Is the U.S. Using Nuclear Weapons in Afghanistan?

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In recent days there has been a government-manufactured hysteria in the American media that “Arab terrorists with nukes” are going to kill millions in the USA. But in truth, there has been only one country in the world which has used nuclear weapons on another country in a time of war, and that would be the United States, when it dropped two nuclear plutonium bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945. This was at the end of World War II and killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians. Since that time, government reports have surfaced that the American government and military strongly considered using tactical nuclear weapons in both the Korean-U.S. war in the 1950’s and in Vietnam during the 1960’s, when the U.S. was losing both wars.

All of this begs the question of whether the U.S. is actually using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan, where it has been dropping a variety of aerial bombs, cruise missiles, and artillery. One such weapon is the so-called “bunker buster” bomb, announced on Oct. 11 by the Pentagon. This bomb was first employed in Iraq during the U.S. attack in the Gulf Region in 1991. A newer version of the bomb was used in Kosovo by NATO bombers there in 1999, but again very sparingly in comparison with Afghanistan, and then only the non-nuclear version, Guided Bomb Unit 28 (GBU 28). According to the Military Analysis Network of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), “This…GBU 28 is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqui command centers located deep underground. The bomb is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead.” This is a laser-guided or so-called “smart bomb” fired from a B-2 bomber.

But the latest version of this weapon is in fact a low yield nuclear weapon, a so-called “battlefield nuke” designed to destroy hardened bunkers. Not only myself but other researchers, such as the FAS and the Afrikan News Network, a website for Africans in America, have reported on this matter and are convinced that the Pentagon is using the nuclear version (designated B-61-11) against the Taliban. This nuclear bomb, Pentagon planners believe, will succeed in reaching underground bunkers of Taliban leaders where the GBU-28 non-nuclear device has apparently failed. So they are very quietly “going nuclear.”

The B-61-11 is in fact a “repackaged hydrogen bomb” from the 1960’s, and can burrow 20-50 feet into the soil before detonating its 5-kiloton warhead. Although the Pentagon has always claimed that the weapon would “limit collateral damage,” the truth is that the weapon would produce a large area of lethal fallout. If the Pentagon is deploying such a weapon, they really do intend to destroy Afghanistan and make parts of it uninhabitable. No crops could be planted and reaped in such soil, and no one could live in such areas without developing radiation sickness. Thousands would perish, the majority civilians. This is clearly in line with President Bush’s desire to partition the country, if they cannot overthrow the Taliban regime, and also in line with the Bush/Cheney/Powell military doctrine of using tactical nuclear weapons in a conventional war in the third world.

Of course, if the U.S. is using such weapons, it is in clear violation of both American and international law. For instance, a 1994 federal law prohibits the manufacture and use of such weapons. Furthermore, the various international treaties and United Nations resolutions prohibit it, including those of the International Atomic Energy Act, and various SALT and nuclear non-proliferation treaties. Thus, if nuclear weapons are being used or their use is even planned, it would be the U.S. who would be the rogue state and nuclear terrorist which it hypocritically denounces.

I must honestly say here that I do not know for sure if these nuclear devices have actually been deployed in Afghanistan. I do know they have been created for such a purpose in a war in the 3rd world, and that even the manufacture *and possession* of “mini-nukes” by the US government is illegal under all existing international laws. But I don’t want anyone to blindly accept my word, any more than we should gullibly believe President Bush or the Pentagon for whether this bombing of Afghanistan is justified as a “war against terorism.” Do the research.

But, it is an honest question as to whether the U.S. military is using nuclear devices, and an equally honest question of whether it is the use of such devices of mass destruction by the American military which might then *really* provoke the use of nuclear devices by guerrillas associated with Osama bin Laden or a so-called “Middle Eastern rogue state” in retaliation against the U.S. population centers. In fact, that is the only way I think it would happen. Once again, the American people would be hit with retaliatory guerrilla warfare from a fairaway conflict, just like on September 11th.

In the real sense, only the U.S. *has proven* it will use nuclear weapons, and it’s the one who currently threatens world peace. We cannot be blind to that. But the American media, in lockstep with the Pentagon and the Bush administration, blames the Middle East or Afghanistan. This is all designed to criminalize Arabs or Muslims throughout the world, terrorize the domestic population, and justify the harsh U.S. military response. It is wartime propaganda.

In the USA especially, we cannot allow ourselves to be frightened by all the scare mongering gutter news reports of “Arab terrorists with nuclear devices.” It is the worst type of racism and alarmism, when only the U.S. and its allies really have such weapons.

I suggest the world’s media and progressive movements read the report of the Federation of American Scientists on low yield nuclear weapons in the American arsenal used as the source for this article as well as the related report on Afrikan.net, the Air Force News Service Report and an August 2001 article in the Progressive magazine. Then you make your mind up just who is guilty of “state terrorism.”

How can we really find out if the U.S. is using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan? Along with others, I believe that the International Atomic Energy Agency of the U.N. should be forced to begin an investigation of whether the U.S. military is using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan, instead of falsely accusing the Afghani government, Iraq, or alleged non-government guerrilla groups of using or seeking to use nuclear arms against the USA. We must demand that the IAEA ([email protected]) investigate U.S. military use of this new type of nuclear bomb. We should send them complaint letters from all over the world.

Hopefully, opponents of the U.S. bombing campaign in the U.S. Congress, such as Barbara Lee and Cynthia McKinney of the Congressional Black Caucus will begin to hold public and Congressional hearings to challenge Bush and Powell on the use of these nuclear weapons. I also suggest everyone begin to write them now and urge them to do so: Barbara.L[email protected] and {McKinney} CyMcK@mail.house.gov

But the anti-war/peace and social justice movements should not wait for government hearings to use this knowledge as just *one more reason* why the bombing should cease, and this criminal war should end. We should hold their own tribunals now, and expose what these nuclear devices and all the bombs are doing to destroy Afghanistan, and also what the so-called “anti-terrorist” laws are doing to destroy human rights in the country we are living in: the USA. We cannot blame the Taliban for this, we should blame George W. Bush and the oil billionaires and war profiteers behind him.

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