Friends, to come to Hiroshima is to engage with the meanings and human consequences of one of the 20th centuryfs most monstrous crimes. It requires us to explore humanityfs, and especially my nationfs struggle with evil. It provides the unique opportunity to be inspired and transformed by Hibakusha and the Japanese peace movement. It is a privilege to be rejoining you.
It is my unhappy responsibility today to describe the nuclear war and Asia-Pacific policies of the Bush Administration, one of the most militaristic and arrogant governments in modern U.S. history. President Bush, often referred to as gBush the Lesser,h gW,h and gShrub,h is a unique but quite dangerous expression of the U.S. power elite. He is the grandson of a U.S. Senator, and the son of a former member of Congress who also served as CIA Director, Ambassador to China, and President. W. is a man who our great playwright Arthur Miller has explained needs his sleep because putting together four word sentences is such a demanding effort for this man. I find it almost beyond imagination, and certainly beyond my comprehension, that to a considerable degree, the fate of humanity lies in the whims and choices of a man who, during the Presidential campaign said gI donft read whatfs handed to me.h And, "When I was young and coming up, it was a dangerous world, and we knew exactly who the 'they' were. It was 'us' versus 'them' and it was clear who the ethemf was. Today, we're not so sure who the 'they' are, but we know they're there."i
When one of the most right-wing and militarist political figures in U.S. history, Vice President Cheney, has been hospitalized, even progressives have been confused. Were he to be serious impaired, we would be left with our mentally limited president, and that is perhaps a more frightening prospect.
As a result of the most corrupted U.S. presidential election in living memory, the world suffers a U.S. government that is not only flouting the worldfs fears of global warming, but re-accelerating the nuclear arms race. The Bush Administration has declared China a "strategic competitor,h and its military doctrine that focuses on China and the Asia-Pacific. It is anxious to revise the ABM Treaty and to kill the CTBT Treaty to give it the freedom to do whatever is necessary to prepare to and threaten its enemies with extinction by ensuring U.S. nuclear superiority. For this reason, its gNumber 1 priorityh is deployment of gmissile defenseh shieldsii to reinforce the U.S. first strike nuclear and high-tech swords. It is anxious to expand and deepen the alliance with Japan, and others across the Asia-Pacific. Remember our horror when, within weeks of coming to office, Bush and company publicly humiliated President Kim Dae Jung and derailed the Korean reconciliation process. And more recently, the Bush Administration has made dangerous and unprecedented military commitments to Taipei.
The Armitage-Nye framework for Bush Asia-Pacific policy reflects a bi-partisan Washington campaign to revise of Japanfs Peace Constitution that has well served the Japanese and the worldfs people. And, consistent with the new regimefs arrogance, was its response to the rape of yet another Okinawan woman, its continued demands for extraterritoriality, and its pursuit of still more air bases in Nago and southern Okinawa.
This only begins the list of Bush Administration atrocities. The list also includes the assault on the Kyoto Protocol, reversing the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, its dangerous campaign to increase U.S. fossil fuel and nuclear power consumption, using tax laws to take from the poor and middle classes to give to the super rich, opposing Third World and European proposals to reduce the costs of life saving medicines, and the list goes onc
The U.S. is not the only source of Darkness in our time. Koizumifs gpersonality culth has raised concerns about the depth of democratic values in Japanese political culture. Increasing Japanese nationalism, as manifested in history-denying text books, challenges to the Peace Constitution, and the Prime Ministerfs pledge to visit Yasakuni Shrine, is causing anxiety across the region. Koizumifs promised economic greformsh will likely result in more unemployment, widen gap between rich and poor, and fail to heal the economy. And, Meanwhile increasingly aggressive U.S. and Japanese militarism is reinforcing Chinese nationalism and military modernization.
That 21st century garrangement,h U.S. domination and coercion of other people and nations, is to be based on U.S. first strike nuclear and high-tech arsenals. This explains why so-called gmissile defensesh are the Administrationfs priority. It is planning and building for the long-term: twenty, thirty and more years into the future, in much the same way that Alfred Mahan, Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt emphasized sea power and the building of a great Navy late in the 19th century to replace Britain as the worldfs dominant power.
The Administrationfs military vision was reflected in the Presidentfs May 1 Star Wars speech and in the recent announcement of the new Rumsfeld/Marshall military doctrine. As momentous as the changes they plan are, we should remember that they build on the Clinton Administrationfs doctrine of gfull spectrum dominance,h of which preparations for nuclear war were the gcornerstone.h The new doctrine seeks to ensure that the military has the gmilitary capability to act at any time, anywhere, in defense of what it sees as its global interests.hiv As a senior military officer recently explained gWe donft like a fair fight. We want to win, absolutely and on our terms.hv The new military doctrine has four ostensible military priorities: 1) defense of U.S. territory. 2) make other nations gafraidh of possible U.S. military actions in the Asia-Pacific, in Europe, and the Middle East, 3) to gwin decisivelyh in one major conflict while it 4) conducting gsmall-scale contingencies of limited duration in other areas of the world.h The doctrine shifts the focus of U.S. military planning and power from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region.
Dominance -- not defense -- is their strategic goal. Achin Vanaik, the Indian journalist and disarmament leader, put it well when he wrote that gMissile defensesh are gnot geared to protecting the US from potential enemies or to make the world safer.h They are gaimed not only at institutionalizing [the United Statesf] current military-nuclear dominance for the next half century, but at greatly extending and strengthening this hegemony.hvii
Closely related to the gmissile defenseh program is the Bush Administrationfs assault on the ABM and CTBT Treaties. As the revered liberal columnist Anthony Lewis has explained gThe fundamental policy of security through treaties is anathema to President Bushfs Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.hviii Thus, even as the Administrationfs review of U.S. policy toward Russia reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the arms control regime and the President speaks of deep unilateral cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal beginning with the retirement of 50 MX missiles and two Trident submarines, it remains committed to nuclear superiority, to possessing the worldfs largest nuclear arsenal, and the concept of gadaptability.h This means retaining the freedom to increase or reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal, insisting on the right to resume nuclear weapons testing and to deploy new nuclear weapons at will, and to build so-called gmissile defensesh, and to weaponize space. There is also a political agenda. The Bush Administration is racing to build ten missile silos in Alaska, which would violate the current terms of the ABM Treaty, in order to have initial gmissile defenseh deployments in place before 2004 election campaign.
In truth, the problem is not limited to Republicans. During the Clinton years, the President and Congressional Democrats supported gmissile defenseh/Star Wars research and development. For a decade, most Congressional Democrats have claimed that the major differences between them and gdangeroush Republicans have been about timing. Republicans have pressed for gmissile defenseh deployments gas soon as technologically possibleh while the majority of Congressional Democrats support deployment as soon as the technology is proven to be geffective.h The two parties have also differed over the number of billions of dollars to be devoted gmissile defenseh/Star Wars research and development, and over whether Washingtonfs policy toward China should be simple gcontainmenth or the more complex simultaneous gcontainment and engagementh approach. Thus, Democratic Senate leaders Tom Daschle, Carl Levin, and many of their Democratic colleagues support grobusth funding for gmissile defenseh research and development. They want to gwork out the problems first,h to avoid galienat[ing] every ally and Russia and China besidesh by deploying gsomething that still hasnft been shown to work.hix Daschle recently complained that by gisolating ourselvesh the Bush Administration is gminimizingh U.S. global influence by creating ga global vacuumh that could all too easily be gfilled by others.hx So much for a gDemocratich opposition!
To overcome the U.S. peoplefs natural aversion to escalating the arms race with gmissile defensesh its advocates are working to manipulate peoplefs fears. Thus when the President addressed the U.S. people in May to explain the necessity of demolishing the ABM Treaty, his speech writers had him echo the worst rhetoric of the Cold War era: gLike Saddam Hussein, some of todayfs tyrants are gripped by an implacable hatred of the United States of America. They hate our friends. They hate our values. They hate democracy and freedom and individual liberty. Many care little for the lives of their own people.hxi
In fact, the U.S. elite thinks in quite different terms. George Kennan, the author of the Cold War containment doctrine once advised that " We have about 50 percent of the worldfs wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real taskcis to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparitycThe day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.xii
In the wake of the U.S.-NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, the elite Council on Foreign Relationfs journal Foreign Affairs celebrated a new era of U.S. unilateralism, with a commentary which explained the United States and NATO -- with little discussion and less fanfare -- have effectively abandoned the old UN Charter rules that strictly limit international intervention in local conflicts...in favor of a vague new system that is much more tolerant of military intervention but has few hard and fast rules...Kosovo illustrates...America's new willingness to do what it thinks right -- international law notwithstanding."xiii
Shortly before he joined the Administration, Richard Armitage (now Assistant Secretary of State,) along with Joe Nye, co-authored a report that reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan alliance as the gkeystoneh of U.S. policy and power in Asia. To deal with continued Okinawan resistance to U.S. military colonization, Armitage, Nye and their colleagues called for gdiversifyingh the U.S. military presence throughout Asia and the Pacific. They recommended reducing, not removing, the Marine presence in Okinawa, and urged the used of military alliances and access agreements to re-deploy these and other U.S. forces to the Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Australia, and possibly Vietnam. To augment U.S. power, and to increase what the U.S. political elite calls gburdensharing,h their report encouraged revision of the Japanese constitution so that the Japanese military can fight along side the U.S. confrontations and wars in Korea, against China, in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, and elsewhere in the world.
The Armitage-Nye report was followed by a Rand Corporation study overseen by Zalmay Khalilzad. Khalilzad has since been appointed Senior Director at the National Security Council. In his report, he focused on gthe potential for armed conflict between Taiwan and mainland China as a key U.S. security concern.h Consistent with the Armitage-Nye report, he reaffirmed the central importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance. He raised the possibility that gremoval or reduction of U.S. forcesh from the main island of Okinawa to the southern-most Ryukyu islands gcould be the currency with which Washington might pay for a foothold in the critical area surrounding the troubled waters of the Taiwan Strait.h He also urges a policy akin to gdiversification,h with the Pentagon shifting gthe focus of its military presence in Asia toward the Philippines and other nations.h This would include increased military cooperation with the Philippines to permit gfrequent, rotating deployments of U.S. forcesh to keep them gwarmh for military interventions. To better fight in wars over Taiwan, the South China Sea, Indonesia, and the Malacca Straight, Khalilzad urges that Guam be transformed into a gmajor hubh for U.S. air and naval forces. Among the reportfs recommendations that have already been adopted are President Bushfs explicit commitment to use whatever means necessary to defend Taiwan (which, by definition, includes the possibility of initiating nuclear war,) and Rumsfeldfs call for a larger arsenal of long-range bombers.xiv
Why the preoccupation with China? Since returning to Harvard University, Joe Nye has repeatedly described what he believes to be the greatest strategic challenge facing the United States. Twice in the 20th century, he says, the failure of the status quo (dominant imperial) powers to integrate rising powers (Germany and Japan) into the prevailing global order resulted in catastrophic world wars. Pointing to China, he urges the U.S. not repeat this mistake.
Of course, China remains a poor nation, and Nye concedes that at its current pace of military modernization, in 20 years China will have the military power of a mid-level U.S. NATO ally of forty years ago. But, having already transformed itself with an annual 4-8% growth rate for the past twenty years, and with no end to such growth in sight, China is clearly a rising, if still limited and vulnerable, force in Asian and global economic, diplomatic, and military considerations.
This leads us back to so-called gmissile defensesh and to a strategy that Nyefs colleague Ezra Vogel has advanced, that Henry Kissinger has alluded to, and which Nicholas Berry has described in some detail.xv In pursuit of ga grand bargain with China,h which would integrate it into the Asia-Pacific and global (dis)orders on U.S. terms, the Clinton and Bush administrations have pursued TMD that could, at last theoretically, neutralize all of Beijingfs missiles, leaving China vulnerable to a U.S. first strike attack. As the TMD threat increases, China is being offered a deal: forego adopting more aggressive military doctrines and deploying weapons that increase its aggressive capabilities, and Washington will limit its TMD deployments in East Asia.
This would, of course, leave in place the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the 7th Fleet, hundreds of U.S. forward deployed military bases and installations, 100,000 troops and their advanced weapons, and future U.S. weapons in space ---- all threatening China.
This is clearly not acceptable to Chinese leaders and promises a dangerous new arms race that must be prevented. Chinese officials and strategic analysts have long seen TMD as a shield to reinforce the U.S. first-strike nuclear sword. They are forceful and unanimous in repeating that China will not be intimidated, that gmissile defenses,h mean a dangerous new arms race. If the U.S. deploys TMD, China will build as many missiles as needed to overwhelm these new systems. This will, in turn reinforce military hard liners in Washington, and in a classical chain reaction, it will also spur the Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons programs.
Meanwhile, Joe Nye and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Joe Lieberman (who is preparing to run for president in 2004) have joined Bush and Rumsfeld in saying that it is not a question of whether the U.S. will deploy TMD, but of what their characteristics will be.
Until recently, critics and activists in the United States, who for the most part remain oriented to Europe and Russia, have been dangerously blind to these developments and have focused almost exclusively on so-called gNational Missile Defenses.h In fact, Rumsfeld has eliminated the terms TMD and NMD from the Pentagonfs lexicon. The concepts have been conflated as research and development for gmissile defensesh focus increasingly on extending the capabilities of what were formerly termed TMD technologies. This strategy is also designed to calm U.S. allies for whom a gtheaterh missile defense would serve as a gnationalh missile defense. Politically, it also permits the Bush Administration to argue that it is building more credible TMD, rather than failed NMD, technologies.
This perspective illuminates at least four additional goals of the accelerated gmissile defenseh/Star Wars campaign: 1) to subsidize development of new weapons related technologies; 2) to subsidize military-related research and development leading to new commercial technologies that can dominate the world market; 3) to fatten corporate profits; and 4) to ensure continued U.S. privileged access to the worldfs limited resources.
It is this latter agenda, especially U.S. efforts to continue controlling the worldfs oil supply, that most immediately affects security and power relations in East Asia. World War I was fought largely to defend British (and to a lesser extent French) control of Middle East oil reserves against the German challenge.xvii In the wake of World War II, U.S. replaced these colonizers as the dominant power in the Middle East, and gpolitical axiom number oneh of U.S. foreign and military policy has since been to ensure that neither its enemies nor its allies gain independent access to the regionfs oil reserves.xviii In the course of at least eight wars and crises that placed U.S. Middle East hegemony at risk, Washington has threatened to initiated nuclear war. Its gMissile Defensesh are designed to reinforce U.S. control Middle East oil, to leverage control over newly accessible Caspian Sea oil fields, and thus to reaffirm its ultimate control over the economies of Japan, China, Korea, and the vast majority of the worldfs industrialized nations.
An interesting element in the Bush Administrationfs gmissile defenseh diplomacy has been the olive branch proffered to Moscow.xix President Bush has hinted at an openness to possible Russian collaboration in gmissile defenseh development and deployments. If an agreement can be reached, Russia could become Washingtonfs junior partner and tacit ally against China.
The outlines of such a ggrand bargainh have been widely reported. In exchange for agreeing to modify the ABM Treaty to legitimize gmissile defenseh deployments, the U.S. and NATO would purchase a variety of Russian weapons. The deal would also include military aid to Russia and joint gmissile defenseh exercises. Russian scientists and engineers would be integrated into U.S. led gmissile defenseh research and development, permitting the U.S. to skim Russian scientific knowledge and technological resources. In exchange, Russia is expected to demand greater recognition of its influence in the former Soviet Republics, a privileged position in dividing the spoils of the Caspian Sea oil fields, and limits to NATO expansion.xx
True, Russia and China have established a weak gstrategic partnershiph to counter Washingtonfs increasingly aggressive hegemony. It is in this context that Russia has represented Chinese interests in initial missile defense negotiations with Washington and may well find its ginterestsh better served by positioning itself over the longer term as a bridge between the China and the U.S.
However, because both Russia and China are anxious for U.S., European and Japanese technologies and investments, their gstrategic partnershiph remains tenuous. And, since the establishment of the Peoplefs Republic of China, Washington has sought to divide Moscow from Beijing and to play one against the other. In an era when Japanese leaders have pointed to China, wondering aloud to their Russian counterparts who will populate and control eastern Siberia in the coming decades, it is no wonder that Russiafs foreign minister says Russia is gready to be constructive in talks with the United States on missile defenseh and President Putin has repeated that ghe was open to the idea of negotiating an accord over a limited missile defense.hxxi
In terms of Japan and the EU, remember that since the last years of the Reagan era, U.S. strategic doctrines have stressed that Washingtonfs gfirst objectiveh is to gprevent the re-emergence of a new rivalh or gpeer competitor,h including the gdiscouragementh of gfriendly nationscfrom challenging our leadership.hxxii This includes Reaganfs gDiscriminate Deterrenceh; the elder Bushfs 1992 initial Pentagon Draft Defense Planning Guidance written under Paul Wolfowitzfs (now Assistant Secretary of Defense) direction, and the Clinton Administrationfs gJoint Vision 2020h which defined the Pentagonfs mission as worldwide gfull spectrum dominance.h
It is not a secret that the U.S.-Japan alliance was imposed to gcaph and co-opt Japanese militarism in addition to gcontainingh Russia and China, and that NATO was created to contain Germany as well as Russia. U.S. strategic planners are not as stupid as their rhetoric sometimes makes them appear. They have learned from studying the histories of European and other empires and want to be prepared to contain, and if necessary defeat, inevitable challenges by emerging powers to U.S. hegemony.
Although Japan is now wracked by economic, political and increasing social turmoil, its power is such that U.S. officials have boasted that one way they discipline China is to occasionally threaten to spin Japan off as an independent power. Japan is still the worldfs second richest nation, and its economic power far exceeds Chinafs. And, despite the peace constitution, Japan is the worldfs third greatest military spender and a near-nuclear power. More immediately, the European Union is not only an economic, but a potential military, superpower. Recently tensions between the U.S. and the European Union have grown over trade, and the proposed creation of an independent European Rapid Deployment Force, influence in Asia, and more importantly values - especially over human rights and global warming. These developments point to the possibility that U.S. and E.U. elite interests and ambitions may in time diverge substantially in the coming decades. The U.S. and Europe could theoretically -- but not necessarily -- become military as well as economic gpeer competitors.h
Thus, even as the U.S. seeks to integrate Japan and the E.U. more deeply into gmissile defenseh research, development and deployments, the gmissile defenseh/Star Wars campaign is, in part, designed to remind Japan and the E.U. who is really in charge. In the tradition of Joint Vision 2020 and the Clinton Administrationfs Nuclear Policy Review, many in Washington believe that gmissile defensesh can serve as a ghedgeh against guncertainty.h And, as with Russia, Washington wants to further integrate European and Japanese science and technology into U.S. dominated systems.
Rumsfeldfs press conference was surprising only in its timing. Shortly before joining the Bush Administration, he served as Chairman of a Congressional commission on space, whose report stressed that it is time for the U.S. to weaponize space. The report was a rehash of already published Space Command reports. For example, gVision for 2020h describes the Space Commandfs role as gdominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investments.h It points to the widening gulf between gthe havesh and the ghave-notsh and proposes to enforce these growing disparities through the gcontrol [of] spaceh to gdominateh the Earth.xxiv
China and Russia have reason to fear that space-based U.S. gmissile defenseh systems may soon be able to destroy their satellites, wiping out essential C3I functions for their missile and conventional forces, leaving them vulnerable to U.S. first strike attacks.
Within the U.S., the organizations associated with the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Abolition Network, and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and the Union of Concerned Scientists have laid the foundations for a potentially powerful movement. In the first national manifestation of popular U.S. opposition to gmissile defensesh and star wars, activists from forty states came to Washington in June to protest against gmissile defensesh and to put Congress on notice that a growing popular movement will hold its members accountable. This has been followed by a campaign of community-based education and organizing across the United States, including the demonstration at Los Alamos ten days ago on the 56th anniversary of the gTrinityh explosion, and dozens of protest actions world-wide are planned for mid-October.
We are developing a strategy that will, in the short term, prevent catastrophic TMD deployments, lays the foundation to end hmissile defenseh research and development, and moves the U.S. toward negotiating verifiable and time-bound agreements to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
A number of the strategyfs essential elements are becoming clear. An essential step is to replace the preoccupation with gNational Missile Defensesh with a broader opposition to all so-called gmissile defensesh and to the U.S. first strike nuclear war fighting policies. Failure to do this opens the way for TMD, guarantees a dangerous new arms race, and vastly increases the possibility of nuclear cataclysms.
It is essential that the largely white U.S. peace movement overcome self-imposed race, class, and generational obstacles, building common cause and alliances with social, economic and environmental justice activists. One of the more compelling examples of this kind of organizing is the growing alliance between the traditional peace movement and the people of Hunters Point in San Francisco who have long been the victims of nuclear research and nuclear waste.
A critical core of us are building on the gdeadly connectionh between U.S. nuclear war policy and U.S. military interventions, building links with the more racially diverse anti-intervention movement and with younger of the movement against corporate globalization. In the coming year, the AFSC hopes to host a Japanese, Korean and Chinese activists to communicate the urgency of preventing TMD deployments, of eliminating nuclear weapons, and of withdrawing troops and bases from East Asia. One expression of this work is the Boston Okinawa Networkfs recent and brief gYankees Come Homeh petition drive expressing shame and outrage over the most recent rape of an Okinawan woman by a G.I. and calling for the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Okinawa and East Asia. Petition signers include Professors Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, and Ramsey Liem, Hawaii State Representative Roy Takumi, Bruce Gagnon, and the Swedish Peace Committee!
Finally, the AFSC and other organizations are helping to frame the reemerging gguns or butterh debate. This has been made substantially easier by the Bush Administrationfs $1.35 trillion tax cut coup for the rich and by its frightening confrontations with China. With greatly reduced available fund to pay for human needs, people and communities are increasingly feeling the stark choices of funding Star Wars or education, gmissile defensesh or medicine and health care, new tactical nuclear weapons or social security and pensions for the elderly. This helps to explain why the U.S. Mayorsf Conference called for abolition of nuclear weapons and for the funding of human needs.
I want to conclude with lessons I have learned here, from the worldfs most dedicated nuclear abolitionists: Hibakusha and the Japanese peace movement: Preventing the deployment of offensive gmissile defenses,h prohibiting the weaponization of space, and achieving the abolition of nuclear weapons are all possible. What we achieve and the terrible dangers that we bequeath to future generations if we fail depend on the clarity of our vision, the liveliness of our imaginations, and by the depths of our will.
No More Hiroshimas!
No More Nagasakis!
No More Hibakusha!
Let Us Take Back Our Humanity!