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U.S. Works Up Plans for Using Nuclear Arms 1253

rjrjr writes: "The L.A. Times reports on the DoD's new stance on the use of nukes, including such comforting notions as nuclear bunker busters. What it all means is well explored in this cogent commentary."
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U.S. Works Up Plans for Using Nuclear Arms

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  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:33PM (#3138361) Homepage Journal ndex.html

  • Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kypper ( 446750 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:33PM (#3138363)
    The secret report, which was provided to Congress on Jan. 8, says the Pentagon needs to be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria.

    I've got a lovely bunch of nuclears...
    there they are all standing in a row...
    big ones, small ones, ones the size of your head
    Give em a twist, a flick of the wrist, that's what that monkey said.

    I have to ask... what has North Korea and Russia been doing lately to deserve this?
  • by Maditude ( 473526 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:37PM (#3138389)
    ... is NOT that it existed, but rather that it was published. Anyone have any insights why it wasn't kept secret?
  • by KartMan ( 565213 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:39PM (#3138396) Homepage
    Obviously the US has a lot of nuclear weapons sitting around, ready to be fired at any time. I, for one, am glad they are making these plans. If all of a sudden we're attacked I'd rather a large group of people spend time now planning what would be done than a few people make a quick irrational decision which could lead to global problems.
  • by 3nd3r ( 560984 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:40PM (#3138400)
    For them to write an explicit report stating names of countries where this could be used? Hello - America wake the fuck up - NUKES ARE BAD
  • by hs81 ( 62329 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:41PM (#3138407) Homepage
    Read the article. I love this line for a general catch all excuse for when the Pres. wants to vape a country.
    On a more serious note such a reason is very dangerous as it could apply to anything.If your going to define a policy on when to use nukes then you should have the obligation to make crystal clear the situations where the nuclear option would be considered.
    For any programmer out there could you imagine writing a functional spec using such loose and ambigious language?
  • Good thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goldbishop ( 314303 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:41PM (#3138408) Homepage
    Personaly I think it's a good thing. In fact it concerns me that the military wasn't ready to do that earlier. Personaly I think it's all a big PR move that means absolutely nothing. During operation Dessert Storm Bush made it quite clear to Saddam that if he used any WMD weapons against him we'd reciprocate with the kind of weapons that would wipe Iraq off the face of the Earth. I don't think it was a bluff and certainly such things require planning.

    It takes 2,200 warheads to cover what planners call "a full target list" (nice fluffy way of saying that we need 2200 little containers to end humanity). I'm hoping that we got those targets slected!
  • Bush-domination (Score:1, Insightful)

    by johanneswilm ( 549816 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:42PM (#3138413) Homepage
    This is not a matter of US world domination, it is a question whether Bush and his fellow capitalist will dominate the world. What difference will it make for farmers, programmers, dentists, teachers, etc. in the US if the US-President is a more powerfull man? None! But thats the great illusion. Why did so many German soldiers go to war for Hitler? Did they imagine that they themselfs would be better of after the war, if Germany would be a huge country? The problem is the illusion of NATIONS, and the answer is to wake up and to start understand the world in terms of classes!
  • by CodeRed ( 5676 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:44PM (#3138426) Journal

    Hmm what can be done: Nuke them, nuke us.

    Lets see.... outcome.... We dead, they dead.

    Yes, thats just great, and those who survive get to live in a radiated world.

    Time for you to watch a movie called "War Games" again :-P
  • Re:some more links (Score:1, Insightful)

    by yog ( 19073 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:47PM (#3138447) Homepage Journal
    It seems like positive news to me. The 3/10 article you reference mentions a shift from massive retaliation to "smart" retaliation. Specifically:
    Pentagon officials briefing reporters on the review in January indicated a lessening reliance on the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons as a deterrent to attack. They said that findings called for increasing reliance on precision-guided weapons to deter attacks.
    It seems to me that a new generation is in charge at the Pentagon, a post-WWII, Vietnam-scarred generation with a more realistic view of U.S. power. I'm glad to see them reappraising these 50-year-old strategies.
  • Re:Ugh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Knunov ( 158076 ) <eat@my.ass> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:48PM (#3138451) Homepage
    "I have to ask... what has North Korea and Russia been doing lately to deserve this?"

    I have to ask, what makes you think you know everything that goes on in Russia, Korea or anywhere else behind closed doors?

    Maybe people aren't as nice as you think.

  • by dextr0us ( 565556 ) <dextr0us AT spl DOT at> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:50PM (#3138464) Homepage Journal
    A little freaked that just in case blowing up caves werent enough, now we've got to incinerate them. It seems that the slogan is go big or go home, which i can agree with.
  • by flacco ( 324089 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:55PM (#3138484)
    I love this line for a general catch all excuse for when the Pres. wants to vape a country.

    On a more serious note such a reason is very dangerous as it could apply to anything.If your going to define a policy on when to use nukes then you should have the obligation to make crystal clear the situations where the nuclear option would be considered.

    What's the point of that? If you follow that logic strictly then you simply give the enemy a road-map around the obstacle of nuclear retaliation. That catch-all phrase simply says "if you threaten our vital interests in a way we haven't anticipated, you are taking a huge risk." Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

    For any programmer out there could you imagine writing a functional spec using such loose and ambigious language?

    Or, even more shocking, can you imagine someone comparing national nuclear policy-making to writing the functional spec for a computer program?

  • Re:Ugh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:55PM (#3138486)
    have to ask, what makes you think you know everything that goes on in Russia, Korea or anywhere else behind closed doors? Maybe people aren't as nice as you think.

    Right, as we all know, all nations other than the US and the UK are populated by fundamentally evil people with fundamentally diabolical master plans. They're not worrying about their incomes or their children like we are because they receive large block grants directly from Satan in order to allow them to concentrate on the destruction of white Christians.
  • by cybermage ( 112274 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:00PM (#3138509) Homepage Journal
    If, as the article suggests, this is a reaction to the vulnerability felt after the attacks of 9/11, then it is a poorly thought-out one.

    Stopping one person who is willing to die in an effort to do damage is a job for intelligence, not nukes.

    Nuclear deterrence may not be at all effective against rogue nations and terrorist organizations. Do you think Hussien would actually give a crap if tens of thousands of Iraqis die simply because we bomb a place we think he's hiding. If Iraq sets off some kind of non-nuclear attack against the US, would we seriously nuke Baghdad in response? Would he care?

    As for the likes of bin Laden, I would bet that if we promised to nuke him, he'd tell us where he is and setup a live television feed. This war would become US v Islam in the blink of an eye.

    While we cannot put the nuclear genie back in the bottle, accepting this fact should not make the use of nuclear weapons desireable. We've had a solution for hardened fortifications for a couple millenia. While nukes might bust an unbustable bunker, so will a good old-fasioned siege.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:00PM (#3138514)
    "scare factor". Interesting.

    several years after WWII and the use of The Bomb people began to lack in their attitudes towards the threat of nuclear war. Along came Castro and Kruschev and bam again the "scare" returned. It was quickly quelled by anti-nuclear weapons treaties, end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, etc.

    Now we are in the "next millenium" and what the fuck are we doing. Promoting the threat of the use to return and we're not scared of that?

    Just b/c it isn't US policy right now does NOT mean it doesn't increase the risk. Empty at this time or not, that statement moves us more towards fucking midnight than we want.

    Trust me.
  • by NumberSyx ( 130129 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:04PM (#3138535) Journal

    Simple. It's an intentional leak.

    This is absolutly correct. Iraq is our next target in the "War on Terrorism" and GW wants to make it clear to Hussien that use of Chemical/Biological weapons against US Troops will be meant with a nuclear strike, or at the very least the possiblity of a nuclear strike. It seems to me, we are turning back the clock, returning to the Cold War era. Suggested reading to see where this MIGHT be going, read "Russian Spring" by Norman Spinrad.

  • It is a good plan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:05PM (#3138545) Journal
    We need to have the capacity to use nukes against any country who has weapons of mass destruction or the capability to make them.

    It is called deterence.

    World peace is a pipe dream. There are bad people in the world, and they don't always get nicer if we ignore them.

    Appeasement is a failure. 1939 taught us that in a way that no one should ever forget.
  • by dawnsnow ( 8077 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:07PM (#3138550)
    I totally agree with this. That's why every country SHOULD have their own nuclear weapons. How convinient is that? If one country is under attack, all they can decide whether they should send nuclear missles away or not
  • by CrusadeR ( 555 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:08PM (#3138557) Homepage
    ...this is just the Nuclear Posture Review, which is similar to the Quadrennial Defense Review, but applied specifically to the strategic forces; i.e., it's a required report to Congress, and some elements are unclassified (and can be found here []).

    As to the specific recommendations, the only really worrying thing would be the insinuation that the DoD is investigating ways to utilize nuclear weapons in conventional tactical scenarios, but there's a hell of a lot of hurdles to clear before that can even be seriously considered, much less implemented. The nations listed in the LA Times report, the US' usual rogue's gallery of nations, were for the most part already included in the SIOP (Single Integrated Operational Plan, which is highly-classified even God needs SIOP-ESI clearance to see it) as smaller attack options (Selected/Limited), going back through the Clinton Administration, so that isn't really some kind of groundbreaking new policy.

    Furthermore, an understated policy of the US since the Gulf War has been to keep the nuclear option open in the event of some other mass attack (biological/chemical) as deterrence, so again, this isn't terribly new. I do find interesting that the DoD is looking more closely at new ways of neutralizing agents besides blowing up the factories and spreading them to the four winds though...

  • Anyone else? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:09PM (#3138560)
    Okay, is anyone else VERY disturbed by the article.
    The secret report, which was provided to Congress on Jan. 8, says the Pentagon needs to be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. It says the weapons could be used in three types of situations: against targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or "in the event of surprising military developments."

    They are already on thin ice with 3/4 of the planet because of Bush's idiotic "axis of evil" statements and now they are threatening to start nuking people!?! Russia is going through enough trouble as it is. They're fighting internal difficulties and are still hot at the US over the olympics. A statement like this is just the excuse that hard line factions in any one of these countries (along with half the arab world) need to take power.

    At a time when the US should be questioning, even for just a second, what they could have done that have convinced who knows how many terrorists that it is worth commiting SUICIDE as long as you die taking a shot at the US. When they should be thinking about why half the planet hates their guts and considers them pure evil? Maybe, just maybe they might have some legitimate beef to grind with the US. Now instead of trying to figure out what they've done wrong and trying to do better they invade and take over a nation. Remember that Afgahnistan, however repressive and unjust WAS a soveign nation who was attacked because they harboured an accussed terrorist who was never actually proven to be guilty, however obvious it seemed.

    But now the US has bettered that, instead of just blowing the crap out of a third world nation (hey where have we heard that before) the US has just said that they're willing to nuke ~1.5 (a little on the low side) out of the 6 billion people on the planet!! At least two of the countries (China and Russia) are two of the most powerful countries on the planet and are supposedly on somewhat nice terms with the US. Now we all know Bush is a gun tolling, nuke happy, big buisness loving, illiterate moron but has his arrogance over the US as the worlds nice police man watching all the evil little bullies truly gotten this great?
  • by Simba ( 15214 ) <> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:10PM (#3138567) Homepage

    That's an entirely different matter. I'm referring to American troops invading Iraq to get rid of Saddam.

    If he uses biological or chemical agents against American troops, then America turns him into so much glowing dust. That's a more powerful deterrant then some may think.

    The 9/11 issue was entirely different. If we went around and started blowing very large holes in Afghanistan, we not only would have had next to no idea who we were nuking, and would have destroyed all of the resulting evidence and information that was found. Nukes were not needed in that case, as the ground troops and airforce blew the hell out of them in short order. There was also nothing to deter-- they had already done what they had intended to do.

    Besides, the point here is not that the US will use Nuclear Weapons. The point is that it CAN use them and that it WILL use them if chemical/bio/etc agents are used against its people.

    The threat of force is not something to be taken lightly, least of all from the USA.

  • Re:Japan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:11PM (#3138570)
    But one won't be using that kind of reasoning if it was the USA that was nuked.
  • Re:Justified Usage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Explo ( 132216 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:18PM (#3138605)

    For fuck's sake wake up and smell the truth. The world is not , has never been, nor probably ever will be a nice place. Peace is purchased with superior firepower.

    How about using firepower that does not contaminate the target area for a large time, nor rise up radioactive dust that does not honor country boundaries much and so on? That's what I hate about nuclear, chemical and biological weapons ; these will cause longer and more widespread suffering and damage than just to a certain spot for much smaller time. Isn't the point of military operations to harm the opposite military, not their descendants and people tens or hundreds of kilometers away?

  • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:18PM (#3138606) Homepage
    Saddam Hussein is not a religious fanatic. He's quite pragmatic, actually, as he knows that *his* most favorable outcome comes from pleasing Russia and France with the potential for economic favoritism and getting those two, plus the other Arab nations, to oppose any further actions against them. If he were a fanatic, he'd probably already be dead.
  • Step back 20 years (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tazzy531 ( 456079 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:25PM (#3138631) Homepage
    The problem with this is that ever since the cold war era and afterwards, the greatest deterrent against the use of nuclear weapons is the fact of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). Knowing this and the idiocy behinds the huge arms race, there was a feeling of peace in that your enemy would not use nuclear weapons against use and you wouldn't use it against them. It was at an equilibrium (maybe not an ideal one, but still maintain stability in the world)

    Now with this new release, other countries are not so sure that the US will be holding back on the use of nuclear weapons. The only smart thing that they can do knowing this news is to build up their current stockpile and for those that don't have it, acquire it. The result of this is that it leads to greater instability in the world

    Let's think about it this way. Let's just say for example if "Australia" comes out tomorrow and announce that the US is a great terrorist nation and a part of the "Axis of Badpeople" and that at some point later on, the US has to be dealt accordingly. Do you think the US is going to sit back and wait until "Australia" attacks? No, the US will attack "Australia" preemptively because you pretty much know a battle is coming, why wait for the enemy to attack you.

    In my personal opinion, the current administration has done a great amount of damage to the world in terms of lodging it off of the fragile stability that it once was. Just to name a few events, the refusal to sign the Kyoto Pact, the refusal of signing the ban on Biological Weapons and Chemical Warfare, the withdrawal from the ARMS Control treaty with Russia, etc. I mean, how can the US morally attack countries like Iraq for producing Chemical weapons if the US is also producing (or "researching") Biological warfare. [Again, I'm in no way defending Iraq or any other nation..but it's just something to think about]

    Yes, September 11th was an horrible event. I live only 5 miles away from the WTC and unfortunately watched it happen. But what I find even more horrendous is the fact that the administration is using this as a scapegoat to attack people that were not directly involved, and along the way kill innocent civilians [] and/or detain the thousands of innocent people in this country

    Again, I am in no way condoning what was done on September 11th. But it is times like this that we have to step back and make sure that the people that are leading the nation are doing the right thing, and not just blindly follow like sheeps. That is what the core part of democracy is: the power of the people. Throughout history, we have seen situation where entire nations blindly followed the policies of its leaders (take WWII or Communism for example)
  • Re:Japan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:25PM (#3138634) Homepage Journal
    They had just begun negotiating when they dropped the bombs. The drops were more for show of force and scientific testing (ever wonder why they weren't dropped on an industrustrial target?). The allies have been made out to be the good guys in the war but no one can deny dresden and the like were cold blooded massacres.
  • by Oestergaard ( 3005 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:33PM (#3138666) Homepage
    Strange how people seem to believe that a superior force using bigger weapons is going to help against the inferior force that doesn't fight in a way where the size of weapons matter.

    Face it - the U.S. is a superior military force today. Using bigger or smaller bombs is not going to make one bit of difference.

    The way that other forces fight back, is naturally not by putting up their largest army, only to see it squashed by the bigger army. That would be silly. No, the way to conquor a larger state with your inferior army, is to strike them where they do not expect it. That is why someone used civil aircraft as bombs on Sept. 11th. Whether we like it or not, it's the rational choice (if you can talk about "rational" and "warfare" in the same sentence...).

    Now before you condemn what I say here - think about it. If you were at war with a superior force, would you line up in rows and columns to be slaughtered by the superior force, or would you rather be smart and make a difference ?

    One thing's certain; using bigger bombs is not going to make fewer people strike back. I fail to see the logic behind this escalation, should it pass.

    And no, I do not applaud what's been happening in the world lately. If you think I do, read this post again. Re-iterate as you must.
  • Re:Japan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:43PM (#3138716) Journal
    1) Japanese negotiation was not especially serious. Certain hardline elements in the military would never have even considered surrender. And even if they were starting to be serious, there was no way for America to know it.
    2) The bombs were dropped as a show of force (that ended the war), but the idea that it was some form of scientific testing (other than incidental) is laughable. America had plenty of places to test nukes, and it used them.
    2) A large number of Americans, who didn't happen to have started the war, would have died during the time the negotiation took.
    3) The bombs worked to end a war that had killed millions, with only a couple hundred thousand casualities.
  • Re:11:53 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xonker ( 29382 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:54PM (#3138774) Homepage Journal
    I'm part of a generation which grew up expecting a nuclear war.

    No kidding. I was sure that at any moment during Reagan's presidency there would be a nuclear war. It went away (mostly) after the Soviet Union crumbled, but it's been nagging my brain since Sept. 11.

    It's really hard to take a day job seriously anymore, or worring about retirement... it seems like such a joke now. If you're not going to be killed, then some asshole like Ken Lay will vaporize your 401K and you'll spend your retirement years scraping for change, working at McDonalds or something just to get by...

    Does this mean I get to do cocaine again?

    Well, this is the 21st century. Try Ecstacy, I think it's cheaper. (I admit to being clueless on this front -- I've never tried either...)
  • by jgalun ( 8930 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:55PM (#3138780) Homepage
    The situations in Korea and the Middle East hardly deteriorated since 9/11. The Second Intifada has been ongoing and escalating for 17 months, and North Korea had done little to reciprocate South Korea's sunshine policy before 9/11 as well. Now, 9/11 and the Axis of Evil may have made these situations worse, but they certainly weren't too great before 9/11 either.

    You say that:

    In the last couple years, Israel/Palestine and North and South Korea were at the table discussing. (It may or may not have actually developed a peace plan, but the important part was the ability to discuss)..

    One popular view in conflict resolution is all that is required to end conflicts is to get both sides to talk until they recognize the humanity of each other, gain trust in their enemy, and moderate their own positions. This is the left-wing position - everyone has shared humanity, and if we just talk enough we can resolve our problems. There's an older, more conservative position, which disagrees. That position says that people stop fighting when one side beats the shit out of the other, or at least when there is enough violence that both sides gets tired of fighting.

    Now, I admit that the left-wing position is nicer. But I am not convinced that it is always correct. The Palestinians for years did not just want their own state, but wanted to destroy Israel as well. It was Israel's military strength that made them change their goal - not frank discussions with Israelis that made them recognize shared humanity. Similarly, Israelis don't want to keep the territories any more because they know it will cost them too many lives.

    Meanwhile, both Israelis and Palestinians hate the idea of a peace "process" now, because they see it as all "process" and no "peace." In other words, too much talking.
  • Re:11:53 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @03:57PM (#3138788)
    Considering it was the Republicans that ended the Cold War... Otherwise we'd be defenseless and the Soviet Union would still be around.
  • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:02PM (#3138814)
    Are you out of your mind? No one is going to feel any sympathy whatsoever for a group that uses nukes to make a political point. The standing policy of the US for forever has been, "hit us with a weapon of mass destruction, and you get nuked to hell". Remember? It's called MAD - mutually assured destruction. Despite what some idiots doing reporting today will tell you, there's a clear and definable difference between acting and reacting. The two are _not_ morally equivalent. Besides, do you really give a damn about what some part of the world who's cheering for you getting nuked in the first place is going to think when they get hit back? You had a million Arabs cheering on 9/11 and then crying about the poor people in Afghanistan when they got what they deserved (probably better, in fact). Do you really care what some mullah in Iran is saying about the injustice of the US in Afghanistan? Of course not, because that same asshole was preaching about Allah's goodness to kill 3000 infidels. As to the silly assertation that no one but a terrorist group would launch a nuclear attack, remember that in some countries, dying while resisting the infidels (as some would call nuking us) gets you to be a martyr, and that means 72 virgins at your beck and call! If death is a reward, then they have nothing to lose. That's part (not _all_, I'm not going to stupidly assign all blame to the PA) of the current Middle East problems - if you educate everyone that killing some Israelis is a good thing that gets you to heaven, and dying will get you hooked up, why the hell should you ever stop fighting? You can't negotiate with someone who literally has nothing to lose. Sorry if I sound a tad bit blood-thirsty, but I'm just sick and tired of sucking up to countries that hate us and actively support people who kill Americans in the name of G-d. -Erwos
  • by jgalun ( 8930 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:04PM (#3138821) Homepage
    You've got to love political discussions on a computer message board. Yes, your ten leading questions are all valid and true - but they all tell only one part of the story. You introduce no context.

    1. Which is the only country on the planet that's used a nuclear weapon on civilians?

    Ignoring the context of a war in which the aggressors (Japan and Germany) committed the most horrible atrocities ever witnessed, ignoring the fact that both sides had already attacked civilian populations, ignoring the fact that the firebombing of Dresden caused more deaths than those nuclear weapons, ignoring the fact that it was believed (and justifiably) that ending the war with two massive bombs would cause fewer deaths than a ground invasion.

    2. Have more Americans been killed at the hands of Iraqis, or have more Iraqis been killed at the hands of Americans?

    Ignoring the context of why there are sanctions, who is really responsible for those Iraqi deaths (in the northern region of Iraq, governed by the UN since the end of the war, infant mortality rates and so forth have gone down, not up, even though they are under the same sanctions regime), why other nations oppose the US removing Saddam Hussein and thereby removing a threat to other nations and allowing us to end the sanctions and return weapon inspectors.

    3. Who's killed more innocent civilians? Al Quaeda in the United States, or the United States military in Afghanistan?

    Ignoring the fact that the one study showing that the US has killed 4,000 in Afghanistan has been called into heavy question (Human Rights Watch and Reuters both came up with much lower number of casualties), ignoring the fact that Al Qaeda purposely targetted civilians and the US did not, ignoring the fact that Al Qaeda wants to create Islamic fundamentalist rule and the US has removed the Taliban and organized aid to Afghanistan, etc.

    I could go into more detail on all these points, and also cover your other points, but I think you get the idea. The point is, don't accept bon mots or witticisms as replacements for actually thinking through the whole issue.
  • by BoyPlankton ( 93817 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:05PM (#3138831) Homepage
    1. Which is the only country on the planet that's used a nuclear weapon on civilians?

    United States of America. Not the only country that has used Weapons of Mass Destruction against civilians though.

    3. Who's killed more innocent civilians? Al Quaeda in the United States, or the United States military in Afghanistan?

    I don't think anyone really knows the answer to this question. One of the problems is that many of the "documented" civilian deaths in the early days of the bombing capaign were propaganda by the Taliban, and no independant sources have verified their claims. I don't believe that you can trust either side for accurate numbers on this issue.

    5. Who recently said that getting Bin Laden, the architect of the Sept 11th attacks, was no longer a primary military objective in Afghanistan?

    Maybe he's no longer in Afghanistan. That would mean that he could no longer be a primary military objective there, right?

    7. List the number of Americans being held in captivity by enemy forces even though they've had nothing to do with American foreign policy. Now, list the number of people of Arabic descent being held by American forces even though they've had nothing to do with the Sept 11th terrorist attacks.

    The State Department figures that around 2,500 Americans [] are arrested every year in Foreign nations. I haven't found a single documented case of someone of Arabic descent being held without them also being charged with a legitimate crime (usually immigration violations). I disagree with bringing in Arabs for questioning, which has been done without evidence linking them to crimes.

    8. Any feasible pipeline built from the oil fields just off the Caspian Sea is going to need to go through Afghanistan. True or False?

    False. It could also go through Iran.

    9. Define the word "Terrorism" in absolute terms. Now, in 50 words or less, state whether or not the School of the Americas trains terrorists and why.

    I don't believe that the School of the Americas trains soldiers to be terrorists. I believe that a few of it's graduates have committed terrorists acts, and probably would have with or without the training they received at SOA.

    10. Afghanistan's Taliban regime was notorious in its poor treatment of women. Now, list all the countries that have a similar record of such treatment, but are still allies of the United States.

    We didn't go in there with the intention to liberate women. Even though, I agree with you, I don't think that we should ally ourselves with foreign powers that don't provide their citizens with the same freedoms and protections that we provide ours with.
  • appalling. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by supernova87a ( 532540 ) < minus language> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:17PM (#3138906)
    I'm 26 years old, and I don't think there has been anything in my life that has been more directly shocking to me and what I perceive my future to be than this announcement. Not even the Sept. 11 attacks compare to this demonstration of *intent* to use nuclear weapons in battle if necessary. Sorry, but the loss of 5000 people on that day is not enough to justify unleasing the nuclear floodgates on the world. How dare we.

    Even India and Pakistan testing their nuclear stuff was of less concern to me than this situation. They're developing countries, trying to posture against each other, and at least with them, you figure they're just using the weapons to compete and deter each other.

    But in this case, we've got the world's superpower, announcing that it's ready (yes, what do you think a contingency plan means? it means they're ready to do it) to use nuclear weapons of all sizes against whomever they believe to be the enemy. On its own, without giving a damn about the rest of the world.

    I know that the military is not directly linked to the administration in the White House, but you'd better believe that GW Bush made this attitude possible. This is unbelievable, and endangers all of our lives, seriously. How dare we say that we have the right to go around the world and root out our enemies, bombing the shit out of lands just because we believe that they're hiding somewhere.

    This administration has destroyed our credibility and leverage among our neighbors and I'm not sure how big the repercussions will be in the long run for all of us. It's time to stop the childish attitudes and understand what our role in the world is. It's not just "whatever we want because they're the bad guys, and because we can".
  • by glasser ( 96098 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:25PM (#3138942) Homepage
    Take a look at the byline at the bottom of the commentary [].

    William M. Arkin is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and an adjunct professor at the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He is also a consultant to a number of nongovernmental organizations and a regular contributor to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Officials are looking for nuclear weapons that could help against a foe like Al Qaeda.

    No, I don't understand the last sentence either...
  • No it's not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by himi ( 29186 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:30PM (#3138964) Homepage
    Would tactical nukes deterr terrorists? Hardly.

    All this does is up the stakes in any conflict that the US gets involved in, and encourages people who don't like the US to develop their own nukes, and to deploy them in ways that will make deterrence irrelevant.

  • by PharCyDE ( 101385 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:31PM (#3138972)
    The report says the Pentagon should be prepared to use nuclear weapons in an Arab-Israeli conflict, in a war between China and Taiwan, or in an attack from North Korea on the south. They might also become necessary in an attack by Iraq on Israel or another neighbor, it said.

    the united states coming to intervene on the side of israel, how kind. maybe we should just give the nukes to israel with the other weapons we supply them, so we dont feel as bad when they use them on the arabs, terrorist to you..freedom fighters to others, only trying to get back their homeland?

    The secret report, which was provided to Congress on Jan. 8, says the Pentagon needs to be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria

    i do not believe that the united states would ever really drop nukes on russia, or china. but listing them out like that only fules the belief that the united states targets muslim countries...

    Yet it acknowledges that the huge Russian arsenal, which includes about 6,000 deployed warheads and perhaps 10,000 smaller "theater" nuclear weapons, remains of concern.

    The administration has proposed cutting the offensive nuclear arsenal by about two-thirds, to between 1,700 and 2,200 missiles, within 10 years.

    does this baffle anyone else? why do we need several thousand?? why does anyone need several thousand... so after the first wave.. we'll keep bombing so we can try and kill the roaches too??

  • Cyber warfare (Score:4, Insightful)

    by javilon ( 99157 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:38PM (#3139002) Homepage
    From the article:

    It calls for improvements in the ability to "exploit" enemy computer networks, and the integration of cyber-warfare into the overall nuclear war database "to enable more effective targeting, weaponeering, and combat assessment essential to the New Triad."

    No wonder why the germans are looking at open source from a national security perspective!

    I know that U.S.A. is not an enemy of EU, but looking at the fascist direction things are taking in the U.S.A. (Bush said: you are with me or against me) and the fact that computer software comes from U.S.A., Europe should be careful.

  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:42PM (#3139022) Homepage
    Contigency nuke plans for Canada?!?

    Sheezus, with friends like the USA, who needs enemies? :-(
  • by apidya ( 31789 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:53PM (#3139066)
    a deterent is only any good if it works.

    i read a quote from Donald Rumsfeld in the paper today: "The terrorists who struck us on September 11 were clearly not deterred from doing so by the massive US nuclear arsenal."

    honestly, i sometimes think that Donald Rumsfeld is overshadowed in stupidity only by George W. Bush himself. of course the terrorists weren't deterred by a Nuclear Arsenal, they were about to fly jet planes into skyscrapers and kill themselves in the process!

    i'm fairly sure they weren't thinking "oh, i'd better not, otherwise i might get killed by a future US nuclear strike." Also, given their apparent religious fanatacism, i doubt they would have let a nuclear strike on their home country affect them either, that would have been brushed off simply as countrymen and family dying for the cause.

    How can any number of any kind of devastating weapons of mass destruction be of any use whatsoever against people with that kind of mindset?

    omtimes i wonder at how some people think, and i'm not just thinking of the terrorists here!

    besides, having nuclear weapons and using them are two very different things.

    imagine the global outcry if the USA detonated nuclear devices in combat. and given that as far as i'm aware, no-one has done that since 1945, it's also a possiblity that terrorists/bad people might think that america is all talk and no trousers in this regard. and personally i hope they're right.
  • Insanity. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:04PM (#3139113) Homepage
    You're an idiot. If the US dropped a nuke on anybody it would instantly lose every ally it has in Europe and NATO with the exception of the UK. China, North Korea and Russia would become loose cannons in a new, unbalanced (3-to-1) cold war which could quickly turn hot, possibly even as a matter of course. US embassies in every part of the globe would be shut down in response and US citizens anywhere around the world would be in immediate danger.

    Worse, if the US were to drop "the" bomb on Baghdad specifically, it would also have every last Arab state aligned specifically against it as well; worldwide terrorism would increase 1000% and would be supported by all of the eastern nations either covertly or even explicitly. "The west" would suddenly find itself reduced to "US, Canada, UK" and positioned vs. The Entire East including most of Europe, as well as in a full-scale Protestant vs. Islam war which could last for centuries.

    The fact that there are people out there who actually think that the US could *improve* international relations and world peace by using nuclear weapons demonstrates just how disconnected Americans are from reality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:06PM (#3139122)
    and I don't think there has been anything in my life that has been more directly shocking to me and what I perceive my future to be than this announcement. Not even the Sept. 11 attacks compare to this demonstration of *intent* to use nuclear weapons in battle if necessary.

    this statement alones shows what an idiot you are. The U.S. government always prepares for contingencies for using nukes. The only surprise is that this one is publicized. You don't want to show your hand to the enemy, so they can ante up or call your bluff. To compare this congressionally mandated review to 9/11 is just plain idiotic.

    Even India and Pakistan testing their nuclear stuff was of less concern to me than this situation.

    Christ almighty. India and Pakistan have fought 3 wars in the last 50 years, and are still fighting over Kashmir.

    I'm not gonna waste any more time with this karma whoring nonsense. I just had to respond because a few idiot moderators upped it up.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:12PM (#3139149)
    The weapons that are being proposed, sub-kiloton, are not the same "Bomb" as those developed in those heady days of MAD and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    These weapons are cleaner than anything used in World War Two, smaller than anything used in World War Two and very capable of being a good deterant to people that might use Biological or Chemical weapons against a nuclear armed foe.

    The reason I say they might be deter a foe is, the weapons that the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and China have now are too big and thus unusable from a political point of view. A smaller weapon that is actually usable from a tactical standpoint would actually be more humane than many of the systems in use now.

    Had the Allies used a few small nuclear devices during the Gulf War in 1991 or Desert Fox in 1998 against hardened Iraqi facilites would have ended Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological dreams and allowed the United Nations to end the sanctions.

    Small tactical nuclear devices DO NOT move the world closer to "midnight". SS-25 Satan's with 20 megaton warheads and Trident D-5s with 10 225 kiloton warheads do.
  • by BoyPlankton ( 93817 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:19PM (#3139181) Homepage
    Saddam Hussein is not a religious fanatic.

    You're right. He's not a religious fanatic. Power hungry madman is more appropriate. That's the only way that I can describe someone who has used weapons of mass destruction [] against his political opposition.
  • Re:Japan (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:36PM (#3139253)
    "Dropping a nuke after your enemy surrenders is disgusting."

    Agreed. Thank heavens we didn't do this with Japan.

    Y'know what's really disgusting? When the fucking nips wake you outta bed bombing the shit out of a us.

    Despite being in peaceful negotiations at the time.

    Japan is lucky we only nuked them twice. If I were in charge, Japan, China and Korea would be glass because frankly, I can't tell any of them apart.

    You're welcome.
  • Re:No first use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RayBender ( 525745 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:37PM (#3139264) Homepage
    If we don't act, 250 million Americans (and a billion or two people in the rest of the world) will die. Or we can nuke the bastard. Maybe a few million will die if the nut has it in the middle of his capital city, but you will have a very hard time finding anyone who says that a few billion innocent deaths is preferable one-tenth of one percent of that number dying in a preemptive strike intended to save those lives.

    More importantly, when you've vaporized all the evidence, you won't have any pesky reporters claiming it was actually a factory producing penicillin instead of smallpox...

  • Re:No first use (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsidd ( 6328 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @05:50PM (#3139365)
    The other replies have made the points I planned to make, but there's a larger issue.

    If you decide to nuke the nut's city to get the nut, how does that make you different from the nut?

    Since George W Bush has repeatedly shown his contempt for the rest of the world, international law, the environment, the future of the planet, why aren't other governments justified in nuking Washington to get that nut who's threatening the rest of the world with nukes?

    Simply because America happens to be the self-proclaimed "leader of the free world"?

    Real leadership can only come if you build respect. The US has dissipated its goodwill in Europe astonishingly quickly -- all the sympathy after Sept 11 took just a few months to evaporate. If the US is to be different from the USSR and other "evil empires", it has to learn to be responsible.

  • Re:Japan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChadN ( 21033 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @06:20PM (#3139512)
    The Japanese military alone murdered *far* more civilians (predominantly in China and south-east Asia), in ways that are at least as gruesome and calculated as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To say the bombing was one of the worst single acts in human history, is only to say that WWII itself was one of the worst times in human history (hardly an arguable statement).

    The vast majority of deaths in that war were non-combatants... Nearly 100,000,000 total deaths by some estimates. If anything, the bombs took attention from the horrific attrocities which the Japanese military and government perpetrated, and which they have never even had to officially acknowledge.
  • Flawed Logic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cheshire Cat ( 105171 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @06:22PM (#3139523) Homepage
    Maybe America should find a couple of cities that al'qaeda recognize as sacred, and then nuke them killing millions of civilians. Then they could say "give up now, or we bomb 2 more cities". I mean, it worked in Japan, and we all know the American government has the PR capability to turn it all around and make it seem like they are the good guys. :)

    Unfortunately your logic is flawed. When the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, it was to end a war begun by the Japanese government. Their goverment had the power to cease hostilities. Unfortunately, doing the same thing to an Afghan city will not cause the al Qaeda terrorists to end their violence against the West. If anything, this will only encourage them, as it will be perceived by the Islamic world that the US is fighting the Muslims. Thus, dropping nuclear bombs on Afghanistan will be counter-productive to American goals.

  • Watch the birdie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linklater ( 150763 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @06:45PM (#3139629) Homepage
    So now the Anglo American military machine is threatening nuclear warfare. Not against one potential enemy, but seven. Now the cold war with Russia is over, the new enemy of the people, terrorism, is used as an excuse for escalation of military armament and government surveillance. The truth is that the real enemy of the military/industrial complex will never be defeated. The real enemy of those in power are the general population. Only through fear and propaganda can their reign of terror and oppression continue. An educated and organised public would not tolerate this lunacy.

    America does not passively sit back and defend itself against enemies when they pop up, they spend billions not in defence, but in offence, creating a world where military might controls less powerful countries by force. The lapdog of the UK is no better - sent in where 'diplomacy' and 'peace keeping' would be more effective than direct action - loyal to the last, and the largest aircraft carrier on earth. They cannot be stopped - they are out of control.

    America will never be safe as long as the current tyranny is in power.

    Terror is defined as illegal use of force to effect foreign powers. In this technique, America reigns supreme.

    Look beyond the details and the supposed motives. Look at how the world is controlled. Look at how the gap between rich and poor is getting wider. Look at why humanity is not moving forward. Read some Chomsky.

    We are at a pivotal point in history. We now have the ability to clothe, house, feed and educate every human on the planet, bar none, yet we waste our energies bickering over who owns what and killing innocents. Instead of watching the birdie, look at how the puppetmasters are raping the world.

    This wasn't a leak - it was a controlled threat made public to keep the people feeling scared and insecure. To keep the inertia of new oppressive laws going. To guarantee the flow of taxes from patriotic Americans to the backpockets of those in power. If Bush was really serious about dropping nukes on those who threaten world peace, he'd drop one on the whitehouse.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @06:50PM (#3139653) Homepage
    • If, as the article suggests, this is a reaction to the vulnerability felt after the attacks of 9/11, then it is a poorly thought-out one.

    I don't think so. It's the inevitable response, given the tack we took.

    A lot of people in the world hate the USA, and not all of them are insane. A lot of them quite rationally detest US foreign policy, because every time the USA steps in to a third party conflict, it makes a friend and an enemy (remember, in any conflict, both sides view themselves as the Good Guys, or the justified victims, or the Chosen of God). Making enemies is the cost of getting involved. Before this once again gets interpreted as justifying September 11th, take a clue check. The murderers who did that were stone cold evil motherfuckers. But just because they're Bad Guys doesn't automatically make us the Good Guys. That's kiddie matinee morality.

    After September 11th, we had two choices. We could have said "Sorry for taking lives to save lives, we won't get involved again,", or we could have done what we did and said (effectively) "No more Mr Nice Guy. You will fear us more than you hate us."

    When your foreign policies kill (or are perceived to have killed) all of someone's family, you have very little leverage left over them. You can't personally threaten a suicide attacker, nor can you enter a rational dialogue and explain why their family had to die to preserve Freedom. You can either humble yourself and say sorry, again and again and again, or you can escalate and say "Rain of fire on your entire nation, buddy. Just try us." and you have to keep escalating, in word and deed until it is quite clear what the consequences of fucking with you are.

    Personally, I think we've taken the easy way, and the wrong way. Spending trillions of dollars on defence means never having to say you're sorry. Is saying sorry that high a price to pay?

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @06:57PM (#3139686)
    They haven't DONE anything. That's why these are CONTINGENCY plans. Russia has the ablility to nuke us, hence if there were a revolution (entirely possible, the country's really not too stable), bringing to power some evil Hitler-type, then these plans might be necessary.

    North Korea, on the other hand, would love to destroy America if they could, but they can't. Should they develop that ability, then these plans might be necessary.

    So, basically these plans specifically target those nations that either hate the US, or have the ability to attack us with nukes, but not necessarily both.

  • Re:No first use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArsSineArtificio ( 150115 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @07:00PM (#3139704) Homepage

    Since George W Bush has repeatedly shown his contempt for the rest of the world saving it from Islamic fundamentalism and nuclear terrorism, right...

    international law

    There is no such thing as "international law". There are such things as treaty obligations, and GWB has broken no treaties. (Before you start whining about the ABM treaty, that treaty provided that the signatories could withdraw with six months notice. We gave our six months notice.)

    the environment

    By refusing to ratify the daffy Kyoto treaty, which would result in mass starvation and which other nations are now realizing they don't want to implement?

    the future of the planet

    As if this somehow were a meaningful statement.

    why aren't other governments justified in nuking Washington to get that nut who's threatening the rest of the world with nukes?

    ... and, if you read the article, you'd see that the United States is not "threatening the rest of the world with nukes", it is assembling contingency plans for what happens if somebody attacks us.

    Congratulations. You've won the troll pentathlon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @07:11PM (#3139753)
    the fact that this garbage gets modded up is clearly shows the moderators' left wing bent. anyone who takes him seriously is in serious need of having their head examined. The world was much safer during the cold war?? you must not have heard about the cuban missile crisis, bomb shelters, and etc.

    the spies who helped the U.S.S.R was heroes? they only helped the most murderous regime of the 20th century.


  • Re:Justified Usage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kwil ( 53679 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @07:47PM (#3139905)
    Superior firepower only purchases peace from those afraid to die.

    Don't forget that either.
  • by Lars T. ( 470328 ) <.moc.liamelgoog. .ta. .regearT.sraL.> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @08:43PM (#3140118) Journal
    I know you are rabidly opposed to the American government and military,

    So how do you know that, Anonymous Cowdung?

    but in a political climate such as our current one, planning nuclear strikes against likely enemies is a sad necessity.

    A) Anybody who even thinks about using nuclear weapons as tacticals, even if against countries who do not have ICBMs, is nuts.

    B) Anybody who tells current allies that he considers nuking them is stupid.

    C) Anybody who thinks .de stands for Denmark is -errm- "uninformed".

    D) Anybody who thinks that nuclear weaapons are "simply faster and more effictve" must also think that four hijacked airplanes are "simply faster and more effictve" and cheaper weapons. You are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

  • by Goonie ( 8651 ) <> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @09:02PM (#3140180) Homepage
    It WOULD be appropriate and utterly defensible to use nukes against a country that hit us with chemical or biologicals. Any such country foreits it right to exist.

    No, it wouldn't. If nukes were the only way to ensure no further attacks occurred, sure. But to wipe out an entire people, most of whom weren't responsible, purely for revenge? That's unworthy of a civilized human being, and were you the person that ordered such a thing (or carried out such an order knowing you were deliberately mass-murdering civilians) you would be the worst war criminal since Hitler (and, yes, the analogy is relevant for once).

  • by linklater ( 150763 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @09:06PM (#3140197) Homepage
    There's so much about this supposed war that stinks to high heaven. From the vote rigging which happened in florida when Bush stole the presidency (oh, which was censored from the USA media, BTW), to the fact that Osama Bin Ladens estranged family were in the USA on 9-11 going through 'business as usual' with the American elite.

    Is it any coincidence that Bush's Daddy is knee-deep in the Carlyle group, a very quiet group of powerful people (John Major being one of them) which has fingers in lots of pies, notably United Defence, which would profit greatly from an escalation of military spending.

    Don't you wonder at the fact that Bin Laden was originally funded by the CIA in the early 80s to create a fundamentalist Muslim guerilla army that would ensnare the Russians in a war they couldn't win. Once that war was faught and Bin Laden realised how he was manipulated to serve US foreign policy no wonder 9-11 happened. Now he's the devil trying to ruin the stability of the world. The only stabilty at stake here is US dominance of natural resources and the 'free' market.

    Ever wonder how the supposedly 'free' press can be consored at the whim of the governments - a call to 'national security' is all it takes.

    Since Bush has come into power the rest of the world has grown to hate USA policy more and more. Withdrawal from Kyoto, repeated illegal military incursions into tin-pot countries who disobey the will of America. Now this nuclear threat... This reminds me of the propaganda of the early 80s when the 'free world' had to prepare itself for conflict with Russia - yeah, like Russia was any kind of threat in the 80s... It was Reagan fscking with us. Since the collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989 the USA has been desperately trying to find someone to blame the shitty state of it's foreign policy on - it has conveniently aimed its cross-hairs at the nameless and faceless target of 'international terrorism'. How convenient... Check the pictures of the impact on the pentagon - do you really believe a 200 tonne aircraft hit that building ? Do a google search and see what's out there.

    If you want to understand terrorism more - find out why Bin Laden is so pissed at America. Don't get lost in the nationalistic furore and blood-lust. Don't listen to he propaganda of the mass media - do some critical thinking and make your own conclusions.

    And don't believe elections are the answer either. You're made to believe you are voting for change when every policy which really makes an impact on the world is taken care of in private, without concerning the dosile and irrelevant public. Shut up, watch the Simpsons, drink a Bud, have a Big Mac, pay your taxes, and take a vote between these two stage shows of 'political opinion' every four years. That's how you are supposed to behave in a democracy - you are free to choose from a limited selection - this is not freedom. While a dictatorship controls its population via force, a democracy controls its population by propaganda, calls to patriotism and coercion.
  • wake up now please (Score:1, Insightful)

    by agon6 ( 565613 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @09:15PM (#3140221)
    we are all on a lump of rock floating in what could well be an infinite universe (that's pretty big by the way) and all we do is pick fights with each other. i don't care about anyone's idea of right and wrong, just think for a second, each and every one of us is alive (lets not pick philosophical holes right now), why would you wish to end someone else's life, because of some stupid beliefs hammered into you from birth by whichever society you were unlucky enough to be born into, don't give me that "but they're no better" or "they started it" sh-t, don't tell me how YOU'RE religion just so happens to be the right one, stop making excuses for not wanting to open your eyes. there are no easy answers it seems, so perhaps it's time we all started working together to see what we can do as an intelligent lifeform out here among the stars instead of ending it all with a megaton full stop
  • by thogard ( 43403 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @10:12PM (#3140425) Homepage
    Is this just one more bit of spin to start a new arms race? Anyone with 1/2 clue will see that the arms race with the great evil Russia resulted in lots of new cool stuff and put the US in the lead with technology. Now most of that stuff is made in third world countries and imported. The US has a nasty unemployment problem with its technical sector and an arms race would get enough of the American public behind it to justify the expenses.
  • by crmartin ( 98227 ) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @11:27PM (#3140703)
    Actually, nothing has changed except someone at the LA Times decided to get overheated about it. One of those things that people forget (repeatedly) is that there's this whole great big five-sided building in the DC area full of people asking "what if this happens?" and working out the answers. Undoubtedly, there are also plans for using nuclear weapons against Israel and even France, if you just check the right file drawer.
  • From Now On... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Monday March 11, 2002 @12:59AM (#3141109) Journal

    ...everybody in government should have to put a little disclaimer on their policy statements, something like this:

    The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of my employer

    In this case, the "employer" is We The People of the United States.

    I wager that most of us have no desire to nuke Russia, which is making remarkable progress towards becoming a free society. Come to think of it, most of us have no desire to nuke anybody unless they nuke us first.

  • Machiavelli (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squeeze Truck ( 2971 ) <> on Monday March 11, 2002 @02:16AM (#3141324) Homepage

    I hold it to be of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and insulting words towards any one, for neither the one nor the other in any way diminishes the strength of the enemy; but the one makes him more cautious, and the other increases his hatred of you, and makes him more persevering in his efforts to injure you

    - Machiavelli
  • by bumbadi ( 564517 ) on Monday March 11, 2002 @03:13AM (#3141482) Homepage
    They proposed the CTBT as an instrument to prevent nuclear have nots from becoming haves. For, in world populated with nuclear weapons, superiority in conventional weapons means nothing. Having a nuke does not constitute an advantage unless the other guy does not have it.

    And they berated India & Pakistan for seeing throught this strategem and not signing the treaty. Abd you know what? they themselves haven't signed it.

    US posseses the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and is the only country to have dropped one. Unless the US can drop nukes on others, and escape retaliation, they are of no use. Hence the missile defense program.
  • so... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday March 11, 2002 @04:06AM (#3141578) Homepage Journal

    are you at war with eurasia or oceania?

    it's becoming ever more obvious that warfare is domestic rather than foreign politics. being a european I just hope that you make another revolution before this time we have to come over to your site of the atlantic to get rid of the fascists.
  • Re:appalling. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bumbadi ( 564517 ) on Monday March 11, 2002 @04:53AM (#3141683) Homepage
    Perhaps this is news to you, but US is the only country in the world to have ever used a nuke. It has the world's largest arsenal of nukes, and the capability to deliver it. It is one of the few countries that have a habit of nosing into others affairs, and has shown the tendency to use force at the slighest pretext. It funded the mujahedeen in Afganistan, then funded the taliban, it masscared the vietnamese, it has put a stranglehold on Iraq, leading to shortage of food and medicines. It kills afgan civilians on the sightest suspicion that they are Al-qaeda.That's why the news is dangerous. That's why the US is the greatest threat to world security.Period.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal