- At the same time the Pentagon issued its new Nuclear
Posture Review, Obama officially ordered the murder of a US citizen, Muslim
cleric Anwar al-Awlaki - accused of terrorism and an Al Qaeda connection
- Earlier on February 4, Washington Post writer Ellen Nakashima
headlined, "Intelligence chief acknowledges US may target Americans
involved in terrorism," saying:
- "Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair
acknowledged (February 3 in testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence) that government agencies (specifically CIA operatives
and Special Forces death squads) may kill US citizens abroad who are involved
in terrorist activities if they are 'taking action that threatens Americans,"
or administration officials say so.
- Obama's Nuclear Posture Review - New Policy or Same Old
- In December 2001, the Bush administration issued its
Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), asserting the preemptive right to unilaterally
declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons.
- On April 5, New York Times writers David Sanger and Peter
Baker headlined, "Obama Limits When US Would Use Nuclear Arms,"
- On Monday, Obama said "he was revamping American
nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the
United States would use nuclear weapons (but) was carving out an exception
for 'outliers like Iran and North Korea....' "
- Calling it a "sharp shift" in strategy, the
Times writers claimed "For the first time, the United States is explicitly
committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states (in compliance
with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - NPT), even if they attacked
the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling
- Predictably, an April 7 Times editorial headlined, "Mr.
Obama's Nuclear Policy," said:
- "it is an important down payment on a saner nuclear
policy (and affirms) the 'fundamental role' of nuclear weapons....to deter
nuclear attack on the United States and its allies....the administration
has rightly decided to lead by example."
- Wrong for numerous reasons. NPR 2010 is changed rhetoric,
not policy. Declared nuclear or non-nuclear "outliers" may be
attacked. Unilateral disarmament and a nuclear-free world aren't envisioned
or planned. Upgraded weapons will replace outdated ones, and as with all
new weapons, dangerous testing will continue. NPT's three pillars are disregarded
- non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use. So is restoring the
Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, in force for 30 years until the Bush
administration unilaterally withdrew in June 2002.
- In place also is the Pentagon's 2006 Global Strike Command,
a preemptive offensive policy rooted in the concept that, sooner or later,
deterrence will fail. Rather than wait, it focuses on striking before it's
unleashed. It's about war making, not prevention. So is the 2009 Prompt
Global Strike initiative to attack rapidly anywhere in the world with conventional
weapons, as easy to do with nuclear ones.
- NPR 2010 says America "reserves the right"
to use nuclear weapons "that may be warranted by the evolution and
proliferation of the biological weapons threat and US capacities to counter
- It begs the question about cause in the event of a pandemic,
that, if blamed on a targeted "outlier," may justify a nuclear
response. It also leaves unchanged the 2005 Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
Operations, removing the distinction between defensive and offensive deterrents,
- "The new triad (land and sea-based strategic bombers,
land-based missiles, and ballistic missile submarines) offers a mix of
strategic offensive and defensive capabilities, active and passive defenses,
and a robust research development, and industrial infrastructure to develop,
build, and maintain offensive forces and defensive systems....it provides
additional military options."
- NPR 2010 leaves the land-sea-air triad in place, keeping
nuclear missiles on alert ready to launch in minutes, the right to use
nuclear weapons preemptively, and for the president on his say to order
it, perhaps with little time to decide if a perceived threat exists.
- This goes beyond self-defense. Calling for preemption,
it's aggressive, using nuclear or non-nuclear weapons against an adversary,
rebranded an "outlier," whether or not true.
- Still policy is the May 2000 Joint Vision 2020 calling
for "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface
sea, air, space (including weaponizing it), electromagnetic spectrum and
information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global
wars against any potential challengers with all weapons in our arsenal,
including nuclear, chemical, and biological.
- So is the 2002 (later updated 2006) National Security
Strategy (NSS), asserting the preemptive right to unilaterally wage aggressive
wars with nuclear weapons against any perceived threats or potential challengers,
especially with regard to US control over the world's energy and other
resources in key regions like Eurasia (including the Middle East), Latin
America, Africa, and the Arctic.
- Unchanged is the Bush Administration's December 2002
National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 17 to combat "Weapons
of Mass Destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical), stating:
- "The United States will continue to make clear that
it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force - including through
resort to all of our options - to the use (or threatened use) of WMD(s)
against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies."
- In addition, while launching nuclear war is a presidential
prerogative, theater nuclear operations are at the discretion of commanders
- so on their own, they may order tactical preemptive mini-nuke use (like
bunker-busters), falsely claimed as safe for the surrounding civilian population.
- Bogusly-called missile defense is for offense. It's also
unchanged, Obama sticking with Bush administration plans to install them
in Poland and advanced tracking radar in the Czech Republic, Russia very
much opposed with good reason. It also objects to news leaks about Romania
and Bulgaria agreeing to allow missile interceptors on their soil by 2015,
according to an April 8 RIA Novosti report headlined, "Russia proposes
global missile defense cooperation with US - Medvedev."
- Claimed to protect European allies from "rogue threats"
(clearly suggesting Iran), they, in fact, target Russia, the only potential
threat because of its large, sophisticated nuclear arsenal. It's believed
Iran's missiles can't reach Europe nor has it reason to launch them except
- That despite Wall Street Journal writer Chip Cummins
last December 17 headlining, "Iran Tests New Version of Missile that
Can Reach Europe," and Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) deputy
commander, Hossein Salami, recently saying "Our missiles are now able
to target any spot in which the conspirators are in," of course, suggesting
Israel and regional-based US forces.
- According to the White House, the new US-Russia nuclear
treaty "does not contain any constraints on testing, development or
deployment of current or planned US missile defense programs or current
or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities."
- No wonder Stephen Walt, co-author with John Mearsheimer
of their book titled, "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,"
headlined his April 6 Foreign Policy article, "Nuclear Posture Review
(or Nuclear Public Relations?), saying:
- "Remarkably, US policymakers never seem to realize
that the same arguments they use to justify our own nuclear arsenal apply
even more powerfully to states whose security is a lot more precarious
than America's. If the US government believes that 'the fundamental role'
of US nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attacks on the United States
(and reserves a first strike option to do it), then wouldn't a sensible
Iranian leadership conclude that it could use a nuclear arsenal of its
own, whose 'fundamental role' would be to deter us from doing just that?"
- A Final Comment
- Like his predecessor, Obama plans permanent wars and
more military spending than all other nations combined at a time America
has no enemies. He glorifies them and the righteousness of waging them,
packaged as liberating ones for democracy, freedom, justice, and the best
of all possible worlds. He's the latest in a long line of warrior leaders
promising peace by waging wars, justifying them bogusly, and pursuing them
as part of a longstanding agenda for greater wealth, power, and unchallengeable
- As a result, efforts to curtail nuclear danger may be
no closer today than under George Bush, especially with Russia, not Iran,
America's main strategic rival (along with China economically), facing
off against each other in a new Great Game for control of Eurasia's immense
resources and other riches.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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