more than half a century -- are being taken out of that lockbox and put on the shelf with everything else."

 He points out that the firewall is gone that kept these weapons safely out of reach.

One year after President Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea the "axis of evil," the United States is thinking about the unthinkable: It is preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iraq.

At the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in Omaha and inside planning cells of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, target lists are being scrutinized, options are being pondered and procedures are being tested to give nuclear armaments a role in the new U.S. doctrine of "preemption."

According to multiple sources close to the process, the current planning focuses on two possible roles for nuclear weapons:

* attacking Iraqi facilities located so deep underground that they might be impervious to conventional explosives;

* thwarting Iraq's use of weapons of mass destruction.

The basis of this change in policy that brings the nuclear weapons out of the closet, so to speak, and into the theatre of national conflicts, is President Bush's National Security Presidential Directive 17, signed in May 2002 that affirms the doctrine of preemptively disabling of any potential use of weapons of mass destruction by any power outside the 'moral' nations, such as the USA, Great Britain, and Israel presumably, since Israel is actively supported by America. The list of those perceived 'moral' nations appears to be rather short, since two thirds of humanity is presently on the target list as spelled out ostensibly in the Pentagon's nuclear posture review, signed by Mr. Rumsfeld in December 2001.

It is a sad fact that this document directed the U.S. military to reinvigorate its nuclear capability, for which the U.S. Strategic Command, STRATCOM, was given a leading role in the game, a role which it now vigorously pursues. Herein lies also the danger, since STRATCOM owes its existence to Cold War policy perceptions by which it was regarded vital that a wall be erected  between nuclear and conventional forces. With the removal of this wall, Mr. Arkin points out that the planning for the optional use of nuclear weapons is already being intensively pursued by three different organizational bodies. This broad mobilization of the 'weapon of last resort' totally changes the perceived role of this ultimate of all weapons. He writes:

The current nuclear planning, revealed in interviews with military officers and described in documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, is being carried out at STRATCOM's Omaha headquarters, among small teams in Washington, and at Vice President Dick Cheney's "undisclosed location" in Pennsylvania.

The command, previously responsible for nuclear weapons alone, has seen its responsibilities mushroom. On Dec. 11, the Defense secretary sent Bush a memorandum asking for authority to place Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., the STRATCOM commander, in charge of the full range of "strategic" warfare options to combat terrorist states and organizations.

The memo, obtained by The Times, recommended assigning all responsibilities for dealing with foreign weapons of mass destruction, including "global strike; integrated missile defense; [and] information operations" to STRATCOM. That innocuous-seeming description of responsibilities covers enormous ground, bringing everything from the use of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear strikes to covert and special operations to cyber warfare and "strategic deception" under the purview of nuclear warriors.

Earlier this month, Bush approved Rumsfeld's proposal. On the surface, these new assignments give the command a broader set of tools to avoid nuclear escalation. In reality, they open the door much wider to contemplating American use of nuclear weapons. The use of biological or chemical weapons against the U.S. military could be seen as worthy of the same response as a Russian nuclear attack. If Iraq were to use biological or chemical weapons during a war with the United States, it could have tragic consequences, but it would not alter the war's outcome. Our use of nuclear weapons to defeat Hussein, on the other hand, has the potential to create a political and global disaster, one that would forever pit the Arab and Islamic world against us.

The real tragedy that is involved in that, in my estimation, is rooted much deeper. After having lived precariously for fifty years in the shadow of a nuclear war, humanity should be led towards policies that lessen the potential for a nuclear conflict, not to increase the likelihood of its occurrence from which humanity as a whole may not recover. The present policies bring us closer to that fateful day. Certainly I agree that most commanders will not take the actual use of nuclear weapons lightly, but what about the exception? We have entered an era of growing irrationality which is evident by the very policy of "The U.S. National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction," that proposes to combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, with a policy for a possible use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Indeed, our twelve year long campaign against Iraq, in the name of eradicating Weapons of Mass Destruction, such as the U.S. supplied chemical and biological weapons that Iraq insists it no longer has, has lead to the death of well over a million people, mostly children, by the imposition of isolating, murderous sanctions. The campaign itself, thus, has become a weapon of mass destruction, and now we have plans to increase this death toll with the introduction of nuclear bombs into the equation to excavate deep bunkers that normal bombs cannot reach. By the very nature of this type of policy, the level of insanity in this game has increased by a measure of two magnitudes.

Physically, the Hiroshima bomb was a ten kiloton devise, a mere firecracker by today's standards, nor did it excavate anything, but it killed over 60,000 people instantly, while another 60,000 people died subsequently. Tests have shown that it takes a device 500 times more powerful to blow a hole into the ground 175 feet deep (see more details). During one of the tests of such a device, a Japanese fisherman got killed by a temporary exposure to radioactive fallout 125 km distant from the blast. Sure, we can destroy deep bunkers in this fashion, but we also destroy the ecology of the entire region far beyond the borders of Iraq. And for what are will willing to execute those millions of people who will die in the shadow of these 'operations?' Indeed, the level of insanity that one sees reflected in our policies may have risen by more than two orders of magnitude.

Indeed, we say that Saddam has poison gas or biological weapons that we want to eradicate, but we have no proof to offer of their existence. We are willing to start a devastating war on the grounds of a mere suspicion. Also, we know that the weapons that we accuse Iraq of having, left over from U.S. stock piles, have a relatively short shelf life. We say that Saddam is evil and deceptive, yet we have proven to be more evil and destructive ourselves, as we destroyed an entire nation and caused well over a million deaths in the course of our sanctions over our squabbles with evil Saddam.

Sure, Saddam is a ruthless man. This has been well documented, and so are some people under his command. No doubt he is also deceptive.  But we are just as deceptive, and far more so, because ultimately the real target isn't Iraq, but its oil, its economic development potential, and its geographic location as the potential transportation hub for the economic development of the world.

The war against Iraq must be seen in the light of a long ago announced U.S. policy objective which simply states that there shall not be another Japanese style economic 'miracle' happening south of the Rio Grande and in the Middle East. Iraq was once fast on the way towards realizing this potential. It was the cultural center of the Middle East before it became destroyed. Someone who wanted a professional education would go to Iraq to get it there. This is has come to an end. This kind of economic and cultural potential no longer exists in Iraq. 

One may wonder therefore, since the destruction of the economic and scientific potential of Iraq has already been achieved, why Iraq was targeted. Obviously Iraq wasn't targetted for its nuclear weapons progam that was known not to exist, or any other Weapons of Mass Destruction program that was equally known not to exist. The obvious answer is the answer that no one wants to hear, which has already been put on the table countless times all over the world, points the finger at the growing Anglo American imperial ambition. This is the light in which the liberalization of the use of nuclear weapons must be seen, and Iraq must be seen as America's base in the Middle East theatre for the planned for century of war. The long standing policy objective of the "Project for the New American Century" call for a century of war or until America own the world, whichever comes first. This objective reflects the purpose for which the atomic bomb was created in the first place, as a weapon so terrible and so immensely horrid that the sheer terror of it would cause all the nations in the world to surrender their sovereignty to an imperial world government (see more on Hiroshima ).

According to all the evidence, that's what one can see again. One of the so-called axis of evil countries is destined by choice to become the new Hiroshima of the new millennium, and the pretext for it will be established as usual with intelligence lies. 

In this environment of imperially driven terror, the American liberalization of the use of nuclear weapons makes a lot of sense, and the enormous rush into war that we have experienced in the case of attacking Iraq, also makes sense, and all this makes even more sense while the U.S. dollar is collapsing and the American economy is disintegrating, together with the entire dollar denominated financial system. Since the present imperial world-financial and economic system is dead beyond hope for a resurrection, global war becomes the choice of insanity as a means for restructuring the world by force. And this choice is worse than an act of insanity.

In an era of general economic collapse, the nuclear option for war becomes even more tempting than it already is since the economic costs of mounting a nuclear attack are minuscule in comparison to regular warfare.  As Israel has amply shown, a pretext for mounting the worst atrocities can always be created with relative ease. Indeed, the 911 atrocity must be seen in this light, since something of that nature was required to create the environment in which the long standing "Project of the New American Century" could be launched into action.

As frightening as today's nuclear 'options' planning is, that is being pursued one more time with great vigor, far greater danger looms ahead. This dangers are two-fold. The lesser danger is found in a possible response in kind around the world, where similar policies for the liberalization of the use of nuclear weapons are obviously contemplated, for preemptive purposes. Such a response would most certainly target the USA, and that might, unlike the sorcerer's apprentice's adventure, become an operation that no one cannot stop.

The second danger, which is actually the greater danger, is the already unfolding reality that all the hype about war and destruction will prevent the needed, and extremely urgent, global economic reorganization and redevelopment. The danger is that humanity as a whole will disintegrate physically if the present economic and financial trend is not altered, which would sink the world into the quagmire of a new dark age that only a small portion of the people living today will be able to survive in.

Still, there is hope. The LaRouche organization presents a reason to hope with its following perception of the issues involved as they were seen at the end of January 2003.


With the Wednesday afternoon U.S. Senate initiatives by Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd--demanding that Congress be consulted before Bush goes to war against Iraq, and that no war be launched without United Nations Security Council approval--President Bush now runs the risk of a Constitutional crisis if he goes forward with war plans, as some are convinced he may. The Kennedy and Byrd actions, and similar statements coming from House Democrats on Wednesday and Thursday, are in sync with Lyndon LaRouche's strategic intervention on Tuesday with his historic State of the Union webcast.


With this now unfolding public climate, President Bush could be swept up in a Watergate-type quagmire, if he goes forward with a totally unwarranted Iraq war. 


During yet another impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate, the 85-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd noted that President Bush's commitment to war with Iraq seems to allow the U.S. to do what we say Iraq should not be allowed to do.

"This President," he said, "appears to place himself above the international mandates of the United Nations. He has turned a deaf ear to the concerns of other nations and has vowed that the United States will lead an assault on Iraq regardless of the judgment of the United Nations."


In an uncompromising column published by the {Los Angeles Times}, Kennedy excoriates the Bush administration over the reports that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has directed U.S. Strategic Command to develop plans for possible preemptive use of nuclear weapons in Iraq.


These reports "should set off alarm bells that this could not only be the wrong war at the wrong time, but it could quickly spin out of control," and "would make a conflict with Iraq potentially catastrophic." At the minimum, a change of such magnitude from long-standing policy should be debated by Congress, before the U.S. goes to war with Iraq, Kennedy wrote.


"The reports of a preemptive nuclear strike are consistent with the extreme views outlined a year ago in President Bush's Nuclear Posture Review and with the administration's disdain for long-standing norms of international behavior."


This would be "the most fateful decision since the nuclear attack on Hiroshima. Even contemplating the first-strike use of nuclear weapons under current circumstances and against a non-nuclear nation dangerously blurs the crucial and historical distinction between conventional and nuclear arms. In the case of Iraq, it is preposterous. Nuclear weapons are in a class of their own for good reasons--their unique destructive power and their capacity to threaten the very survival of humanity. They have been kept separate from other military alternatives out of a profound commitment to do all we can to see they are never used again. They should be employed only in the most dire circumstances--for example, if the existence of our nation is threatened....


"The president has not made a case that the threat to our national security from Iraq is so imminent that we even need to go to war -- let alone let the nuclear genie out of the bottle.


"By raising the possibility that nuclear weapons could be part of a first strike against Iraq, the administration is only enhancing its reputation as a reckless unilateralist in the world community--a reputation that ultimately weakens our own security." And we send the message to non-nuclear states that nuclear weapons are necessary to deter a potential U.S. attack, and to nuclear states that it is permissible to use them.

Kennedy concludes:

"The use of nuclear weapons in Iraq in the absence of an imminent, overwhelming threat to our national security would bring a near-total breakdown in relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world. At a minimum, it would lead to a massive rise in anti-Americanism in the Arab world and a corresponding increase in sympathy for terrorists who seek to do us harm. Our nation, long a beacon of hope, would overnight be seen as a symbol of death, destruction and aggression.

"In the introduction to his national security strategy last fall, the president declared: `The gravest danger our nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology.' On that he was surely right -- and the administration's radical consideration of the possible use of our nuclear arsenal against Iraq is itself a grave danger to our national interests, our nation and all that America stands for." 


 Butler, who is now a resident fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, gave a surprisingly strong attack against U.S.-British-Australian unilateral war plans in an interview with the {Australian Financial Review} on Jan. 28.

The article states that "Butler said it was `just astonishing' that the US would consider attacking Iraq with 800 cruise missiles in the first 48 hours `and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons.

Butler added, "Quite frankly, I think America has to be very careful," he said. "If they were to wage a massive attack upon Iraq -- apart from the fact that if they did it without Security Council approval it would be against international law -- in practical terms, a massive attack like that ... would lose them the moral high ground completely.

"I think the world would be outraged, which is why, if there is to be ... enforcement action ... it should be done only with the approval of the Security Council."

Lyndon LaRouche pointed out in his State of the Union address (webcast) on Jan. 28th, (question period) that this war must not be allowed to unfold, that it is not inevitable, and that it can be stopped.

A voice from Europe.


He calls it being reminiscent of Nazi behavior and just as destructive to Israel itself, and demands a "Marshall Plan" for the Middle East, as the necessary positive alternative policy.

"Europe Must Risk More," writes this distinguished senior policy statesman of Europe, in the Jan. 29th Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Germany. 

Max Kohnstamm's column begins, "It is the highest priority that Europe raise its voice. We must prevent our closest, and most important ally, the United States of America, from committing a historic mistake...." He writes, "...it is our duty to warn the state of Israel, that, in the long run, its existence is threatened, and with it, the rich spiritual history of Jewry. Nothing less is at stake, should the United States launch a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

"Should we stay silent?" he asks, "this would be, for me, as a friend of America, and as a son of a father of Jewish extraction... a clear betrayal of America and Israel equally." In the course of warning the U.S. against launching the war, Kohnstamm writes: "The U.S. military build-up on the borders with Iraq, seems to be a desperate attempt, to save the current world order." He advises: "It is infinitely more intelligent, and cheaper, to let inspectors in Iraq stay for 25 years, than to send an army 25 days into war."

He warns that to launch this war, would mean a very dangerous conflict, between "the West" and "the Muslims", leading to the outbreak of "religious war." Here, he echoes a point that LaRouche has made on countless occasions. He writes: "...religious wars are the worst, because they are the most fanatical of conflicts."


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