Doomsday Clock Moved Closer To Midnight
Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 11:56 am
Opinion: Larry Ross
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight – to 11.55 – I believe it should be closer.
In their stated reasons the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) did not mention that the Bush Administration now allows for nuclear weapons to be introduced into a conventional conflict on the recommendation of US field military commanders.
Also, it does not mention that President Bush has the legal authority to wage a pre-emptive nuclear war on enemies chosen by his administration on the basis of so-called US ‘intelligence’ about the alleged intentions of such chosen enemies. There is no appeal and no subjecting of such decisions to the scrutiny of senior diplomats, experts or anyone other than the inner circle of the neocon Bush Administration.
In other words the Bush Administration can create whatever so-called “intelligence’ they need to justify their pre-planned attacks. They have already done this to justify their attack on Iraq, and are doing it to justify demonising Iran in order to prepare the public for future attacks.
It is important not to overlook that both George Bush and Tony Blair threatened to use nuclear weapons against Iraq if Saddam Hussein responded to their attack with what were called ‘weapons of mass destruction’ Even more important is that this was an illegal war based on a number of outright lies.
George Bush and Tony Blair threatened to use Nuclear weapons to back their attack based on their lies. That was a very, very important step, that was deliberately downplayed by the media and overlooked by the vast majority of people, and I suspect, by BAS.
We know from many erudite articles by insiders and experts that the Bush Administration is planning a nuclear war on Iran. The 60 year taboo on the use of nuclear weapons for offensive purposes, rather than as a last resort in defending the nation or retaliating against nuclear attack, has been reversed. This reversal is hugely significant, particularly given the existing and planned wars of the Bush Administration.
I think that BAS should have taken this nuclear war threat to Iraq in 2003, and nuclear war planning against Iran in 2007 into account in a more urgent manner than their rather vague warning about “a renewed emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons.” After all, most serious observers know, and have known for some months that the Bush Administration is planning an attack using nuclear weapons against Iran, perhaps within the next few months.
This can trigger a number of consequences, which can escalate into various retaliations, counter retaliations, and even pre-emptive retaliations by nations expecting to be attacked. Events cannot be controlled in a nuclear war. I think most objective experts reject the idea of a controlled or so-called ‘limited nuclear war’ using what nuclear war planners like to call ‘mini-nukes’. BAS seems to have skirted this issue.
I feel grateful to BAS for their decades of work against nuclear weapons, and their brilliant idea of a ‘Doomsday Clock’ to warn the world population about the growing dangers of a nuclear war. So it is sad that they seem to be reflecting the popular mood, which is to avoid some of the very important issues that threaten humanity with nuclear war sometime in the next few months. The public will be less alarmed and less spurred to action than they might have been if BAS had moved the clock hands closer to midnight in recognition that the Bush regime is planning a nuclear war on Iran that could become global and end humanity.
Larry Ross is the Secretary/Founder of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemaking Association (1981)