Nuclear Terror at Home

by By Noam Chomsky
posted on February 26, 2005

If you can imagine some rational observers from Mars looking at this
curious species down here, I don't think they'd put very high odds on
survival - another generation or two. In fact, it's kind of miraculous
that we've come along this far.

The world has come extremely close to total destruction just in recent
years from nuclear war. New Mexico plays an important role in this.
There's case after case where a nuclear war was prevented almost by a
miracle. And the threat is increasing as a consequence of policies that
the administration is very consciously pursuing.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld understands perfectly well that
these policies are increasing the threat of destruction. As you know,
it's not a high probability event, but if a low probability event keeps
happening over and over, there's a high probability that sooner or
later it will take place.

If you want to rank issues in terms of significance, there are some
issues that are literally issues of survival of the species, and
they're imminent. Nuclear war is an issue of species survival, and the
threats have been severe for a long time.

It's come to the point where you can read in the most sober respectable
journals warnings by the leading strategic analysts that the current
American posture - transformation of the military - is raising the
prospect of what they call "ultimate doom" and not very far away.
That's because it leads to an action-reaction cycle in which others
respond. That leads us to be closer and more reliant on hair-trigger
mechanisms, which are massively destructive.

Militarization of space could very well doom the species. It's being
pushed very hard. That's one issue that really requires major work and
that's a huge one in New Mexico. New Mexico is one of the centers where
this potential destruction of the species is taking place.

There's a document called "The Essentials of Post Cold War Deterrence"
that was released during the Clinton years by the Strategic Command,
which is in charge of nuclear weapons. It's one of the most horrifying
documents I've ever read. People haven't paid attention to it.

The Strategic Command report asks how we should reconstruct our nuclear
and other forces for the post-Cold War period. And the conclusions are
that we have to rely primarily on nuclear weapons because unlike other
weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological, the
effects of nuclear weapons are immediate, devastating, overwhelming -
not only destructive but terrifying. So they have to be the core of
what's called deterrence.

Everything means the opposite of what it says. Deterrence means our
offensive stance should primarily be based on nuclear weapons because
they're so destructive and terrifying. And furthermore just the
possession of massive nuclear forces casts a shadow over any
international conflict, like people are frightened of us because we
have this overwhelming force.

We have to have a national persona of irrationality with forces out of
control, so we really terrify everybody, and then we can get what we
want. And furthermore they're right to be terrified because we're going
to have these nuclear weapons right in front of us, which will blow
them all up - in fact, blow us all up if they get out of control.

If you read the vision for 2020 published by the Space Administration,
it talks about how the new frontier is space - and that we have to take
control of space for military purposes and make sure that we have no
competitors. That means the space-based instruments of sudden mass

There was an outer space treaty in 1967, which doesn't have any teeth
in it but it does call for preserving space for peaceful purposes. And
there have been efforts at the U.N. General Assembly Disarmament
Committee to strengthen it. But they've been blocked unilaterally by
the United States. The United States alone refuses to vote for the
General Assembly resolution, and it's been tied up since the year 2000.
The Chinese are the ones who are pushing to expand it. That's not
reported in the United States. In the year 2000 it was only reported in
one newspaper, a small newspaper in Utah.

The whole world is supposed to be covered with - probably is - with
sophisticated surveillance devices and the whole range of complex,
lethal, destructive weaponry designed to be able to attack anything
from space. This means nuclear weapons in space - nuclear energy
sources in space - which can get out of control and blow up and who
knows what will happen.

When the Bush administration took over they just made it more extreme.
They moved from the Clinton doctrine of control of space to what they
call ownership of space, meaning - their words - "instant engagement
anywhere" or unannounced destruction of any place on earth.

The ONLY Survival Plan manual is:-

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