What if the former Soviet Union had attacked the United States, and killed over 5,000 Americans and spread deadly anthrax throughout our nation? Would we have responded in a measured fashion, such as is now occurring in Afghanistan. Obviously not!
As a child of 11 during the Cuban missile crisis, and having lived through the cold war and Vietnam eras, I had always thought – and indeed the country was led to believe – that if our shores were ever assaulted from overseas, the foreigners responsible for this would pay at least a hundred fold. Indeed, it was the lack of a measured response, where the adversary would know that attacking America would bring about its immediate destruction, that kept the country from being attacked.
I have been very busy in the last few weeks on Judicial Watch client matters, but have wanted to write this article. Before I could do so, several military and national security commentators have expressed their views that the present military campaign in Afghanistan is not only going poorly, but is compromising America’s credibility around the globe. I agree!
For as the United States continues to pound sand in the desert, with Osama bin Laden and his Taliban accomplices holed up in caves and civilian villages and mosques – all of which, for so-called political reasons, are off-limits to U.S. bombing – the president of the United States has been engaged in a war of words with them, with each side giving its rendition, on television and radio, of not only the progress of the war, but making almost daily threats against each other. The spectacle of this “tit for tat,” coupled with our military ineffectuality, has not only placed bin Laden and the Taliban on the same plane as the president of the United States, it has undercut George W. Bush’s credibility and promise to the American people and the world that these terrorists would be dealt with severely.
American prestige and power has been significantly reduced. Our timidity to act decisively, coupled with the populace’s fear of the unknown, has brought the country to its knees. This sad fact cannot be overlooked simply because tearful Americans proudly and correctly display their flag in exhibitions of love for the country and our fallen brothers and sisters.
The U.S. military, hamstrung by the political calculus of the Bush administration’s “proportionate response” to the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings – all in an attempt to placate so-called moderate Arab states who supply American tycoons with imported oil – has in characteristic “Vietnamesque” fashion spewed forth propaganda about how well the air war is going. It has boasted that bin Laden has a noose around his neck, and that his operations have been disrupted.
But how can this be so when, in almost the same breath, the commander in chief is warning the nation that a huge bio-chemical or nuclear attack could be imminent, our vice president (who is the de facto commander in chief) is “holed up” and in hiding in an undisclosed location outside of Washington, D.C., and members of Congress are putting forth emergency legislation to clarify how to choose representatives of Congress should it lose 25 percent or more of its members? And why has Vice President Dick Cheney said, on more than one occasion, in uncharacteristic pessimism, if not a sense of defeat, that this may be the first war where casualties at home exceed those overseas. If bin Laden has been stopped, even temporarily, why then the predictions of doom?
Our limited military effort in Afghanistan, where bin Laden and Taliban leaders remain on the loose, has given them the time, and wherewithal, to mount a huge counterattack on the United States. The president and vice president know this, and that is why they speak of and are preparing the nation for imminent disaster. Obviously, the Bush administration and their Republican colleagues in Congress do not want to be blamed at the ballot booth for what is now likely in store.
During the cold war, the United States developed and deployed in Western Europe tactical nuclear weapons, designed to be used in major population centers to stop a Soviet invasion. The weapons in many respects are small and discreet, but pack a tremendous punch. They are designed to quickly arrest or end an escalating conflict, with minimum civilian casualties.
If, as the Bush administration now boasts, it knows the locale of the five or six caves in which Osama bin Laden and his Taliban cohorts are hiding in Afghanistan, should it not consider the use of these tactical nuclear weapons to exterminate, like cockroaches, these terrorists, before they strike back at the American civilian population in massive fashion, as the president has predicted? And if, as the president also predicted last Tuesday in a televised address to European leaders, bin Laden intends to use nuclear weapons on the West, should the United States and its allies not beat him to the punch, before it is too late?
During World War II, America was aware of efforts by Nazi Germany and the Japanese to develop and use nuclear weapons on U.S. shores. (Importantly, President Bush has equated bin Laden’s meglomania to fascism). In response, we initiated and then accelerated the Manhattan Project, developed the atom bomb, and then quickly dropped two of them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While we knew that civilian casualties would be huge, it was correctly reasoned by President Truman that this would go far in ending the war, ultimately sparing a far greater number of civilian deaths. And, at least the deaths would not be American!
As President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other U.S. officials wage a prolonged, conventional and ineffectual political bombing campaign designed to placate Arab members of their coalition (many of whom are themselves on the terrorist state watch list of the State Department), bin Laden and his criminal accomplices plan the next wave of terror designed to destroy American and Western civilization as we know it. The time is long overdue, before further catastrophes killing tens of millions of our citizens occur, and in advance of additional humiliation to the American psyche and standing in the world, for our leaders to take strong, decisive action, and eradicate bin Laden and his cohorts with tactical nuclear weapons … before they eradicate us.