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Bush's gang triggers new arms race
Star Wars madness!

May 11, 2001 | Page 1

GEORGE W. Bush had a message for the rest of the world. The U.S. is in charge, and you better do what we say.

He didn't exactly put it that way. Instead, he said, "We need a framework that allows us to build missile defenses to counter the different threats of today's world." But that was the real meaning of Bush's May 1 speech at National Defense University, where he unveiled his administration's scheme for "national missile defense"--a new name for the same "Star Wars" fantasy that Ronald Reagan pushed in the 1980s.

In Reagan's dreams, the U.S. was going to develop a system of missiles and satellites that could shoot down nuclear missiles launched at the U.S. Of course, scientific experts --then and now--say this can't work. And every Pentagon test of missile defense prototypes--even ones rigged to work--have failed.

But Bush and his top military advisers don't care. They're willing to spend $120 billion over the next 25 years on a program that won't work.

Why? For one thing, military contractors like Boeing, Raytheon and TRW stand to make out like bandits.

In announcing his intention to go ahead with the scheme, Bush deliberately stiff-armed every other major power in the world--from China to Russia to the U.S.'s European allies. The Chinese government, in particular, opposes Dubya's missile madness because it thinks--rightly--that, as the rising power in Asia, China is the main target.

It's no secret that hawks like Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are itching for a fight with China. Rumsfeld's May 3 order ending military cooperation with the country--taken back only an hour after he issued it--tells what the ex-Cold Warriors inside the Bush administration really think. "The [missile defense] scheme...will touch off a nasty arms race in Asia," Lee Jong Seok of the Sejong Institute in Korea told Business Week.

In other words, far from making the world safer--as Bush claims--his Star Wars madness will make the world more dangerous. In fact, the U.S. wants a missile shield to make itself invulnerable to attack--which would make it more likely to consider using nuclear weapons.

For a half century, the threat of "mutually assured destruction" (MAD) kept superpowers like the U.S. and Russia from starting a nuclear war. Today, Bush and Rumsfeld are listening to "nuclear use theorists" (NUT) who think it's possible to fight a limited nuclear war. That's why military analyst William Hartung says that, under Bush, U.S. nuclear policy has gone from "MAD to NUTs."

What a nightmare! We have expose Bush's missile madness--and organize to stop him.

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