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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 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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