Have the neocons backed Trump into a nuclear corner?
By Dr. Kevin Barrett
Is the Pentagon planning a zombie apocalypse? I’m not just referring to CONPLAN 888, a 2011 training exercise envisioning U.S. forces in final battles against the eight known varieties of zombies. In case you were wondering, those are: pathogenic zombies, radiation zombies, evil magic zombies, space zombies, bioengineered zombies, symbiont zombies, and vegetarian zombies (“must eat grrraaaaains!”) And, no, I didn’t make any of that up. Your tax dollars did.
The real zombie apocalypse scenario, the one we should all be terrified of, is nuclear war. And our own U.S. government—the only government that has detonated nuclear weapons over cities—is planning to do it again. We are sleepwalking into a zombie apocalypse, and our own leaders are taking us there. Or to paraphrase Pogo: “We have met the evil zombies, and they are us.”
This all-too-realistic zombie apocalypse is brilliantly described by novelist Cormac McCarthy in The Road: a cold, ruined world dimmed and buried beneath gray ash, where nothing grows, canned food is the only currency, and cannibalism the road to survival. This nuclear winter scenario is the probable result of any war involving hundreds of multi-megaton bombs—or any other firestorm-producing weapon. The late Dr. Robert Bowman, head of the proto-SDI (“Star Wars”) program under presidents Ford and Carter, told this writer that, while he was directing the program, the U.S. had already developed a highly classified satellite-based weapon that could incinerate entire cities from space. If they had that in the 1970s, what do they have now?
Col. Bowman, a Cal Tech trained Ph.D. rocket scientist, resigned as a whistleblower to protest the offensive orientation of the Star Wars program. Sold to the public as a defensive system for shooting down incoming Soviet missiles, the real purpose of SDI was to facilitate a planned U.S. surprise first strike. As Bowman explained for decades to anyone who would listen, satellite platforms are inherently vulnerable to surprise attacks; they won’t survive to play a defensive role. So the SDI program focused on offense: suddenly and unexpectedly blinding enemy satellites, stealthily destroying enemy missile silos with such weapons as the ultra-classified “artificial meteorite,” and (following the surprise first strike by the “good guys”) shooting down the few surviving enemy missiles. This first strike doctrine is even more entrenched today, thanks to the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, than it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Its purpose is not so much to destroy the world as soon as possible as to bully other nations into compliance with U.S. wishes. But eventual world-destruction is a likely unintended consequence.
The eve of destruction may be fast approaching. Under President Barack Obama, the Deep State ramped up its nuclear-backed bullying of Russia. When Donald Trump got elected by questioning the Deep State, decrying “American exceptionalism,” and striving to repair relations with Russia, the permanent war party declared that “Russian meddling” was to blame for Hillary Clinton’s defeat—and unleashed a wave of Russophobia. Speaking of unleashing waves, the Russians have responded by building new MAD (mutually assured destruction) weapons including the Poseidon 100 megaton high-speed nuclear torpedo that could drown America’s seaboards under radioactive tsunamis.
Trump, cornered by the Deep State hawks, cannot pursue peace with Russia. Whenever he tries, his political enemies insinuate that he is a Russian stooge. The whole political class, both Democrats and Republicans, and the whole mainstream media, including its left and right wings, stand united behind the neocon war-on-Russia project. Obviously, the neocons are still riding high despite the horrific failures of their 9/11-triggered invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
In early February, Trump succumbed to political pressure and pulled out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. His neocon advisors, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, cheered lustily. Vladimir Putin countered by announcing that Russia will be deploying large numbers of intermediate range nuclear missiles on its European borders. A new arms race is picking up steam. As artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms take over nuclear command and control systems, will they recognize the “strategic advantages” of launching a first strike? Will AI have the human wisdom of Soviet Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, who disobeyed orders and singlehandedly saved the world by overriding computer warnings in 1983 of a U.S. nuclear attack?
“Defense intellectuals,” those well-paid policy wonks who follow the psychopathic algorithms of game theory to their logical and horrifying conclusions, must think they and their pet supercomputers are pretty darned smart. Like John Nash, they have beautiful minds. If some of the brains housing those beautiful minds are devoured by starving zombies and barbecued over rubble fires in the midst of a decade-long nuclear winter, I suppose some sort of cosmic justice will have been served.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.