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Bush's Insane First Strike Policy

DAVE LINDORFF | April 12 2006

By the mere act of contingency planning for the first use of nuclear weapons, the Bush administration has guaranteed that not just Iran, but probably many other nations that see themselves as remotely threatened by the U.S., will seek to obtain either nuclear weapons, or some other similarly catastrophic weapon for the purpose of resisting such nuclear blackmail.

The rushed announcement Tuesday by Iran that its scientists and engineers had succeeded in creating some enriched uranium is almost certainly a direct result of the administration's nuclear threats.

Most sane observers have calculated that if Iran is really planning on developing a nuclear weapon, it is years--perhaps even a decade--away from that goal. That was plenty of time to reassure Iran that it would not need the bomb, or to use international diplomacy to discourage the country from embarking on such a wasteful, expensive and dangerous project. Instead, by threatening to nuke Iran's nuclear research and processing facilities, the administration has predictably put Iran onto a crash course for developing the bomb. What alternative did Iran's leaders have after all the administration's bombast?

In fact, Bush-Cheney rhetoric may well have pushed Iran to seek to obtain nuclear capability by other faster means, such as obtaining a weapon, perhaps illegally, from Russia, or perhaps more directly from North Korea. After all, North Korea has the bomb and is strapped for two things that Iran has in abundance-oil and cash.

These are dangerous times. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocon wackos who infest the West Wing, the Pentagon, and various right-wing "no-think" tanks, have already succeeded in creating a cauldron of anti-U.S. fury in Iraq that will haunt this country for a generation to come. Now they appear dead-set on igniting something even worse in Iran. But just as the attack on Iraq has had repercussions far beyond the boundaries of that fractured land, the nuclear threat against Iran will have effects that reach far beyond Persia in both geography and in time.

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