Jimmy Carter: US prime culprit in nuclear proliferation


Richard Moore

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    Carter: US "Prime Culprit" in Nuclear Proliferation
    By Sherwood Ross
    t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
    Friday 22 December 2006
Ex-President Carter warns: Bush betrays Reagan goals.

Former President Jimmy Carter says by "rejecting or evading almost all nuclear 
arms control agreements negotiated during the past 50 years, the United States 
has now become the prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation."

In his book Our Endangered Values (Simon & Schuster), Carter leaves no doubt he 
has that Great Proliferator, George W. Bush, in mind -even though he doesn't 
call him that or mention him by name. Just as damning, though, Carter quotes an 
article by ex-defense secretary Robert McNamara in last year's May/June Foreign 
Policy: "I would characterize current US nuclear weapons policy as immoral, 
illegal, militarily unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous." And that indictment 
can be laid at the feet of only one hombre.

President Bush voiced his "preventive war" doctrine in September 2002, and then 
gave the world a glimpse of first-strike by invading Iraq. He also poured 
billions into America's ugly germ-warfare labs, morphing them into aggressive 
postures. And he's the first man in Rome when it comes to renewing the dread 
nuclear arms race. You wonder where the outcry was from stalwart Republicans 
when Bush decided to resume nuclear arms development. After all, it was 
President Reagan's noblest achievement to strike a deal with Soviet leader 
Mikhail Gorbachev to rid the planet of thousands of nukes.

As Reagan scholar Paul Lettow noted in a Heritage Foundation lecture: "He 
[Reagan] and Gorbachev signed the INF [Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty
in 1987, which eliminated an entire category of nuclear weapons ... and he laid 
the foundation for President George H.W. Bush to complete the first Strategic 
Arms Reduction Treaty."

By contrast, Bush's course is downright scary. As Carter writes, "American 
leaders have not only abandoned existing treaty restrictions but also assert 
plans to test and develop new weapons, including antiballistic missiles, the 
earth-penetrating 'bunker buster,' and perhaps some secret new 'small' bombs."

Carter goes on to write of The Bushidos, "They have also reneged on past pledges
and have reversed another long-standing policy, by threatening first use of 
nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states." Reagan pledged to Gorbachev the US 
would never be the first to start an atomic war. Bush betrays that legacy by 
warning Iran the "nuclear option" is thinkable.

When Bush announced he would pull the US out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation 
Treaty of 1970, not wishing to be left out, Moscow responded by announcing plans
to upgrade its nuclear force. Again, after Bush scrapped the "no first use" 
policy, Chinese major general Zhu Chenghu responded that China was under 
internal pressure to do likewise. "If the Americans draw their missiles and 
position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we
will have to respond with nuclear weapons," Chenghu said. The man's right to 
worry. The Pentagon has been transferring missile-capable attack subs from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific.

You don't have to be Chinese to be worried. As the Bulletin of the Atomic 
Scientists warns, "The United States is on the verge of committing itself to 
churning out a new generation of nuclear weapons without fully vetting the 
consequences for itself and its efforts to halt and roll back proliferation 

Although the "Bush Doctrine" called for the use of new, so-called "low-yield" 
nukes to dissuade hostile nations from acquiring WMD, the Bulletin states that 
"the new weapons concepts advanced to date seem to have little to do with 
deterrence of a nuclear (or other WMD) attack on the United States or its 
allies. Instead, they appear to be geared toward a warfighting role, which could
ultimately undermine rather than enhance US security."

Bush's "preventive war" doctrine, the Bulletin adds, incites regional powers to 
get their own WMD, since their conventional forces can't match the US's. "If the
[US] nuclear posture contemplates using nuclear weapons against such states, 
they may be further encouraged to build such weapons and ... the result may be 
more proliferation."

Carter notes US proliferation "is an increasing source of instability" in the 
Middle East and Asia. US ally Israel's "uncontrolled and unmonitored weapons 
status," he adds, "pushes leaders in neighboring Iran, Syria, Egypt and other 
Arab nations to join the nuclear weapon community."

Those opposed to impeaching Bush might do well to ask themselves, "Can I trust 
this man's finger on a nuclear trigger that could ignite 6,000 warheads, enough 
to roast the planet and all creatures that dwell thereupon?" George Bush doesn't
have to be crazy to be dangerous. Just unscrupulous. And he's proved that, lying
to justify his invasion of Iraq, and scheming to get the Joint Chiefs to 
consider nuking Iran. (Reportedly, they don't want any part of it.)

Americans want peace. They are tired of being misled into cockeyed wars to fight
and bleed in far-off countries that pose no danger to them. And they have come 
to fear a man in the White House who threatens their liberties, renounces 
cherished treaties, tortures his victims, shovels billions into germ-warfare 
schemes, and stokes the furnaces of nuclear war. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez was 
right when he told the UN he could smell the sulfur in the chamber after Bush 
spoke. Who says the devil has to live underground? George Bush is in the White 
House, and the whole world is feeling the heat.


Sherwood Ross is an American-based columnist. Reach him at •••@••.•••.

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