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Bush's Nuclear Madness * Stupid White Men * World Banker Speaks Out

11 March 2002

Most of us really need a break from the continuous, dumbfounding, significant, news that keeps coming into our lives (especially in the last six months), but not this week. The leaking of a secret policy review of the nation's nuclear policy this past weekend is another shocker, but that it was exposed, gives some hope for an international reaction to help end the madness. Please support a world treaty to ban space-based weapons. This would help prevent a new escalation of the arms race, and allow "civilized" nations to unite for the disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction. For the text of the -- Space Preservation Treaty -- and to support the placing of a permanent ban on basing weapons in space, visit .

1) Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable
2) Outrage As Pentagon Nuclear Hit List Revealed
3) Stupid White Men
4) World Bank Insider Speaks Out
5) China condemns US global military expansion


1) Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable

This article comes courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.


Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable

A secret policy review of the nation's nuclear policy puts forth chilling new contingencies for nuclear war.


March 10 2002

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration, in a secret policy review completed early this year, has ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the "axis of evil"--Iraq, Iran, and North Korea--but also China, Libya and Syria.

In addition, 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.

These and a host of other directives, including calls for developing bunker-busting mini-nukes and nuclear weapons that reduce collateral damage, are contained in a still-classified document called the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which was delivered to Congress on Jan. 8.

Like all such documents since the dawning of the Atomic Age more than a half-century ago, this NPR offers a chilling glimpse into the world of nuclear-war planners: With a Strangelovian genius, they cover every conceivable circumstance in which a president might wish to use nuclear weapons--planning in great detail for a war they hope never to wage.

In this top-secret domain, there has always been an inconsistency between America's diplomatic objectives of reducing nuclear arsenals and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, on the one hand, and the military imperative to prepare for the unthinkable, on the other.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration plan reverses an almost two-decade-long trend of relegating nuclear weapons to the category of weapons of last resort. It also redefines nuclear requirements in hurried post-Sept. 11 terms.

In these and other ways, the still-secret document offers insights into the evolving views of nuclear strategists in Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's Defense Department.

While downgrading the threat from Russia and publicly emphasizing their commitment to reducing the number of long-range nuclear weapons, Defense Department strategists promote tactical and so-called "adaptive" nuclear capabilities to deal with contingencies where large nuclear arsenals are not demanded.

They seek a host of new weapons and support systems, including conventional military and cyber warfare capabilities integrated with nuclear warfare. The end product is a now-familiar post-Afghanistan model--with nuclear capability added. It combines precision weapons, long-range strikes, and special and covert operations.

But the NPR's call for development of new nuclear weapons that reduce "collateral damage" myopically ignores the political, moral and military implications--short-term and long--of crossing the nuclear threshold.

Under what circumstances might nuclear weapons be used under the new posture? The NPR says they "could be employed against targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack," or in retaliation for the use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, or "in the event of surprising military developments."

Planning nuclear-strike capabilities, it says, involves the recognition of "immediate, potential or unexpected" contingencies. North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya are named as "countries that could be involved" in all three kinds of threat. "All have long-standing hostility towards the United States and its security partners. All sponsor or harbor terrorists, and have active WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and missile programs."

China, because of its nuclear forces and "developing strategic objectives," is listed as "a country that could be involved in an immediate or potential contingency." Specifically, the NPR lists a military confrontation over the status of Taiwan as one of the scenarios that could lead Washington to use nuclear weapons.

Other listed scenarios for nuclear conflict are a North Korean attack on South Korea and an Iraqi assault on Israel or its neighbors.

The second important insight the NPR offers into Pentagon thinking about nuclear policy is the extent to which the Bush administration's strategic planners were shaken by last September's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Though Congress directed the new administration "to conduct a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear forces" before the events of Sept. 11, the final study is striking for its single-minded reaction to those tragedies.

Heretofore, nuclear strategy tended to exist as something apart from the ordinary challenges of foreign policy and military affairs. Nuclear weapons were not just the option of last resort, they were the option reserved for times when national survival hung in the balance--a doomsday confrontation with the Soviet Union, for instance.

Now, nuclear strategy seems to be viewed through the prism of Sept. 11. For one thing, the Bush administration's faith in old-fashioned deterrence is gone. It no longer takes a superpower to pose a dire threat to Americans.

"The terrorists who struck us on Sept. 11th were clearly not deterred by doing so from the massive U.S. nuclear arsenal," Rumsfeld told an audience at the National Defense University in late January.

Similarly, U.S. Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton said in a recent interview, "We would do whatever is necessary to defend America's innocent civilian population .... The idea that fine theories of deterrence work against everybody ... has just been disproven by Sept. 11."

Moreover, while insisting they would go nuclear only if other options seemed inadequate, officials are looking for nuclear weapons that could play a role in the kinds of challenges the United States faces with Al Qaeda.

Accordingly, the NPR calls for new emphasis on developing such things as nuclear bunker-busters and surgical "warheads that reduce collateral damage," as well as weapons that could be used against smaller, more circumscribed targets--"possible modifications to existing weapons to provide additional yield flexibility," in the jargon-rich language of the review.

It also proposes to train U.S. Special Forces operators to play the same intelligence gathering and targeting roles for nuclear weapons that they now play for conventional weapons strikes in Afghanistan. And cyber-warfare and other nonnuclear military capabilities would be integrated into nuclear-strike forces to make them more all-encompassing.

As for Russia, once the primary reason for having a U.S. nuclear strategy, the review says that while Moscow's nuclear programs remain cause for concern, "ideological sources of conflict" have been eliminated, rendering a nuclear contingency involving Russia "plausible" but "not expected."

"In the event that U.S. relations with Russia significantly worsen in the future," the review says, "the U.S. may need to revise its nuclear force levels and posture."

When completion of the NPR was publicly announced in January, Pentagon briefers deflected questions about most of the specifics, saying the information was classified. Officials did stress that, consistent with a Bush campaign pledge, the plan called for reducing the current 6,000 long-range nuclear weapons to one-third that number over the next decade. Rumsfeld, who approved the review late last year, said the administration was seeking "a new approach to strategic deterrence," to include missile defenses and improvements in nonnuclear capabilities.

Also, Russia would no longer be officially defined as "an enemy."

Beyond that, almost no details were revealed.

The classified text, however, is shot through with a worldview transformed by Sept. 11. The NPR coins the phrase "New Triad," which it describes as comprising the "offensive strike leg," (our nuclear and conventional forces) plus "active and passive defenses,"(our anti-missile systems and other defenses) and "a responsive defense infrastructure" (our ability to develop and produce nuclear weapons and resume nuclear testing). Previously, the nuclear "triad" was the bombers, long-range land-based missiles and submarine-launched missiles that formed the three legs of America's strategic arsenal.

The review emphasizes the integration of "new nonnuclear strategic capabilities" into nuclear-war plans. "New capabilities must be developed to defeat emerging threats such as hard and deeply-buried targets (HDBT), to find and attack mobile and re-locatable targets, to defeat chemical and biological agents, and to improve accuracy and limit collateral damage," the review says.

It calls for "a new strike system" using four converted Trident submarines, an unmanned combat air vehicle and a new air-launched cruise missile as potential new weapons.

Beyond new nuclear weapons, the review proposes establishing what it calls an "agent defeat" program, which defense officials say includes a "boutique" approach to finding new ways of destroying deadly chemical or biological warfare agents, as well as penetrating enemy facilities that are otherwise difficult to attack. This includes, according to the document, "thermal, chemical or radiological neutralization of chemical/biological materials in production or storage facilities."

Bush administration officials stress that the development and integration of nonnuclear capabilities into the nuclear force is what permits reductions in traditional long-range weaponry. But the blueprint laid down in the review would expand the breadth and flexibility of U.S. nuclear capabilities.

In addition to the new weapons systems, the review calls for incorporation of "nuclear capability" into many of the conventional systems now under development. An extended-range conventional cruise missile in the works for the U.S. Air Force "would have to be modified to carry nuclear warheads if necessary." Similarly, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter should be modified to carry nuclear weapons "at an affordable price."

The review calls for research to begin next month on fitting an existing nuclear warhead into a new 5,000-pound "earth penetrating" munition.

Given the advances in electronics and information technologies in the past decade, it is not surprising that the NPR also stresses improved satellites and intelligence, communications, and more robust high-bandwidth decision-making systems.

Particularly noticeable is the directive to improve U.S. capabilities in the field of "information operations," or cyber-warfare. The intelligence community "lacks adequate data on most adversary computer local area networks and other command and control systems," the review observes. It calls for improvements in the ability to "exploit" enemy computer networks, and the integration of cyber-warfare into the overall nuclear war database "to enable more effective targeting, weaponeering, and combat assessment essential to the New Triad."

In recent months, 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.
_ _ _

William M. Arkin is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and an adjunct professor at the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He is also a consultant to a number of nongovernmental organizations and a regular contributor to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Posted at the L.A. Times


2) Outrage As Pentagon Nuclear Hit List Revealed

Outrage As Pentagon Nuclear Hit List Revealed
Edward Helmore New York and Kamal Ahmed
The Observer, Sunday March 10, 2002,6903,665162,00.html


Asia Times Online
March 13, 2002

Fallout fierce over Washington's new nuclear policy

By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon's new contingency plans for using nuclear weapons against a range of countries, including some who do not even have them, came under heavy fire on Monday here and abroad.

China said it was "deeply shocked" by the "Nuclear Posture Review" (NPR), leaked to the media last weekend, and arms-control groups here said the secret study is almost certain to heighten international tensions and fuel concerns about the unilateralist aims of President George W Bush's administration.

For full story at Asia Times Online, see:


Published on Monday, March 11, 2002 in the Daily Mirror (UK)

Bush's Nuclear Madness
Horror at Dubya's Secret Attack Plan on 7 Countries
by Alexandra Williams and Bob Roberts

PRESIDENT Bush faced world anger last night over America's seven-nation nuclear hit list.

British MPs joined the outcry after a leaked Pentagon report revealed contingency plans to
use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya. The secret policy was denounced as warmongering "lunacy".

Alarmed officials from Moscow to Tehran warned that the "power crazy" President, buoyed up by the successful campaign in Afghanistan, could plunge the world into chaos. British politicians said the strategy threatened the stability of the NATO alliance.

International tension mounted as Washington pressed Britain to back an attack on Iraq - including the possible commitment of 25,000 British troops to topple Saddam Hussein.

Cabinet Minister Clare Short hinted that she might resign if Tony Blair supported a mass strike against Baghdad. She said"We need to deal with the problem of Saddam Hussein - we don't need to inflict further suffering on the people of Iraq."

Labour MPs Alice Mahon and Tam Dalyell will today deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street warning the Prime Minister against joining any military action.

US Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in London last night for talks with Mr Blair which will cover the threat posed by Iraq.

No 10 insisted last night "No decisions have been taken."

Amid mounting anger, the target nations accused America of intimidation and "wreaking havoc on the whole world" and branded the plans a "lunatic" threat to world peace.

In Britain, MPs said the sensational disclosures threatened the stability of the Western alliance.

Labour MP Alice Mahon said "The lunatics have taken over the White House. This report must be ringing alarms throughout NATO" The Pentagon document, known as the Nuclear Posture Review, was leaked as the US lobbied Britain to join an invasion of Iraq.

International Development Secretary and Cabinet Minister Clare Short hinted she might resign if a strike went ahead.

The review says the US must be ready to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya. It then identified four areas where the US should be prepared to press the button

In an Arab-Israeli conflict, in a war between China and Taiwan, in an attack by North Korea on South Korea and in an attack by Iraq on Israel or another neighbor. Additionally, the weapons could be used against targets able to withstand conventional attack and in retaliation for the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

They could also be used in the event of "surprising military developments", reflecting fears that rogue states or terrorists could deploy weapons against the US.

The review, leaked to the Los Angeles Times, orders the military to plan for the use of "smaller nuclear weapons" as a more effective deterrent against terrorist attacks. It also calls for cruise missiles to carry nuclear weapons. It is the first time the US has reviewed its nuclear strategy since 1994 and the first list of target nations to be made public.

Last night it was seen as a warning to those states who might be harboring terrorists. In Russia, defense hawk General Leonid Ivashov said"The heart of US political doctrine is to push powerful Russia off the political scene."

Russian politician Dmitry Rogozin added "This is a nuclear stick intended to intimidate us." Vyacheslav Nikonov, of the Politika think tank, branded the plans a "very negative signal" which would be "received in an appropriate fashion by Russia's leadership".

Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said "The US believes that by threatening countries they'll withdraw their demands. Their policy is one of intimidation.''

The Tehran Times newspaper said "This indicates the US is going to wreak havoc on the world to establish its domination." Professor Michael Yahuda, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, warned"China won't be happy to be classified among rogue nations."

Liberal Democrat spokesman Menzies Campbell said "America seems to be moving from nuclear deterrence to nuclear war fighting.

"It would drive a coach and horses through NATO's doctrine of nuclear strikes as a last resort."

US Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted the report did not signal imminent action.

He said "We should not get carried away with some sense the US plans to use nuclear weapons in some contingency in the near future.

"It's not the case. What the Pentagon has done with this is sound military, conceptual planning.

"Not a single nation is being targeted by an American nuclear weapon on a day-to-day basis."

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice added "We all want to make the use of weapons of mass destruction less likely.

"The way that you do that is to send a very strong signal to anyone who might use them against the United States that they'd be met with a devastating response."

Vice-President Dick Cheney arrived in London last night to meet Tony Blair. He is expected to appeal for military support against Iraq. It is reported the US will ask for up to 25,000 British troops to form part of an invasion force.

In the first sign of a Cabinet split, Ms Short denounced any invasion plans yesterday. She said"An all-out military attack is, of course, not at all sensible.

"We need to deal with the problem of Saddam Hussein. We don't need to inflict further suffering on the people of Iraq."

Ms Short said the best answer was to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq, a move firmly ruled out by Iraq's Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan yesterday. Her warning amounted to a threat to resign if there is a strike against Iraq. Donald Anderson, Labour chairman of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, said military action on Iraq must only be a last resort.

He said"I think there are reckless elements in the Pentagon who are on a roll because of Afghanistan.

"I would hope part of the task of our Government is to influence those who take a contrary view."

Downing Street played down the reports of an American request for British troops. A spokesman said "No decisions have been taken, let alone any requests made."

Copyright 2002
This article was also posted at:


For related article from

New US Proposals Could Quash Nuclear Taboos

Washington (AFP) Mar 11, 2002 - A Pentagon report that pinpoints certain countries for possible nuclear targetting seems to mark an evolution in the US doctrine that discouraged nuclear use.

Another related article,

"The Doomsday Regime"
by Geov Parrish

03.11.02 - Since nothing else the Bush Administration does seems to be inspiring hundreds of thousands of people to pour into the streets of every major city in anger, perhaps this will: the news this past weekend, as reported by Paul Richter of the Los Angeles Times, that George W. Bush is planning to destroy the world.

They didn't phrase it that way, of course. And it isn't exactly a one-step process, though it's a hell of a lot fewer steps than anyone has a right to concoct.

But that's the net effect of the plans, outlined in a report obtained by the L.A. Times, given to Congress on January 8. The report directs the Pentagon to draw up plans to wage nuclear war against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Iran, and/or Libya..

.....Six months ago today, the world was horrified by the devastation in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Since then, it has been doubly horrified by the Bush Administration's exploitation of a few thousand tragic deaths to set in motion a series of policy decisions, based explicitly upon an aggressive desire for military domination of the world for up to the next 50 years, that if pursued for any length of time will unquestionably kill tens of millions, including many of us.

If not all life on earth.

No wonder he's not worried about global warming.

= = = = = = = = = = =

The complete article by Geov Parrish is posted:
The Doomsday Regime


3) Stupid White Men

From Michael Moore

Dear friends,

This is just a quick note of thanks for the support all of you have given my book. "Stupid White Men" debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list this week, and at #1 on the Publisher's Weekly nonfiction bestseller list for independent bookstores. It's still #1 for all books on Amazon, and, my personal favorite for a good laugh, #4 on the bestseller list for the Wall Street Journal. By the fifth day of release, the book had gone into its 9th printing. More copies have been sold in one week than "Downsize This" sold in a whole year. Pundits and publishers are stunned. "But the president has an 80% approval rating!" There's something going on here, and they don't know what it is...

I am writing this from northern California, two weeks into the book tour, on a drive with my family to visit small towns like Ukiah and Arcata. Last night in Santa Rosa, at the local high school, they had a thousand people packed inside and another 500 out on the lawn who couldn't get in. It's like this in all the places I visit. Hundreds, thousands, turning out to discuss all the sorry excuses for the state of the nation. People have had it with keeping silent for the past 6 months. They resent having felt like if they chose to question what the government is up to or, God forbid, dissent, they would somehow be considered unpatriotic. Let's get one thing straight -- this is what it means to be "unpatriotic"

1. When you shred our constitution and eliminate our civil liberties, passing laws that make it illegal to encourage opposition to the government's actions, THAT is un-American.

2. When you send our kids to go fight and die on a foreign land so that you can finally build a pipeline for your oil backers across that country, THAT is un-American.

3. When you use the dead of September 11 to try to get huge tax cuts passed that will only benefit your rich benefactors, THAT is un-American.

4. When you allow criminals who are stealing the pensions of workers and retirees to come in and hand-pick the head of the agency which is supposed to be regulating them, and then you place some of the criminals' top brass in your administration to "serve" as the secretary of the army and White House counsel, and then these criminals turn out to be your number one financial backers -- and their law firm turns out to be your #3 backer -- and, in spite of all this you still haven't resigned in disgrace, THAT is un-American.

I want all of you to share this success with me and feel heartened and reassured by the response to this book.

For more information on Michael Moore, visit his website:

See also
By trying to censor Michael Moore's new book, publishing giant HarperCollins gave media-savvy Moore the perfect platform to harass his real arch-enemy -- George W. Bush.


4) World Bank Insider Speaks Out

World Bank Insider Speaks Out
by Greg Palast February 1 2002, Fri, 345pm

The World Bank's former Chief Economist's accusations are eye-popping - including how the IMF and US Treasury fixed the Russian elections

The Globalizer Who Came In From the Cold
Observer, London
Wednesday, October 10, 2001

This article is posted at


5) China condemns US global military expansion

China condemns US global military expansion following Sept 11
AFP - Beijing, March 11

China on Monday broke with its policy of refusing to condemn the increased US global military presence following September 11, saying the expansion of Washington's "so-called security interests" presented a threat to the world.

The complete article is posted at

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