The forever war

By Doug Casey

It would certainly appear that the Baby Bush, and his axis-of-evil advisers, are about to do Iraq. Not so long ago, Iraq was our steadfast ally and client state in the Middle East – and a country that, I’d guess, 90 percent of Americans never even knew existed before its invasion of Kuwait. My further guess is that 50 percent of Americans can’t even find it on a globe without substantial looking. But then, war has long been nature’s way of teaching Americans geography.

War is also, by far, the most unpredictable of human activities. Predicting the immediate and direct consequences of the upcoming war is hard enough. But predicting the indirect and delayed consequences of it are something else again. Nonetheless, I think it’s worth a try, simply because one needs a theoretical framework if you’re going to even try to make intelligent decisions. So let me spell mine out for you. If you disagree with facets of it, then you’ll be better able to decide where my thinking here may be clouding my thinking in investments.

At risk of being unpopular (admittedly a risk I’ve run my whole life), let me state my brief: The impending war is not only unnecessary, it’s unethical, will turn out to be totally counterproductive, will serve to further erode Americans’ freedoms and move them further toward national bankruptcy, to boot. Are there any positives to it? I’m not sure there are any at all.

Quite frankly, the current drive toward war with a small (13 million people), backward country pretty much on the other side of the globe puzzles me.

I have no question that its leader is a sociopath. But that’s true of many, if not most of the world’s leaders, and we aren’t about to start wars with them for that reason – many have been, or are, “allies.” The main reason for the war, it seems, is that the Bush regime alleges that Iraq has, or is developing, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Of course, India, China, Israel, Russia, North Korea and Pakistan also have them, but that’s OK because they’re big Third World countries. Iran, Brazil, Argentina and a dozen other countries could have them at will. And absolutely anybody could, today, have them with only a minimum of trouble.

“Basement Nukes”

The fact of the matter is that – forget about countries – any individual in the world with a modicum of intelligence and wealth can develop biological and chemical weapons on his own – that’s not even a subject of debate. More interesting is that the same is true of nuclear weapons. In fact, it was during the ’70s that an old friend of mine, Irwin Strauss, wrote a book called “Basement Nukes,” which explained exactly how an individual could fabricate a primitive nuclear device from available materials.

I know the very concept sounds outrageous, but what was rocket science for those involved on the Manhattan Project 60 years ago is now, actually, just a matter of well-understood engineering. I’m not even positing the theft of plutonium or enriched uranium, just access to a uranium-ore body. Of course, the most efficient way to get a nuclear weapon is to simply buy one from a Russian general, or maybe a Russian sergeant (since he’s the one who actually moves them around, and guards them). Almost anyone can do almost anything – if they have sufficient will.

So, is the government of Iraq working on nukes? Well, the U.S. government has offered zero actual proof of that. But it’s a reasonable assumption, with technology being what it is. And it’s reasonable to believe that so are the governments of a dozen other countries, and, for all anyone knows, that many non-governmental organizations as well. The cat has been out of the bag for a long time on this one.