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[casi] US to Nuke Iraq?

US to Nuke Iraq?

A "significantly expanded planning doctrine for nuclear wars" is how William
Arkin describes a formerly classified US report in a March 10, 2002, Los
Angeles Times article. Given to the US Congress on January 9, 2002, the
Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)'s most alarming proposal is the use of nuclear
weapons against alleged chemical and biological weapons sites. It also
proposes "nuclear bunker busters" against "enemy facilities that are
otherwise difficult to attack." It proposes adding nuclear weapons to the US
strategic arsenal in the ongoing "war on terrorism."

US commentators have generally downplayed the significance of the review as a
theoretical exploration of many possible contingencies. But given the
centrality of the US war drive against Iraq, represented by Vice President
Cheney's tour of the Middle East, these nuclear contingencies have an
undeniable potential for immediate application.

According to Arkin, "...the U.S. Defense Department has been told to prepare
for the possibility that nuclear weapons may be required in some future
Arab-Israeli crisis. And, it is to develop plans for using nuclear weapons to
retaliate against chemical or biological attacks, as well as "surprising
military developments" of an unspecified nature."

The review says the nations of North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya, "All
sponsor or harbor terrorists, and have active WMD [weapons of mass
destruction] and missile programs." It advocates "new ways of destroying
deadly chemical or biological warfare agents" with what the NPR calls
"thermal, chemical or radiological neutralization of chemical/biological
materials in production or storage facilities." The think tank jargon of
"radiological neutralization" obscures the US intent to incinerate alleged
weapons facilities with nuclear weapons. Where the cruise missiles ordered by
Clinton on the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant (a falsely alleged "weapons of
mass destruction" site) was armed with conventional high explosives, the new
framework argues for the advantage of nuclear warheads against such targets.

We should be very clear about what is being proposed here. They are seriously
talking about nuking Iraq. The "classified" report given to Congress is a
political trial balloon. What will be the public reaction both at home and
abroad? It has produced shock and outrage throughout the world and has been
broadly condemned. But within the US Congress the review's recommendations
have not produced a crack in the bipartisan war consensus. Then again the new
proposal in the NPR to attack Iraq with nuclear weapons is completely
consistent with UN and US consideration of Iraqi human rights since 1990.

Iraq has trucks!

After an extended stint in the bunkers of the US "shadow government,"
Vice-President Cheney is being dispatched to ten Middle East nations to line
up allies for the war on Iraq. The Invasion 2002, 'Regime Change' tour got
off to a bad start with Jordan's King Abdullah II openly opposing the US
strike against Iraq. And '...he also spoke of ending "the sanctions against
brotherly Iraq."' (AP 3-13-02)

Last week the US took its diplomatic offensive against Iraq to the UN. To
counter an Iraqi dialogue with the UN General Secretary Kofi Annan the State
Department sent "six senior US State Department officials" to the UN. They
presented a UN Security Council sanctions committee a slideshow of US spy
satellite pictures. The photos showed trucks in Iraq.

"Washington believes Iraq has diverted about 1,000 trucks imported from
Russia and Germany under the UN oil-for-food humanitarian program since last
July for a variety of military uses including towing artillery, carrying
heavy weapons and launching missiles and rockets, a U.S. official said." (AP
Wed Mar 6, 2002)

"It is a matter of great concern to all of us and the committee if these
trucks are indeed being diverted to military use," said Mauritius' UN
Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul. Syria's deputy UN ambassador Fayssal Mekdad said,
"the United States and Britain "firmly believe" that the trucks were
converted to military use but "all others do not share that conviction." As
the ever-loyal partner in the war on Iraq, the British UN diplomat
contributed, "Though this may not be the highest technology equipment, it is
equipment that allows them to project power more effectively."

The axis of evil has trucks. Saddam Hussein's armed forces have trucks.
As the US openly prepares for invasion, and publicly releases plans to nuke
Iraq, the US shows the international community satellite pictures of trucks!

US lacking Strategic Influence

One can't help but think the Administration has suffered a major blow from
the Office of Strategic Influence debacle. The ill-fated OSI had depended on
the counsel of the Washington-based Rendon Group to help orchestrate the
political offensive against Iraq. The February 19, 2002 New York Times
reported, "The firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab
countries..." and "has done extensive work for the Central Intelligence
Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the
opposition group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein."

If the administration had opted for the public relations firm of Hill and
Knowlton they could have given the UN officials more than trucks. They
arranged the sensational, but completely false testimony to the Congressional
Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990. Claiming to be a nurse at a Kuwaiti
hospital, the 15 year-old daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador gave a riveting
account of Iraqi troops throwing 312 babies from their incubators onto the
hospital floor to die. This widely publicized act of Iraqi barbarism was
instrumental in mobilizing war sentiment within the US and around the world
against Iraq.

By the time anyone found out they had been "strategically influenced" the
world was well on its way to war.

March Against the War April 20, Washington DC

Campaign to End the Sanctions
Philadelphia Pa

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