"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666" (Rev. 13:16-18).
"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: 'If ANYONE worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name. This calls for patient endurance on the part of THE SAINTS who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus' " (Rev. 14:9-12).
"But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur" (Rev. 19:20).
"And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed" (Rev 13:13-15).
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (2 Thess. 2:9-12).
"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years" (Rev. 20:4-6).
"Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction" (2 Thess. 2:3).
He was given power to make war against THE SAINTS and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast -- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of THE SAINTS" (Rev. 13:7-10).
"They overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death" (Rev. 12:11). "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28).
The beast is described as a creature that rises up out of the sea in "the last days" and becomes a world dictator and god figure. As the year 2000 nears, many people and especially the Christians are nervously awaiting events that they believe may soon signal the end of the church age, the return of Jesus Christ, and the appearance of the antichrist. The beast is a key part of the Biblical prophecy.
The great army of the north (Russia). the army of the east (China), and the army of the south (Iraq and other Arab states) appear poised and ready to clash with the armies of the west, (NATO Alliance).
It is not that any of these other world nations agree with each other. More that they share a deep hatred for the United States. In our attempt to keep the peace by being a police officer over the remainder of the world, we are perceived as a powerful and dangerous bully. Could this conflict be the prelude to the Biblical battle of Armageddon?
The U. S. military now has a super computer called BEAST (Battle Engagement Area Simulation and Tracking), which is designed to read a computer chip that can be placed in the hand or forehead of every human.
That chip, believe it or not, is called MARCC (Multiple Automated Readout Computer Chip).
America is the target of a nuclear attack conspiracy by Russia & China & the Islamic Arab world, leading to World War III. National security and foreign policy by military experts and top investigative journalists, about international defiance (e.g. communist and rogue/terrorist states) to U.S. hegemonism and U.N. sanctions, and prophetic dreams, visions and prophecies by the Holy Spirit provide overwhelming evidence that the Bible's book of Revelation will soon be fulfilled ...
Please consider this vision indicating that Arafat's removal is THE Sign that immediately precedes the rise of the works of Antichrist...
Before being diverted by wild speculations about the book of Revelation's (chapter 13) first "beast" (also commonly referred to as "Antichrist"), it is vital to understand that the generation we live in is more rational, skeptical, and well-informed than ever before. It is highly unlikely that a charismatic spiritual-political leader will suddenly "pop-up" out of nowhere and quickly convince the world to follow him by the appeal of charisma and even signs and wonders.
The first "beast" of Revelation 13 must be equally influential both spiritually and politically, for we know from Revelation 17:12-18 that ten nations will come under the geopolitical influence of this "beast" in order to attack the "harlot" (see Why did God name America "Mystery Babylon?"). This Antichrist is likely a man who has achieved greatness during a lengthy spiritual-political career, being gradually vindicated by a succession of past, present and future supernatural prophetic signs, which will peak at the opportune time (see Revelation 13:13-15).
Although there are plenty of celebrity figures with great social or symbolic (e.g. Prince Charles, King Hussein) and even spiritual (e.g. Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra) influence, they have little or no geo- (i.e. worldwide) political influence. As the leader of the world's greatest superpower, President Bush's spiritual influence hardly seems to go beyond his personal faith -- all his attempts to do so would are dismissed as politically motivated, and in violation of Church-State separation. However, as of 2004, President Bush appears to be on a Holy Crusade (mission from God) to 'free' all the rest of the countries in the world to a "New World Order" in a huge democratic coalition. He is in mental control of millions of people who think just like him. If he wins the election in 2004, he will be even more powerful that he was in 2000 - following in his Daddy's footsteps - and will feel justified that he was 'right' and continue in his quest to control how the rest of the world thinks along with his secret/hidden Illuminati controllers.
To date, the Vatican State (Holy See) has been the only religio-political power in the world, making Roman Catholicism the only world religion to have a political role in world affairs. During his Pontificate, Pope John Paul II has made historical political (i.e. diplomatic) and religious amends in relations with countries and religious leaders all over the world -- he contributed to the "liberation" of the U.S.S.R., made a historical conciliatory millennial tour to Israel and Arab nations, and has made historical progress in pacifying Cuba's and most recently China's communistic hostility towards Catholicism, all within the missionary context of "consecrating" these nations to the "Immaculate Heart of Mary."
On the other hand, the Arab Nations and their Muslim radical factions seem to be taking on a larger and larger role. This bears watching closely as a coalition of Arab factions can set off Armageddon.
|1715 - Yamasee War
The Yamasee Indians were part of the Muskhogean language group. Their traditional homelands lay in present-day northern Florida and southern Georgia. The advent of the Spanish in the late 16th century forced the Yamasee to migrate north into what would become South Carolina. Relations between the tribe and English settlers in that region were generally positive during the latter half of the 17th century.
Not surprisingly, problems between the races developed. The continuing influx of white settlers put pressure on Indian agricultural and hunting lands. The relationship was further complicated in that the tribe had become dependent on English firearms and other manufactured items, and had incurred a large debt, typically payable in deerskins. White fur traders acted on their displeasure by enslaving a number of Yamasee women and children to cover portions of the outstanding debt.
In the spring of 1715, the Yamasee formed a confederation with other tribes and struck at the white settlements in South Carolina. Several hundred settlers were killed, homes burned and livestock slaughtered. The frontier regions were emptied; some fled to the relative safety of North Carolina and others pushed on to even more secure Virginia. Charleston also received large numbers of frightened settlers.
At the height of the fighting, it appeared that the tribal confederation's overwhelming numerical superiority would end in the white settlements' complete destruction in the region. This would have been a virtual certainty if the confederacy had successfully drawn the Cherokee into their cause. Instead, the Cherokee gave in to the lure of English weapons and other goods, and chose to aid the Carolinians. In a further stroke of good fortune, the besieged settlers also managed to gain support from Virginia — an event not assured in this age of intense colonial rivalries.
The tide turned against the Yamasee, who were slowly pushed south through Georgia back into their ancestral lands in northern Florida. There, the tribe was virtually annihilated by protracted warfare with the Creeks, but some members were absorbed by the Seminole.
The Yamasee War took a heavy toll in South Carolina. Such terror had been instilled in the minds of the frontiersmen that it would take nearly 10 years for resettlement to occur in many areas. The warfare also brought a sharp change to the region's economy. Originally, farming had been the settlers' primary occupation, but the livestock supply had been so drastically depleted that many farms disappeared. In their absence, enterprising South Carolinians turned to the forests as a source of naval stores (tar, pitch and turpentine) and soon developed a lucrative trade with England. Later, the economy would develop rice and indigo as its primary products.
NAVIES OF THE WORLD
China to Buy 8 More Russian SubmarinesBy John Pomfret
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
BEIJING, June 24 -- China has begun negotiations with Russia to buy eight more submarines in a $1.6 billion deal that will significantly boost its ability to blockade Taiwan and challenge U.S. naval supremacy in nearby seas, Western and Russian sources said.
Four Russian producers are bidding to build the diesel-powered Project 636 Kilo-class vessels, which will be equipped with Klub long-range, anti-ship missile systems, defense experts said.
China has already purchased four Kilo-class subs from Russia, including two Project 636 models. The deal for additional submarines is part of a $4 billion weapons package that Russia has committed to provide China over the next four to five years. Included in the package are two more Sovremenny-class destroyers, adding to a pair China has already received, a new batch of S300 PMU2 anti-aircraft missiles and 40 Su-30MKK fighter-bombers.
The $4 billion sale cements Russia's place as China's biggest military trading partner, far ahead of Israel and such former Soviet states as Ukraine. It also cements China's place as the world's biggest weapons importer, underscoring its race with Taiwan for military supremacy across the Taiwan Strait.
China became the world's biggest importer of weapons in 2000, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It maintained the No. 1 position last year, mostly through purchases of ships and combat aircraft worth close to $3 billion, more than twice any other buyer's acquisitions.
The United States is Taiwan's main military supplier. In April 2001, the Bush administration approved a multibillion dollar package that included eight diesel submarines, 30 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters, 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft, four Kidd-class destroyers, long-range radar systems and Patriot III missiles. The U.S. submarine deal is uncertain, however, because the United States no longer makes or designs diesel-powered subs and two nations that do, Germany and the Netherlands, have refused to allow the United States to use their designs or manufacturers.
The Chinese submarine deal will "very significantly enhance [the Chinese] navy's ability to influence events in the East China Sea," said Bernard Cole, an expert on the Chinese navy at the National War College in Washington, "first, by enforcing a blockade against Taiwan, if Beijing adopts that course of action, and also by posing a serious problem for opposing naval forces attempting to operate in the area."
The deal reflects China's double-barreled military modernization strategy. On one hand, the strategy seeks to enable its army to recover Taiwan by force, if necessary. On the other, it wants to deter any intervention by the United States, which has committed itself to Taiwan's defense under the vaguely worded Taiwan Relations Act.
Two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups faced down Chinese threats to the island in 1996 after China fired missiles across the strait during training exercises. Assuming China could detect the U.S. carriers in the future, such a response would be riskier once the new submarines are operational, defense experts said.
The deal, first reported on June 7 by the Kanwa Intelligence Review, a publication based in Canada and focused on the Chinese military, has prompted competition among Russian manufacturers to win the contract, although China's desire to have swift delivery means that work will occur at several plants simultaneously.
Russian press reports have identified the contenders as the Admiralteyskie Verfi shipbuilding plant based in St. Petersburg, the Komsomolsk-on-Amur shipbuilding plant, the Krasnoye Sormovo shipbuilding plant in Nizhny Novgorod and the Sevmash shipbuilding plant based in Severodvinsk.
China's own submarine manufacturing program has encountered difficulty, especially a multibillion dollar program to develop the Song class guided-missile submarine. China tried to develop the Song to replace its 1962-vintage Romeo-class attack submarines.
According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the first Song, built with assistance from Israel and others, started sea trials in 1995, but proved a failure. A second substantially modified Song began sea trials in early 2000, but analysts say these are far behind schedule and have yet to be completed.
"If Beijing is going to buy eight additional Kilos, it means that their domestic program to build Songs is, in fact, in trouble, which would certainly not surprise me," Cole said.
A second problem associated with China's purchase of the Kilos concerns its ability to use the submarines properly. China bought four Kilo-class submarines during the 1990s, two of the export version and two of the more capable Project 636 version produced by Russia for its own navy. The Chinese navy has experienced operating problems because of initially inadequate crew training, and more consistently because of certain material problems, such as troublesome batteries.
The new Kilo will be equipped with an anti-ship missile system with a range of 140 miles. But China would need to develop the ability to see "over the horizon" to use the weapons properly, defense experts said. Most submarines can only "see" a few miles without the aid of satellites, other submarines, airplanes or ships.
"China still cannot find ships at sea," a senior U.S. defense official said. "Over-the-horizon targeting escapes them. The United States built an open ocean surveillance capability in the 1960s. China has all the tools to build its own but it has not."
In 2003 China had 69 submarines, only one of which was a ballistic missile carrier. China had 63 principal surface ships, including 21 destroyers and 42 frigates, and over 360 patrol and coastal combatants.
|In 2004 - Russia has 74 submarines of various types: See:
The Russian Federation also had including 13 ballistic missile boats, 32 principal surface ships, 1 aircraft carrier, 7 cruisers, 14 destroyers, 88 patrol and coastal combatants, 22 amphibious ships, and about 435 support vessels.
The Soviet military tested nuclear weapons on the islands of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean, which was their second testing site after Semipalatinsk (now Semey), Kazakhstan. Nuclear reactors and wastes were dumped into the Barents and Kara seas of the far north, and in far eastern Siberia. Dumping of nuclear wastes in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) continued until 1993. The disposal of nuclear submarines and nuclear waste is still a problematic issue. Although a number of nuclear submarines have been decommissioned, most are still docked at Russian ports as a result of a lack of money and facilities for storing nuclear wastes.
|In 2003 the U.S. Navy had
72 submarines (including 18 ballistic missile submarines) and 129
principal surface ships (12 aircraft carriers, 27 cruisers, 55
destroyers, and 35 frigates). The Navy also had 41 major amphibious
vessels, 200 landing craft, and 100 support ships. The Navy’s
strategic sealift force consisted of 62 active vessels, including 32
prepositioned ships loaded with combat equipment and supplies.
|Great Britain's Royal Navy: The present complement of
submarines within the RN is; 4 in number SSBNs, based at Faslane on the
West coast of Scotland, approx. 25 miles from Glasgow, and 11 SSNs split
between Faslane and Devonport in Plymouth.
Current Royal Navy deployments are vast, and encompass much of the
world's oceans. In the Atlantic area, the RN presence is considerable. Atlantic
Patrol Task (North) is normally carried out by an escort vessel
which patrols the Caribbean
and North Atlantic areas. Atlantic
Patrol Task (South) constitutes the RN's commitment to the South
Atlantic and West
African areas which is comprised of an escort vessel accompanied by
vessel. Additionally, a vessel is permanently deployed as the Falkland
Islands Guardship, invariably tending to be a Castle-class
patrol vessel. Also, HMS
Endurance is deployed for half the year as the Ice
Control of the Military in a Democracy
THE NATO SCHOOL (SHAPE)
Dr. Andrzej Karkoszka, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
1. The term: “democratic control”
Control = oversight, check, direction, but should also include “protection”, “guidance”, “cooperation”.
Encompasses also all aspects of civil-military relations within a state.
Democratic control = governmental direction of military activities and parliamentary oversight of both the government and the military.
Democratic control over military /and other institutions of power inside a state/:
Democratic control over the military ensures the transparency of security and military policy for the own society thus assuring its support for that policy. The same transparency is vital for the foreign and security policy of the state – it assures the neighboring states on the direction of that policy and makes the “defensive sufficiency” a credible policy, promoting mutual confidence and helping in prevention of arms races.
2. The Substance of the Problem:
A state needs to have a protection from an outside threat by means of its military force – thus the force must be strong, effective, ready, unified. Once the state created the force it needs legal and political protection against this most disciplined, organized, and powerful institution, to prevent the loosening of control over the activities of that force. Historical experiences of military coups, meddling in the internal and external affairs of the legal supreme bodies of states, influencing budgetary debates in favor of military wishes, dictating nominations to the highest posts – indicate seriousness of the issue.
There are various ways to prevent “politicization” of the military. Example: S. Huntington “The Soldier and the State”- professionalism of the military to be the best remedy, proven in the well-established democracies.
A full accountability of the military needed:
Jeff Simon’s requirements for democratic control:
3. What “Model” for a Democratic Control of the Military?
Every state is a different case because of its particular history, traditional role of the military, the record of military institutions and the individual persons in uniform. This historical background shapes the formal/legal arrangements, sometimes justifying a political role of the military in state’s policy.
Soviet Union – strong political control of the military by the communist party, executed by the Main Political Administration and KGB; the military used for the purposes of one single party. To gain the support of the military the party permitted the militarisation of the society and national economy, and engaged the state in a militaristic foreign policy.
France –the military in a special position, deciding together with the state executive many issues reserved in other states to the parliament /latest changes in the military structures and military strategy/.
United Kingdom – governmental decisions, prepared in cooperation with the military, debated by the parliament post-facto.
Germany – very strong parliamentary control over any action, dealing with the military issues.
Ergo: there exist no unified model of the democratic control, but “we know the horse when we see it”.
4. Requirements of Democratic Control over the Military
Competent civilians – educated, trained, informed. The biggest obstacle in implementation of the democratic control in the post-communist states – lack of civilian cadres to perform within the military structures.
Comprehensive laws – usually transformed in a piece-meal approach, building on the existing old legal norms. One of the difficult issues – how to adapt the laws to the realities of free market economies /competitive procurement and service contracting, execution of financial regulation at the lower levels of military structures, financing of social benefits etc./.
Transparency in all branches – from state’s administration to military structures - without compromising the requirements of secrecy or confidentiality. Most difficult – control over the military intelligence.
Key element: parliamentary control. Here the interests of citizens-taxpayers are protected and represented. Functions of parliamentary control:
5. Specificity of the post-Soviet and post-Warsaw Pact States
Establishing the democratic control over the military – part of the over-all process of democratization of the states and societies and, simultaneously, a part and parcel of the general reform of the military system. Many elements of this process must be performed parallel and in very difficult financial conditions:
Usual conditions for execution of national security and defense policy in the states of the region:
Ergo: all this cannot be left only to the military, it must be based on interagency and systematic processes, open to the society /media/.
Pentagon with Washington Monument in BackgroundThe Pentagon: Headquarters of the United States Department of ...
Intelligence: The Pentagon—Spying in America?
June 21 issue -2004- Last February, two Army counterintelligence agents showed up at the University of Texas law school and demanded to see the roster from a conference on Islamic law held a few days earlier. Their reason: they were trying to track down students who the agents claimed had been asking "suspicious" questions. "I felt like I was in 'Law & Order'," said one student after being grilled by one of the agents. The incident provoked a brief campus uproar, and the Army later admitted the agents had exceeded their authority. But if the Pentagon has its way, the Army may not have to make such amends in the future. Without any public hearing or debate, NEWSWEEK has learned, Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress that could vastly expand the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants.
Ever since the 1970s, when Army intel agents were caught snooping on antiwar protesters, military intel agencies have operated under tight restrictions inside the United States. But the new provision, approved in closed session last month by the Senate Intelligence Committee, would eliminate one big restriction: that they comply with the Privacy Act, a Watergate-era law that requires government officials seeking information from a resident to disclose who they are and what they want the information for. The CIA always has been exempt—although by law it isn't supposed to operate inside the United States. The new provision would now extend the same exemption to Pentagon agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency—so they can help track terrorists. A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the provision would allow military intel agents to "approach potential sources and collect personal information from them" without disclosing they work for the government. The justification: "Current counter terrorism operations," the report explains, which require "greater latitude ... both overseas and within the United States." DIA officials say they mainly want the provision so they can more easily question American businessmen and college students who travel abroad. But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman concedes the provision will also be helpful in investigating suspected terrorist threats to military bases and contractors inside the United States. "It's a new world we live in," he says. "We have to do what is necessary for force protection." Among those pushing for the provision, sources say, were officials at northcom, the new Colorado-based command set up by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to oversee "homeland defense." Pentagon lawyers insist agents will still be legally barred from domestic "law enforcement." But watchdog groups see a potentially alarming "mission creep." "This... is giving them the authority to spy on Americans," said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, a group frequently critical of the war on terror. "And it's all been done with no public discussion, in the dark of night."
© 2004 Newsweek, Inc.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer September 3, 2001 Monday
Asking the Wrong Question
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 16:14:12 -0400
March 5, 2003
North Korea no threat to the US
By Stephen Gowans
US and South Korean troops held war games near the North Korean border yesterday. The Pentagon said the war games were aimed at deterring North Korea's military threat. Predictably, the media echoed the Pentagon's charge, though the charge is preposterous. North Korea poses no real military threat to either the United States or Japan, and while in principal it could threaten South Korea, it isn't threatening its neighbor in practice.
Those who had their wits about them asked why a poor country, battered by natural disasters and scarcity, on whose southern border sits 35,000 American troops, and in whose coastal waters lurk nuclear equipped US submarines, would launch an attack on a neighbor it has been trying to build bridges to, especially since an attack would provoke a devastating reply by the formidable US military.
Even more improbable as scenarios go is a missile attack on Japan (which Washington mentions from time to time as if it's a credible scenario), and about as unlikely as you can get is a North Korean missile strike on the United States. No one has yet to advance a single, credible reason why North Korea would undertake the suicidal act of attacking with the few missiles it may or may not have countries that could reply with an annihilating counterstroke.
But that hasn't stopped Washington from continuing to elevate minuscule threats into Himalayan threats, and nor has it stopped the media from uncritically echoing Washington's shameless threat-inflation. While we've haven't arrived there yet, we're only inches away from the point where an announcement that Burundi has received a new shipment of peashooters will send the Pentagon into a histrionic flap, to be followed by Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge issuing a Code Orange warning, along with orders to round up all Burundians living in the United States. Thereupon the media will dutifully warn that Burundi has emerged as a military threat, and Americans will feel their pulses quicken.
Worse still, not only is North Korea not the threat it's painted to be, it's the United States that stands as an immense and looming threat to North Korea, an aggressor whose contempt for the sovereignty of other countries and whose imperial ambitions harkens back to the dark days of the last century when jackboots marched across Europe.
It will be recalled that the Bush administration made a virtual declaration of war against North Korea when it declared the country to be part an "axis of evil," a hit list of largely defenseless countries to be taken out one by one. Calling Iraq, Iran and North Korea an axis was good rhetoric, but there was no connection among the countries, except that "they resented the power of the West," according to David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter who originally coined the phrase "axis of hatred," later changed to "axis of evil" by Bush's top wordsmith Mike Gerson. Frum said North Korea was added to the list at the last minute because "it needed to feel a firmer hand."
"Resented the power of the West" means the three refused to surrender their sovereignty to the United States. Hence the hit list. Hence the need to feel a firmer hand. If they wouldn't subordinate themselves to Washington peacefully, they'd be forced to violently.
Later, a restive British MP would challenge Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington's faithful servant, about the Anglo-American axis's intentions with regards to North Korea. "Who's next?" (after Iraq), he demanded of Blair. "North Korea?" The Prime Minister allowed as how the "crisis" on the Korean peninsula would have to be dealt with in due time.
Yesterday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was busily at work building the pretext for a future attack on the next hit list country. North Korea, he said "continues to engage in provocative and now reckless actions."
Fleischer was referring to North Korean MIGs challenging a US RC-135 spy plane on patrol off the coast of North Korea. But under the circumstances, it was the US surveillance flight, not the MIGs, that was provocative. In recent weeks, the Pentagon has stationed bombers within striking distance of Pyongyang. That, on top of Washington putting the communist country on notice through its "axis of evil" declaration, thereby fingering North Korea as a potential target under Washington's pre-emptive strike doctrine, amounts to a set of highly provocative actions.
What's more, with North Korea having fired up its nuclear power facilities at Yongbyon, there's a good chance the Bush administration will carry through on what the Clinton administration contemplated doing--razing the facilities to the ground in a missile strike--a plan that it backed away from in favor of an agreement to supply fuel oil and lightwater reactors in exchange for Pyongyang shutting the reactor down.
That agreement collapsed when Washington accused North Korea of secretly flouting the pact by developing nuclear weapons. Washington cut off fuel oil supplies, and Pyongyang put the reactor -- which is capable of producing weapons grade material -- back in to operation, at the same time withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But there is much that is murky about the events surrounding the collapse of the agreement. Gregory Elich ("Targeting North Korea") points out that it was a US official who said Pyongyang admitted to having developed nuclear weapons, not Pyongyang itself. And the US has failed to live up to its side of the agreement. Only the most rudimentary work had begun on the lightwater reactors, which were to be built by 2003. And while the agreement called for a normalization of relations between the two countries, the Bush administration has taken an increasingly aggressive posture toward North Korea. And that growing hostility has continued, with Washington rejecting out of hand North Korea's offer of a nonaggression pact.
It's not clear whether North Korea has nuclear warheads or not, or whether it intends to develop them, but what is clear is that Washington has decided that any country that refuses to knuckle under and is weak enough to be pushed around will not be allowed to develop the capability to defend itself. This doctrine isn't peculiar to the Bush administration; the Clinton administration was willing to breach international law by launching an unprovoked attack on the Yongbyon facilities for the very same reason.
But depriving another country of the means of self-defense so that it can be easily pushed around and forced to surrender its sovereignty would hardly meet with the approval of the American population. Moreover, the hypocrisy of denying other countries weapons while possessing the world's largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is too jarring. Accordingly, Washington remains mum on the true reasons it's targeting North Korea, and transforms the small struggling country into a baleful, reckless and provocative power that threatens the United States and its allies. Iraq has undergone the same transformation, for the same reasons. So too will Iran.
Sadly, this fairly black and white issue will be muddied by those who insist on ritualistic denunciations of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il, communism and neo-Stalinism, in the same way the issue of Washington's grossly illegal, immoral, and unpopular designs for war on Iraq have been muddied by ritualistic denunciations of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi human rights violations, and old stories (which now seem to be have been distorted, "Reality Checks Needed During War," Toronto Star, March 1, 2003) of Saddam gassing his own people.
The issue isn't Kim Jong Il. The issue is the United States seeking to extend its hegemony, through whatever means necessary. If that isn't learned soon, the hit list will grow longer.
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Pentagon Budget Heavy on Future Weapons
Buildup Pricier Than That in '80s
By Dan Morgan
House and Senate versions of the 2005 defense authorization measure contain a record $68 billion for research and development -- 20 percent above the peak levels of President Ronald Reagan's historic defense buildup. Tens of billions more out of a proposed $76 billion hardware account will go for big-ticket weapons systems to combat some as-yet-unknown adversary comparable to the former Soviet Union.
So far this year, the debate in Congress over the defense bill has largely skirted the budgetary or strategic implications of this buildup, largely because Republican and Democratic politicians are unwilling to appear weak on defense after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
But the Sept. 11 attacks and the combat that followed diverted Rumsfeld from his transformation initiatives and also increased the Pentagon's respect for more orthodox existing weapons that they once considered phasing out. These included the Air Force's slow-flying but reliable A-10, which supports ground forces, and the Army's M-1 tank.
"Afghanistan and Iraq have injected a long-overdue sense of realism in the decisions at DOD about how much you can foresee the future," retired Army Col. Richard H. Sinnreich said. "After 9/11, a whole bunch of things changed."
Some changes and cutbacks are being made around the edges of the budget.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Pentagon Establishes New Force For
Copyright: The Scotsman.
The "Nuclear Posture Review" released by the Defense Department on January 9 has been widely described in the media as presaging a diminished US reliance on nuclear weapons in favor of advanced "conventional" munitions. "Pentagon Study Urges Arms Shift, From Nuclear to High-Tech" was the headline in the New York Times. But while the report does advocate increased spending on conventional arms, it foresees no corresponding decline in America's reliance on nuclear arms--rather, it embraces a new grand strategy in which nuclear weapons will be wedded to missile defenses and high-tech conventional arms to perpetuate America's "sole superpower" status.
Many details of the highly classified review have not been made public, but the broad outlines of the plan have been circulated in Washington. Most noteworthy is the Administration's proposal to reduce the number of "operationally deployed" nuclear weapons (that is, weapons actually installed on ballistic missiles or readily available for use by Air Force bombers) from around 6,000 today to 1,700-2,200 in 2012.
When George W. Bush first announced the government's intention to downsize the operational US stockpile, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November, he clearly stated that the surplus warheads would be destroyed. "We are talking about reducing and destroying the number of warheads to get down to specific levels," he told a group of high school students in Crawford, Texas, on November 15. Since then, however, Pentagon officials have declared that many of these surplus weapons would be retained in a "responsive capability," where they would be available for redeployment to operational forces in as short a time as several weeks.
When pressed to explain why the Administration has decided to retain rather than to destroy all these weapons, Pentagon officials have indicated that unanticipated future perils--say, a greater-than-expected threat from Russia or China--could produce a requirement for additional warheads. The "responsive capability" is needed, Assistant Secretary of Defense J.D. Crouch told reporters on January 9, because Washington must be able to respond to "changes in the security environment that were more adverse than we thought."
The Administration's backtracking in this manner has led to justifiable complaints from the arms control community that the Administration is being disingenuous in its announcement of nuclear cuts. The retention of all these surplus warheads "makes a mockery of the reductions," Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association told the Washington Post on January 9. But disgust over the Pentagon's apparent duplicity misses the point: The principal aim of the Administration's nuclear policy is not to slow the tempo of nuclear downsizing (although that is a subsidiary purpose) but rather to firmly install nuclear weapons in a new US strategy designed to insure permanent US military supremacy.
The new strategy is constructed around the concept of a "new triad" of military capabilities. To the "old triad" of ICBMs, nuclear-armed bombers and ballistic missile submarines, the "new triad" adds two new capabilities--a national missile defense system and an array of "nonnuclear strike forces" (including ultra-powerful conventional bombs and conventionally armed cruise missiles). This new posture, the Pentagon asserts, "offers a portfolio of capabilities and the flexibility required to address a spectrum of contingencies." To pay for these and other costly new military systems, Bush has requested a whopping $48 billion increase in military spending during the fiscal year beginning October 1.
Although Defense officials are not very forthcoming about US strategic objectives, it is evident from what has been said that the aim of all this is to enable future US Presidents to engage in any overseas military actions or adventures they deem necessary with total assurance of victory and no risk of enemy retaliation. In a rare instance of Pentagon candor, Assistant Secretary Crouch explained that the new policy does not entail a diminished reliance on nuclear weapons but rather their integration into a new strategy of permanent dominance. "It's important to underscore that we continue to need nuclear forces as well as other elements of the new triad, both to assure our friends and allies of US security commitments and to dissuade potential competitors from competing with the United States in ways that are harmful to US security."
This assertion, as well as the whole thrust of the Administration's nuclear plan, raises troubling questions. What future outcomes can we expect from a US posture of permanent nuclear and conventional supremacy? How will other countries react?
Two worrisome scenarios come to mind immediately: the adoption by the United States of a strategy of frequent and wide-ranging military intervention abroad (we already see signs of this in calls for actions against or in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and the Philippines in the name of antiterrorism), and stepped-up efforts by Russia and China to compensate for US missile defenses by improvements in their own offensive nuclear capabilities (here, too, we see signs of such behavior).
How do we respond to these perils? The first step is to join with those in the arms control and disarmament community who are demanding that any weapons made surplus by the Administration's nuclear reductions be fully destroyed, with all associated fissionable materials rendered unusable for military purposes. We must also demand a national debate on nuclear policy that would entail frank discussion of the dangers posed by the pursuit of permanent military dominance. Only in this manner can we hope to reduce the risks of adventurism and miscalculation in a world that retains many thousands of nuclear weapons.
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