A smashing end to nuclear armament

What do all the following things have in common? Jordache stonewashed jeans, tube socks, New Kids on the Block and the proposals in President George’s 2002 Nuclear Posture Review.Give up? They are all things that should have had their heyday and then died peacefully in the 1980s. The first three sure kept to their graves, but now your U.S. government, led by Emperor George II, is putting into motion plans to return the country to the wonderful tension of Cold War Earth.

The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a confidential document that is supposed to outline the U.S. nuclear strategy for the next several years. President Clinton, for example, had one in 1994.

Unfortunately for Bush and Co., the 2002 NPR leaked out of the walls of the Pentagon for the entire world to see. And what we are seeing is not a pretty picture of the future of nuclear arms control.

For one, the posture calls for an absolute halt to all arms control whatsoever. The Department of Defense insists that the United States has to be able to modernize the awesome destructive capability of nuclear weapons in an ever-changing world.

Translation: We have to be able to build more destructive bombs to kill more people as the need to kill more people arises. The report contends that U.S. conventional capabilities, while massive enough to destroy any army anywhere in the world, are not enough. No, if we feel brazen enough, we want to have the power to decide whether or not to decimate our enemies, while, at the same time, destroy whatever ecosystem and natural environment we happen to be firing upon.

I doubt that I am the only one who finds this a little scary. During the Cold War, the whole purpose of building up our nuclear arms cache was to dissuade the Soviets from firing on us and vice versa.

Now, the United States, the lone major nuclear superpower, less a floundering Russia that wouldn’t use nukes if Stalin still had his finger on the button, wants the power to fire nukes on our enemies as we see fit.

The report does have some “positives.” It highlights the need to reduce the number of active nuclear weapons from 6,000 to somewhere around 1,700-2,200 warheads. Good, but where will the deactivated nukes go? Will they be destroyed?

Not bloody likely. The better chance is that they will be put into warehouses and saved for a rainy day, when whoever is in charge decides he (or she) needs to use them.

The report also calls to move the United States from a totally nuclear defense to one of conventional weapons. Such moves should evoke cheers from the masses, less one small problem. By reducing our dependence on nuclear defense, in itself a good thing, George sees a missile defense system as the only way to protect ourselves from the warhead shot on an ICBM that will never come. Not to mention the reliability of a nuclear defense “shield.” While recent tests have been “successful,” the truth is we don’t know if it will work 100 percent of the time. Or even 90 percent of the time.

Uh, Mr. President, I want you to know that, while we lost Chicago and Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco are still there. Not bad, eh?

The 2002 NPR is nothing but a unilateralist move by Bush and Friends to go on a defense spending spree, wasting trillions of dollars on things that don’t even work, and altogether make the world a more tense place to live. Thanks, guys.

Joe Roma is a sophomore majoring in political science.rahner13@hotmail.com