America First, destroying the world second

Hassan Abou Taleb
Tuesday 13 Feb 2018

Trump has indicated that the US will move to develop its tactical nuclear weapons arsenal. This constitutes a threat to every other country, and humanity as a whole

It isn’t enough to use so-called less destructive conventional weapons in unjust wars that decimate hundreds of thousands, as took place in Afghanistan and Iraq and is happening in Syria? 

It isn’t enough to wash your hands of your responsibilities towards the world’s security, safety and environment, dispensing with any concern for future generations?

It isn’t enough to make Palestinians starve and withhold limited aid, which was spent on food and education for some of their children? It isn’t enough to grant the occupier bonds of protection to do whatever he pleases in the occupied lands?

It isn’t enough to grant lands, history and holy sites to a usurping force? It isn’t enough to threaten to cut assistance to whoever was bold enough to criticise an obnoxious American stand in the UN?

It isn’t enough that Guantanamo, the worst prison in the world, not merely continues to exist but will be expanded to host new inmates described by American circles as terrorists? 

All this is the result of but one year of Trump’s term.

At the beginning of a new year, Trump promised to drive the world towards nuclear war. In order to make it palatable to general ears, new bombs will become smaller, and can be fittingly described as "tactical nuclear weapons" that can be used on a limited geographical scale without violating the treaties concerned with nuclear arms reduction and their elimination.

There is a change in the American military creed on nuclear weapons that allows for the manufacture of a new category of nuclear bomb to face "limited threats" and distant enemies who don’t constitute a threat to the United States itself.

It can be considered a dangerous development for the world’s peace and security, and even its existence and survival, especially that these new bombs will be deployed via nuclear submarines. Thus, they will be free from being based on American territories, or allied territories.

Roaming submarines can reach any spot around the world. The result is that the entire world will be threatened.

The American military creed's justifications for starting on this destructive project relate to what the neoconservative American current views as a Russian threat.

Washington's strategic planners believe that the Russians might use similar bombs to control Europe or defeat NATO member states. The same planners didn’t forget to allude to Chinese threats that should be deterred through the same means.

These justifications aren’t convincing enough regarding the existence of a strategic threat to the US. The Russians have not listed the US as a direct threat; the expansion of NATO eastwards is understood as the most direct danger.

One can notice the US deems that it alone possesses the right to develop its weapons arsenal, whether conventional or post-conventional arms, and denies this same right to other countries.

Whenever a country resorts to developing its military capability it is described as a threat to the US and calls are issued for a nuclear response. Such logic isn’t new to the US, but it reflects a higher degree stand of an offensive nature that transcends one or two sources of threat, and is directed to the whole world.

Raising the slogan "America First" is a living embodiment of the policy of attacking others and working on putting all inside the American kennel.

The use of nuclear arms is restricted by high level treaties, conventions and international obligations. Throughout the post-World War II period, nuclear arms were viewed as deterrent and preventive weapons, not made to be actually used. Now such commitments are facing serious pressure, for the Americans are promising to use such bombs on a geographically restricted scale.

US planners are ignoring, however, the deadly consequences resulting from using nuclear weapons, that will not stop at defined geographical areas. Radioactive material easily moves east or west, north or south, due to the wind movements. The deadly results of even tactical use can spread over wide areas, including countries and societies that have nothing to do with those conflicts in which the US will launch tactical nulcear weapons.

The US has raised its military budget to more than $700 billion, from which $20 billion will be allocated to developing tactical nuclear weapons along with launching devices, whether ballistic missiles, long-range aircrafts or submarines. Hence, we are facing the revival of traditions of military conflict, which one day will be pushing to actually use those weapons.

Such policies do not concern the US only, but rather the whole world. Confronting and exposing them is the responsibility of all countries without discrimination. 

While the US has the right to defend its own interests, this is on condition that the same won’t constitute an existential threat to humanity itself.

Consequently, the entire world is asked to defend its existence and survival, not only through verbal objections and condemnations, but through an effective collective move.

We know that both China and Russia have the scientific and industrial capability to keep up with the US in manufacturing such kinds of tactical nuclear bombs weapons. But the rest of the world, including the industrially-advanced countries in Europe and elsewhere, don’t want to enter this destructive race. 

Thus, forming a political and security movement is the only way to isolate America and to drive it to reconsider its new supercilious populist options, which represent a danger to America itself as well as humanity as a whole.      

The writer is a political commentator.

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