Is George Bush the most dangerous president in U.S. history?
If you ask Professor John Swomley, he is.
Swomley, who teaches Christian ethics at the St. Paul School of Theology in
Kansas City, has authored an indictment of the Bush administration's foreign
policy that includes actual plans to use nuclear bombs as pre-emptive weapons.
It is essential, he says in a magazine article, for Americans to understand
that the administration has directed the military to prepare plans to use nuclear
weapons against at least seven countries - China, Russia, North Korea, Syria,
Iran, Libya and Iraq.
Presumably, had Iraq had those so-called weapons of mass destruction and had
used them when we invaded the country this spring, we were prepared to drop
a weapon of mass destruction of our own.
And Swomley warns that we shouldn't buy the argument that these nukes
are small and won't be all that horrific.
"Nuclear weapons, even if they are smaller than those of Hiroshima
or Nagasaki, will not only kill on impact, but raise immense radioactive dust,
with the terrible results of slow, agonizing death from radiation," he
"Some people make the assumption that using smaller nuclear weapons
will allow accurate precision bombing, such as was claimed for the bombing of
Iraq," he adds. "What was not reported by officials is that although
the Iraq 'smart' bombs rarely missed a target by more than 13 feet, when a bomb
blew up it sent high-speed shrapnel flying as far as a mile, causing many civilian
casualties. The additional power of a nuclear bomb, together with its dispersal
of radioactivity , is sure to produce infinitely more harm."
Nevertheless, the U.S. Senate has already approved Bush's request to
lift a 10-year ban on research, development and production of nuclear weapons
of less than 5 kilotons.
Swomley quotes defense budget analyst Bill Donahue, who says that the United
States is spending roughly $5.8 billion on nuclear weapons this year and that
the Los Alamos National Laboratories have been told to begin developing "earth
penetrator" mini-nukes even before seeking permission from Congress.
The professor insists that Bush is hell-bent on building an American empire
as envisioned by the likes of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield, his underlings
Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, Vice President Dick Cheney and State Department
hawks Richard Armitage and John Bolton. The philosophy is pre-emptive war, unilateral
action and world domination.
"The problem we face today is one that Al Gore described as a new doctrine
that destroys the goal of a world in which states consider themselves subject
to law, in favor of the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the
president of the United States," Swomley insists.