Back to Index

US: Senator Ted Kennedy on Bush Nuclear Arms Policy

Unlike Stuart Rawlings, Rob Gaudet takes issue with Senator Kennedy: "Kennedy is wrong to say that nukes have not been considered for half a century. After World War II, the Eisenhower administration developed a policy which involved the limited use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield. This limited use (I forget the doctrine's name) is very similar to what Bush is proposing today.

I wonder where today's conversation would be if Israel had not taken the controversial step in 1982 of destroying Iraq's developing nuclear reactor? Israel was heavily criticized at the time. In hindsight, we should probably thank them. Without their preemptive strike, Saddam would've had nuclear weapons by the time he invaded Kuwait. He might have used the nuclear weapons to fend off the United States and solidify his hold on Kuwait. Where would we be today if that happened?

Maybe Bush is on the right track. I hate to say so, but history shows that there may be something to his idea of a preemptive strike. As for me, I'd rather deal with thousands of angry Al Qaeda men than with a hostile dictator with his finger on the button of a nuclear weapon. That argues for a preemptive strike, even at the risk of creating discontent in the Arab world".

David Krieger disagrees with Rob Gaudet: "I find this comment by Gaudet to be deeply rooted in the US mythology about the use of the atomic bombs. Of course, it is disturbing to Americans to have the mythology of our goodness (even when using nuclear weapons) challenged. For me, this reflects how deeply US academics have been coopted by the political mythology of our culture". RH:The world is struck by US double standards; approving preventive strikes by Israel (which defies UN decisions) and accusing Iraq in an obvious search for a pretext to attack it. This does not mean that anyone likes Saddam Hussein. The concept of "preventive strikes" opens Pandora's box, since most countries think another one has plans to attack it.

Ronald Hilton - 2/1/03