[Marxism] Ask the enemy to disarm before the battle???

ehrbar ehrbar at lists.econ.utah.edu
Tue Aug 3 14:20:15 MDT 2010



As long as the US establishment controls nuclear weapons, revolution
is impossible.  If we are serious about revolution, we must therefore
first force the class enemy to abolish nuclear weapons.

This sounds paradoxical.  Why would we be able to force the enemy to
disarm *before* the battle, i.e., before we have defeated the enemy?

The answer, in short, is, because we are stronger than many of us
realize.  If Obama has to say all the right things, even if he then
turns around and does exactly the opposite, this is a sign of our
strength.  Obama himself said that he wanted to abolish nuclear
weapons.  And now the Democratic propaganda apparatus is unleashing a
movie which puts the nuclear question on the front burner: "Countdown
to Zero."  According to the information below, which Dayne Goodwin
compiled, the movie itself pretends to be against nuclear weapons, but
in reality it is slick covert propaganda for Obama's plan seeking to
maintain nuclear superiority by the US and its allies.  But sometimes
propaganda backfires.  If we play our hands right, perhaps this
propaganda can be made to backfire and be used to revitalize an
anti-nuclear weapons movement without compromises.

Here are three articles about the movie compiled by Dayne Goodwin sent
this morning to the mailing list of the Wasatch Coalition for Peace
and Justice in Utah.  They are well worth reading.


*Co-opting the Anti-Nuclear Movement*

by Darwin BondGraham
July 22, 2010

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/bg220710.html

No medium of propaganda is as powerful and effective as film.  Think of the
classics, the most notorious efforts to sway the public with the
electrifying and collective passion of cinema: racial apartheid was
justified in the US with Birth of a Nation.  The Soviets glorified their
revolution with The Battleship Potemkin.  Then there was Triumph of the
Will.

A typical propaganda film tugs at emotions and invokes fears.  It invokes
dark threats to "the people," and it offers up solutions extolling state and
corporate power.  Unlike a political documentary it will not criticize the
state or corporations.  Instead it will celebrate great men as our leaders
and saviors.  Distinct from a run-of-the-mill political documentary, a
propaganda film butchers the complexity and contradictions that permeate
politics and real life, presenting things in simplistic moral terms.
 Functionally, propaganda is mobilized to secure popular support for a
primary, often hidden agenda that is not apparent in the film's narrative.
 Propaganda is a tool used by elites to secure the consent of the masses,
channeling their anxieties.

Now hitting theaters is one of the most dangerous propaganda films produced
in decades.  Countdown to Zero "traces the history of the atomic bomb from
its origins to the present state of global affairs."  A promotional blurb on
the film's web site claims that it "makes a compelling case for worldwide
nuclear disarmament, an issue more topical than ever with the Obama
administration working to revive this goal today."

Before I go any further in explaining Countdown as a propaganda film I
should note that not all propaganda need be the product of a secretive and
manipulative council of elites behind some curtain.  Instead, the many
contributors to Countdown and its promotional efforts have different
motivations and intentions.  What makes this film a coherent piece of
propaganda is its medium, style, and likely effects on the US political
climate.  There are powerful actors who will use it for nefarious ends.

On its surface Countdown to Zero is about nuclear disarmament, but deeper
down the film is making a very specific case that isn't about disarmament at
all.  Its political function will prove to be quite different.  Countdown is
joining a suite of political campaigns and other propagandistic efforts, the
point of which is to build support for increased US spending on nuclear
weapons, as well as a more belligerent foreign policy, based around
Islamophobic depictions of "terrorists" and "rogue states."  Countdown is
likely to be used by hawks to drum up support for military action against
Iran, North Korea, and other states that would dare to transgress the
current near-monopoly that a handful of states have on the bomb.

To understand how this is possible, one has to break through the simplistic
and moralizing presentation of issues in the film and its promotional
materials, and explore the complex political situation into which it is
being launched.

The first and most important thing to understand is that the Obama
administration does not have a disarmament agenda.  Because the entire moral
thrust of the film rests on this notion, it's important to dispel it right
off the bat.  Obama and his military advisers have made their nuclear
ambitions abundantly clear on multiple occasions.

The administration's Nuclear Posture Review in no significant way changed
the nuclear force structure or use doctrines.  The NPR makes it abundantly
clear that US national security is founded on the nuclear "deterrent" and
that no one in government will seek to reduce the role of nukes in the
foreseeable future.

The recently negotiated New START treaty does not significantly cut the US
and Russian arsenals.  In fact the treaty language secures an allowance for
US "missile defense" programs as well as the "prompt global strike" weapons
system while consolidating the US stockpile and reaffirming existing
strategic agreements with Russia that are about balance.  As noted by
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the irony here is that the Senate's possible
ratification of New START is premised on the Obama administration's pledge
to fund US nuclear weapons programs upwards of $180 billion over the next
ten years, something even George W. Bush could not accomplish.  The down
payment for the next fiscal year includes a $624 million surge in nuke
spending, for a total of $7.01 billion.  The administration foresees
spending more than $1 billion each year to refurbish and upgrade existing
warheads and bombs.  To support New START requires accepting these huge
infrastructural and programmatic investments in nuclear weapons, far into
the future.

To put it more simply, the debate in Washington revolves around two camps
fighting over how large an increase in nuclear weapons spending there will
be.  At this point in time all agree on expending billions more.  All agree
on building a new plutonium pit factory, a new uranium processing facility,
a new components factory, and five other major capital projects in the
nuclear weapons complex to extend the US nuclear enterprise half a decade or
more into the future.  Most agree on procuring a new class of nuclear
equipped submarines.  Most agree on new ballistic missiles.  Everyone seems
to be fine with upgrading warheads and bombs.

Some conservatives are uncomfortable with the cosmetic cuts to the stockpile
that will be made under the auspices of New START.  Senate Republicans have
circled their wagons to demand greater funding increases in consideration of
ratification, and given all of the agreements they have with the Democrats
and the Obama administration over expanding the weapons complex, they are
actually correct.  In order to carry out this bi-partisan nuclear arms
buildup, quite a bit more than a $1 billion per year boost (at its peak)
will be needed for the NNSA's budget, especially as inflation eats into the
real value of future year budgets.

Determining the future of the US nuclear weapons complex is a tricky
balancing act for the foreign policy elite because it is embedded in a
larger set of much more important goals.  The overriding goal of foreign
policy for the United States, with respect to nuclear weapons, is to
maintain control of nuclear weapons and materials.  Forget lofty ideas like
disarmament.  Lofty moral oughts only matter with respect to the realpolitik
of geo-strategy (and this is where Countdown comes in, as we shall see).

To elite strategists who will decide at the end of the day, the power of
nuclear weapons only matter within, and comprise a small part of, a much
greater geopolitical game.  Henry Kissinger made this very point in 1957
with his first book, the subject being the role of nuclear weapons in US
foreign policy.  Controlling resources, energy supplies, and access to
geo-strategic regions for US corporations and allies is the primary goal of
US foreign policy, and this requires a stable imbalance of powers, with the
US the weightier.

Nuclear weapons are problematic today because they remain a necessary means
of overpowering other nations and intimidating foes, but they have also
become a liability as other states threaten to go nuclear in order to
restore balance to a unipolar world.  A blatant display of American
hypocrisy is seen as a major weakness for the maintenance of American power
by liberal imperialists like Obama.  Conservatives like Senator Jon Kyl
would rather just avoid soft power altogether and stick to a hard-nosed
defense policy.

This is why US policy with respect to Iran seems so disjointed and
paralyzed.  Iran possesses immense energy resources, it straddles a region
of geo-strategic importance, and its influence and power is growing.  For US
elites, Iran must be controlled at all cost.  A nuclear Iran would make this
much, much more difficult.  Regime change is the goal, just like in Iraq.
 Nonproliferation as an end in itself seems to offer the most justifiable
reason for using force and "rebuilding" nations (remember that it was the
reason given for the 2003 invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq).  But
with its Bush-era reputation of seeking new nukes, liberals fear, the United
States can hardly coerce or attack Iran in the name of nonproliferation.
 The US being the world's preeminent nuclear power with no interest in
disarming, that would be bald hypocrisy.  But then again the US will not
disarm, for this would be anathema to the needs and goals of the foreign
policy elite.  What to do?

Into this mix arrives Countdown to Zero and similarly crafted propaganda
pieces.  Countdown's major achievement is repackaging the strategy of
anti-nuclear nuclearism into a sexy and thrilling propaganda film full of
special effects and heart-pulsing music.  It will invoke fear of nuclear
weapons to justify aggression, war, and the extension of US control over
much of the rest of the world.

While the film's title and a lot of the fanfare surrounding it emphasizes
the "zero" message of disarmament, Countdown is actually an alarmist
portrayal of dark-skinned men, Muslims, "terrorists," and other racial or
ethnic bogeymen who we are told, over the span of 90 minutes, are seeking
nuclear weapons to use against the American people.  A related theme in the
film is the demonization of Iran and North Korea which are portrayed as
dangerous rogue states with ties to terrorist organizations, and who must be
controlled, against whom military action may be warranted -- or else.  Or
else what?

One of the main "experts" in Countdown to Zero, Joseph Cirincione frames the
take home message at the outset by invoking a very post-9-11 Bush
administration theme:

   "That day changed our sense of security and how we view the world.  We
learned how vulnerable we are to the destructive acts of a determined few.
 Just think how worse it would have been if the terrorist had nuclear
weapons."

Cirincione is not just any expert.  He is the doyen of the Democratic
Party's NGO apparatus that shapes nuclear weapons policy through foundation
funding of grassroots groups and elite policy shops.  Cirincione is
president of the Ploughshares Fund.  In spite of its name, Ploughshares'
mission these days actually involves beating ploughs into swords.

Throughout the 1990s, but especially during the George W. Bush years,
Ploughshares and its circle of foundations called the Peace and Security
Funders Group increasingly narrowed the range of acceptable anti-nuclear
activism, while simultaneously ghettoizing the field so that the work of
various NGOs became less and less applicable to social justice and economic
development issues, and increasingly focused on abstract global problems and
hypotheticals, such as the possible use of nuclear weapons.  In the process,
discussions of the injustices of the global political economy and how
nuclear weapons fit into it were silenced.  Anti-nuclear activism became
increasingly specialized, boring, and disconnected from issues that affect
people's everyday lives.  Arms control eclipsed abolition as the rallying
cry.  Those NGOs that obeyed the consolidation period survived with funding
and access to media, so long as they kissed the ring.

Ploughshares was at the center of it all.  Today the Fund's priorities are
shaped by its board of directors made up of Democratic Party donors, other
foundation executives, and liberal academics.  The Fund's advisers include
men like George Shultz, the former Bechtel president who served as Reagan's
Secretary of State, and former Defense Secretaries William Cohen and William
Perry.  The last is actually a board member of the for-profit corporations
that manage the nation's two nuclear weapons labs, Los Alamos and Livermore.
 You figure it out.

Ploughshares' adviser and propagandist Jeff Skoll is president of
Participant Media, one of the production companies behind Countdown to Zero.
The film's co-producer, the World Security Institute (a major recipient of
Ploughshares Fund dollars), tapped its Global Zero project membership to
narrate the film through dozens of interviews with the likes of elder
statesmen and NGO executives like Cirincione who are very friendly to the
Obama administration's nuclear buildup.

Participant Media is a full service propaganda shop for liberal campaigns,
producing both documentaries and dramas.  In addition to the benchmark
documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Participant is responsible for some very
excellent and thoughtful films like Syriana, Food, Inc., and The Cove.  And
this is where complexity comes in.  Some of the producers and voices
featured in Countdown to Zero have wonderful intentions, and all of them are
probably genuinely concerned with, and fear, the possible day that nuclear
weapons might be used, whether by a state or by a criminal group.  Herein
also is the propagandistic danger of Countdown to Zero.

Albert Camus once wrote that "the evil that is in the world almost always
comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence
if they lack understanding."  Backed with a lot of foundation money, the
producers of Countdown to Zero have paid organizers across the US to do
considerable outreach for the film, whipping up interest on Facebook and
other social media and generally co-opting the energies and intentions of
many anti-nuclear activists.  Countdown premiers July 23 and will be shown
in theaters across the US.  Many screenings are being organized by activists
whose intentions are unimpeachable, if naive.

What audiences are going to learn from Countdown to Zero is that nuclear
weapons are a threat today because the bad guys might get a hold of them.
 They'll learn that al-Qaeda is seeking nuclear weapons, which is their
sworn duty; that highly enriched uranium is easy to smuggle; that "we are on
the verge of a nuclear 9-11"; that tens of thousands of pounds of uranium
are stored under virtually no security around the globe.  In other words
they'll learn that dark scary men, Muslims, "terrorists," and anarchists are
trying to kill them with nuclear weapons, and that nations like Iran and
North Korea will gladly assist them.  Their feelings of revulsion for
nuclear weapons will be stimulated and channeled against these dark enemies
of civilization.

What they'll learn about US nuclear weapons and policy, if it is discussed
in any real and honest depth at all, is that better control and management
is needed, a slightly smaller arsenal is desirable.  But mostly they'll
learn to just trust our leaders: everything will turn out alright so long as
the proper authorities are in power.  Joseph Cirincione will eagerly explain
to audiences that George Shulz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn
are hard at work to "secure" our nuclear weapons.  It all sounds great, but
the "four horsemen," as they have come to be known, are actually among the
biggest lobbyists for the surge in nuclear weapons spending and the
construction of a new US nuclear weapons complex.

In a promotional video attached to the START ratification effort Cirincione
urges viewers to "join this patriotic consensus" toward zero.  In a recent
op-ed, he has urged Senate ratification of New START, writing, "The
statesmanship demonstrated by the Consensus members today could help break
the partisan blockade in the Senate and restore America's leadership on this
urgent security challenge."  The capital C Consensus he's referring to is a
newly formed NGO, created to translate the groundswell of public response
they expect from propaganda efforts like Countdown to Zero, into sharp
policy programs for government, including aggressive military action against
would-be nuclear states, much of it in the name of nonproliferation.  The
Consensus for American Security is one manifestation of the platform that
many foreign policy elites hope will solve the contradiction in current US
nuclear policy.  The mission statement of the Consensus includes,
"strengthening and modernizing America's nuclear security," because it "is a
vital element of protecting the United States and its allies."

Ploughshares put up the money for The Consensus for American Security . . .
an organization dedicated to strengthening and modernizing America's nuclear
security.  Modernizing is not an arbitrary word.  In the current policy
debate over the future of the US nuclear weapons complex and stockpile,
modernization means a very specific thing.  It means approving the Obama
administration's program to build a pit factory, a uranium processing
facility, a components plant, and other billion-dollar capital projects for
the weapons complex.  It also means modernizing warheads and bombs by
rebuilding them and designing new features.  And it means acquiring new,
very expensive platforms like subs, bombers, and missiles.

Members of the Ploughshares Consensus include a predictable list of centrist
retired military brass and statesmen, most of whom occupy revolving door
positions on other foundation and NGO boards like Ploughshares, and more
than a few of whom have links to the military industrial complex: George
Shulz, Samuel Berger, Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, and physicist Sidney Drell, all
of them strong supporters of US nuclear weapons programs and American
empire.

The Consensus's second mission appears to involve stoking Islamophobia.  A
special project of the Consensus, the American Security Project, is a
well-funded think tank churning out reports about "al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula," and "Are We Winning?  Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against
al Qaeda and Associate Movements."  ASP's homepage features a photograph of
"terrorists" in black masks hauling an American nuclear warhead (a W-76 or
W-88 it appears) on a bamboo rickshaw over a wooden bridge toward a waiting
van in some distant jungle.

Countdown to Zero is one component of a larger and coherent foundation
campaign to stoke up public fears about nuclear weapons for the purpose of
extending a near-monopoly on nuclear weapons, and legitimating a more
aggressive foreign policy aimed at regime change in Iran and elsewhere.  The
consensus behind those who funded and produced the film has little to do
with disarmament, and a lot to do with stabilizing the American empire.
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
Darwin BondGraham is a board member of the Los Alamos Study Group, a
disarmament, energy, and economic development organization based in
Albuquerque, N.M.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/bg220710.html
See, also, "The US-Russia START Treaty: Just What Does 'Arms Control' Really
Mean?" (MRZine, 20 May 2010) http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/bg200510.html





*Countdown to Zero: A Compelling Film With a Critical Message*

by Jonathan Granoff and Rhianna Tyson Kreger
July 30, 2010

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-granoff/icountdown-to-zeroi-a-com_b_665873.html

A few years ago, Lawrence Bender and Jeffrey Skoll set out to make a new
documentary about nuclear weapons, a film which would act as a wake up call
to the imperative of nuclear abolition, just as their last project, An
Inconvenient Truth, galvanized public discourse--and action--surrounding
climate change. Teamed up with policy expert Bruce Blair and Writer-Director
Lucy Walker (Devil's Playground, Blindsight) they created the newly released
Countdown to Zero, which unequivocally argues that, whether by accident,
malicious intent of "terrorists" or as a result of failed diplomacy, nuclear
weapons pose an unacceptable risk and must be eliminated.

While scores of arms control and disarmament civil society groups are deeply
inspired by the mass consciousness-raising and mobilization opportunity the
film presents, many disarmament activists are vocally disappointed with the
film. They are concerned that the film overemphasizes the hazard of
sub-state actors acquiring these weapons of terror and places insufficient
responsibility upon countries like the US and Russia for their continued
reliance on-- and dangerous posture of-- nuclear weapons.

Countdown to Zero makes the case for abolition without employing the moral
arguments eloquently posited by luminaries such as Albert Schweitzer, or
Cold Warrior George Kennan, who once stated:

   "The readiness to use nuclear weapons against other human beings -
against people we do not know, whom we have never seen, and whose guilt or
innocence is not for us to establish - and, in doing so, to place in
jeopardy the natural structure upon which all civilization rests, as though
the safety and perceived interests of our own generation were more important
than everything that has taken place or could take place in civilization:
this is nothing less than a presumption, a blasphemy, an indignity - an
indignity of monstrous dimensions - offered to God!"

Indeed the film omits many valid arguments highly relevant to advancing to
the security of a world without nuclear weapons:

1) The continued possession of nuclear weapons--which by itself entails a
threat to use them--instigates others to acquire them. As UN High
Representative Sergio Duarte said, "One cannot worship at the altar of
nuclear weapons and raise heresy charges against those who want to join the
sect."

2) It is necessary to uphold the rule of law by fulfilling the unanimous
ruling of the International Court of Justice wherein the Court held "
...there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a
conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects
under strict and effective international control."

3) Because nuclear weapons, in the words of the late Senator Alan Cranston,
are "unworthy of civilization," it is imperative as a matter of conscience
to address their moral impropriety.

4) We should not overlook the injustice and destabilizing impact of the
extraordinary economic expenditures wasted on nuclear weapons and outrageous
allocations within nuclear weapons-states to modernize their arsenals - a
burlesque expression of improved means to unimproved ends.

5) This is the moment to utilize the political high ground opened by the
Five Point Plan set forth by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which includes,
inter alia, a "call for the (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) NPT parties
to pursue negotiations in good faith - as required by the treaty - on
nuclear disarmament, either through a new convention or through a series of
mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a credible system of
verification."

6) Every citizen has a right to demand compliance with the commitments
stated as "The reaffirmation by the nuclear-weapon States of their
unequivocal undertaking to accomplish, in accordance with the principle of
irreversibility, the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to
nuclear disarmament, to which all States parties are committed under Article
VI of the Treaty," as stipulated in the 2010 Final Document of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, agreed to by 189 countries that
are parties to the NPT, and the important diplomatic processes that are
necessary to achieve that goal.

Do such omissions weaken the core argument of the film? Do they dilute the
film's efficacy as a public outreach and engagement tool? Hardly. Rather, it
is the responsibility of civil society groups and concerned citizens to
seize the opportunity of this powerful, mass-distributed major motion film
arguing for abolition and supplement the film's message by drawing attention
to these various initiatives and remonstrations.

Of course nuclear proponents could try to use the film for their own
nefarious ends by focusing singularly on the dangers of terrorists or
unfriendly states getting a hold of the weapons, arguing that military force
can prevent such proliferation. Such people brought the US into a war in
Iraq by simply telling lies. Will they try to distort the message of this
film? Possibly. However, this possibility should only motivate
abolition-minded civil society members to redouble our efforts and help
amplify the movie's unambiguous concluding message: that abolition is the
only way, and we will achieve it with engaged, public support.

The film's core message is compelling, effectively presented and
unambiguous: the only way to address the nuclear threat of nuclear weapons
is through their elimination. Towards this end, it calls for incremental
threat-reducing steps, such as bringing the new US-Russia Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty and the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty into force, taking
the weapons off of high alert status, lowering the numbers of existing
warheads and obtaining a universal, legal, intrusive, and enforceable
agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Russia, the United States and China already have pronounced modernization
programs in place, to say nothing of the more shrouded programs by the
"unofficial" nuclear weapon states of Israel, India and Pakistan. The
politics of turning these programs around will require a shift in the
characterization of nuclear weapons: that they are a greater problem than
any problem they seek to solve. This is the message of Countdown to Zero.
This shift will require all of us to speak up, mobilize public opinion and,
as captioned in the last frame of the movie "Demand Zero"!
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
<
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-granoff/icountdown-to-zeroi-a-com_b_665873.html
>
Jonathan Granoff is the President of the Global Security Institute (GSI).
Rhianna Tyson Kreger is a Senior Officer at GSI. See: www.gsinstitute.org.






*When the Truth Is Inconvenient: A Preview of Countdown To Zero*

by Nima Shirazi
July 23, 2010

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/07/when-the-truth-is-inconvenient-a-preview-of-countdown-to-zero

[ NOTE: I have not seen this film yet. This is a "preview," not a "review."
I reserve the right and welcome the opportunity to retract or revise the
advance conclusions I have made. Believe me, I want to be wrong about this
stuff.  But I'm not holding my breath.]

A new documentary, directed by Lucy Walker and produced by Lawrence Bender,
entitled Countdown To Zero, is set for wide release on July 23, 2010. The
film has been heavily publicized and promoted for many months now and is
surely already a heavily-favored Oscar contender.

Though the stated goals of the film, exposing the horrifying danger of
nuclear weapons and reducing the planet's nuclear stockpile to zero, are
noble and necessary indeed, some ideas promoted within the film -- which can
be gleaned solely from the film's trailer and recent interviews with film
contributor Valerie Plame and producer Lawrence Bender -- appear to ominously
echo the same sensational claims made about Iraq's non-existent WMD, this
time about the United States' favorite scapegoat, Iran.

Countdown To Zero acknowledges that there are currently an estimated 23,000
nuclear weapons in the world, spread among nine nations. Though I have not
yet seen this film, I am confident that it omits some vital information when
mentioning these nuclear-armed countries and their stockpiles, namely that
the list consists of all five permanent members of the United Nations
Security Council (The United States, Russia, France, China, the United
Kingdom), the only three states on earth to refuse to become signatories of
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (Israel, Pakistan, India), and the only
country to have ever withdrawn its membership from the Treaty (North Korea).

Additionally, the film states that Israel only has about 80 nuclear bombs,
in stark contrast with many estimates that put its nuclear arsenal somewhere
between 200 and 400 warheads.

The film lauds the Obama Administration's position on nuclear weapons and
promotes the claim that Obama is really interested in reducing the US
stockpile, using the START treaty with Russia as an example, as if agreeing
to decommission a few hundred old nukes is evidence of an "historic"
commitment to disarm. This seems a bit hard to believe considering that
Obama has already requested $80 billion for rebuilding and upgrading the US
nuclear arsenal in clear violation of the requirements of the NPT. Obama's
twenty-year spending plan calls for the United States to actually increase
the nuclear weapons budget to about $8 billion a year and while spending
$175 billion between 2010 to 2030 on new weapons production, testing and
simulation facilities, and on extending the life of nuclear weapons already
in the arsenal. Meanwhile, the Pentagon's current and future spending to
maintain and operate the equipment that delivers the warheads, such as
missiles, bombers and submarines, is not even included in this plan. The Los
Angeles Times reports that "spending for the weapons complex would peak
between 2014 and 2018 under the plan."

The legal transgressions of the United States with regard to its NPT
obligations are legion. In fact, the US has nuclear deals with both India
and Israel, despite the fact that neither country is a member to the NPT.
These deals, as per the US' non-proliferation requirements, are illegal.
Ironically, the US opposes China's recent nuclear deal with Pakistan citing,
of all things, the terms of the NPT.

Additionally, the Obama Administration's new Nuclear Posture Review, which
is praised by the film's producer, actually leaves the door wide open for a
first-strike nuclear attack on Iran, which it accuses of NPT violations on
par with North Korea, thereby demonstrating a startling lack of truth in the
Pentagon's assessment of the Iranian program. The NPR doesn't even mention
India, Pakistan, or Israel at all.

The film's trailer features scary music, lots of mushroom clouds, and
menacing titles like "Rogue Nations" and "Terrorists" over montage clips of
Kim Jong Il, Osama bin Laden, flag-waving Iranian crowds and images of
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a lab coat. It's clear what the
agenda is here.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is one of Countdown To Zero's
talking heads-of-state. More than living up to his war criminal track record
of inventing pretenses for foreign invasions, Blair (with his serious face
on) looks into the camera and states, "Iran. North Korea. They are prepared
to start trading nuclear weapons technology." This is coming from a man who
lied about Saddam Hussein's capabilities, is unrepentant in the face of
reality, and who actively advocates military strikes on Iran in order to
destroy its nuclear energy program. In January 2010, during the British Iraq
Inquiry, Blair made it clear that "Tehran's actions have made him even more
worried today that a rogue state could supply weapons of mass destruction to
terrorists than he was when he took Britain to war with Iraq." ...
. . .
(full at
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/07/when-the-truth-is-inconvenient-a-preview-of-countdown-to-zero
)





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