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The case for the proliferation of nuclear weapons

February/March 2004

When we look at the question of proliferation of ABC weapons and advanced missiles, one aspect immediately comes to the foreground: why should a few countries have plenty of those weapons while others may not have any at all? And we will find that those countries intervening and attacking the most are the ones trying hardest to prevent any proliferation of these weapons not controlled by them.

Efforts to completely ban ABC weapons are at best naive and well meaning but more often just a cover for quite practical and immediate goals, like to defend the ability to attack other countries with impunity, and maintaining the constant flow of wealth from the weak and poor countries to the mighty and rich.

With the end of the Cold War military assaults and attacks, invasions and occupations once again became prominent means of the DTS to advance their schemes of recolonization and totalitarian control.

Most countries are defenseless against aggression by the DTS

Given the gap in military capabilities of the US/NATO/WEU, and to a certain degree still Russia, all other countries cannot realistically hope to ever catch up. Meaning most countries don't really have any plausible defense against these superior forces. While the military capabilities and armies of most countries are in no position to defend themselves, the economies of these countries have no foundation to prevent devastation and impoverishment of its citizens in case of blockades and embargoes.

... When you go deeper into exorbitant debt, when you pay more for fewer products and earn less for more primary products, when you go from agricultural self-sufficiency to massive importation of staple items which used to be farmed on land now given over to "cash" export crops (tell me: can you eat cash?), you are on the way to ruin. For you are putting control of your stomach in alien hands that have for five hundred years been consistently inimical to your welfare. And when you call that "development" and rejoice, I am aghast.

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In the area of information and propaganda we see the same pattern of dominance and control. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe on the occasion of the World Summit on the Information Society, December 10th, 2003:

Yes, we seek equal access to information and the control of communication technologies whose genesis in fact lies in the quest for global hegemony and dominance on the part of rich and powerful nations of the North. The ICTs that we seek to control and manage collectively are spin-offs from the same industries that gave us the awesome weapons that are now being used for the conquest, destruction and occupation of our nations. The ICTs by which we hope to build information societies are the same platforms for high-tech espionage, the same platforms and technologies through which virulent propaganda and misinformation are peddled to de-legitimise our just struggles against vestigial colonialism, indeed to weaken national cohesion and efforts at forging a broad Third World front against what patently is a dangerous imperial world order led by warrior states and kingdoms.

... These last two years have shown us how information and ICTs are often deployed as preludes and accompaniments to aggressing the sovereignties of poor and small nations. I say this because my country Zimbabwe continues to be a victim of such aggression, with both the United Kingdom and United States using their ICT superiority to challenge our sovereignty through hostile and malicious broadcasts calculated to foment instability and destroy the state through divisions.

Our voice has been strangled and our quest to redeem a just and natural right has been criminalized. Today we are now very clear. Beneath the rhetoric of free press and transparency is the iniquity of hegemony. ...

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Militarily defenseless, economically extremely dependent and vulnerable, subjected to propaganda aggression, international politics as such turned into a means of repression and control.

USA/NATO attack with impunity

A major characteristic of the military assaults launched since the end of the Cold War was that the defenders had no means to effectively protect themselves or even strike back in any meaningful way. With air superiority never challenged and air supremacy achieved within few days, communication and control planes flying in high altitude coordinating the effective use of forces, war planes and missiles coming in from far away strike day and night destroying infrastructure and other structures. Meanwhile the attacked see their communication system rendered nearly disfunctional, their lives torn in pieces and casulties rising.

None of the bases of the aggressors was ever target of any counter-attack nor were their cities. While most outrageous crimes are being committed in their name the people of the aggressor countries can be ensured that they will not be bombed in retaliation and their life will go on as usual. The idea that the DTS can oppress, destroy, bomb and kill with complete impunity was quite comfortable and made the people willing accomplices of their rulers and military machine.

How to develop some level of deterrence?

It seems clear and undeniable that countries could gain a certain level of protection from attacks by superior forces by deploying atomic bombs and medium or long range missiles. Any potential aggressor would face a much more difficult situation to evaluate and plan for, with serious negative consequences for the attacker potentially waiting.

In short, atomic bombs with delivery systems which could reach the aggressor countries or at least host countries of aggressor troops undoubtly establish a certain level of deterrence. Seen from this angle the proliferation of ABC weapons and missiles may be the only realistic approach for many countries to establich a successful defense posture.

The proliferation of atomic bombs and MRBMs or ICBMs may not bring peace but clearly has the potential to restrain the dominant military actors from attacking too easily. The violence of the oppressors hardly ever fails to achieve its main goals. Their incentive to continue what worked so well in the past is therefor strong and they will never stop until threatened themselves in a serious way.

It seems reasonable to assume that a widespread proliferation of atomic bombs would somewhat increase the risk that they may be used one day. Let us try to understand ths risks a little better.

During the Cold War, the scenario of failed early warning systems signalling incoming enemy missiles causing reactions spinning into an atomic war was a major threat and fear. But this threat very much resulted from the strategies and technological potential of the Cold War adversaries. They both had sophisticated and expensive monitoring and control systems, partly space based, and definitely out of reach for all but the major hegemonial powers themselves. And it was NATO's massive deployment of very fast and accurate missiles primarily in Germany and Italy, which could reach the Soviet Union within few minutes, which increased this risk immensely.

All other, but the US, EU and in to a certain extend Japan, Russia, and China, do not have the potential to develop any such early warning systems. They would remain vulnerable to a strategy of nuclear 'decapitation', in which the aggressor would try to destroy everything before the defender could retaliate, meaning within the first half hour of attack. It is most likely that the US will use such a strategy, combining anti-missile systems with massive missile attacks, to maintain their ability to wage war.

Using very fast missiles with a very small target radius and special penetrators to break missile silos deep in the ground any known or stationary missiles and warheads could be destroyed before being launched. Mobile launchers on the other side are extremely difficult or impossible to detect with any accuracy. Therefor even a sudden massive missile attack still leaves the possibility of retaliation open. One or two atomic bombs with appropriate missiles are enough to inflict serious damage and numerous fatalities.

War Propaganda: Fear and Terror

The attacks on the Twin Towers in New York September 11, 2001, offered the U.S.Americans a glimpse of the horrors they were spreading so generously throughout their history. It caused strong psychological reactions not just because it happened but because people had conveniently ignored the fact that they are vulnerable as well and that one day someone could strike back. The society reacted like expected, avoiding to look in the mirror and see themselves, weak and submissive, turning to even more violence and oppression.

Looking for quick and easy relief, people were more than willing to accept whatever was offered to them. Propaganda came to help overcome the feelings of anxiety, vulnerability and powerlessness, doubt and uncertainty, despair and discouragement. Reaffirming them in their righteousness and providing justification while restoring some level of certainty and feeling of security, thereby boosting their confidence and feeling of self-importance, propaganda proved itself indispensable for the individuals and able to mobilize people for war and repression while making them accept whatever is coming from the authorities.

... Particularly after a propaganda of fear and terror, the listener is left in a state of emotional tension which cannot be resolved by kind words or suggestions. Only action can resolve the conflict into which he was thrown. ...

The propagandist must try to find the optimum degree of tension and anxiety. This rule was expressly stated, among others, by Goebbels. ... As Goebbels indicated, anxiety is a double-edged sword. Too much tension can produce panic, demoralization, disorderly and impulsive action; too little tension does not push people to act; they remain complacent and seek to adapt themselves passively. ...

This ambivalence of propaganda, of creating tension is some cases and reducing it in others, explains itself largely, it seems to us, by the distinction between agitation propaganda and integration propaganda. The first, which aims at rapid, violent action, must arouse feelings of frustration, conflict, and aggression, which lead individuals to action. The latter, which seeks man's conformity with his group (including participation in action), will aim at the reduction of tensions, adjustment to the environment, and acceptance of the symbols of the symbols of authority. Moreover, the two factors can overlap. ...

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Chemical Weapons Attack in Tokyo

If we think about possible ABC terrorist attacks and a most reasonable target list, we will find the most violent and aggressive countries like, U.S.A., Russia and Israel on top of that list.

First of all let me point out that the deadliness of chemical warfare agents very much depends on the toxicity, concentration of agent and timespan of exposure as well as availability of accurate information and decontamination capacities. March 1995 sarin was released during the morning commute in the Tokyo Subway System killing 11 people and left more than 5500 ill. The scenario of an urban chemical attack is therefor valid, but the example also proves that it was far from being a mass destruction or mass extermination weapon.

We classified victims into three categories: mild severity patients were principally mobile and their symptoms were mainly eye problems related to miosis, rhinorrhea, and mild headache; moderate severity was indicated if victims were immobile or complained of moderate degree dyspnea, vomiting, severe headache or with neurologic complication like fasciculation; critical was indicated if victims had cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Critical Category

Of the 641 patients seen at SLIH on the day of the disaster, five were in critical condition. Three patients had cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) and two were unconscious and had respiratory arrest soon after arrival(Table 2). Of these five critically ill patients, three were successfully resuscitated and able to leave on hospital day 6. One CPA patient did not respond to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and died with findings of conspicuous miosis that continued even at the time of her death. A second patient with CPA was resuscitated but died on hospital day 28 due to irreversible brain damage. ...

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Difficulties with Biological Weapons

We don't know too much about biological warfare. There are several reasons for this:

Ecological destruction through exhaustion and plunder can be understood as biological weapons use. In this category would fall much of the 'Green Revolution' for example. Likewise many production facilities are using precious resources and releasing huge amounts of toxins into the environment and are to a certain extend a chemical/biological weapon use.

Whatever, for the sake of simplicity and reasons of incomparability i will further concentrate on nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Industry and Weapons

Uranium mining, nuclear power reactors, radioactive waste management and long-term storage, uranium enrichment and atomic bomb production are all extremely dangerous activities. We have therefor good reasons to fight for the immediate and complete shutdown of nuclear power plants and uranium enrichment in the regions where we live.

Significant portions of the U.S. uranium deposits lie under American Indian territory (reservations). Likewise for low-sulfur coal, oil, natural gas and important minerals such as bauxite and zeolites. This is still so despite centuries of genocide and land expropriations under different schemes.

... In the arid but energy-rich western United States, water is both prerequisite and integral to all forms of corporate development. The preponderance of western water is legally owned (by virtue of treaties) by various Indian nations. ... Of course, the federal government has systematically acted to diminish or effectively void most Indian exercise of water rights prerogatives.

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The circumstances correlated to the Navajo experience at Shiprock, Churchrock, Tuba City, and elsewhere and, in a slightly different sense, the experiences of the Lakota to the north are not anomalies. There is, and can be, no "safe" uranium mining, processing, or waste disposal, either now or in the forseeable future. Such facts can be denied, they can be argued upon debater's points or the exclusivity of narrow ranges of technical "expertise," but they cannot be made to go away in the real world where people and environments become contaminated, sicken and die.

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Don't help Defending the Monopoly

In western thinking, science and the development of new technological capabilities are generally valued as beneficiary activities. The myth of progress is so strong that it is hardly ever questioned seriously and no moral or spiritual limits are really imposed upon scientists.

With more and more production and services moved to world market production zones offering lower costs, the rich countries find themselves producing less and less of what they consume, while suffering more than ever from consumption related diseases, like addiction and emotional shopping, lifestyle, fashion, too much eating and other excessive modes of consumption. With these restructurings we saw an ever increasing importance of technological control and imposition of patent and intellectual property right regulations.

It is not surprising that those who depend most on technology to maintain and defend their way of life have strong interests in defending their technological advantages and monopolies. Control of money and credit on as well as information and technology are the key to control development and maintain dominance of the DTS. Multi- and transnational corporations and banks are at the forefront of the struggle to defend western civilization with the Pentagon and NATO being the ultimate enforcers of monetary relations and worldwide lines of communication.

In this context the question of proliferation of nuclear technology and control of its use appears simply as a way to defend the monopoly of the few against the others. There is no justification but right of the more powerful and racism.