by Dave Zweifel / Capitol Times –
WASHINGTON (September 22, 2003) — Is George Bush the most dangerous president in US history? If you ask Professor John Swomley, he is.
Swomley, who teaches Christian ethics at the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, has authored an indictment of the Bush administration’s foreign policy that includes actual plans to use nuclear bombs as pre-emptive weapons.
It is essential, he says in a magazine article, for Americans to understand that the administration has directed the military to prepare plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries — China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Libya and Iraq.
Presumably, had Iraq had those so-called weapons of mass destruction and had used them when we invaded the country this spring, we were prepared to drop a weapon of mass destruction of our own.
And Swomley warns that we shouldn’t buy the argument that these nukes are small and won’t be all that horrific.
“Nuclear weapons, even if they are smaller than those of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, will not only kill on impact, but raise immense radioactive dust, with the terrible results of slow, agonizing death from radiation,” he writes.
“Some people make the assumption that using smaller nuclear weapons will allow accurate precision bombing, such as was claimed for the bombing of Iraq,” he adds. “What was not reported by officials is that although the Iraq ‘smart’ bombs rarely missed a target by more than 13 feet, when a bomb blew up it sent high-speed shrapnel flying as far as a mile, causing many civilian casualties. The additional power of a nuclear bomb, together with its dispersal of radioactivity, is sure to produce infinitely more harm.”
Nevertheless, the US Senate has already approved Bush’s request to lift a 10-year ban on research, development and production of nuclear weapons of less than 5 kilotons.
Swomley quotes defense budget analyst Bill Donahue, who says that the United States is spending roughly $5.8 billion on nuclear weapons this year and that the Los Alamos National Laboratories have been told to begin developing “earth penetrator” mini-nukes even before seeking permission from Congress.
The professor insists that Bush is hell-bent on building an American empire as envisioned by the likes of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield, his underlings Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, Vice President Dick Cheney and State Department hawks Richard Armitage and John Bolton. The philosophy is pre-emptive war, unilateral action and world domination.
“The problem we face today is one that Al Gore described as a new doctrine that destroys the goal of a world in which states consider themselves subject to law, in favor of the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the president of the United States,” Swomley insists.
Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times.