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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

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