Wednesday, October 29, 2003

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” — Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.

“For those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devises or banned weapons, they’re wrong. We found them.” — President George Bush, May 30, 2003.

When it became obvious that the neoconservatives would succeed in turning the “war against terrorism” into war against the Muslim Middle East, I said that the consequences would be the return of the draft or U.S. use of nuclear weapons.

Bush administration neoconservatives have concluded that reinstating the military draft would incite more opposition than inaugurating a new weapons program to produce “useable nukes.”

In the Oct. 26 London Telegraph, Washington correspondent Julian Coman reports that “influential advisers at the Pentagon are backing the development of a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons — so-called mini-nukes — in a controversial report. … The report argues for a move away from the Cold War view of nuclear arms as catastrophic weapons of last resort.”

In place of bad old nuclear weapons, the good new nukes will be easier to use and more “relevant to the threat environment.”

This extraordinary proposal from the world’s arms-control hegemon demonstrates the fanaticism of the neoconservatives. They are indeed the heirs of the French Revolution just as professor Claes Ryn shows in his new book, “America the Virtuous.”

The Pentagon report, which has been leaked to a defense magazine, designates “terrorists” as the targets of the mini-nukes. New nuclear weapons are said to be necessary in order to destroy deeply buried biological weapons caches, terrorist cells and hidden weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Such weapons caches will exist wherever neoconservatives declare them to be. For the neoconservatives, the advantage of a nuclear over a conventional attack is that the former solves the manpower problem and, by obliterating the target, conveniently rules out discovering the embarrassing fact of nonexistent WMD.

Obviously, nuclear weapons of any size are too destructive to use against terrorists, who are scattered among much larger populations. The only purpose of the “small nuclear weapons” — an oxymoron if ever there was one — is to incinerate Muslim cities. Just as Iraq, Iran and Syria are declared, propagandistically, to be “terrorist states,” Damascus, Tehran, Baghdad, Mecca, Cairo and Mogadishu would be declared “terrorist cities.” It looks as if the neoconservatives intend a final solution to their “Muslim problem” and are organizing genocide for Arabs.

Deeply buried caches of weapons of mass destruction exist nowhere except, of course, in the United States, Israel and Russia — countries that are not to be found on the neoconservatives’ terrorist list. But neoconservatives are betting that a rumored threat can be used to justify a new generation of nuclear weapons.

Propaganda about nonexistent weapons caches is fuel for the neoconservative jihad against Islam, just like fabricated claims of Iraqi WMD were used as a pretext for invading Iraq. It is not American “virtue” but nuclear fallout that neoconservatives intend to spread in the Middle East.

During three short years of the Bush administration, neoconservatives have turned U.S. foreign policy on its head. neoconservatives dismantled U.S. multilateral relationships that were a half century in the making. Neoconservatives used lies and fabrications to deceive the American public and to launch an aggressive war. Not satisfied with their revolutionary destruction of world order, neoconservatives now demand that the United States lead the world in a new round of nuclear proliferation.

If this is not the behavior of a rogue state, what is?

The Pentagon report argues for a new generation of useable nuclear weapons on the bare assumption that terrorist underground caches of WMD will materialize out of thin air sometime in the future. The Pentagon report does not explain why terrorists who intend us harm would make targets of their WMD by storing them in bunkers instead of immediately using them against us.

In three short years, neoconservatives have reorganized the Department of Defense from a deterrent force to a means of waging aggressive war. It shows that U.S. policy, following that of Israel’s Ariel Sharon, has abandoned the quest for peace in the Middle East, focusing instead on a one-sided resolution through conquest.

Deceived, befuddled and complicit, Americans are being led into a wider war.

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

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