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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] thanks again to Gerri Haines, Physicians for Social Responsibility. best, f. Web Exclusives Editor Matthew Rothschild comments on the news of the day. March 13, 2002 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Toying with Nuclear War Not since the early Reagan years has an Administration toyed with the possibility of using nuclear weapons in the way that Bush is now. The new Nuclear Posture Review, which Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed and sent to Congress, shows just how bomb-crazy the Bush Administration really is. It specifies seven nations that the United States might attack with nuclear weapons, and five of them are in the cross-hairs right now: North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya. None of these has nuclear weapons, and the United States pledged in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty not to attack such nations. But the Pentagon can't be bothered with such trifles. In addition to these nations, the United States also contemplates the first-use of nuclear weapons against China. (No wonder Beijing fears Bush's Star Wars plans!) And Russia is still on Rumsfeld's mind. "In the event that U.S. relations with Russia significantly worsen in the future," the U.S. might have to target its weapons on Moscow again, just like in the good old days. On top of all that, the United States is contemplating the resumption of nuclear testing and the development of new nuclear weapons, two steps guaranteed to kick off an arms race. There's nothing remote about the prospects of the United States using nuclear weapons. If the conflict in the Middle East gets even more out of control, and Baghdad attacks Israel, it now appears to be U.S. policy to hit Baghdad with a nuclear weapon. And if if China has a "military confrontation over the status of Taiwan," the U.S. may drop the big one again. Rumsfeld sees nuclear weapons as just another tool in the shed. The new policy tears down the firewall between nuclear and conventional weapons. It shows the Bush Administration as being indifferent to the devastation that nuclear weapons would inflict. And it underscores the loony unilateralism that so distinguishes the current crowd in Washington. Breaking treaties, why not? A renewed nuclear arms race? Who cares? Scaring Beijing and Moscow? No problem. Threatening the existence of tens of millions of people in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea? Hey, that's what we're supposed to do, isn't it? We've got the power. So there! Rumsfeld is a wild man, and Bush doesn't appear to have the brains or the spine to put a collar on him. And so a dangerous world is getting a lot more dangerous. -- Matthew Rothschild _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk