Monday, May 19, 2003

The United States is in the process of putting itself in the position to have available to its military for use as part of the battlefield arsenal relatively small nuclear weapons, called 'mini-nukes'. This evil idea was part of the leaked Nuclear Posture Review of the Bush Administration (see the story of Keith 'Dr. Strangelove' Payne, for the background to these ideas), and has now made it through the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has approved the revoking of a law which prohibited the development of such weapons. The Pentagon also wants the Administration to withdraw from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which would allow the U. S. to back out of the 1992 moratorium on nuclear tests, and thus would allow the Pentagon to develop and test its new toys. To be able to use mini-nukes the Americans are effectively trashing the whole concept of nuclear non-proliferation - the idea that nuclear arms holders will gradually disarm and no new nuclear arms holding countries will be allowed - and leaving the door open to a new worldwide arms race. It is amazing that such a major detrimental change to the security of the world is happening with relatively little attention. The Bush junta has done some pretty terrible and stupid things, but this may top them all. Richard Butler was interviewed by Mark Davis for an Australian television show, and explains why the Americans are doing this:

"Well, one can say they're just plainly selfish or this is the consequence of September 11 and so on. Not really. It's this - this administration has a view of the special character of the United States, the singular and exclusive character that is new. I've talked to them about it and they make this plain. They say 'We are the sole super power, we're therefore the exceptional country, we're outside of international law. Others have to obey the law and obey the rules, but we don't.' I mean, I'm not making that up. If they were sitting here tonight, Mark, the people I've talked with would readily agree. They'd say 'Yeah, that's right, that's who we are. We are the exceptional country and we don't have to obey the law because we're different.' Now, that's where this is proceeding from. And I ask you to recognise what happens when the most powerful country, the same as the most powerful people within a domestic society, consider themselves to be above the law. What happens? Citizens, or countries, decide that the law itself is no good and that's what will happen in the nuclear area."

Is the rest of the world asleep? We have a particular situation where one big rogue nation is hell-bent to take actions which will destroy the world. They have already taken a good run at the concept of the international law of war and the United Nations, and are rapidly heading towards the weaponization of space. Once nuclear buildup is fashionable again, there will be no putting the genie back in the bottle, and the whole world will be under constant risk of nuclear war. The United States cannot be defeated militarily. It is, however, extraordinarily vulnerable economically. There has been much talk about using currencies other than the American dollar in the oil market to remove the advantage the American empire has when the dollar is used as the currency of oil transactions. This would have an effect on the American economy, but not the large effect that some people seem to hope for. There is some advantage for the Americans in having oil priced in dollars, but since dollars can be readily converted to other currencies, and other currencies into dollars, all for relatively small transaction fees, the advantage is not crucial to the health of the American economy. The key to the American economy is the tacit agreement by oil producers to reinvest the largest part of their oil revenues into the American economy, and the robustness of the economy caused by this constant massive injection of capital has attracted huge amounts of other capital (it is not a coincidence that the dominance of the American economy coincided with the militancy of OPEC). All this investment pushes up the dollar, thus improving the value of the investments in the eyes of non-Americans, thus further making the American economy a desirable place to invest. The high dollar policy is practically a perpetual motion machine, but carries with it a severe danger of crashing once the dollar starts to fall. The key to forcing the Americans to their senses is to reduce the flow of investment capital into the United States. If Europe, China, Japan and the oil-producing states agreed to gradually decrease the massive flow of capital into the United States, it would not take long for the American economy, and thus politicians who hope to be reelected, to get the message. Indeed, the recent rapid fall of the American dollar has been caused by just such a withdrawal of investment (it would be interesting if this withdrawal of capital was the start of such a secret organized international program). There is a cost to such a process, as the world is so invested in the success of the U. S. that these other countries will lose money if they damage the American economy. Can greed be stifled long enough for the rest of the world to save everyone from the evil men who currently run the United States?