From the dawn of the atomic age until the fall of the Soviet Union, the spectre of nuclear apocalypse hung over the world. Families prepared fallout shelters. Children were trained to run, duck and cover. The Dr. Strangeloves of the RAND Corporation talked about winnable nuclear wars and the public was taught about the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.
But that was the Cold War, a relic of a bygone age. Or so we thought.
As is only becoming apparent now in the light of recent tensions between NATO and Russia, neither the US nor Russia ever had any genuine intention of abandoning their nuclear capability. In fact, unbeknownst to most of the public, the US took a bold new step in 2001 when a nuclear posture review report, approved by the Senate in 2002, affirmed an offensive, first-strike nuclear capability as a central pillar of US defense. Since that time, it has become obvious that one of the major targets of this nuclear posture is Russia, but it is by no means the only one.
Michel Chossudovsky: The targeting of China and Russia dates back to the Cold War era and in that regard there hasn’t been any major shift. Well maybe there’s been a change in the diplomatic environment but in effect today, U.S. decision makers are contemplating the use of nuclear weapons against Russia. It’s been stated quite explicitly. If that were to occur, we are in a World War III scenario.
In fact we may even be in a terminal war situation because Russia and the United States have enough weapons to blow up the Earth several times. But, what I think has to be emphasized is that as a result of the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, the United States has defined a new doctrine whereby they can use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states particularly targeting countries like Iraq. It was stated in 2003 by Rumsfeld that Iraq, Syria, Libya and so on and if we look at the history of these so called ‘tactical nuclear weapons’, so called ‘mini-nukes’, small nuclear weapons. Which are similar to the thermo-nuclear bombs with a lower explosive capacity but if you at the statements of U.S. policy makers they present these ‘mini-nukes’ in a sense as a peace-making bombs, harmless to the surrounding civilians populations and they justify their use in the conventional war theatre.
This was actually proved by the Senate in 2002, giving the United States military the green light to use nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity between one-third and six-times the Hiroshima bomb in the conventional war theatre without the green light of the Commander-In-Chief, namely the President of the United States.
The supposed threat from Russian and North Korean forces are used to justify the maintenance of the conventional thermonuclear arsenal. The so-called Iranian “threat” is being used to justify the development and maintenance of the tactical nuclear arsenal. But these are not the real reasons behind this intensification in nuclear panic.
The real motivation, quite predictably, goes toward the real goal of these projects: the privatisation of nuclear war for geopolitical dominance and financial gain. This can be traced back to a meeting that took place in August 2003 in the wake of the new US nuclear posture review. As described in Michel Chossudovsky’s book, “Towards a World War III Scenario,” the meeting, convened by the Pentagon at the Strategic Command Headquarters at Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska brought together over 150 military contractors and scientists to discuss the development of a new, more politically viable nuclear technology, the so-called “bunker busters” and “mini-nukes” of the modern era.
“In a cruel irony, the participants to this secret meeting, which excluded members of Congress, arrived on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing and departed on the anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki.[…]The Hiroshima Day 2003 meetings had set the stage for the ‘privatization of nuclear war.'”
–Towards A World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War
Perhaps inevitably, this new era of privatised nuclear war is based on a convenient political fiction. The distinction between the thermonuclear warheads of the Cold War era and the so-called “mini-nukes” and “bunker busters” of our own era is an easily demonstrable lie, designed to make the first-strike use of nuclear weapons politically acceptable.
As the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrated as far back as 2005, nuclear bunker busters like the B61-11 could still cause widespread radioactive fallout that, in the Middle East theatre, would result in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Michel Chossudovsky: Those tactical nuclear weapons are fully deployed. I should say they are also deployed by several non-nuclear states which are member of NATO. I’m talking about Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy and Turkey. Five non-nuclear states. They are deployed against targets in the Middle East and there’s nothing that actually excludes their use in the conventional war theatre. Because the decision making can take place at a much lower level. Not to say that it will take place at a lower level let’s say the regional commander, USCENTCOM for instance. But we are at a stage where military planners believe in their own propaganda. They have first of all instructed scientists that this new generation of nuclear weapons are harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground. Referring to the fact that these are bunker-buster bombs and there’s no danger that people surrounding the bomb explosion will actually be affected. Of course that’s a big lie, but at the same time that narrative has entered into the military manuals.
So we’re no longer within the realm of Cold War doctrine. Which was based on the concept of MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction. We are in a mad world but it’s not the MAD of the Cold War era. And, what is contemplated when nuclear weapons are envisaged against targets in the Middle East is the fact, that first of all, these countries have no countervailing potential. They’re sitting ducks. They can be bombed. So let’s go ahead and do it and we do it on humanitarian grounds, it’s the “Responsibility to Protect.”
Once again, the world is being whipped up into a nuclear panic as a result of a parade of boogeymen. This threat serves to further the global military agenda of the NATO alliance even as it lines the pockets of the contractors who have been entrusted with the development of the latest nuclear technologies. And this entire agenda is being overseen by a political, military and financial class who themselves present the greatest threat to the future of humanity.
Michel Chossudovsky: I suspect that if a tactical nuclear weapon were to be used it would not be publicised. It would be passed off as a conventional weapon and this is why we don’t really have much information on the use of these weapons. I’m sure of course that the Russians are fully aware but it’s very difficult to predict what would happen if one of these tactical nuclear weapons were used and if it subsequently became official that they had been used. I think that what is at stake is a broader process of military escalation in the Middle East and essentially what that military escalation also involves targeting Iran. With regard to the targeting of Iran there are certainly plans of deploying, actively deploying, tactical nuclear weapons directed at Iran and it’s been stated time and again that these would disable Iran’s nuclear facilities with bunker-buster bombs. So we’re in a situation where we sue nuclear weapons, wether they’re Israeli or from the the NATO/U.S. arsenal, to disable a non-existing nuclear weapons program using a nuclear weapon. That’s how you see how mad these people are. But if that we’re to occur I think we are in a World War III scenario.
Similarly for more than 50 years the United States has been treating North Korea with nuclear attack and very openly. Again, they will say we need to bomb the hell out of them so that we ensure they don’t develop nuclear weapons. Ironically if they bomb North Korea they in effect bomb the entire peninsula because Pyongyang is less than 50 kilometres from the South Korean border. It’s like going from Manhattan to New Jersey. So again, military planners are not people who are going to reflect on the geo-political implications, the broad geo-political implications of their actions.
So, for people who say that this is an impossibility that it cannot happen, I think they have to revise their understanding. I think that what we have to do is to ensure that these people who are presenting a nuclear weapons ideology based on pre-emptive warfare, (we need) to ensure that these people are moved out of office because they’re dangerous not only to humanity they are also dangerous to the people in the United States because they are acting on their behalf ultimately.
The lies of this nuclear era, like the lies of the last, need to be resisted at every level. Because, as many observers have pointed out over the years, the consequences of nuclear conflict are as inescapable as they are irreversible.