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Peering Into the Abyss of the Future: As Presidents Bush and Putin Sign a New Nuclear Arms Treaty Paving the Way for Star Wars, Scholar Noam Chomsky Talks About the Role of Nuclear Weapons in U.S. Glo

May 24, 2002

President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a nuclear arms treaty today.

The treaty doesn’t require either side to destroy a single missile launcher or warhead. Instead, it allows them to keep weapons in storage where they can be reactivated on short notice.

The treaty’s only real constraint is that each side must have no more than 2,200 warheads by the year 2012. But that’s when the treaty expires. So each can actually have as many weapons as it likes unless the treaty is extended. And both sides have far more strategic nuclear warheads than they need–the Pentagon itself called for reducing its active warheads to that number in its own classified strategy documents.

The agreement is also expected to pave the way for Bush’s unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile treaty, so he can build a "star wars" global missile system.

Bush said the signing "ended a long chapter of confrontation and opened up an entirely new relationship between our countries." Putin called the treaty "a serious move ahead to ensure international security."

Well, we turn now to a speech by MIT professor Noam Chomsky on the past and future of nuclear weapons and their role in global domination.

But nuclear arms will not be the only topic of discussion between Bush and Putin over the next few days. Newsweek is reporting the two could also form a so-called "energy security" pact. Under the agreement, Russia would offer to make up any shortfalls in oil supplies to the West when there are crises in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East.

We turn now to Professor Noam Chomsky. He begins by talking about America’s long pursuit of oil in the Middle East. He then turns to the issue of America’s nuclear weapons and global domination.

Noam Chomsky is a Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chomsky is a leading scholar and critic of US foreign policy and the author of many books, including ??9-11, recently published by Seven Stories Press. He gave this speech in March at Stanford University.


  • Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.