Nuclear threats, of course, have historically been at the heart of U.S. foreign policy and have proven extremely useful for justifying U.S. actions. This time around, however, there is a new twist added to the more traditional threats by the U.S. to unleash nuclear devastation on any nation challenging its powers. In the past, preventing nuclear proliferation had been a low priority for U.S. policymakers. Now, the U.S. claims the right to intervene militarily around the world to stop alleged proliferation. . . .
While the U.S. richly rewarded Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan, which all had extensive clandestine nuclear facilities, it used Iraq's primitive bomb-building efforts to justify a war. In that conflict, the U.S. and its allies dropped 88,500 tons of high explosives (seven times the Hiroshima bomb), killed perhaps 200,000 to 300,000 people, and according to the U.N., reduced the country to a "preindustrial" state. . .
Clearly, South Africa's vast nuclear program . . . dwarfs the puny Iraqi program by several orders of magnitude and can generously supply both its own and Israel's need for fissionable materials. The exact figures on South African plutonium refinement capability are unknown because Pretoria had refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) until 1991. Iraq, by contrast, was a signatory to the NPT, allowed inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) every six months, and only possessed about 50 pounds of enriched uranium. . . .
Compare the unsubstantiated charges of imminent nuclear capability launched against Iraq with the solid evidence provided six years earlier by Israeli defector Mordechai Vanunu. The nuclear technician claimed that Israel possessed possibly several hundred atomic bombs, developed at the secret Dimona plant, and even sent color photographs of the nuclear bomb cores to the "London Sunday Times." According to Vanunu, Dimona produces 1.2 kilograms of pure plutonium per week, or enough to manufacture four to twelve atomic bombs per year. Despite this evidence, the U.S. publicly supported the convenient fiction that Israel did not possess nuclear capability. . . .
A journalist once asked President Reagan whether the rightwing strategy of "spending Russia into a depression" might backfire; might not the U.S. be spent into a depression instead? In one of the few lucid moments of his presidency, Reagan answered, "Yes...but they'll bust first." For once, Ronald Reagan was correct. The Soviets indeed did bust first, but there are indications that the U.S. may be next.
The national security states of hypocritical america are well described below. Why worry about vague abstractions like "moral authority" when you can simply cop-out with rule-of-the-club/might-makes-right kind of neanderthal "thinking"? For the sake of accuracy, simply replace "may" with "will" in the last excerpted sentence above.
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1992 18:24:41 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L%MIZZOU1.BITNET@pucc.Princeton.EDU>
From: "(Rich Winkel)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: CAIB: The US and Nuclear Proliferation
To: Multiple recipients of ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L%MIZZOU1.BITNET@pucc.Princeton.EDU>
The following appeared in the Summer '92 issue of Covert Action
Information Bulletin, #41, and is reprinted with permission.
Nuclear Threats and the New World Order
by Michio Kaku
Michio Kaku is Professor of Nuclear Physics at City University of New York and co-author of To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon's Secret Plans, Boston: South End Press, 1987.
On the eve of the Gulf War, opinion polls indicated that the U.S. public was evenly split, about 45 to 45 percent, on military intervention. To tip the scales, the Bush administration unleashed a blistering torrent of accusations, branding Saddam Hussein a threat to Middle East oil, a renegade, a trampler of international law, and even a new Hitler. None of these tactics, however, proved particularly effective in rousing war fever. A sizable fraction of the U.S. people resisted administration propaganda and preferred to pursue patient negotiations, rather than to pull the trigger.
Then, the Bush administration unleashed the unsubstantiated claim that Iraq would develop the atomic bomb within one year--even though most nuclear physicists concluded it would take about ten years. Within days, well meaning Americans who had grave reservations about the use of bloodshed to restore a reactionary, feudal emirate, began to wave the flag and support invasion.
Given the success of the tactic, it is not surprising that the nuclear bogeyman reared its head again. Soon after the conclusion of the Gulf War, the "New York Times" raised the specter of a North Korean atomic bomb. For 40 years the situation in Korea had been relatively stable and, in fact, ignored by the media. Within weeks, however, the Bush administration created a major international crisis by focusing world attention on the alleged atomic bomb factory at Yongbyon. Similarly, it had been known for years that Cuba was building a Chernobyl-style reactor. After the Gulf War, however, the right-wing press ignited a fierce controversy by claiming that because Florida could be contaminated by a nuclear accident, a U.S. invasion of the island was justified.
Nuclear threats, of course, have historically been at the heart of U.S. foreign policy and have proven extremely useful for justifying U.S. actions. This time around, however, there is a new twist added to the more traditional threats by the U.S. to unleash nuclear devastation on any nation challenging its powers.
In the past, preventing nuclear proliferation had been a low priority for U.S. policymakers. Now, the U.S. claims the right to intervene militarily around the world to stop alleged proliferation.
Iraq, North Korea, and Cuba are the first beneficiaries of this new "Bush Doctrine." As we shall see, the basis for calculating the extent of the threat these nations pose is a political judgment by U.S. policy makers, not an objective assessment by scientists and military analysts.
Now that the only other superpower, the USSR, no longer exists, one might conclude there is no need to threaten the use of nuclear weapons. This is not the case.
On January 14, 1991, days before the beginning of the Gulf War, the Pentagon leaked to "Newsweek" a major study on the use of nuclear weapons against Iraq. It publicized the Pentagon's varied contingency plans to use nuclear weapons and pointedly mentioned General Norman Schwarzkop's request for permission to use them in the Gulf. The plan called for neutron bombs to destroy enemy troops, nuclear "earth penetrators" to vaporize underground bunker positions, and hydrogen bombs detonated over Baghdad to wipe out its communications systems. During the war itself, there were approximately 300 U.S. hydrogen bombs in the Gulf aboard U.S. ships.
This policy was further clarified by a Pentagon paper leaked to the "New York Times" in March 1992. According to the secret draft, top priority for the future will be preventing the rise of another rival to U.S. military supremacy. It listed seven possible nations or combinations of nations which may threaten U.S. military domination of the world. A careful look at these seven possibilities, however, shows that the Pentagon is shadow boxing. Iraq, one of the contenders, for example, is devastated and has a gross national product that is one percent of the U.S. GNP. Nonetheless, the report unleashed a firestorm of protest, including diplomatically tempered outrage from some U.S. allies ranked as potential rivals. The Bush administration tried to distance itself from this report, calling it unofficial and low-level and not the basis of U.S. foreign policy.
Two and a half months later, according to the "New York Times," the Pentagon issued its final report in which it backed away from thwarting "the emergence of a new rival to American military supremacy" as the primary goal for the next five years. Official policy or not, the report, which circulated among the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents a major position within the military.
Ever eager to save the administration embarrassment, some commentators quickly labeled the report a "trial balloon" meant to test public opinion about a major defense strategy. More likely, however, it was deliberately released as a veiled warning to friends and foes alike that the U.S. will not tolerate threats to its military supremacy.
One of the key principles of Game Theory, developed by the mathematician John von Neumann for Pentagon nuclear war games, is that the enemy can be kept at bay by letting it know that you are prepared to unleash the "maximum level of violence" if necessary. The policy is like that of a tiger snarling in the forest; it knows that if the smaller animals ganged up, they would win. Through belligerent roaring and strutting, and a few well-timed bluffs, the tiger can intimidate the other animals and keep them in line without engaging in a single fight. Likewise, the Pentagon's nuclear snarl warns the rest of the world not to tangle with the U.S.
Although adding charges of proliferation to the vocabulary of snarls and using it as a justification for intervention is a recent phenomenon, its inclusion is simply an extension of longstanding U.S. Cold War strategy. The U.S. has consistently dispensed support, and in this case nuclear technology, to selected right-wing governments in reward for containing the Soviet Union. As Henry Kissinger once remarked, if a nation is on its way to building an atomic bomb, then why not provide certain assistance in order to influence its foreign policy.
For decades, then, while publicly decrying the spread of nuclear weapons, the U.S. has been providing extensive covert and overt support, including selectively proliferating bomb technology to a number of its close allies. The real threat of nuclear proliferation comes not so much from Iraq and North Korea, which have only a primitive technological base, but from those countries such as Israel, South Africa, India, and Pakistan, whose nuclear weapons infrastructures are quite mature and sophisticated. Interviews in 1988 with top U.S. intelligence experts indicated that Israel had at least 100 atomic bombs, South Africa had up to 20, India 12 to 20 and Pakistan 4. Since then, these countries have considerably modernized their nuclear production methods and accelerated bomb production.
In its secret nuclear facility at Kahuta, in the hills near Rawalpindi, Pakistan has been quietly amassing advanced nuclear technology. The U.S. gave its tacit blessing to the project largely in recognition of Pakistan's role as a strategic CIA-financed staging area for the fundamentalist rebel fight against the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan. The Reagan administration, in fact, pressured Congress to grant exceptions to laws requiring a cutoff of aid to Pakistan because of its nuclear program, arguing that it had not yet technically assembled an atomic bomb, i.e., it was "one screw turn away" from constructing a nuclear weapon. A.Q. Kahn, head of the Pakistani nuclear program, acknowledged that the U.S. was fully aware that it had the bomb. "America knows it," said the "father of the Pakistani atomic bomb" in one candid interview. "What the CIA has been saying about our possessing the bomb is correct." In spring 1992, after years of adamant denial, Pakistan publicly admitted for the first time that it has the capability of building the atomic bomb.
While the U.S. richly rewarded Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan, which all had extensive clandestine nuclear facilities, it used Iraq's primitive bomb-building efforts to justify a war. In that conflict, the U.S. and its allies dropped 88,500 tons of high explosives (seven times the Hiroshima bomb), killed perhaps 200,000 to 300,000 people, and according to the U.N., reduced the country to a "preindustrial" state.
An examination of the relative strengths of nuclear programs makes the double standard clear. A first step in building an atomic bomb is obtaining or purifying from natural uranium the 20 pounds of enriched uranium, or uranium-235, necessary to fabricate one atomic bomb (less for a plutonium bomb). The two most common ways of obtaining weapons-grade uranium are manufacturing it domestically or buying it abroad on the open market. Using state-of-the-art production techniques, it takes approximately 1,000 ultracentrifuges operating for one year to purify enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. (Because U-235 is slightly lighter than U-238, the ultracentrifuge, by spinning natural uranium, can separate these two isotopes.) Pakistan is known to have about 14,000 ultracentrifuges, or enough, in principle, to make 10 to 15 atomic bombs per year. Having apparently assembled its first atomic bomb in 1986, Pakistan could now have a small nuclear arsenal.
By comparison, Iraq had 26 ultracentrifuges before the war, far too few to manufacture an atomic bomb within a year. Meanwhile, as far back as 1968, the U.S. provided South Africa with 230 pounds of enriched uranium to power its U.S.-made 20 megawatt Safari-I nuclear reactor, which operates on weapons-grade (90 percent enriched) uranium. As early as August 1973, the South African government publicly announced that it had purified a few tons of weapons-grade fuel for its nuclear reactor at Pelindaba-Valindaba. In 1975, the South African Minister of Mines, Dr. Pieter Koornhof, announced an ambitious $4.5 billion program to build a mammoth facility capable of producing 5,000 tons of enriched uranium a year.
In addition, the South African government also operates the huge 1,844 megawatt Koeberg I and II nuclear power plants. Theoretically, these plants are large enough to yield roughly 500 pounds of plutonium per year, which could then be extracted by chemical purification processes.
Clearly, South Africa's vast nuclear program, centered at Pelindaba-Valindaba, dwarfs the puny Iraqi program by several orders of magnitude and can generously supply both its own and Israel's need for fissionable materials. The exact figures on South African plutonium refinement capability are unknown because Pretoria had refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) until 1991.
Iraq, by contrast, was a signatory to the NPT, allowed inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) every six months, and only possessed about 50 pounds of enriched uranium. Legally obtained under strict IAEA controls and supervision, this material was apparently the basis of the Bush administration's claim--widely disputed by physicists around the world--that the Iraqis could assemble an atomic bomb within one year. In fact, only one month before the Gulf War, the IAEA had conducted its periodic inspection and stated flatly that there was no threat from this uranium.
Compare the unsubstantiated charges of imminent nuclear capability launched against Iraq with the solid evidence provided six years earlier by Israeli defector Mordechai Vanunu. The nuclear technician claimed that Israel possessed possibly several hundred atomic bombs, developed at the secret Dimona plant, and even sent color photographs of the nuclear bomb cores to the "London Sunday Times." According to Vanunu, Dimona produces 1.2 kilograms of pure plutonium per week, or enough to manufacture four to twelve atomic bombs per year. Despite this evidence, the U.S. publicly supported the convenient fiction that Israel did not possess nuclear capability.
Even after it is assembled, an atomic bomb is effectively useless unless the technology has been tested; no country will risk its existence on a potential dud. To prevent testing without its knowledge, the U.S. launched the Vela satellite in the 1970s specifically to detect unauthorized detonations of nuclear weapons around the world.
On September 22, 1979, a storm brewed off the coast of South Africa near Prince Edward Island (1,500 miles from the Cape of Good Hope). Two Israeli Navy warships plied the rough waters. Unexpectedly, the heavy cloud cover broke and the Vela satellite detected the fingerprint "double flash" (called NUCFLASHES in Pentagon jargon).
Apparently, the South Africans and Israelis were testing a low-yield atomic warhead that was later standardized for use by the Israeli Defense Force. Had the clouds not parted on their third test, they would have successfully evaded the Vela satellite. As one Israeli official involved with the test said, "It was a fuckup. There was a storm and we figured it would block Vela, but there was a gap in the weather, a window, and Vela got blinded by the flash." This joint South African-Israeli test was the first and only known test by a country not in the Nuclear Club since India had tested its bomb in 1974.
By contrast, Iraq was not only years away from getting enough enriched uranium by its ingenious (although clumsy) efforts to make a bomb, it was even further away from actual testing.
The recent U.N. revelations that Iraq's nuclear program was concealed and more diverse than expected do not change this basic conclusion. The new information was interesting not because it showed how advanced the project was, but because it exposed Iraq's low level of technology and high level of desperation. Unable to legally obtain ultracentrifuge technology, the country had embarked on a costly search for various alternative and antiquated methods of uranium separation.
An Iraqi defector divulged that there were three previously undisclosed nuclear sites where the Iraqis even resurrected technologies long-abandoned by the West, such as the calutron (California cyclotron). The on-site U.N. team found that only 6 to 12 of the 30 calutrons in Tarmia were usable before the war and all were destroyed by the war. Iraq's admission of one pound of low-grade uranium (unsuitable for bomb use) was consistent with the state of Iraq's unfinished calutron site. Furthermore, without high speed capacitors needed for precise electronic detonation of the enriched uranium or plutonium, an Iraqi bomb would have been quite unusable. The U.N. found no indications that Iraq had mastered the technology of high speed capacitors.
Even if Iraq had been able to manufacture a bomb, a single nuclear weapon, contrary to public perception, does not constitute a credible military threat, nor does it have much military value in an armed conflict. A substantial stockpile is another matter.
Israel has perhaps the world's sixth largest nuclear arsenal, now estimated at 300 atomic bombs. During the 1973 October War, the Israelis were poised to fire their nuclear weapons at the Arabs if the battle had turned against them. After the 1973 war, the Israeli Defense Force apparently established three nuclear-capable battalions, each with 12 self-propelled 175-mm nuclear cannons. Three nuclear artillery shells were stockpiled for each weapon, making a total of 108 warheads for these nuclear cannons alone.
Adding to its nuclear potency, only Israel, of all the nations not in the Nuclear Club, has mastered the more advanced thermonuclear hydrogen bomb technology. The pictures released by Vanunu and shown to nuclear physicists at U.S. weapons laboratories revealed that the Israelis have mastered the technology of neutron bombs--highly sophisticated "enhanced radiation" weapons which are ideal for tactical or theater nuclear warfare.
Lastly, even after constructing, testing and consolidating a small arsenal of bombs, a nation must be able to deliver them. The Scud-B weapons launched by the Iraqis during the Gulf War had great psychological value, but almost no military value. Most of them broke up in mid-flight--a disaster in a war fought with nuclear weapons. Furthermore, crude atomic bombs are so large and bulky that they cannot be carried by conventional fighter bombers. By contrast, the Pakistani program is advanced enough to manufacture a lightweight atomic bomb, weighing no more than 400 pounds, that can be strapped onto the belly of a U.S. F-16 fighter bomber. The South Africans have made their Overberg testing range available to the Israelis for tests of their Shavit (Comet) missile, which uses the Jericho-2B missile as its first two stages. The Shavit missile launched an Israeli satellite into orbit in 1988 and can hurl a 2,000 pound bomb a distance of 1,700 miles. One top U.S. administration official, commenting on the close relationship between Israel and South Africa in developing these weapons said, "We know everything, names, dates, everything. We don't have any evidence that it's a plain uranium-for-missiles deal. Think of the relationship as a whole series of deals." 
Puny as Iraq's nuclear program seems in comparison to that of Pakistan, Israel, and South Africa, it could not have been built in such a short time without substantial foreign assistance.
Ironically, Iraq's technological infrastructure was largely a creation of the West. In the early 20th century, British success in dominating the Middle East, controlling large parts of Africa, and running a global empire, relied on a strategy of "divide and conquer." The British sliced up what is now Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait, and much of Africa in order to pit Arabs against Arabs, Africans against Africans. The U.S., which took over as the major Middle East power after World War II, learned this lesson well. The Shah of Iran, for example, was set up by the CIA as regional "policeman of the Gulf" charged with keeping the Arab nations in line. After his overthrow, the U.S. needed a counterweight to the insufficiently tractable Iranian fundamentalists. In the interest of Middle East control, and eager to see its enemies clobber themselves, the U.S. largely sustained and then brokered the long, bloody stalemate between Iraq and Iran.
In order to neutralize Iran, which it perceived as the greater threat, the Reagan administration gave widespread military and economic support to Saddam Hussein, secretly feeding Iraq with military intelligence information on Iran's forces, in the form of satellite data.
As long as Iraq was neutralizing Iran, Saddam was the beneficiary of the selective proliferation policy. As long as Iraq was perceived to be carrying out U.S. wishes, it was rewarded, like Pakistan, with substantial aid and trade concessions. Thus, much of the high technology eventually destroyed by Desert Storm came from the U.S. and West Germany. The U.S. Commerce Department licensed more than $1.5 billion in sensitive high technology for Iraq before the Gulf War. About 200 major companies in the West were involved in the high technology transfer. Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, Unisys, International Computer Systems, Rockwell, and Tektronix had lucrative trade agreements with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission and Saad 16, Iraq's missile research center. Honeywell even did a study for a power gasoline bomb warhead for the Iraqis.
Similarly, the Bush Doctrine has recast the Korean question. After three decades of relative stability and obscurity, suddenly, within weeks of the Gulf War, international attention was focused on the "nuclear threat" posed by the Yongbyon nuclear complex located 60 miles north of Pyongyang. The irony, as the North Koreans have pointed out, is that the U.S. maintains thousands of tactical nuclear weapons around the world, with approximately 600 concentrated in the Korean area.
The threat presented by this arsenal is real. During the Korean War, the U.S. had authorized the use of nuclear weapons in the appendix to its secret war plan, OPLAN8-52. Recently declassified minutes of the National Security Council reveal the detailed plans by President Eisenhower and his secretary of state John Foster Dulles to exploit tactical nuclear weapons in Korea. To pressure North Korea, President Bush vowed in September 1991 to withdraw nuclear weapons from South Korea. The pledge, as the North Koreans have again noted, is largely symbolic, since U.S. nuclear weapons based on ships, such as nuclear cruise missiles, can be fired into North Korea within minutes. An offshore nuclear missile is just as deadly as a nuclear missile based on land.
In any case, equating the U.S.-backed South Korean nuclear capabilities with those of North Korea is absurd. The North Korean nuclear program is qualitatively and quantitatively even more primitive than the Iraqi one, which in turn was quite backward by Western standards. The Iraqis, at least, had access to billions of dollars of advanced Western technology because of its war against Iran. The Soviets, by contrast, were historically much more tight-fisted about sharing this kind of advanced technology with their allies. In the late 1960s, they provided a small reactor. The North Koreans contracted with the British to build an old-fashioned, 1950s-style graphite reactor, called the Calder Hall, which was to be operated by the British Nuclear Fuels Company. This 20 to 30 megawatt reactor, tiny compared with the 1,000 megawatts common in the West, was begun in 1980 and was already obsolete when completed seven years later.
In 1985, although North Korea signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it has been unwilling to allow totally unrestricted inspections of its facilities. As a consequence, the U.S. began to suspect that the North Koreans were converting the civilian reactor to military purposes. At present, the case against the North Koreans is based primarily on satellite photographs, the interpretation of which is the subject of intense controversy. The U.S. asserts the photos show that the North Koreans are completing a new reactor, possibly 50 to 200 megawatts in power, and a new reprocessing plant which could extract plutonium from radioactive waste. These admittedly speculative conclusions have even created a dispute between the CIA on one side and the Pentagon and the State Department on the other. Based on its claims that the North Koreans will have the atomic bomb within a few months, the CIA recommends immediate action, possibly including force. The Pentagon and State Department take a much more relaxed view, estimating that North Korea is two to five years from an atomic bomb. This appraisal allows ample time for a diplomatic solution.
There is some indication that the stalemate is breaking up. On March 14, 1992, a new agreement was signed between the two Koreas. The South Koreans agreed to drop their insistence on a rigid timetable for inspections, and the North Koreans agreed to allow a formal inspection of the Yongbyon site--possibly in June or shortly thereafter. In April, the North Koreans even released a video of the interior of the reactor site. On May 3, they promised to hand over to the IAEA a list of nuclear-related sites for inspection.
Part of the controversy has revolved around the often quoted U.S. position that satellite photographs of the Yongbyon facility show no electrical wires emanating from the site. Reactors for peaceful rather than bomb-production purposes, the U.S. argued, would necessitate a network of transformers and cables connecting the site to the power grid. It was the North Koreans' word against the West's, until IAEA Director Hans Blix and his team reported after a May 1992 visit that they found "electric distribution grids outside two large nuclear power plants, suggesting that the plants are intended for power generation... [and] supporting North Korea's assertion that its nuclear plants are strictly for peaceful power-generation purposes."
They also turned up a "a tiny quantity [of plutonium]," said Blix, "far from the amount you need for a weapon." In fact, small quantities of plutonium are often extracted for reprocessing but are usually of a type not usable in weapons production. Despite exaggeration by the media about the Yongbyon site, the IAEA has been cautious in drawing any conclusions until a more complete inspection--expected soon--can be conducted.
Ultimately, the Bush Doctrine may backfire in any number of ways, with a variety of dire consequences. The Bush administration is playing with nuclear fire, and it is easy to get burned.
For example, the U.S. has allowed the atomic bomb to proliferate so widely that, without anticommunism to keep these countries in line, proliferation may be out of its control. Already in the 1973 October War, the Israelis apparently threatened to unleash their atomic bomb on the Arabs unless the U.S. came to its aid. The U.S. was thus blackmailed and put on the receiving end of a nuclear threat.
Another potential nuclear flashpoint is the centuries-old feud between the Muslims in Pakistan and the Hindus in India. The recent crisis over Kashmir caused the U.S. State Department to express public alarm that the conflict would boil over into open warfare, with the distinct possibility that nuclear weapons could be used by both sides.
But perhaps most important, the reliance on nuclear threats to maintain U.S. military supremacy may backfire by weakening the domestic economic infrastructure. The clear implication of the leaked Pentagon report is that while other countries, such as Germany and Japan, may eventually pose a grave economic threat to the U.S., Washington's nuclear superiority will keep them in line and keep the U.S. on top.
This reliance on military domination is a tacit admission that U.S. economic strength will continue to deteriorate into the next century. Since 1945, U.S. control of 50 percent of the world's wealth has declined to 25 percent, and is still falling. Most of that wealth was squandered maintaining a world-spanning network of 395 foreign military bases in 35 countries at a current cost exceeding $210 billion annually. With such a colossal military burden, this country is undergoing a remarkable de-industrialization process, which the world has not seen since turn-of-the-century England.
If the Pentagon is relying on nuclear might to keep its rising economic rivals in line, then this expensive "solution" will ultimately exacerbate the problem of economic decline by accelerating the de-industrialization of the U.S.
A journalist once asked President Reagan whether the rightwing strategy of "spending Russia into a depression" might backfire; might not the U.S. be spent into a depression instead?
In one of the few lucid moments of his presidency, Reagan answered, "Yes...but they'll bust first." For once, Ronald Reagan was correct. The Soviets indeed did bust first, but there are indications that the U.S. may be next.
Even if you made an agreement to abolish all nuclear weapons, but you left established power structure in the U.S. and the USSR, they'd go on to research mind control or some chemical or biological thing. My view is, there exists a group of people in the world that have a disease. I call it the "power disease." They want to rule and control other people. They are a more important plague than cancer, pneumonia, bubonic plague, tuberculosis, and heart disease put together. They can only think how to obliterate, control, and use each other. They use people as nothing more than instruments to cast aside when they don't need them any more.
--Dr. John W. Gofman, from Nuclear Witnesses, Insiders Speak Out, 1982