http://www.gakushuin.ac.jp/~881791/hoodbhoy/BLH.html "The decision to incinerate Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not taken in anger. White men in grey business suits and military uniforms, after much deliberation, decided the US âcould not give the Japanese any warning; that we could not concentrate on a civilian area; but that we should seek to make a profound psychological impression on as many of the inhabitants as possibleâ¦ [and] the most desirable target would be a vital war plant employing a large number of workers and closely surrounded by workersâ houses.â They argued it would be cheaper in American lives to release the nuclear genie. Besides, it was such a marvelous thing to show Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Headlines like âJap City No Moreâ soon brought the news to a joyous nation. Crowds gathered in Times Square to celebrate; there was less of the enemy left. Rarely are victors encumbered by remorse. President Harry Truman declared: âWhen you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true.â Not surprisingly, six decades later, even American liberals remain ambivalent about the morality of nuking the two Japanese cities. The late Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize winner in physics of Manhattan Project fame and a leading exponent of arms control, declared that âthe atom bomb was the greatest gift we could have given to the Japaneseâ. Even as the United States dusted off its hands and moved on, elsewhere the radioactive rubble of the dead cities spawned not only a sense of dread, but also an obsessive desire for nuclear weapons. Stalin raced ahead with his program, while Charles de Gaulle conceived his âforce de frappeâ. Mao Tse Tung quietly decided that he too wanted the Bomb even as he derided it as âa paper tigerâ. In newly independent Israel, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion apparently âhad no qualms about Israelâs need for weapons of mass destruction,â writes Avner Cohen, the historian of Israelâs nuclear bomb. Ben Gurion ordered his agents to seek out East European Jewish scientists who could âeither increase the capacity to kill masses or to cure massesâ. The wind blew the poisonous clouds of fear and envy over other third world countries as well: In 1948, while arguing to create India's Department of Atomic Energy, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru told parliament, âI think we must develop [nuclear science] for peaceful purposes.â But, he added, âOf course, if we are compelled as a nation to use it for other purposes, possibly no pious sentiments of any of us will stop the nation from using it that way.â Just three years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those âother purposesâ were all too clear. Days after Pakistan's nuclear tests in May 1998, Japan invited the countryâs foreign minister to visit Hiroshimaâs peace museum. The minister was visibly moved after seeing the gruesome evidence of mass devastation. His reaction: We made our nukes precisely so that this could never happen to Pakistan. One wonders what bin Laden â and others of his ilk â learnt from Hiroshima. The New York Times reported that before September 11 the US had intercepted an Al-Qaeda message that Bin laden was planning a âHiroshimaâ against America. In a later taped message, released just before the US attack on Afghanistan, Bin Laden called up the image of the bombing of Japan, claiming:â When people at the ends of the earth, Japan, were killed by their hundreds of thousands, young and old, it was not considered a war crime; it is something that has justification. Millions of children in Iraq is something that has justification.â One important bin Laden supporter was perfectly clear about how he felt. In a recent and widely watched nationally televised debate between myself and General Hameed GulÂ¯an influential Islamist leader and former head of the countryâs powerful intelligence agency (ISI)Â¯my opponent snarled at me: âYour masters (that is, the Americans) will nuke us Muslims just as they nuked Hiroshima; people like you want to denuclearize and disarm us in the face of a savage beast set to devour the worldâ. Gul then vented his anger at those â like myself â who oppose Pakistanâs Bomb as agents of America, apostates, enemies of Islam and the Pakistani state. I will not burden readers with my replies to this extremist general. But he was making a point that resonates around the globe and puts on defensive all those who oppose nuclear weapons on moral grounds. The United States has bombed 21 countries since 1948, and recently killed tens of thousands of people on the pretext of chasing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It claims to be a force for democracy and rule of law despite a long history of supporting the bloodiest of dictators and rejecting the International Criminal Court. And now it threatens its adversaries â those with and without nuclear weapons â with nuclear attack. George Bushâs âNuclear Posture Review 2002â identifies as possible targets China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya. The review also recommended new facilities for the manufacture of nuclear bombs, research into bunker busters, a new ICBM in 2020, and much more. Imperial America On The Move With 12 battle carrier groups and hundreds of military bases spread around the world, the US currently will spend $455 billion on its armed forces in 2005, with another $82 billion to be spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is more than the total sum spent by the next 32 countries down the list, and is close to 50% of total world military spending. US military doctrines have shifted away from deterrence to pre-emption, unilateral military intervention, and simultaneously fighting several local wars overseas. The US military has put in place a 2004 âInterim Global Strike Alert Order" from Donald Rumsfeld requiring it to be ready to attack hostile countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction, specifically Iran and North Korea. The military claims to be capable of carrying out such attacks within âhalf a day or lessâ and to use nuclear weapons for this purpose. There are demands from the US Air Force for authority to put weapons in space. A former Secretary of the Air Force explained ''We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from spaceâ¦ nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities.â Full spectrum dominance â in land, sea, air, and space â is necessary to achieve the goal of total planetary control. US foreign policy in the Post Cold-War world owes much to âThe Project for the New American Centuryâ (PNAC), a Washington-based neo-conservative think-tank founded in 1997. PNAC was clear that the US must rule the world: â [the new world order] must have a secure foundation on unquestioned US military preeminence ...The process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event â like a new Pearl Harbor.â That serendipitous Pearl Harbor-like event came on 11 September, 2001. After 911 there was no lack of spokesmen for the American Empire. In unabashedly imperial language, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who initiated the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, writes that the US should seek to âprevent collusion and maintain dependence among the vassals, keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming togetherâ. To keep the âbarbariansâ at bay, Pentagon planners have been charged with the task of assuring American control over every part of the planet. Major (P) Ralph Peters, an officer responsible for conceptualizing future warfare in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, is clear about why his country needs to fight: We have entered an age of constant conflict. We are entering a new American century, in which we will become still wealthier, culturally more lethal, and increasingly powerful. We will excite hatreds without precedent. There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. Now, reasonably speaking, âa fair amount of killingâ can be done rather well by the US with its fuel-air bombs, conventional explosives, artillery shells, and so forth. And so it is difficult to understand why the US should hunger for nuclear weapons in addition to all else that it has. Why does it want to goad other nations towards also craving nukes? And what does it seek to achieve by announcing that it may, if need be, target even non-nuclear adversaries? The answer is obvious: imperial hubris, runaway militarism, and the arrogance of power. Nuclear weapons, in the revised US view under George W. Bush, are now to be viewed as weapons for fighting wars with. They may even be used as a first-strike â no longer are they to be thought of as weapons of last resort.