- Hyped support reveals gross hypocrisy about a deeply
flawed process and outrageous price for it. More on that below. Yet a September
14 New York Times editorial headlined, "Ratify the New Start Treaty,"
- "Failure to ratify this treaty would be hugely costly
for American credibility and security....The Senate needs to ratify New
Start now." In fact, endorsing ratification undermines The Times credibility.
More why below.
- A more recent Washington Post November 19 editorial headlined,
"The New START pact should be passed, not politicized," saying:
- "....the treaty ought to be approved. But no calamity
will befall the United States if the Senate does not act this year....In
reality, Mr. Obama's urgency (has) less to do with national security than
with the upcoming shift in Senate seats" next year.
- The Los Angeles Times said ratifying Start could "be
a defining moment for Obama. Failure might be regarded abroad as confirmation
that the administration is too weak to put its stamp on world affairs."
- Most major media reports endorse ratification. None explain
key facts about a deeply flawed treaty or what's ahead when implemented.
An earlier article on Obama's Nuclear Posture Review explained why, accessed
through the following link:
- Calling it old wine in new bottles, it explained that
nuclear disarmament or serious reductions aren't envisioned or planned.
New and upgraded weapons will replace outdated ones. Dangerous testing
will continue, and billions of dollars will be committed to proliferate
a first-strike capability with overwhelming destructive power, including
- Obama's Nuclear Posture Review was more about war making
than prevention. Also unchanged is the 2005 Doctrine for Joint Nuclear
Operations, removing the distinction between defensive and offensive deterrents.
It includes the most modern triad of land and sea-based strategic bombers,
land-based missiles, and ballistic missile submarines as well as robust
research development and industrial infrastructure to develop, build, and
maintain unchallengeable offensive and defensive systems.
- It exceeds deterrent, calling for preemption with nuclear
or non-nuclear weapons against named adversaries, whether or not true.
In other words, aggressive wars for unchallengeable global dominance are
planned, especially against nations in resource-rich areas.
- Missile defense is also misnamed. It's, in fact, for
offensive first-strike, notably against Russia and China in case confrontations
erupt for resource control. Whether ratified or not, America's permanent
war agenda is unchanged, falsely justified to seek peace, democracy and
world stability. It's about power threatening global survival to assure
America has more than anyone and keeps it.
- Start is a smoke screen, more hypocrisy than substance.
Disingenuous media hype suppresses the truth without explaining what's
needed - full nuclear disarmament without which world safety is impossible.
- The Western States Legal Foundation (WSLF) on Start
- WSLF "monitors and analyzes US nuclear weapons programs
and policies and related high technology energy and weapons programs, with
a focus on the national nuclear weapons laboratories." It believes
that "nuclear weapons threaten our fundamental human security"
and must be abolished.
- WSLF's Andrew Lichterman headlined a commentary, "The
START Treaty and Disarmament: a Dilemma in Search of a Debate," saying:
- Public discussion and full disclosure have been absent
as negotiations continued. The real adversary "is the US military-industrial
complex and its representative in the United States Senate." Those
in it want unchallengeable US military supremacy, using the ratification
debate "to extract both policy and spending commitments in return."
- Start "will have little effect (on) the arms race."
It will only minimally affect "nuclear weapons deployments, and places
no meaningful limit on the modernization of nuclear arsenals or the development
of strategically significant weapons systems such as missile defenses and
conventional 'prompt global strike' weapons with global reach."
- The treaty's only purported benefits include verification
and reestablishing a negotiating framework for future negotiations. However,
the ratification price extracted huge concessions to the "weapons
establishment," beginning with "increases in....budgets and accelerated
construction of new nuclear weapons facilities" to design, develop,
produce, and deploy the most modern ever destructive arsenal globally,
assuring "civilization-destroying" capability "for decades
to come," as well as impeding disarmament efforts.
- Yet congressional and public debate didn't discuss it.
Instead, so-called experts, former key public officials, and disarmament
organizations endorsed ratification, "parroting" Obama's devoid
of substance talking points, leaving out future costs and concessions to
the "nuclear weapons establishment." Nor explaining that without
them, ratification possibilities were nil. Democrats as well as Republicans
- The Start deal will do little to deter nuclear weapons
proliferation. It's mainly about counting rules and verification. In addition,
the actual number of warheads isn't reduced. America and Russia will be
able to deploy almost the same number of strategic ones as the 2002 Moscow
- New Start is also "missile defense-friendly,"
including America's research for new propulsion and delivery technologies
able "to hit a target anywhere on earth in less than one hour"
with nuclear or non-nuclear warheads. No "global strike" capabilities
will be compromised. Nor are constraints placed on modernizing nuclear
arms. What the Obama administration promotes as a plus, in fact, is continued
proliferation of new generations of humanity-destroying weapons, while
at the same time, enriching the nuclear weapons establishment.
- His FY 2011 budget request included 10% more for nuclear
weapons programs, and continued increases for the next five years. Last
May, a budget commitment included $180 billion over the next 10 years for
nuclear weapons and delivery systems. All along, "the nuclear weapons
establishment played its usual double game," promoting Start while
seeking greater financial commitments. By November, Obama promised billions
of dollars of additional increases, including an "extraordinary commitment
to ensure the modernization of our nuclear infrastructure."
- Contrast the commitment to war making and nuclear weapons
proliferation to promoting austerity in discretionary spending for vital
homeland needs, including millions of households suffering from lost jobs,
homes, savings and futures.
- A new US Census report confirms it, saying nearly one-third
of working families struggle to meet basic needs. From 2007 through 2009,
low income households (earning less than 200% of the official threshold)
increased from 28 - 30%. The report came days after congressionally approved
tax cuts enriched corporations and America's aristocracy, giving chump
change to struggling workers, facing austerity cuts in 2011.
- Start and nuclear proliferation, however, get top priority
to fuel the Pentagon's war machine, endangering global security and survival.
Moreover, despite rhetoric, "prospects for significant reductions
below proposed....levels (meaning current deployments) are at best highly
- Couched in rhetorical deterrence, actual policy is escalation
and dominance, combining the world's most powerful conventional forces
with enough nuclear capability "to threaten everything from credible
use of small numbers of nuclear weapons up to societal annihilation."
- Without significant change, reductions will only be cosmetic,
"leaving unaltered the fundamental danger" that a globally destructive
force stays intact and improves by continued modernization. Further, other
nuclear powers will be challenged to keep up, fueling a dangerous arms
race, heightening even greater risks.
- Shamefully, the "new START turns disarmament polices
on its head with many" supportive groups, experts and pundits uncritically
adopting the administration. Lacking, however, is any understanding of
disarmament obstacles, costs or risks. For its part, the public is left
entirely uninformed, hearing hype with no substance, including advocacy
for urgent ratification of a treaty yielding no real change.
- "(P)ropagandists for the powerful....dress up such
deals as serving the 'national interest' " to enlist public support,
omitting back room dealmaking to enrich the nuclear weapons establishment
and other war profiteering interests. In this environment, chances for
disarmament and non-proliferation are nil, especially with public ignorance
and indifference not demanding it.
- As a result, Lichterman argues "for turning disarmament
work right side up," thinking not just about short term possibilities
"in the halls of government in corrupt, bellicose, and heavily armed
states," none truer on all counts than America. Longer-term efforts
"can confront the institutions of the nuclear-military-industrial
complex where we find them," and learning from "a half-century
(of) concentrated, unaccountable power on our communities and natural world,"
seeking change to preserve societies and global survival. It remains endangered
under new Start.
- A Final Comment
- For months, the Obama administration maintained a drumbeat
of hype for new Start, including in a November 17 press release headlined,
"Fact Sheet: An Enduring Commitment to the US Nuclear Deterrent,"
- "President Obama has made an extraordinary commitment
to ensure the modernization of our nuclear infrastructure...." Plans
ahead including investing "over $85 billion over the next decade"
for modernization and deterrence. In fact, over double that amount will
be spent plus likely future add-ons. The press release mentions several
programs with few details, bemoaning "America's aging nuclear complex
- In a May 13 message to the Senate, Obama said:
- "The Treaty will enhance the national security of
the United States. It mandates mutual reductions and limitations of the
world's largest nuclear arsenals. (It) promote(s) transparency and predictability
in the strategic relationship between the United States and the Russian
Federation," and will assure each side can verify the other.
- As explained above, it represents old wine in new bottles,
dressed up in rhetorical mumbo jumbo, suggesting changes that, in fact,
leave everything virtually the same.
- An earlier March 26 press release headlined, "Key
Facts about the New START Treaty," covering:
- -- "treaty structure;
- -- strategic offensive reductions;
- -- verification and transparency;
- -- treaty terms; and
- -- no constraints on missile defense and convention strike."
- In fact, details provided obscured more than clarifying
new Start details, part of regular White House disinformation to keep public
opinion uninformed and unaware that claimed changes are more hype than
substance. Ahead for decades, global security will remain threatened, perhaps
more so as sophisticated technologies and powerful new weapons are developed
and deployed, including from space.
- No matter. On December 22, the Senate voted 71 - 26 to
pass Start, what The New York Times called Obama's "most tangible
foreign policy achievement." Thirteen Republicans joined Democrat
unanimity, exceeding the constitutionally required two-thirds majority.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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