The Rip Post


by Rip Rense

(Originally published in "The Rense Retort.")

Nuclear weapons?


Yes, the government has called the new nuclear plans "conceptual" and "contingency" and such things. Vice-president Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice say there is nothing new here … that the military routinely "repostures" its nuclear policy.

Don't buy it.

The new plans call for the building, testing and use of an entirely new type of nuclear weapon – so -called "limited" nuclear weapons that are allegedly more target-specific.

This is nothing but a plan for nuclear war.

Here is what William M. Arkin – senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and adjunct professor at the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies – wrote in the March 10 Los Angeles Times:

"When Bush administration officials talked about the implications of Sept. 11 for long-term military policy, they have often focused on 'homeland defense' and the need for an anti-missile shield. In truth, what has evolved since last year's terror attacks is an integrated, significantly expanded planning doctrine for nuclear wars."

Mr. Arkin was intimately familiar with the Nuclear Posture Review delivered to Congress Jan. 8, outlining the new policy.

Funny how it took a media leak to bring this to the attention of we, the people.

Let's address a few points raised by, and implied by, the study and the Bush administration:

*Nuclear weapons would reduce collateral damage (also known as the killing of innocent people.) The military takes justifiable pride in the reduction of this horror through technological advance. Still, in every war action, bombs go awry and the wrong people are killed. Why should this not happen with nuclear weapons?

*Nuclear weapons would only be used only in response to biological or chemical terrorist attacks or "surprising military developments." More terrorist attacks are all but assured – and "surprising military developments" covers a lot of ground – so the use of new nuclear weapons, under the new plan, is all but assured.

*Nuclear weapons are needed to reach the depths of underground command centers. If people can land robots on Mars, determine the age of the universe, genetically manipulate food, and clone animals, then people certainly can blow up caves in Afghanistan without resorting to nuclear weapons. Ditto for terrorist training camps and chemical and biological weapons centers.

*Nuclear weapons would deter further terrorism. This is true to the extent that some governments would likely show increased reluctance to support terrorist cells. Would it deter further terrorist attacks? No. Nothing stops a feud. Nothing stops deep-seated hatred driven by religious zeal. (See Northern Ireland.) The use of nuclear weapons would only galvanize hatred of the U.S. among terrorists – and hostile non-terrorists – as never before. Not to mention alienate most, if not all, of our allies. Not to mention rile up most, if not all, of our enemies (many of whom have. . .nuclear weapons.)

*Nuclear weapons would increase U.S. security. If the Bush administration develops a new family of nuclear weapons, every other nuclear power on earth will follow suit, and every non-nuclear country will step up its nuclear development (and chemical and biological weapon development). If the U.S. actually integrates "limited" nuclear weapons into battle, why shouldn't Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and every other nuclear power do the same? This increases exponentially the prospect not of security, but of all-out nuclear war.

The Bush administration's plan seeks to make the unimaginable imaginable. Once something is imaginable, it becomes acceptable. Thus would nuclear bombs be de-stigmatized.


Let us not forget why no one has used nuclear weapons since World War II – that they are the most hideous, genocidal force yet devised. Let us not forget the fear that children grew up with in the 1960s, when Kruschev appeared in TV commercials shaking his fist, saying "We will bury you!", while students practiced "drop drills" and "walk-home drills" and mom and pop dug absurd "radioactive fallout shelters" in the backyard. Let us not forget the images of women and children in Japan, wandering the rubble of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with their skin burned away. Let us not forget the cancers that befell countless more, years later, from the radiation.  

The attacks of Sept. 11 were carried out by a loose international cadre of extremists, relying on box cutters, wiles and a lot of luck. Nuclear bombs – limited, or otherwise – would not have stopped them. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said as much – that the nuclear deterrent was of no value.

The new nuclear "strategy" is a Dr. Strangelove-ian nightmare. The subtitle of that movie was "How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

No thanks.


2002 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.