The Rip Post


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Drop the Big One Now?

        The song was meant to be ironic. It was meant to depict an ignorant, frustrated, self-pitying, petulant bully, lashing out. It was meant to be black humor.
        No one likes us/ I don't know why/ We may not be perfect/ But heaven knows, we try/ And all around, even our old friends put us down/ Let's drop the Big One and see what happens. . .
        It has become foreign policy.
        When Randy Newman wrote "Political Science" in 1971, Vietnam was still "winding down," as the euphemism went, in search of Nixon's dishonorable attempt at face-saving, "Peace, with Honor." There was no talk of escalating war, let alone "dropping the big one."
        Today, the United States of America is threatening to use nuclear weapons "pre-emptively."
        It has effectively redefined the Big One, the doomsday weapon of last resort, as conventional, as William Arkin's report in the L.A. Times explains. The administration has described two circumstances in which nuclear weapons might be used:
        *If Iraq (or presumably any nation) retaliates with bio/chemical warfare during a U.S. attack.
        *As part of a massive assault to terrify Iraq (or presumably any nation) into surrender, known in chilling military parlance as "shock and awe."
        Let's examine the two scenarios.
        If Saddam calculates that he cannot retire to a nice palace in exile somewhere outside Iraq---something suggested by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for the "evildoer," astoundingly enough---he will likely use any bio/chemical weapons now being hidden from U.N. inspectors. If he figures he's a goner, he'll go out with a bang. That will, President Bush promises, prompt a U.S. nuclear bang.
        Result: Saddam provokes the U.S. into an act that will forever earn the hatred of the Arab world, much of the non- Arab world, and will recruit countless new Islamic extremist terrorists for decades to come.
        Analysis: Saddam wins.
        As for the second scenario. . .if  the U.S., as it has threatened, resorts to "shock and awe" tactics involving nuclear weapons---say, the "bunker busters" designed to destroy underground facilities (that in fact penetrate no deeper than 20 feet, and scatter radiation above ground almost as much as a surface blast)---this will mean our government will have, incredibly, used nuclear weapons without provocation. Simply as an intimidation device. This would galvanize much of the world---perhaps the entire world---into sheer hatred of this country, and it would encourage India, Pakistan, North Korea, and all nations with nuclear weapons to use them. WWIII would loom in the near distance.
        Analysis: Saddam wins.
        How did it come to this? Myth-making, in part. The Bush adminstration creates myths with the aplomb of Homer. Here are the principal myths being used to cow the American public into support:
        *The invasion of Iraq is a response to terrorism.
        *Oil, as Rumsfeld has said, has nothing to do with the invasion.
        *Iraq is in cahoots with Osama bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda.
        *The U.S. wishes to "liberate the Iraqi people."
        *There is an ongoing "war" since 9/11.
        Look at the first two points. One need only consult the Project for the New American Century proposal for "Global Pax Americana," to glean the truth here. This report was prepared before the administration took office---before 9/11---by Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld deputy Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. In other words, the Bush team. It calls for permanently occupying the Middle East and controlling its oil.
        The PNAC paper is a blueprint for current foreign policy. The horror of 9/11 provided the administration with just the excuse---and nationalistic fervor, and fear---to implement "Global Pax Americana," which begins with an invasion of the Middle East. In fact, there is a passage in the PNAC report that spells out---almost wistfully---the need for a massive terrorist strike to unite the American public. Here is the quote: "The process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor." (No wonder people make careers out of conspiracy theory.)
        As for point two, that the gold ring is security, not oil, look at the situation in broad strokes. The administration's priorities align with those of multi-national corporations (Bush, Cheney, and various underlings were all energy company executives.) Multi-national corporations are forever angling to exploit energy reserves of countries from Venezuela to Indonesia. To even imagine that one-fifth of the worlds' oil reserves is not a top priority is laughable.
        Saddam and Osama? In its hard-sell campaign, the administration persists in making the case for a link---minus any evidence. Here are some facts: Bin-laden and Al-Qaeda loathe Hussein because of his murder and persecution of Islamic Kurds. Hussein is reported to be a Muslim only to the extent that it serves his dictatorial purposes. The 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. There is evidence to suggest that they were supported by Saudi money. Saudi Arabia is the principal breeding ground of Wahabi extremists, the sect of Islam that calls for war against the west, and that has been exporting its agenda of hatred to poverty stricken countries in Africa and Asia for years.
        Conclusion: Saudi Arabia---our "ally," is the principal terrorist breeding ground in the Middle East, not Iraq.
"Liberating" the Iraqi people has as much to do with administration goals as Michael Jackson has to do with Michael Jordan. If the United States were really interested in "freeing" the Iraqis from Saddam, why did Bush Sr. stop short? Why did Bush Jr. not declare this as an objective immediately after taking office? Why has it only recently been offered as a reason for war? Since when are U.S. citizens preoccupied with the welfare of the Iraqi people?
        "Liberation" would be a costly mess for the U.S. and Middle East. Remember that Iraq contains three populations: the Kurds in the north, who have strong allegiance to other Kurds in Iran, Turkey, and Syria; the Sunnis, who control the army and government despite comprising a mere 20 percent of the population; and the majority Shiite Muslims. "Liberate" them, and you wind up not with a free country, but with three countries. Three countries that do not like one another. Either that, or one U.S.-propped "democratic" dictatorship. 
      Finally, consider the administration's claim that the United States is "at war," and will be for years to come.
       By all conventional and unconventional definitions of "war," there is. . .no war. The U.S. was attacked by lunatics with box cutters and high I.Q.'s. They had primary allegiance not to a country, but to a warped version of a religion. There are many more such murderers out there, but they are scattered throughout the world. There is an imperative---a chief imperative---to increase security at home, and to use all intelligence methods in cooperation with allies to find and combat such terrorists, the world over. (This should have been a top international priority since the 1972 Munich Olympics!) Except for inter-agency jealousy and stifling bureacracy in U.S. intelligence, and poor prioritizing, 9/11 might never have happened..
        Calling the ongoing terrorism crisis a "war" is effective public relations for the administration; cynical manipulation of public opinion. It is using scare tactics to shill for "Global Pax Americana." It also helps the 2004 re-election campaign, as countries rarely change leaders in times of "war."
        But all these points sound flat and lifeless in the face of the new U.S. nuclear saber-rattling.
        To even have to make logical arguments against the use of nuclear weapons demonstrates the runaway madness of current foreign policy. Can Pax Americana stop terrorism?  Rhetorical answer: what happens when you take a baseball bat to a hornet's nest? Pax Americana? What pax?
        Think of it:
        The U.S. government is threatening to use the most hideously violent force yet invented, a force that puts all of humanity at risk, simply as means of intimidation, as part of its "shock and awe" military plan. Is this really the United States of America? Is this what the U.S. citizenry wants? It sounds more like something the maniac in charge of North Korea would do---or another maniac, long departed. That's right, think "blitzkrieg." It's exactly the same thing as "shock and awe." Nazi Minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels would admire the American military's skill with euphemism.
        Even without nuclear "bunker-busters," however, "shock and awe," promises a rain of 300-400 missiles per day on a country that not only has not attacked us, but---get this---continues to export huge amounts of oil to the U.S., even now! Yes, that's correct. Weeks before a prospective invasion, Iraq has reportedly doubled its exports of oil to America, bailing out U.S. refineries crippled by the strike in Venezuela.
        Wait---isn't Iraq the enemy?
        Let's hear it for insanity, greed, and death.
        They all hate us, anyhow/ So let's drop the Big One now/ Let's drop the Big One now. . .


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