American Doublespeak!

During a “nuclear security” summit that he organized last week in Washington, Barack Obama stated, “Since the Start II treaty that we signed with Russia, we have considerably reduced the number of active weapons,” indicating that “my preference would be to further reduce our nuclear arsenal,” and concluding that we must nevertheless “ensure that our deterrents continue to function.” What Mr. Obama refrained from talking about was the true scope of future U.S. “deterrence.” Yet, he who exhorts the world to observe nuclear security regulations and to adhere to protocols and conventions on weapons of mass destruction should first put his own house in order. Indeed, the U.S., which talks loudly [dictating terms to other countries when it comes to this strategic area] is (with China) the only world power with nuclear weapons not to have ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The CTBT is a test of good faith for world powers in an area as sensitive as WMDs. Consequently, by refusing to ratify this treaty banning nuclear tests, the U.S. shows its unwillingness to participate in the construction of a world free from nuclear threats and capable of sharing in the beneficial use of nuclear technology that does not endanger the planet’s security. This desire does not exist in the U.S., which is a sort of lone wolf, urging all the countries of the world to adhere to international conventions on WMDs such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the CTBT, while reserving for itself the right not to shackle itself to these protocols. We ask only whether, among the heads of state present in Washington, someone had the idea to ask this leader the only question that matters: Why does the U.S. refuse to ratify the CTBT? When did they do this? Alas! No one had the (preposterous?) idea to challenge the powerful American leader on this issue. After the ABM, Start, Start II, Salt 1 and Salt 2 treaties in the 1970s and 1980s between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, it was almost expected that there would be a challenge involving WMDs, some “mutually assured destruction” or the famous “balance of terror” from the Cold War era. But the collapse of communism in the late 1980s in fact left the field open for the U.S., which put together a series of plans to reinforce its already overwhelming power. From the ephemeral Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or Star Wars) of Ronald Reagan to the National Missile Defense of Bill Clinton to the development of biological and chemical warfare. In fact, the U.S. has not engaged in any protocol that could limit its freedom of action or otherwise decrease or minimize its weapons of deterrence. What is clear is that the reduction of which President Obama speaks concerns nuclear weapons that are today obsolete, even if they are capable of reducing our planet to cinders. Also, the current all-out militarization policy, which peaked after Sept. 11, 2001, and the new strategy that American leaders took toward national defense to make the U.S. invulnerable, plays by different rules. It is in this context that the new Missile Defense (which is replacing the now-insufficient National Missile Defense) draws on all types of interceptors – those of land, sea, air, and space. This is what George W. Bush’s former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, once described as “credible” deterrence, combining conventional and nuclear weapons. Indeed, for the United States, there are three traditional nuclear powers: Russia and China, the “rogue” states (a hackneyed notion from George W. Bush), and terrorists. It is thus based on this “triad” that the U.S. has engaged in extensive restructuring and modernization of all of their conventional, nuclear, biochemical and space defense arsenals to respond, they say, to current “blended threats.” We do note this curiosity in their classification of countries representing a threat to the U.S.: Israel is considered a country “outside of international standards.” What does that mean!? Except for Israel, all the other countries are potential enemies that the U.S. wouldn’t hesitate to bomb. Put differently, the U.S. is fully reinforcing its already colossal military power and working to disarm all other countries on the planet. In this context, professing “nuclear pacifism” is pure humbug. Yet, that has been the theme of the four summits on nuclear security organized by the U.S. president, who leaves office next January.

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