War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is refusing to rule out the use of nuclear weapons in Iraq. The Bush Administration is seeking large increases in funding to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons. And the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the White House has considerably lowered the threshold for using nuclear weapons. A first strike nuclear attack by the U.S. is now a possibility.
In addition, CIA Dir. George Tenet is warning a new nuclear arms race between the world’s new nuclear powers is threatening to dismantle more than three decades of nonproliferation efforts.
He said over the past 12 months North Korea, Iraq, Iran and Libya have all moved to obtain equipment to produce weapons-grade material. And there is ongoing concern about Pakistan and India’s nuclear program.
Tenet said, "More has changed on proliferation over the past year than any other issue."
The Washington Post reported that the Tenet’s comments signaled that the Bush administration had concluded nuclear treaties and self-regulation is no longer working.
The Post reported "such a conclusion would buttress the administration’s new national security doctrine which envisions preemptive strikes against potential nuclear powers, as well as bolster the administration’s case for developing missile defenses."
But this all comes as the Bush administrations moves towards reintroducing the use of nukes on the battlefield.
Today we’re going to spend the hour with one of the world’s most famous and respected nuclear experts, physician, activist and writer Helen Caldicott.
In the 1970s, Dr. Caldicott became world famous for her anti-nuclear activism when she started talking about the dangers of nuclear war as a physician. She said most Americans responded, "it’s better to be dead, than red." So she started talking about the actual medical effects of nuclear war. She helped revive the Physicians for Social Responsibility which was later nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Her latest book is ??The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush’s Military Industrial Complex.
She spoke at Smith College on Nov 12, 2002. The speech was recorded by Robbie Leppzer of Turning Tide Productions.
- Dr. Helen Caldicott, speaking at Smith College on Nov 12, 2002. Dr. Caldicott is a pediatrician, founder for the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, and the author of ??The New Nuclear Danger.