Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


"Osama bin Laden was already understood to be trying to spark a "clash of civilization" that would set the West against the whole House of Islam... apocalyptic conflict between irreconcilable cultures...

"...the primitive notion that violence can be a sacred act. The cult of martyrdom... was institutionalized in the Crusades...

"...the deeper significance of Bush's inadvertent reference to the Crusades: Instead of being a last recourse or a necessary evil, violence was established then as the perfectly appropriate, even chivalrous, first response to what is wrong in the world... Bush's savior is the Jesus whose cross is wielded as a sword. George W. Bush, having cheerfully accepted responsibility for the executions of 152 death-row inmates in Texas, had already shown himself to be entirely at home with divinely sanctioned violence. After 9/11, no wonder it defined his deepest urge...

"...Ariel Sharon's government took up the Bush "dead or alive" credo with unthusiasm and used the "war on terrorism" to fuel self-defeating over-reactions to Palestinian provocations...

"The odd and tragic thing is that the world before Bush was actually nearing consensus on how to manage the problem of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and had begun to put in place promising structures designed to prevent such spread... All of that has been trashed by Bush. "International law?" he smirked in December 2003. "I better call my lawyer"...

"Now indications are that nations all over the globe -- Japan, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil, Australia -- have begun re-evaluating their rejections of nukes, and some are positively rushing to acquire them... And the Bush Administration -- by declaring its own nuclear arsenal permanent, by threatening nuclear first-strikes against other nations, by "warehousing" treaty-defused warheads instead of destroying them, by developing a new line of "usable" nukes, by moving to weaponize the "high frontier" of outer space, by doing little to help Russia get rid of its rotting nuclear stockpile, by embracing "preventive war" -- is enabling this trend instead of discouraging it. How can this be?

"The problem has its roots in a long-term American forgetfulness, going back to the acid fog in which the United States ended World War II. There was never a complete moral reckoning with the harsh momentum of that conflict's denouement -- how American leaders embraced a strategy of terror bombing, slaughtering whole urban populations, and how, finally, they ushered in the atomic age with the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Scholars have debated those questions, but politicians have avoided them, and most citizens have pretended they aren't really question at all. America's enduring assumptions about its own moral supremacy, its own altruism, its own exceptionalism, have hardly been punctured by consideration of the possibility that we, too, are capable of grave mistakes, terrible crimes...

""The past is never dead," William Faulkner said. "It isn't even past." How Americans remember their country's use of terror bombing affects how they think of terrorism...

"Forgetfulness is the handmaiden of tyranny. The Bush Administration is fully committed to maintaining what historian Marc Trachtenberg calls our "nuclear amnesia"... As it pursues a world-threatening campaign against other people's weapons of mass destruction... the Bush Administration refuses to confront the moral meaning of America's own weapons of mass destruction, not to mention their viral character, as other nations seek smaller versions of the American arsenal, if only to deter Bush's next "preventive" war. The United States' own arsenal, in other words, remains the primordial cause of the WMD plague" (James Carroll. "The Bush Crusade." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 14-22).


"...the Bush administration has been using nonproliferation policy to demonize foreign governments it doesn't like and to manipulate US public opinion. The most egregious example was the totally discredited claim that Saddam Hussein was on the verge of manufacturing nuclear weapons -- a claim used to manufacture support for the US invasion of Iraq" ("Nonproliferation Politics." The Nation, Oct. 11, 2004: 6).


"The most deadly weapons in the world today are legal, accessible and dirt cheap. And the United States is spreading them around the world"...

"The AK-47, the M-16 and other so-called "small arms" are responsible for the deaths of half a million people each year. About 300,000 people mostly civilians are killed in wars, coups d'etat and other armed conflicts each year by small arms. Another 200,000 people are killed each year in homicides, suicides, unintentional shootings and shootings by law enforcement officers using these weapons. In addition to those killed, an estimated 1.5 million people are wounded by small arms annually. If we take into account their cumulative impact, small arms are truly weapons of mass destruction.

"These lethal weapons are cheap, portable and easily concealed, making them ideal weapons for terrorists. They are hard to destroy and so simple to operate that even an eight-year old can carry and use them.

"The United States has the dubious honor of being the largest exporter, with $741.4 million in sales in 2003, which accounts for 18 percent of the market. The U.S. also purchased $602.5 million in small arms and munitions in 2003, making it the largest importer of small arms, as well.

"The failure of nations like the United States to curb the manufacture of these deadly weapons has a devastating impact on human rights, development and the war against terrorism." (Mass Destruction in Small Packages, by Frida Berrigan, World Policy Institute)


WMD, Nuclear Weapons, Shameful U.S. Acts, Veterans

"U.S./British Forces Continue Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons Despite Massive Evidence of Negative Health Effects" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 57).

"British and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq.. flouting a U.N. resolution that classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction...

"Our own soldiers in the first Gulf War were often required to enter radioactive battlefields unprotected and were never warned of the dangers.. In effect, George Bush Sr. used weapons of mass destruction on his own soldiers" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 58).


"U.S. weapons inspectors have all but given up their search for proof of illicit weapons programs in Iraq. Millions of dollars have been spent on the search, which has produced very little, if any, evidence of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

"Meanwhile in the U.S., FCNL intern Adam Miles has been far more successful locating weapons of mass destruction. Equipped with only a desktop computer and a connection to the Internet, Miles located more than two dozen U.S. sites with nuclear or chemical weapons activity. Sites were found in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming! FCNL Information Technology Specialist Erin Nichols then used the information to create a map detailing the nuclear and chemical weapons complex in the U.S.

"In contrast to Iraq, U.S. sites with weapons of mass destruction are not difficult to find. The U.S. nuclear weapons complex is enormous, maintaining approximately 8,000 nuclear warheads and delivery systems. Countries that are threatened by the U.S., including Iran and North Korea, consider this reality when deciding whether to pursue their own weapons programs. The vast U.S. nuclear arsenal is a main driving force of nuclear proliferation.

"Please follow this link: (https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/Link.asp?link=23609) to a map of sites in the U.S. with nuclear and chemical weapons. Use the information to inform others about the instability resulting from the vast weapons complex in the U.S." (FCNL email, 8/11/04).


Colby Glass, MLIS