Thursday, November 29 2007 @ 08:22 AM EST
UN Conference Calls for Treaty to Ban Weapons in Space
Special War & Peace Report
by Carla Stea
On Monday, October 15, 2007, in United Nations Conference Room 4, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the Global Security Institute, the Government of the Russian Federation, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China participated in a panel discussion entitled: “Exploring Cooperative Approaches to Security in Space.” Dr. Valery Semin, Senior Counsellor, Head of Political-Military Section, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office at Geneva, introduced “The Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, The Threat of Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects: No Alternatives To Cooperative Approach.”
“Why a treaty? First, because new obligations, covering the well-known (and ever-expanding with the development of technology) gaps in international law, must enjoy the same status as the norms and rules currently in force.”
“Second, because new obligations will entail inevitable limitations on national military activities and on national business, which should be regulated by domestic legislation, including liability in case of violations.”
“Third, because such obligations should be a reliable factor of national security for all states. One of the possible options to the new treaty, mentioned sometimes, is working out an additional protocol to the Outer Space Treaty, banning stationing in outer space not only WMDs, but any kind of weapons. We are not against this option in principle. But it is hard to imagine a situation when, at the same time, we would have consensus on such a protocol, on the one hand, and no consensus on PPWT, on the other...”
“The developed countries will not turn a blind eye to possible intentions of even one country to place weapons in outer space. Most probably, efforts would be undertaken to prevent this from happening and to counter such intentions either with reciprocal creation and deployment of certain types of space weapons, development of anti-space-weapons systems, or by building other types of weapons. Hence the danger of military confrontation, instigation of military rivalry spilling over into a new domain – outer space...It would not be an exaggeration to suppose that the emergence of weapons in outer space will...predetermine an armed confrontation in outer space. To be sure that no one is preparing to place weapons in outer space – and Russia, United States and Britain have already made specific political statements that they were not doing so – the non-weaponization of outer space should become a legally binding norm.”
On November 14, 2007, a draft resolution entitled “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, (introduced by France as Chairman of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space) A/C.4/62/L.9 states: “Deeply convinced of the common interest of mankind in promoting and expanding the exploration and use of outer space as the province of all mankind, for peaceful purposes and in continuing efforts to extend to all States the benefits derived therefrom, and also of the importance of international cooperation in this field, for which the United Nations should continue to provide a focal point....Seriously concerned about the possibility of an arms race in outer space, and bearing in mind the importance of Article IV of the Outer Space Treaty...Recognizing that all States, in particular those with major space capabilities should contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space...29. Urges all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes....43. Requests the Committee to continue to consider, as a matter of priority, ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes.”
It is clear from this draft resolution that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space shares the concern about the risks of an “armed confrontation in outer space” stated in the Russian draft resolution, and that powerful political will exists to enforce a prohibition against the placement, by any State, of weapons in outer space. However, while one might expect the United States, in its own interest, to embrace such a guarantee against the inevitably deadly risks and consequences of the weaponization of outer space, the United States, position, instead, is problematic, because, while seeking to repudiate any and all legal constraints and controls over its access to outer space for “U.S. national interests,” the United States’ position, paradoxically contains an inherent weakness which actually jeopardizes United States’ national security and renders the United States more vulnerable. In multiparty situations, it is impossible for one party to assert its own untrammeled will, and expect that other parties will not, also, assume similar license, or freedom from any constraint.
The United States position begins: “The President’s national space policy clearly states that we will oppose the development of new legal regimens or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit United States access to, or use of, space, or that impairs the rights of the United States to conduct research, development, testing, and operations or other activities in space for United States’ national interests.”
As a highly placed diplomatic source accredited to the United Nations pointed out, the United States refusal to accept any legal restraints on its use of outer space gives license to Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, or any other nation, to claim identical freedom from any constraint, thereby placing all States, including the citizens of the United States, itself, at great risk. Weaknesses in the U.S. President’s national space policy were delineated by the President of the Global Security Institute, Attorney Jonathan Granoff, who stated: “To approach the vast firmament through an ad hoc non-legal, unregulated method is akin to ignoring the lessons we have learned on earth, that laws that govern the conduct of business, individuals and states, based on justice, equity and security for all, are preferable to pursuing security through the raw law of power. As a United States Citizen, I vastly prefer the rule of law.” Mr. Granoff spoke as one of the Chairpersons of the “2007 Parliamentary Hearing on “Reinforcing the Rule of Law in International Relations: The Key Role of Parliaments (organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly).
Mr. Granoff continued, discussing the United States’ stated intention of placing missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic, an unmistakable threat to and provocation of Russia. (Regardless of United States’ protestations that the missiles are intended to protect against a possible nuclear-armed Iran, a quick glance at any map reveals the distance between Poland and Russia to be infinitesimal in comparison with the distance between Poland and Iran. In Defense News, November 26, 2007 Ehsan Ahrari, Professor of security studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies states: “Russia, as the chief successor of the imploded Soviet Union, knows a lot about the nuances of nuclear deterrence. Moscow is convinced that, even if Iran were to emerge as a nuclear weapon power and obtain long-range ballistic missiles, the last thing it would do is attack any U.S. ally for fear of becoming a target of America’s awesome retaliatory response. Thus, Moscow envisions all assurances from Washington – that it no longer views Russia as an enemy – as diplomatic gloss to hide America’s not-so-latent resolve to remain a superior military power.”) Mr. Granoff elaborated:
“The possibility of space weaponization under the guise of missile defense undermines the success of a nuclear weapons free world envisioned by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik. This call for a nuclear weapons free world has been invoked again by former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Senator Sam Nunn, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Schultz in a January 7, 2007 Wall Street Journal article, and reinvoked by Mikhail Gorbachev in an article published on January 31, 2007 in the Wall Street Journal. Let’s not let space weapons hold us back again.”
Though the United States’ position states: “The United States is committed to the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all humanity,” nowhere does the United States position guard, proactively, against the possible use of outer space for belligerent purposes, and the reality, on the ground, is troubling, indeed. In the author’s note introducing the recently published work entitled: “War in Heaven, The Arms Race in Outer Space,” Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Co-Founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Helen Caldicott writes:
“In 1999, I was invited by Bruce Gagnon, an Air Force pilot and former Republican, to attend a meeting in Florida that addressed the weaponization of space. Having never heard of this concept before, and believing that the Cold War was over, I accepted the invitation with alacrity. This meeting, which featured extremely knowledgeable people made me realize that I had been living in a fool’s paradise. To my horror, industrial corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, TRW Aerojet, Hughes Space, Sparta Corp, and Vista Technologies had produced a Long Range Plan, written with the cooperation of the U.S. Space Command, announcing a declaration of U.S. Space leadership, and calling for the funding of defensive systems and a ‘seamlessly integrated force of theater land, sea, air, and space capabilities through a worldwide global defense information network.’ The U.S. Space Command would also ‘hold at risk’ a finite number of ‘high value’ earth targets with near instantaneous force application – the ability to kill from space. As retired general Robert R Fogelman, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, ‘I think that space, in and of itself, is going to be very quickly recognized as a Fourth dimension of warfare.’ I also discovered that the much-vaunted missile defense system was to be closely integrated with the weaponization of space, and that all the hardware and software would be made by the same firms, at the combined cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. taxpayers. I staggered home from that meeting deciding that I must become re-involved in educating the public about the impending catastrophe associated with the mad plans of the U.S. Space Command and its associated corporation.”
Much of Dr. Caldicott’s information was first made available to me by staff members working for Senator Hillary Clinton’s Washington office, when I phoned there several years ago. On September 10, 2001 Senator Joseph Biden spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, denouncing, as unnecessary, ineffective and exorbitantly costly, President Bush’s plans to build a missile defense shield. Senator Biden stated that primitive methods of attack against United States targets could be devised and used, which could “slip under the radar” and evade any missile defense shield. The following day, September 11, 2001, airplanes crashed into and demolished the World Trade Center in New York, and part of the Pentagon in Washington, killing thousands of innocent people, and Senator Biden has since then had the bitter satisfaction of being able to say “I told you so! I warned you!”
It is necessary to consider the historic context from which the United States’ position emerges, and few so intimately understand this context as profoundly as National Book Award winner James Carroll, son of General Joseph Carroll, founder of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency. In his monumental expose entitled “House of War,” James Carroll writes, p. XIV:
“How did the global War on Terror seize the American psyche so self-destructively? And how, finally can this usurping center of principality and power be brought back under the control of ordinary citizens, beginning with the disenchanted man who grew from the Pentagon’s invisible boy....this book concerns the Building, the bomb and the battle still raging, for America....The story it tracks begins with one man, General Leslie Groves, who embodied the twin centers of a previously unimagined source of power. Another man, Secretary of War Henry Stimson saw the danger at once and warned of it, to no avail. After Stimson dozens of others would sound alarms as the Pentagon usurped controls over the levers of the American economy and culture, over science, academia and politics. ‘Disastrous rise’ is Dwight David Eisenhower’s phrase, from his farewell address warning of what he dubbed the ‘Military-Industrial Complex.’”......On page 59 Carroll writes: “By the spring of 1945 Leo Szilard presciently saw that the momentum driving the Manhattan Project threatened not only an unnecessary use of the superweapon against Japan, but an eventual nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. Again with Einstein’s help, Szilard arranged a meeting with the President (Roosevelt) to raise these concerns, but Roosevelt died before it could take place.....Unlike Byrnes,
Stimson, Truman and other nonscientists who tended to think of the atomic bomb as a conventional explosive, subject to the same considerations, Szilard and his colleagues realized that a threshold had been crossed and that moral conflagration threatened. They had a vivid sense of the bomb’s awesome destructiveness. On the eve of the Trinity test, Enrico Fermi, who had presided over the first chain reaction at Chicago, would offer to take bets as to whether the bomb would ignite the very atmosphere. By July, Szilard had organized a petition to President Truman expressing grave misgivings about any use of the bomb against Japan. ‘A nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale.’ In the end sixty nine scientists did sign Szilard’s petition, mainly from among his colleagues at Chicago.” General Leslie Groves diverted the petition, and prevented it from reaching President Truman in time to have any effect.
Carroll continues: “Both General Dwight Eisenhower and Admiral William D. Leahy raised objection to the bomb’s use in the July 1945 meeting with Stimson....Leahy, who served both Roosevelt and Truman as Chief of Staff stated, in his memoirs: ‘It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no major assistance in our war against Japan. We had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages.’” “Hiroshima is locked in the shadows of repressed memory because a reconsideration of the first use of a nuclear weapon would require a reconsideration of Pentagon centered American power that still depends on nuclear weapons and the lively possibility of a next use. America wants its way, and simply by the possession of the arsenal and occasionally flaunting it, America gets its way – which is why the late twentieth century multi-factored collapse of the Soviet Union could be perceived as America’s having ‘won’ the Cold War, and why the early Twenty-First Century war on terrorism quickly evolved into a global American militarism. The debate over Truman’s decision, in that sense, has never been about the past, but about the present and the future.”
In “The Iron Triangle, Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group” by Dan Briody, published in 2003, page 43: “The defense industry blossomed under Reagan’s watch by creating, and the former President himself termed it, an ‘Arsenal of Democracy.’ At one point in 1985, a Washington Post expose on the defense industry uncovered that the Pentagon was spending an average of $28 million dollars an hour – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The top 13 contractors had revenues of more than $122 billion. These same contractors were also the ones consulting the government on which weapons to buy and when. And few of the defense contractors were paying taxes.” On page XVI Briodi states: “Today the Carlyle Group is a story of dealings inside the ‘Iron Triangle,’ the place where the world’s mightiest military intersects with high-powered politics and big business. It is a company whose history includes ties to CIA coverups and secret arms deals, an astounding trail of corporate cronyism. By making defense buyouts the cornerstone of its business strategy, Carlyle now finds itself the beneficiary of the largest increase in defense spending in history....Some worry that it is influencing domestic and foreign policy. And some, including former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, even implied that President Bush allowed the events of September 11 to take place to enable him to dictate policy that would benefit the Carlyle group.”
On Friday, November 9th, 2007 The New York Times’ brief article on page A8 reveals that “Congressional Democrats offered President Bush 50 billion dollars in interim spending for combat operations coupled to a goal of pulling out most troops within a year...Republicans demanded more money and fewer conditions.” The article continues: “If the $50 billion dollar measure stalls, the Pentagon might have to shift money from nonwar accounts to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into early next year.” The article continues: “But Congress on Thursday sent Mr. Bush one spending bill that he has agreed to sign – a separate $470 billion measure that covers all Pentagon operations except for the wars.”
$470 billion dollars! Almost half a trillion taxpayer dollars allocated to the Pentagon for all operations except the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raises serious questions. Perhaps the answers may include policies discussed by Drs. Eizendrath and Caldicott on page 65 of “War in Heaven”: “The concept of the militarization of outer space developed simultaneously to and as an outgrowth of missile defense. The central strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance upon which space weapons are predicated emerged less than ten years ago in a 1997 policy paper titled: ‘Vision for 2020,’ produced by the U.S. Space Command, which states: ‘During the early portion of the Twenty-first Century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare,’” “A segment of the United States Congress was a direct beneficiary of the space lobby, from whom they consistently receive significant campaign contributions and help. This group has continued without substantial break for over fifty years to influence U.S. policy in the direction of Full Spectrum Dominance, and today, space weaponization...Not just venality, however, motivates this group. Full Spectrum Dominance is also a form of psychic inflation, greed for power. Rather than a cooperative state in the multilateral context of a globalized world, the United States will be the supreme superpower, setting policy, fighting preemptive wars, dominating land, sea, air and outer space. Despite the huge resources the United States commands, it is a policy that puts these resources to tests they cannot pass, as exemplified by Iraq. Was not the first test of this doctrine of unilateral power flunked decisively? In recent years the United States has taken the first steps toward its stated goal of Full Spectrum Dominance. On May 18, 2005, Tim Weiner of The New York Times noted: ‘With little public debate, the Pentagon has already spent billions of dollars developing space weapons and preparing plans to deploy them’” “From General James E. Cartwright, who heads the United States Strategic Command, who told the Senate Armed Forces Subcommittee that the aim of developing space weaponry was to allow the United States to deliver an attack ‘very quickly, with very short time lines on the planning and delivery, any place on the face of the earth.’” “Now the United States is moving....to dominate outer space by destroying the space capacity of other nations, either from the ground or from outer space. It is also planning to orbit weapons which will directly attack the satellites of other countries, and bombard targets on the earth.”
An economic system addicted to profit maximization, and oblivious to human and environmental need, is as enslaved by its addiction, and ultimately undergoes the same physical, economic and moral deterioration, culminating in final collapse, as any person addicted to heroin, crack cocaine, or any other such deadly drug. The addiction distorts the addict’s perception of reality, which in turn jeopardizes survival. Persons subjected to government experiments with LSD often had delusions that they could fly, and jumped out of 10th floor windows of tall buildings, hallucinating that they would soar like an eagle, instead meeting hideous death when they crashed to the ground far below. The United States claims to be fighting, in addition to the War on Terror, a war against drugs, but its economic system is addicted to the ultimately fatal psychological narcotics, greed and lust for power, which like King Midas, whose greed destroyed his most precious beloved daughter, ultimately destroys everything worth living for, and like the Fisherman’s Wife, who, not satisfied with being empress, wanted to be Pope, was immediately reduced to rubble and rags. Those children’s stories contain eternal human truths, but evidently their lessons are unheeded or forgotten by the so-called adults obsessed with profit maximization to the exclusion of all other considerations.
It is necessary to ask what we, as a nation are becoming, and how these distorted priorities will vulgarize out country and diminish the strength and stature of the American people. At a symposium on power couples last year, Evelyn Lauder, who was awarded the French Medal of the Legion of Honor for her work and tireless personal contribution toward the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, deplored the fact that we pay $28 million dollars yearly salary for a basket ball player, but only $28 thousand dollars yearly salary for a school teacher. Mrs. Lauder’s concern with these depraved priorities passed virtually unnoticed. And these priorities are depraved indeed. While trillions of dollars are squandered on more and more hideous and effective weapons to murder human beings, animals and ultimately destroy all possibility of life on this earth, an unspeakably cruel and criminal de facto policy prevails in our treatment of our most elderly citizens, a policy accepted by physicians and medical doctors, who apply it unquestioningly, in and out of hospitals, while they should be on the frontline exposing and protesting, and eliminating it. This de facto policy, which never appears in the Patient’s Bill of Rights, criminally discriminates against the most elderly citizens, who often have the most to offer, with the priceless treasure of accumulated experience and wisdom which only the elderly possess. This policy, which has the effect of a de facto genocide of our geriatric population, is euphemistically called “triage,” and simply stated works in the following way. If only one bed is available in a hospital intensive care unit, and two critically ill patients need intensive care, the elderly patient is denied the intensive care treatment, and left to die, often an agonizing death, and the younger patient is given the bed in the intensive care unit, and permitted to live. This is reminiscent of Hitler’s policy of eliminating anyone deemed ‘defective’ or superfluous, or undesirable as a group (as the elderly are regarded in our pathologically youth obsessed society). Furthermore, a recent Wall Street Journal article exposed the fact that if a certain medication is in limited supply, physicians simply do not inform the elderly of the existence of the medication, upon which their survival may depend. The medication is administered only to younger patients. I personally witnessed the implementation of this monstrous genocidal policy in hospitals both in Washington, D.C. and in New York City, and contacted Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, with a plea that something be done. But he alone cannot protect of most vulnerable geriatric population. A nation which spends trillions of dollars investing in ever more effective methods of murder, instead of investing in adequate numbers of hospitals, intensive care units, and medical care for all its citizens cannot be called civilized Indeed, when Admiral Leahy, Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman stated: “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no major assistance in our war against Japan. We had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages” he had presciently anticipated the deterioration, as had President Eisenhower, when he warned of the “disastrous rise of the Military-Industrial Complex,” of our country into the barbarism which reaches its nadir in our de facto genocide of our geriatric population, which continues, unnoticed, unmentioned and unprotested by physicians throughout the country. Indeed, physicians are in a unique position to change this policy, because they, too, hold the power to save life, or to destroy it, to provide life-saving care or to deny it. But physicians, too, are corrupted by that barbarism which Admiral Leahy identified as underlying our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Every group which suffers discrimination or violation of their civil and human rights can march on Washington, en masse, and fight to gain possession of those rights. The very elderly are physically frail; they are the one group which cannot march on Washington. Evelyn Lauder spoke up, though unheeded, about our distorted priorities. Mrs. Lauder has enormous personal wealth, and she does not immediately suffer from the appalling underpay of our public school teachers. But Mrs. Lauder also has a conscience, and the intelligence to recognize that our distorted priorities will ultimately impoverish our culture and society, and that ultimately, everyone will be diminished, and suffer, as a result. I have not heard physicians deplore the depraved priorities which result in the policy of “triage,” the denial of life-saving medical care to our eldest, and frequently wisest citizens.
It is universally recognized that the sublime Helen Thomas is the most brilliant, courageous and noblest journalist in the United States. Hers is the indispensible voice, and hers is the conscience and the sanity of America. We need Ms. Thomas for at least the next three decades to come, for no one else has the wisdom and the profound decency required to guide us away from the appalling disaster toward which we are headed. She has attained greatness, and she has no equal. Ms. Thomas is 87.
On February 27, 2007, the New York Times Magazine featured an article entitled: “The Stuff Sam Nunn’s Nightmares are Made Of,” by Michael Crowley, mentioning that “Last month Nunn wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal with former Secretary of States Henry Kissinger and George Schultz and former Secretary of Defense William Perry that sent waves through the foreign policy establishment.. Its title was “A world Free of Nuclear Weapons.” The article declared that, after the Cold War, “reliance on Nuclear Weapons for deterrence is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective.” “Deterring terrorist groups has become nearly impossible, and the peacekeeping value of nuclear weapons is more and more outweighed by the risk of their possible use. Therefore, the authors wrote, ‘it is time to pursue the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.’ To seek abolition, in other words.”
On January 8, 2001, when Sam Nunn and Robert Edward (Ted) Turner, III held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., announcing the launch of the “Nuclear Threat Initiative,” Mr. Turner stated that he, himself, would prefer the abolition of all nuclear weapons on earth, but he thought that goal unrealistic and utopian. It is a pity Mr. Turner ignored his own good sense in the matter, since abolition is a goal and an idea whose time had already come decades before, and he was in the finest company when he (so wistfully) spoke of abolition. On April 8, 1978, Nobel Laureate George Wald, Harvard University Professor of Biology, in 1969 awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology, stated, (eight years before the horrific accident at Chernobyl that caused thousands of excruciating deaths of human beings and animals, and devastated large portions of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, the consequences of which are still being suffered today, thirty years later):
“What would bring a biologist into the nuclear power movement? For me it is a concern for life. Nuclear power in all its current forms is life-threatening in three independent ways, each formidable.”
“First is the safety of nuclear power plants. Lay people are told that this is much too technical a matter for them to judge. But those superb realists, the American insurance companies have refused from the beginning to insure nuclear power plants.”
“The second life-threatening property is that every current reactor produces Plutonium 239 as a by-product. That is, at once, perhaps the most toxic substance known and the most convenient material from which to make atom bombs. If you were to inhale one milligram, ever so much smaller than a pinhead, you would be dead of massive fibrosis of the lungs within hours. If you were to inhale one-thousanth of that amount, one microgram, there is a good chance that you would eventually get lung cancer. As for making atom bombs, the trigger quantity of plutonium – the smallest amount from which a bomb can be made, is 4 ½ pounds. One could carry it quite safely in a grocery bag. To make a Hiroshima size bomb would take about 15 pounds; that would need a shopping bag.”
“The third life-threatening aspect of nuclear power involves the disposal of nuclear wastes. No one knows what to do with them. We have periodic meetings of experts, but so far no credible solution. The latest government device is, as usual, designed not to protect but to soothe the public; a national shell game of moving the accumulated wastes to “interim” depositories. Just one component, plutonium, has a half-life of 24,400 years. The whole of human civilization is hardly 10,000 years old. Yet after 24,400 years half the plutonium would be left, after 48,000 years one quarter of it would be left; after 72,000 years one eighth would be left, and that is still too much plutonium.”
While the Nuclear Threat Initiative has been working to secure nuclear weapons facilities in Russia and the former Soviet Republics, one wishes they would heed the alarm sounded by Mark Hertsgaard in the November 2003 issue of Vanity Fair, in an article subtitled: “Washington continues to ignore warnings that its nuclear-weapons facilities – high on any terrorist target list – are frighteningly vulnerable.”
“Rich Levernier spent the six years leading up to September, 2001 running war games for the U.S. government. It was his job to test the preparedness of America’s nuclear weapons facilities against terrorist attacks. Once a year his “black hats” – mock terrorist squads made up of U.S. miltary commandos – would assault Los Alamos and nine other major facilities, as well as the system transporting nuclear weapons around the country by truck. Neither side in these engagements shot real ammunition – harmless laser weapons were used – but in other respects the exercises were deadly serious. Levernier’s black hats were ordered to penetrate a given weapons facility, capture its plutonium or highly enriched uranium, and escape; the facilities’ security forces were expected to repel the mock attackers. The results of these tests, which Levernier reveals publicly here for the first time, are nothing short of alarming. ‘Some of the facilities would fail year after year,’ he says. ‘In more than 50 percent of our tests of the Los Alamos facility, we got in, captured the plutonium, got out again, and in some cases didn’t fire a shot, because we didn’t encounter any guards.’ This despite the fact that security forces were told months in advance exactly what day the ‘terrorists’ were coming.”
According to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission chaired by Hans Blix, “As a step in the right direction, Russian President Putin announced in the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September, 2003 that Russia had assumed an obligation not to be the first to deploy offensive weapons in Outer Space,” and while the United Nations struggles in a desperate effort to prevent all life on earth from being obliterated by the insanity of an attack by weapons placed in outer space, across the island of Manhattan, at the Sheraton Hilton, President Clinton chaired the extraordinary 2007 Clinton Global Initiative which maintained an exquisite focus upon the fundamental necessities required for the survival of viable life on earth – a noble call for humanitarian assistance, encouraging a voluntary redistribution of vast and often excessive personal wealth to provide adequate health care, education, amelioration of the climate crisis and poverty alleviation throughout this tragically troubled earth. Though these issues have been raised, discussed and debated at the United Nations for decades, the dynamism of the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative and the effectiveness with which President Clinton conveyed the urgency of addressing the desperate needs of the majority of the earth’s inhabitants, was both impressive and moving.
In his farewell address, and this cannot be repeated often enough, President Eisenhower warned against “the disastrous rise of the military-industrial complex.” The many trillions of dollars spent on nuclear weapons, and on research and development of space weapons, on Washington’s plans to place “missile defense” in Poland and the Czech Republic, which will inevitably trigger another cold war at staggering cost to the peoples of the United States and Russia, is an exorbitant and outrageous cost in energy, treasure and life which should instead by redirected and spent on fulfilling those very basic needs President Clinton, with profound wisdom, made the foundation his 2007 Global Initiative: the availability of adequate health care on a global scale, global availability of education, alleviation of global poverty and mitigating the effects of global warming. The majority of the earth’s inhabitants cry out that their fundamental human needs cannot any longer be neglected or ignored, and the agony of these destitute majorities is now often manifesting itself in increased terrorism, and in a more unstable and dangerous world than ever before.
Twenty-seven years ago, in a speech of prodigious brilliance, the then Foreign Minister of Mozambique (soon to be President of Mozambique), Joaquim Chissano addressed the United Nations Eleventh Special Session on Economic Development, “Toward the Establishment of a New International Economic Order” and stated:
“The existing economic order is profoundly unjust. It runs counter to the basic interests of developing countries. In the programmes and strategies previously adopted, particularly with regard to the reorganization of the world economy after World War II, the situation and interests of the developing countries was not taken into account. The machinery of international economic relations created conditions favoring the prosperity of market economy developed countries. However, we see the perpetuation of under-development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The peoples of those continents are forced to face hunger, starvation, poverty, nakedness, disease and illiteracy increasingly. We denounce any kind of economic prosperity or independence for part of mankind built on the dependence, domination and exploitation of the rest of mankind. From Algiers to Lagos, through Lima, Mexico City, Colombo, Buenos Aires, Manila, Havana, New Delhi among others, the developing countries have warned the world about the need to take measures to eliminate the main obstacles to emancipation and progress of the peoples struggling for a proper standard of living which would meet the basic needs of life. What brings us together is the need to create a platform of coexistence in a world profoundly damaged by discrepancies that have been deliberately fabricated.”
Chissano continues: “During the colonial period, we were branded as rebels and insurgents when we demanded the restitution of our status as human beings....we tried to talk peaceably with our masters, but no one would listen. The dialogue of force was imposed upon us. We took up arms. Much blood was spilt. But only in that way were we able to win. Today it is exactly the same situation that we are experiencing. We are facing the same obstinacy that we faced in the past. It is the same revulsion that impels us to act. We simply want to talk, to have an honest and sincere dialogue, in which the prevailing will is to do away with selfishness and to build a world in which equality reigns.”
Twenty-seven years later, at the United Nations High Level Dialogue of the General Assembly on Financing For Development, on October 23, 2007, the ethereally beautiful Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of Economic Affairs of Pakistan, delivered another formidably brilliant speech on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the message of which was almost identical to the speech delivered by President Chissano at the United Nations 27 years before. Shamefully little has changed, shamefully little has improved, nuclear weapons are spreading, and the failure to heed the warning of President Chissano and the majority of the developing countries at the 11th Special Session on Economic Development 27 years ago is destabilizing the world exponentially and dangerously, and possibly uncontrollably.
Ms. Rabbani Khar stated: “We are of the firm view that Monterrey suffers from a serious implementation deficit.... Many countries remain mired in the vicious circle of poverty, lacking productive capacity and supply side constraints; dependent often on a single commodity, vulnerable to external economic turbulence and unattractive for commercially driven investment. ...The continuing impasse in the Doha Round of trade negotiations has placed a big question mark on the credibility of the multilateral trading system and the multilateral trade negotiating process, particularly in the context of the commitments made to the developing countries. Clearly answers need to be evolved to how development and trade goals can be reached within the context of continuing inequity and discriminatory constraints imposed by the present multilateral trading system....The global financial system continues to evolve in ways, and in directions over which neither international institutions nor member states have much influence or control. The developing countries certainly have little ability to influence financial trends, despite the fact that these trends have significant implications for their growth and development, not the least due to the volatility of the situation.”
On November 20, 2007 at the Security Council open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, the representative of Ghana stated: “It is now widely recognized that the promotion of human security and human development is the basis of conflict prevention...My delegation wishes to recall Security Council Resolution 1674 and emphasize the need for a coordinated comprehensive approach to the promotion of economic growth, poverty eradication, sustainable development in vulnerable areas and regions by the United Nations and its agencies. Regional and sub-regional organizations also have a role to play in this area. We believe that many conflicts could be avoided if these ideas are actively pursued.”
In The New York Times Women’s Fall Fashion Style Magazine, Fall 2006, page 254 displayed a flimsy dress designed by Dolce and Gabbana selling for $205,000.00 That sum could feed a starving family, impoverished through no fault of its own, in Guatemala – or, for that matter, an impoverished family in the USA for ten years. Perhaps it is not coincidental that the film entitled “Marie Antoinette” opened in movie theatres at that very same time. Last month Women’s Wear Daily magazine, in a chapter entitled “Glorious Excess” displayed an Hermes Birkin handbag selling at $148,000.00. At the same time half the population of the world subsists on less than $2.00 per day, and potable water is inaccessible to millions of people in Africa and elsewhere in the “developing” world. Observing these grotesque inequities, tantamount to criminal negligence of the basic human needs of the majority of the earth’s inhabitants, perhaps it is not surprising that at a dinner at the National Press Club last year the legislative adviser to a distinguished Congressman spoke of the need for a revolution in this country. And at a pre-Christmas dinner last year for members of the National Press Club, one member, disgusted at the obscene and flagrant excess of conspicuous consumption stated, unequivocally that: “it is time to bring back the guillotine.” These dramatic pronouncements indicate a growing awareness that something is dangerously perverse in the global “order.” One can only hope that such growing and widespread concern will prompt adequate humanitarian action to redress these unnecessary and criminal injustices before a conflagration that is becoming increasingly inevitable occurs.
The Mayor of Nagasaki described the consequences of the detonation of one small atomic bomb on a civilian population on August 6+, 1945:
The explosion of the atomic bomb generated an enormous fireball, 200 meters in radius, almost as though a small sun had appeared in the sky. The next instant, a ferocious blast and wave of heat assailed the ground with a thunderous roar. The surface temperature of the fireball was about 7,000 degrees C, and the heat rays that reached the ground were over 3,000 degrees C. The explosion instantly killed or injured people within a two-kilometer radius of the hypocenter, leaving innumerable corpses charred like clumps of charcoal and scattered in the ruins near the hypocenter. In some cases, not even a trace of the person’s remains could be found. A wind (over 680 miles per hour) slapped down trees and demolished most buildings. Even iron-reinforced concrete structures were so badly damaged that they seemed to have been smashed by a giant hammer. The fierce flash of heat meanwhile melted glass and left metal objects contorted like strands of taffy, and the subsequent fires burned the ruins of the city to ashes. Nagasaki became a city of death where not even the sound of insects could be heard.”
“After a while, countless men, women and children began to gather for a drink of water at the banks of the nearby Urakami River, their hair and clothing scorched and their burnt skin hanging off in sheets like rags. Begging for help, they died one after another in the water or in heaps on the banks. Then radiation began to take its toll, killing people like a scourge (of) death expanding in concentric circles from the hypocenter. Four months after the atomic bombing, 74,000 people were dead and 75,000 had suffered injuries, that is, two thirds of the city population had fallen victim to this calamity that came upon Nagasaki like a preview of the Apocalypse.”