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by Paul Heller
Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 3:21 AM
Resuming nuclear testing in Nevada is a bad idea. Building "battlefield nukes" may be an even worse thing. But what about when Bush signs treaties with terrorists?
Say it ain't so, Geo. This week, the White House has stumbled in two major areas where our hybrid military/foreign policy is concerned, and it does not bode well for anyone's future. Remember when I basted William Safire for his "we'll remember who offered us fear, and who offered us hope" line? He could not have been more wrong about who will offer what to the American people, and to the world.
First, the small stuff, which you wouldn't have sweated anyway: The White House has signed a treaty with the Iraqi-based People's Mujahideen, a semi-organized group of fighters who have dedicated themselves to toppling the regime in Iran. The terms of the treaty are pretty basic; it allows them to keep their weapons while just about everyone else in Iraq is under orders to disarm.
That doesn't seem too out of the ordinary; sending indigenous forces to die in combat beats the heck out of burying American troops, right? But the devil lurks in this small detail: Secretary of State Colin Powell has this list he keeps in his pocket. It's a list of terrorist outfits that pose a real threat to American interests, identifiable groups like al-Qaida and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. Also on that list, wouldn't you know it, is the People's Mujahideen.
George W. Bush has signed a treaty with terrorists. We've done the same thing in Colombia, where right wing paramilitary units are employed by the fragile government there to fight the FARC rebels. Some of those killing squads, trained and funded by the Fort Benning-based School of the Americas, also find themselves on Colin Powell's blacklist.
So what happened to the Bush Doctrine, wherein everyone is either with the terrorists, or with us? Did I read his lips incorrectly? I've carped about it before, the way this administration so readily takes to that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" muck. That's not the kind of thinking Americans should buy into, because it has never really served us well, resulting only in suspicion around the globe as to what our motives might be at any point in time.
Is George W. Bush with us, or is he with the terrorists? Does empowering a known entity (which could so easily be destroyed at this point) that is committed to killing Americans not constitute an act of administrative treason? Shelve those puny questions for a moment. Chew on this instead:
The Bush administration intends to sign a bill produced by the Republican-dominated Senate Armed Services Committee, allowing for the development of "small" nuclear bombs and bunker-busting nukes capable of penetrating the Earth's surface before detonation. This reverses a policy of nuclear de-escalation that had been going on since the end of the Cold War. The bill also provides for new nuclear weapons testing, something unseen in more than a decade, to take place in Nevada.
One of the appalled Democrats - 13 shameless Dems threw in with the Bushies on this bill - is Jack Reed of Rhode Island. "We're moving away from more than five decades of efforts to delegitimize the use of nuclear weapons," he said with disgust. But why, Jack? "We don't want to be constrained in any way about any weapon we want to field." Oh. So fifteen-odd million dollars' worth of taxpayers' sweat will be used to research the "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator", which (unlike low-yield bombs) will release a megaton of instant energy in the form of a mushroom cloud, at least six times as powerful as the A-bombs we dropped on Japan at the end of World War II.
Gee, for whom do we have such a thing in mind? North Korea, I figure. But if we were to unleash nuclear weapons on North Korea, especially in a pre-emptive manner, we would put ourselves on the same page in the history books as the Turks who slaughtered the Armenians in World War I, on the same page as Nazi Germany, on the same page as Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Some would even say we are already there, indelibly, for our merciless crushing of the Native Americans after the Civil War, and our turning away from the genocide in Rwanda, and for the aforementioned bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We can't rewrite the past, but we are responsible for writing the present. Such proliferation on our part would also signal to (among other places) India and Pakistan, where the Gods of War walk the land every day, staring the people in the face, that the nuclear mitts are off now.
These are bad messages, and they come from a bad messenger at a bad time. Say what you will about conservative ideas on the economy, tax cuts or judicial nominees. This is a bit more serious than that, and if ever something should weigh heavy on our nation's conscience (which is really your conscience), it ought to be this, the specter of the Apocalypse, being driven down our throats.
The next time you get a call from a pollster asking if you "approve" of the job the president is doing, you can do something other than nod your head like a dashboard puppet in a car with bad shocks. You can rightly tell them, "No, I don't approve at all. In fact, I think the man is a dangerous lunatic, a threat to every form of life on Earth." You can still say that, you know... for the time being.
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||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 3:55 AM
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 4:37 AM
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 5:07 AM
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 5:50 AM
|A more balanced report on that story here
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 6:38 AM
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 6:42 AM
||not interested in survival
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 6:52 AM
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 6:55 AM
|I agree that traffic is a problem
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 9:49 AM
|Trusting toxic waste generators??
||Monday, May. 12, 2003 at 10:43 AM
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