The combination of America's rage for
war, its nuclear arsenal, and global delivery systems makes the unthinkable
possible - nuclear war.
On March 27, David Krieger and Daniel Ellsberg raised the
possibility in their Christian Science Monitor article headlined,
"For nuclear security beyond Seoul, eradicate land-based 'doomsday'
"America's 450 launch-ready land-based nuclear-armed ballistic
missiles are the opposite of a deterrent to attack. In fact, their
very deployment has the potential to launch World War III and
precipitate human extinction as a result of a false alarm. We’re
Indeed not. For decades, the threat's been real. Post-9/11, it's
more than ever possible. Hundreds of ICBMs target Russia, China, and
likely other countries like Iran. Launching them threatens humanity.
Leaders considering the possibility are deranged. Once heading for
targets, it's too late. Presidents often rehearsed it.
In 1962, the Cuban missile crisis nearly brought nuclear war. An
October 2002 Havana US/Russia/Cuba summit disclosed the close call
for the first time.
Devastation was avoided because Soviet submarine captain Vasily
Arkhipov countermanded an order to fire nuclear torpedos when US
destroyers attacked Russian submarines near Kennedy's "quarantine"
line. Had he obeyed, vast destruction or possible nuclear winter
might have resulted.
Nuclear expert Graham Allison sees parallels between Iran today and
Cuba then. Despite no threats then and now, heightened tensions risk
potentially devastating conflict. When politics and heated rhetoric
spin out of control, anything's possible, including nuclear war.
In 1995, Boris Yeltsin nearly launched missiles. He thought a US one
targeted Russia. His fear turned out to be a Norwegian weather
sounding rocket. Disaster was narrowly averted.
In May 2000, the Pentagon's Joint Vision 2020 called for "full
spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air,
space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough
overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any
adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.
Washington's December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review asserted a
preemptive first strike nuclear policy. The Bush administration's
2002 and 2006 National Security Strategies reaffirmed it. In 2006,
Iran was mentioned 16 times, saying "(w)e may face no greater
challenge from a single country than Iran."
Post-9/11, America asserted the right to use nuclear weapons against
targets able to withstand non-nuclear attacks (like underground
ones), in retaliation for nuclear, biological or chemical attacks,
or in case of unexpected military developments whether or not
they're, in fact, threatening.
The Bush and Obama administrations also violated 1970 Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. The ABM and Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaties are ignored. So are the Biological and Toxic
Weapons Convention and Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. It prohibits
additions to current stockpiles.
In 2010, the Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) was
old wine in new bottles. Rhetoric changed, not policy. NPR 2010 said
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 that threat."
The 2005 Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations remained unchanged.
It removed the distinction between defensive and offensive
"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 and current Obama policy leave land/sea/air triad
deterrents unchanged. On high alert, nuclear missiles can be
So can bunker busters with conventional or nuclear capability,
including the so-called 30,000 pound Mother of All Bombs "massive
ordnance penetrator (MOP)." It's designed to penetrate up to 200
feet of reinforced concrete before detonating an enormous explosive
If any nation launches enough thermonuclear warheads, humanity's
threatened. Krieger and Ellsberg explained:
"This is because smoke from the enormous nuclear firestorms created
by even a 'successful' US nuclear first-strike would cause
catastrophic disruption of global climate and massive destruction of
the Earth’s protective ozone layer, leading to global famine."
Helen Caldicott’s books say enough nuclear explosions "would create
nuclear winter, with the U.S. covered with a cloud so thick that it
would block out the sun for years, and that would be the end." Other
nuclear experts agree.
Nuclear bunker busters can do it. Krieger and Ellsberg said they
cause huge underground nuclear explosions "with much blast and heat
and radiation. It's called activation by neutrons—millions of tons
of earth and dust—so you have a much greater radioactive fallout
that's shot out into the air than you would if a bomb is exploded in
the air above a city."
Atmospheric scientists Alan Robock, Brian Toon, and others say a
large enough attack produces "immense firestorms" able to cover the
planet in dense stratospheric smoke. Heated by the sun, it would
remain at least 10 years and block sunlight from reaching the
earth's surface. Mass starvation would follow.
Nuclear weapons threaten security. Eventually they'll be used.
Humanity's survival depends on total abolition, said Krieger and
Ellsberg. Both seek two principle goals:
(1) "a commitment by the existing nuclear weapon states to forego
launch-on-warning and first use of nuclear weapons under any
(2) "good faith negotiations for a new treaty for the phased,
verifiable, irreversible, and transparent elimination of nuclear
Krieger heads the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Ellsberg gained fame
for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Both understand today's
dangers. They want them eliminated to save humanity from possible
self-destruction. It's no exaggeration.
In his book titled, "Failed States," Noam Chomsky discussed "the
threat of nuclear war, environmental disaster, and the fact that the
government of the world's only superpower is acting in ways that
increase the likelihood of these catastrophes."
In "Hegemony or Survival," he cited evolutionary biologist Ernst
Mayr's work. He said human intelligence doesn't guarantee survival.
He believed beetles and bacteria stand a better chance.
He ominously observed that species on average survive about 100,000
years. Humanity's been around about that long. He wondered if we'd
use our remaining time to self-destruct. If so, we'd be the only
species ever to do it. Given our current path, it's possible and
perhaps sooner than most people imagine.
Hold the War, says Israel
America and Israel have longstanding Iran war plans. Launching it
means WW III. With nuclear bunker buster or other nuclear weapons,
the dangers Krieger, Ellsberg, Caldicott, and others explain are
On March 29, Haaretz headlined, "Israel's plan to attack Iran put on
hold until next year at the earliest," saying:
On March 27, "Israel's 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end.
The capricious plans for a huge aerial attack were returned to the
deep recesses of safes and hearts. The war may not have been
canceled but it has certainly been postponed. For a while, at least,
we can sound the all clear: It won't happen this year."
At issue, said Haaretz, is possible hundreds of US casualties. Their
blood would be on Israel's hands. War won't happen "until at least
the spring of 2013."
At the same time, last September The New York Times headlined, "US
Quietly Supplies Israel with Bunker-Busting Bombs," saying:
Unnamed US officials confirmed it without commenting on their number
or capabilities. In addition, "Israel developed its own
bunker-busting bomb," but America's are more "cost-effective."
Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. Perhaps its arsenal includes
earth-penetrating bunker busters. They increase the threat of
disaster if used, either its own or what Washington supplies.
Given the rage of both countries for war, postponing it may only buy
time to attack jointly after America's November elections. Obama
wants another four years. He can't run again. Lame ducks have
greater flexibility in second terms than first, provided Congress
goes along if legislation's needed.
Wars don't need it. False flags launch them. Most past US wars began
that way. Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski
believes Iran may be blamed for a false flag on US soil to justify
retaliation. Others feel the same way.
Former Israeli intelligence officer, Avi Perry, wrote a Jerusalem
Post article about a planned “'Pearl Harbor scenario, in which Iran
launch(es) a 'surprise' attack on the US Navy." Doing so would give
Washington "the perfect rationalization to finish them off."
Iran, of course, plans no such attack or others against any targets.
But it won't prevent Washington from staging a false flag blamed on
Tehran. Most often, "big lies" launch wars. It's an American
tradition since the late 19th century.
They work every time. Washington needs popular support. Manufactured
fear provides it. People rely on governments for protection when
threatened, even if no threat whatever exists.
Deception creates an illusion of one. Majorities are fooled every
time. One war follows another. Expect an eventual nuclear one.
All bets are off if it happens. The time to prevent it is now. Only
people power can do it. It's up to us. It's our only chance. Imagine
the potential consequences otherwise.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
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